Sheffield Emergency Care Forum

Sheffield Emergency Care Forum (SECF) is now over three years old as a formal group. The forum is independent and is dedicated to public and patient involvement (PPI) in clinical research. Its particular interest is centred on the emergency care services provided by the NHS in Sheffield and the surrounding area.

Three years ago one of the founding members was invited to join the Strategic Local Priority Group for PPI in South Yorkshire and the PPI forum of the local Research Design Service. After attending the Northern Action Learning Sets for PPI in Leeds it was decided to set up a formal PPI group for research into emergency care services in Sheffield.  Colleagues who were leading research projects were enthusiastic and supportive as were the local Research Design Service (RDS) and Comprehensive Local Research Network (CLRN) colleagues.

The founding members of SECF had previously been members of Community Health Council, the Patient Forum for Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Sheffield LINk. They are now members of Healthwatch.

Our group is made up of a mix of ages and interests. Two members represent the ambulance service  and we also have enlisted medical students who are interested in research into emergency care services. The SECF meets formally quarterly but at other times when necessary. The group has good connections to other groups across the city and is able to gather focus groups for researchers when asked.

As a group, as individuals or as pairs, our members have given ad hoc advice to researchers, have convened focus groups, have reviewed proposals and have served/or are serving on steering groups for many research projects relating to emergency and pre-hospital care. SECF is often approached by researchers or research students to comment or advise on new ideas for proposals. If proposals are funded the SECF members are usually invited to serve on the steering group and will then maintain involvement  throughout the length of the study, assisting in dissemination to the wider public audience towards the end of the project.


Public involvement in research

Two SECF members have been involved in patient and public involvement for more than ten years in the Sheffield area as members of Sheffield Community Health Council, Patient Forum and  Sheffield LINk/Healthwatch. They became involved in clinical research as patient representatives and, a few years later, they encouraged other service users to join them in a formal setting as Sheffield Emergency Care Forum.

Research projects in which the SECF members have participated include research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment; Medical Research Council; NIHR Service Delivery and Organisation; NIHR Evaluation Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre Service Delivery and Organisation programme and Research for Patient Benefit. A full list of our involvement in research studies is on our website… thirteen research projects have included one or more of our members. We take our role seriously – we are all keen to ensure that PPI becomes an integral part of all research projects relating to emergency care. We believe that the patient and public voice must be  valued, listened to and acted upon whenever appropriate within the research process.


Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

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