Facts and figures

Our 9th biennial INVOLVE conference took place on 26 and 27 November 2014 at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham. It was our largest conference so far with: 

  • more than 530 delegates over 2 days
  • 92 presentations and workshops offered within 5 parallel sessions
  • 85 posters
  • well over 1,700 tweets using the conference hashtag over the 2 days.

Thanks to all of the presenters, poster exhibitors, delegates and conference organisers for making INVOLVE 2014 such a success.

Conference web pages

Resources from the conference, including abstracts, posters and photographs are now available in the conference area of our website:

Keynote speeches and plenary sessions

Keynote speakers were Russell Hamilton (Director of Research and Development at the Department of Health) on public involvement in the changing landscape of the NHS, Simon Denegri (Chair of INVOLVE and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) National Director for Public Participation and Engagement) on the Breaking Boundaries review and Tracey Brown (Managing Director of Sense About Science), who spoke about the work of her organisation.

Sally Crowe

Interactive sessions in the main auditorium were popular. On day one, Sally Crowe facilitated a ‘Sharing experiences and impact of public involvement on research’ discussion and voting session, which captured delegates’ experiences of public involvement and offered the chance to vote on whether those experiences and their impacts were largely positive (indicated by yellow cards) or negative (blue cards). On day two, Tina Coldham chaired a lively ‘Question Time’ debate with panel members Ade Adebajo, Peter Beresford, Ann-Louise Caress and Maggie Wilcox discussing topics such as how to safeguard the funding of public involvement in the current political climate, whether there has been progress with inclusion and diversity, and how the public involvement ‘movement’ could be more influential.

voting during Sally's session

Conference posters

All conference poster presentations were entered into a plain English poster competition. Our team of judges were looking for posters that were jargon free, clear and easy to understand. Marks were awarded for language and design and the winners collected their prizes at the conference dinner. Congratulations to:

  • Sharon Nolan, Communication and Patient and Public Involvement Manager, North Bristol NHS Trust for Research mystery shop (overall winner for design and plain English)
  • Liam Ennis, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London for Service user involvement in mental health research: pathways to study success (highly commended for plain English)
  • Rhianna Broadway, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust for Developing a service user engagement strategy in a mental health NHS Trust: inspire (highly commended for design).

Sharon Nolan and Nicola Williams

Several posters at the conference had a children and young people theme:

  • Developing a vitamin D paediatric clinical study: pilot consultation involving young people and parents (Hannah Batchelor)
  • Introducing Blue ICE: a self-harm prevention app (Samantha Warren)
  • Young People’s Mental Health Advisory Group (Megan Rees)
  • Developing mobile applications for and with young people with long-term conditions (Veronica Swallow)
  • Stronger together: collective endeavours of a cleft and research organisation to promote the role of young people affected by a cleft in research (Stephanie Tierney).

To view these posters and more search the conference database on our website at

Russell Hamilton, Simon Denegri and Tracey Brown

Feedback and reflections

We were delighted to see so many people tweet about INVOLVE 2014 using #INVOLVE2014 ( Several delegates also blogged their personal views and reflections on the conference, including:

  • Louca-Mai Brady: Public involvement with children and young people – some reflections from INVOLVE 2014 (3 December 2014)
  • Alison Cameron: NIHR INVOLVE – changing landscapes (8December 2014)
  • NIHR Clinical Research Network: INVOLVE Conference 2014 (10 December 2014)
  • Paul Radin: Involvement, Fast & Slow. Should I stay or should I go? (25 December 2014)
  • Julie Bounford and Elspeth Mathie, Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) East of England PPI  Theme: The PPI Toolbox (9 January 2015)

People are already beginning to think about and plan for INVOLVE 2016…

INVOLVE 2014 conference delegates