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What patients and the public think about health research

Public and Professional Opinion of the HRA

The HRA commissioned a survey at the end of 2014 of the public, volunteers who are Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Research Ethics Committees and researchers themselves to get feedback from them on its work. The survey sought to measure the views of the HRA amongst the public and other stakeholders. It also provides the HRA with a rounded picture of their opinions.

The presentation of the key findings can be found here.


Public Dialogue: Working with the public in policy development

Sciencewise logo

The HRA is very aware that public confidence in health research is critical to its success and so we are  committed to building the public voice into policy development.

Over the last three years the HRA has worked with Sciencewise to conduct public dialogue exercises to understand public views and build public opinion into our policy and guidance.  The Sciencewise approach allows the public to consider complex issues in depth over a period of time and to debate the issues with experts in the area.

So far we have completed two Public Dialogue projects with support of and part funding from Sciencewise:

Work has now begun on a third project with Sciencewise, in partnership with the Human Tissue Authority, to improve our understanding of how the public feels about sharing patient data alongside tissue that is donated for research.

The project is looking at the public’s awareness of the importance of tissue being accompanied by patient data, as well as what reassurances the public may need to provide their consent to be involved in research involving their tissue and data. A report on the results is scheduled to be published in early 2018.

Sciencewise is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). It aims to improve policy making involving science and technology across Government by increasing the effectiveness with which the public dialogue is used and encouraging its wider use where appropriate to ensure public views are considered as part of the evidence base.