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Acting on what you’ve told us – a blog by Director of Policy and Partnerships, Becky Purvis

Last updated on 12 Jan 2023

We recently asked people who have an interest in how we work for their thoughts on proposals to better involve them in our decision-making.

Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to share their views with us. We are now publishing a summary of your feedback and have used it to develop some proposals, which we will take to the HRA Board on Wednesday 18 January to act on what you told us.

What did you tell us?

There was strong support for a Community Committee to be set up to advise our Board:

  • 85% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the proposal to broaden the scope of the Community Insight Group
  • over two-thirds (70%) agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal to establish a Community Committee, that will advise the HRA Board in place of our current Community Insight Group​.

There was a mix of views over the membership of the Committee:

  • two-thirds of respondents (68%) thought that the Community Committee should include other groups of people, while one-third (32%) felt that they membership should be restricted to people who work with the HRA (as a REC, CAG or PIN member)
  • 59% strongly agreed or agreed that the Community Committee should be made up of at least half of people who don’t have professional expertise in clinical research or health or social care. The number of respondents who disagreed or strongly disagreed is much lower at 25%. ​

What happens next?

Acting on what you have told us, we are going to take proposals to our next Board meeting for them to discuss and approve a way forward – you can see the Board papers on our website.

We are proposing to our Board:

  • to establish a Community Committee which will provide advice to the HRA Board on how we run the HRA and help us to better support and improve the experiences of those who volunteer and work with us
  • given that there was a mixed view on who should be members of the Committee, we are suggesting that we initially set up the Committee drawing on members from the HRA Community, which includes Research Ethics Committee members, the Confidentiality Advisory Group and members of the public who work with us through our Public Involvement Network. We will then work with the Committee to think about who else might valuably join the Committee
  • there was stronger support for at least half of Committee members not to have professional expertise in clinical research or health or social care so we will initially seek this balance across the members.

Our Board meetings are public and you are really welcome to join us and observe the discussion. You can find out how to do so on our website.

This is just part of our work to increase public involvement in how we make decisions and ensure that we are listening to and involving a diverse group of people in our work. Once the Committee is established, it will play a big role in helping us to do this more effectively so that we can work to ensure that health and social care research is done with and for everyone.

Becky Purvis.jpg

Becky Purvis, Director of Policy and Partnerships HRA

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