Blog: Help us to earn more people's trust

Last updated on 13 Nov 2023
Becky Purvis.jpg

Becky Purvis, Director of Policy and Partnerships

The HRA is here to make it easier to do research that people can trust.

Many people give their time to help us to do this – members of our Research Ethics Committees (RECs), Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG) and members of the public who get involved in our work. Together we refer to them as our HRA Community.

If you are part of our community, firstly thank you. Without you, there is no HRA. Your efforts to support health and social care research make an invaluable contribution to our vision; for high-quality health and social care research today, which improves everyone’s health and wellbeing tomorrow.

We can only make it easier to do research that people can trust if people can trust in us. Your involvement in everything that we do is how we earn that trust.

So, we are asking for your help – we want to understand a bit more about you so that we strengthen our communities and in turn, strengthen trust in our work.

We want everyone to be confident and able to take part in research

At the moment we know that some groups of people, of certain demographics or backgrounds, are less confident to take part in research.

This is important because different groups of people can be affected differently by conditions and there is variation in how effective treatments are for them. We can only understand these differences and improve care for everyone if everyone is confident and able to take part in research.

The HRA works to earn people’s confidence and make it possible for them to take part in research by setting expectations and supporting researchers to meet them.

We know that the process of research ethics review earns trust.

But we can do better. We know that having more diverse perspectives in a room ensures we make better decisions, and that knowing that those perspectives were in the room making decisions can earn people’s trust.

We already have a diversity of perspectives – people from all over the country from different walks of life are involved in our community. We want to understand how diverse our community is and tell people about it. We also want to understand who might not currently be part of our community, so that we can take action to understand why, and make changes so that they can join us in future.

We want to better reflect the society that we serve.

We need to hear from you

Which is why we are asking you to complete a survey to tell us about yourself. By answering this survey, we will be able to build a picture of our current community. We need as high a response rate as possible to give us a good picture of who currently works with us. This will give us a baseline against which we can determine who else we need to include, to further enrich our community and the perspectives that inform our work.

We value everything that you bring. This work is about valuing our existing community and making it even richer.

We know we are asking for information that is very personal and sensitive, so we’ve explained more about how this will be anonymised and how we will use the data we gather on our diversity and inclusion survey page.

Thank you so much for taking the time to help us to make a difference for everyone.

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