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The INSIGHT project: reflections on the co-production of a quality recognition programme to showcase excellence in public involvement in health and care research

Blackburn, Steven; Hine, Rachele; Fairbanks, Samantha; Parkes, Phillip; Murinas, Darren; Meakin, Andrew; Taylor, Robert; Parton, Linda; Jones, Marilyn; Tunmore, Jessica; Lench, Jennifer; Evans, Nicola; Lewney, Katharine; O’Mara, Lucy; Fryer, Anthony A.


Steven Blackburn

Rachele Hine

Samantha Fairbanks

Phillip Parkes

Darren Murinas

Andrew Meakin

Robert Taylor

Linda Parton

Marilyn Jones

Jessica Tunmore

Jennifer Lench

Katharine Lewney

Lucy O’Mara


S. Blackburn

R. Hine

S. Fairbanks

P. Parkes

D. Murinas

A. Meakin

R. Taylor

L. Parton

M. Jones

J. Tunmore

J. Lench

N. Evans

K. Lewney

L. O’Mara

A.A. Fryer


The quality of Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in healthcare research varies considerably and is frequently tokenistic. We aimed to co-produce the Insight | Public Involvement Quality Recognition and Awards programme, based on the UK Standards for Public Involvement (UKSPI) alongside an incremental scale designed by Expert Citizens (a lived experience-led community group), to incentivise and celebrate continuous improvement in PPI.

We used Task and Finish Groups (19/44 [43%] public contributor membership) to co-produce the programme which we piloted in three organisations with different healthcare research models. We used surveys and review sessions to capture learning and reflections.

We co-created:

A Quality descriptor matrix comprising four incremental quality levels (Welcoming, Listening, Learning, Leading) for each UKSPI standard.

An assessment framework including guidance materials, self-assessment form and final report template.

An assessor training package.

The quality awards event format and nomination form. These materials were modified based on pilot-site feedback.

Of survey respondents: 94.4% felt they had made at least ‘Some’ personal contribution (half said ‘Quite a lot’/‘A great deal’), 88.9% said they were ‘Always’/‘Often’ able to express their views freely and, 100% stated the programme would have ‘A lot of impact’/‘Quite a bit of impact’.

During the project, we identified the importance of taking time to explain project aims and contributor roles, adapting to the needs of individual contributors and, using smaller bespoke sessions outside the main Task and Finish Groups.

We co-produced and piloted a quality recognition programme to incentivise and celebrate continuous quality improvement in PPI. One public contributor stated, “I feel strongly that the Insight framework and awards will raise awareness of the [public involvement] work going on in many community settings. [It] is likely to result in better sharing of positive practice, incentivising research groups of any size to start work or to improve the quality of [PPI] could be one of the main benefits. I’m excited that if this initiative takes off, regionally and then in the longer term nationally, it could be a significant step in advancing the [public] voice.”

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 20, 2023
Online Publication Date Oct 25, 2023
Deposit Date Nov 6, 2023
Journal Research Involvement and Engagement
Print ISSN 2056-7529
Publisher BioMed Central
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Article Number 99