Patient Experience and Public Involvement

The Patient Experience and Public Involvement Unit conducts research that informs the patient experience of health and illness. There is an excellent track record of publications and research impact which were submitted to the REF 2014, reflecting the academic success of the Unit.

Unit staff

StaffJob title
Professor Julia JonesProfessor of Public Involvement and Health
Professor Brian LittlechildProfessor of Social Work and Research Lead for Social Work
Sonya PrimePublic Involvement Co-ordinator
Dr Elspeth MathieSenior Research Fellow
Dr Daksha TrivediSenior Research Fellow
Nigel SmeetonSenior Research Fellow
Megan SmithResearch Assistant

How we work

We involve the public at all stages of our research and integral to this ethos is the Patient Involvement in Research group (PIRg), which has been embedded in our research unit since 2005 and is composed of members of the public, service users and carers.

Not only do PIRg members provide a lay perspective to our research, but they are increasingly involved in co-producing the research that we undertake, including co-applicants and co-researchers on projects.

The PIRg has two representatives from the Alzheimer’s Society and links with Hertfordshire Healthwatch making associations within and beyond Hertfordshire and into condition-specific organisations and support agencies. Public involvement and patient experience, are themes which cut across all of CRIPACC's programme areas: supporting and complementing the other main programme areas within the Centre.

Strong collaborations

Under the current leadership of Professor Julia Jones, CRIPACC has achieved an excellent national and international reputation and established strong collaborations with a wide range of external partners including:

Professor Brian Littlechild is a Founding Member of the European Research Institute for Social Work.


Unit staff are currently engaged in implementation and research work within the patient and public involvement (PPI) research theme of the CLAHRC East of England. Dr. Elspeth Mathie (UH) and Professor Fiona Poland (UEA) co-lead the Patient and Public in Research theme of the CLAHRC East of England. PPI and patient experience projects currently ongoing within the CLAHRC East of England, and involving unit staff, are:

  • PIPPIN: Patient and service users as research partners: what models work best to improve patient experience in long term conditions? This study is hosted at the University of Hertfordshire. The CI for the study is Maria Da Silva-Gane of East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, who is also an honorary research fellow within CRIPACC. The study is being project managed by Dr Jane Smiddy.
  • Impact of Patient and Public Involvement (PPI): ‘Completing the Feedback Cycle’ The study is based at the University of Hertfordshire, working with six PPI organisations across the East of England. The study is led by Dr Elspeth Mathie
  • Guidance for Researchers has been co-designed and is available here at the CLAHRC project page
  • An evaluation of Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) East of England

Completed studies

  • RAPPORT: Research with Patient and Public Involvement: A Realist Evaluation. Collaboration between University of Hertfordshire, University of East Anglia, University of Warwick and University of Kent (2013-2015). Funded by the National Institute for Health Research ‘Health Services and Delivery Research’ funding programme. CI for the study was Professor Patricia Wilson (now University of Kent).
  • IMPRESS: ‘Implementing PPI in an NHS Research Programme: evaluating the PPI contribution to CLAHRC research implementation’ (2014 -2016). Funded by the CLAHRC EoE, the study is a collaboration between the Universities of Hertfordshire and East Anglia. Dr. Helena Wythe was part of the IMPRESS team. View results of the study.
  • SELFMADE: ‘Self-management and Dialysis Evaluation’ study. A precursor to PIPPIN this study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research and helped people with kidney failure to improve their own health through their own actions.

For more information about the research unit please contact Professor Julia Jones.

For more information about the Public Involvement in research group (PIRg) please contact Sonya Prime.