These guidelines are designed to enhance public engagement in the implementation of research. Health and social care professionals need to ensure that their practice is based on the best available evidence, and therefore they have a responsibility for promoting the uptake of research into practice.

Public engagement is an established part of the research process. However involving the public in initiatives to implement research findings or introduce service improvements is not so well developed. Whereas generating evidence through research is interconnected with implementation, these are distinct activities. The organisation INVOLVE ( has developed detailed guidance on public engagement in research.  These guidelines compliment those developed by INVOLVE by focusing specifically on the implementation of research.

The guidelines offer practical guidance for staff and the public about working together to implement research findings and/or undertake service improvements in health and social care. The emphasis of the guidance is on the practicalities of patient and public involvement (PPI).

In the UK, PPI is central to health policy and recent health reforms such as the 2012 NHS Health and Social Care Act, which has strengthened the focus on patient and public involvement. The NHS Constitution for England (DOH, 2013) clearly sets out the NHS commitment to placing patients at the centre of their care, and the right of people to be involved in decision making in relation to the planning, development and operation of services.

The guidelines were developed following an extensive exercise which involved three stages:

1. A scoping review of the literature which was undertaken to ascertain the current state of knowledge and practice of PPI in implementation activity;

For further information about the project, see here

2. Principles of best practice were developed from the information gained from each stage and draft guidelines were developed.

3. The draft guidelines were then taken back for further consultation with the groups in stages two and three. The final version comprises evidence from the literature, the case studies and was developed in consultation with our partner groups.

The guidelines are the output of a collaborative project between the Translating Knowledge into Action and the PPI Themes of CLAHRC SY and The University of Sheffield School of Nursing and Midwifery. Importantly, the guidelines were co-produced with two PPI groups: Barnsley Consumer Research Advisory Group and the Service User Network of Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust.

They begin with practical advice for people engaged in PPI followed by information for managers about ensuring that the organisation is receptive to PPI. The terms ‘must’ and ‘should’ are used to emphasise points – as recommended by our partner groups. Two examples from CLAHRC SY are provided.

It is important to note that the guidance may need to be adapted to meet the requirements of particular groups or settings.

For more information about Knowledge Translation please see The CLAHRC YH TK2A Theme webpage or click here for an academic overview