People

People and partnerships 

True partnership working is difficult to achieve but the following points are important to consider. 

Leadership 

There must be a designated leader with overall responsibility for coordinating PPI. This person could also act as the point of contact for participants.

Partnership working 

There needs to be a clear partnership between staff and patients/members of the public. This means breaking down traditional barriers between professionals and the public and working together on an equal footing. The different contributions that various people make should be equally valued. Each participant, whether staff, patient or member of the public, should be allowed the same opportunity to speak and be heard, and should be considered equal partners in the process, with no one opinion valued more highly than another. 

Support participants 

Many will not have experience in implementing change in health and social care organisations. For this reason it is vital to ensure that appropriate support is available and, where possible, tailor it to the individual participants. Clearly signpost sources of additional help and support – particularly if they are involved in what might be sensitive subjects for them. Make sure that contingency plans are in place in the event of any issues arising. 

Some groups report benefiting from having contact with similar groups in other geographical areas. It is important to recognise the social aspects of the meeting and to value the social interaction that is part of the process – for example, valuing relationships as part of partnership working - for mutually beneficial outcome.