Organisational Context

The organisation: a receptive context

For PPI to be effective and successful, conditions within the organisation need to be conducive.  The following factors are important to consider:

Culture

The culture of the organisation must encourage and support patients, the public and staff in learning from each other. The benefits of PPI to both participants and staff should be promoted and PPI must become part of everyday culture and practice.

Consensus

Everyone must be agreed on what constitutes PPI since it is not unusual for patients/staff/managers to have different ideas. This is why it is very important to have clarity about the aims of engagement at the beginning of the PPI process. Training may help to address this.

Commitment

Both the organisation as a whole; and the staff working within it must be committed to PPI. This needs to extend beyond seeing it as a ‘tick-box exercise’. The organisation’s strategic approach and commitment to PPI should be endorsed at Board level.

Policies

Relevant policies must be in place and should include reimbursement, reward and recognition, communication, information governance relating to PPI, outlining governance arrangements for PPI, health and safety arrangements, and support for and commitment to PPI. Consider having a PPI Charter or clear guidelines so that all involved in PPI know exactly what it involves, what they can expect and also what is expected from them. 

Resources

Appropriate resources to support PPI should be in place. Engagement requires proper funding, and care should be taken to avoid the abuse of ‘good will’.

Staff training

Effective PPI is not easy to achieve and staff need training in recognising when PPI should be used, and in how to meaningfully involve patients and the public in implementation. Staff training must be accessible and delivered via a range of means. These might include formal sessions; on-line training packages; incorporating information into other scheduled sessions or meetings; or the provision of written information such as training packs, leaflets or posters.

Organisations should also provide training for the patient/public participants. Training requirements have been discussed in an earlier section.