30 Mar 2022

In February and March 2022, funding from NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination, supported an opportunity for shared learning on involvement and to strengthen cross-London partnership working with ARC North-West London. The research themes, involvement structures, areas covered and connections are different for each ARC but there are also some things in common.

Key staff and patient, service user, care and public contributors from both ARCs played a part in enabling this work. The proposal included reflecting on what each ARC was achieving or needed to improve, involving various activities and exchanges around involvement which will allow the two ARCs to understand and learn from each other. The work also included continuing conversations with diverse local communities in north-west London about needs and priorities, exploring how to build on south London’s Public Research Panel and reflecting together on the learning arising from these activities.

Several members of ARC South London’s Involvement Advisory Group took part in an ARC North-West London’s Exchange Network event. This brings together people from different backgrounds with a shared interest in improving healthcare, involvement and learning, in a space that seeks to equalise power differences. In turn, staff and public contributors from across the Thames were invited to some of our events: our latest Inside Research seminar, a meeting of the Public Research Panel with Executive and Board members and a larger-than-usual gathering of the Involvement Learning Network.

Since it was established over a year ago, the Public Research Panel has offered advice to research teams seeking its support. At a recent meeting, people with leadership roles in the ARC had a chance to find out more about its value and were reminded how equity, diversity and inclusion are central. The Involvement Learning Network, for ARC staff and patient, service user, carer and public contributors, was held in March and focused on ‘Achieving more diverse involvement, tackling inequalities’, for example the role of ‘bridge-builders’ and arts-based approaches.

Feedback from attendees included: 

The presentations were clear and easy to understand. The group work was a good way of speaking to other participants," and that it was "valuable to hear of actual lived experiences and challenges faced by some people in our communities.

In a final workshop in late March, with the help of an artist, a few key staff and public contributors active in involvement reviewed what had taken place and areas to examine in future.

The presentations and videos from the Involvement Learning Network are now available:



The Involvement Learning Network is open to all ARC South London research staff, public contributors and those with key involvement roles among partners and collaborators working with the ARC; you can sign up via this online form.

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ARC South London's approach to involvement, strategy and structures.