Equality and inclusivity in public involvement

It is important that patient and public involvement is structured in a way which invites representation from as broad a range of the population as possible encompassing physical and cognitive ability or disability, gender, sex, age, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic background. By doing this, it will entail creative methods and linkage with community groups (such as charities and patient organisations, libraries, schools, places of faith and health centres etc.).

People from minority ethnic groups, children and young people, elderly people, and people from economically deprived localities must be supported to ensure they have an equal opportunity to share their perspectives, and that technology is not developed in a way which excludes or marginalises them. This is particularly important in the development of digital technologies, so that the technology is not developed in a manner that inadvertently excludes people from specific groups.

A further resource, which can be helpful in addressing inclusivity, is the “NIHR Practical Guide to Being Inclusive in Public Involvement in Health Research - Lessons from the Reaching Out Programme”, Katherine Cowan, 2020. (https://arc-nenc.nihr.ac.uk/resources/nihr-reaching-out-a-practical-guide-to-being-inclusive-in-public-involvement-in-health-research/).