Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Original article
Public and patient involvement in child health research and service improvements: a survey of hospital doctors
  1. Rachel Winch1,
  2. Martin Patrick McColgan1,
  3. Emma Sparrow1,
  4. Neena Modi1,2,
  5. Anne Greenough1,3,4,5
  1. 1 Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, London, UK
  2. 2 Section of Neonatal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK
  3. 3 MRC & Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, King’s College London, London, UK
  4. 4 Department of Women and Children’s Health, School of Life Sciences, Faculty of Life Science and Medicine, Kings College London, London, UK
  5. 5 NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Guy’s, St Thomas’ NHS FoundationTrust, King’s College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Anne Greenough; anne.greenough{at}


Objectives To determine whether paediatricians are supported by their organisations to encourage patient and public involvement (PPI) in research activities and clinical improvement work, the challenges they face and how they think these could be addressed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).

Design A survey.

Setting UK consultant paediatricians and staff associate specialist and specialty (SAS) doctors who are members of RCPCH.

Main outcome measures The proportion of respondents who said that PPI was central to research and service improvements in their organisation, the type of local support for PPI activity, challenges in undertaking PPI and the support members wanted from RCPCH.

Results There was a response rate of 44.4% (n=1924). In their organisation, 29.1% of respondents stated PPI was central to research and 36.1% to service improvement; 46% were unaware of support for PPI and 15% said there was no support. The main challenges for PPI activity were a lack of clinician time, local support and funding. Respondents wanted RCPCH to advocate for protected time for PPI, provide access to PPI groups and deliver guidance and training.

Conclusions The majority of paediatricians feel unsupported to undertake PPI activity by their local organisation. The RCPCH has a key role to enable all paediatricians to work with children, young people and their carers to improve the quality of research and clinical services as demonstrated by RCPCH’s ongoing activity in these crucial and important areas.

  • health services research
  • outcomes research

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Contributors RW, MPM and AG developed the survey, which was based on sections of the 2011 RCPCH survey of all paediatric consultants and SAS doctors. NM was involved in the design of the 2011 survey. A working group which included AG, the RCPCH Officer for Workforce Planning and the RCPCH Participation and Advocacy Coordinator further developed the question set relating to paediatricians’ participation in research and patient and public involvement. RW and AG undertook the analysis of the data. All authors were involved in the production of the manuscript and approved the final version.

  • Funding AG’s research is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre based at Guy’s and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The data can be open for sharing if required.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.