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CRN, McPin and MQ award for service user and carer involvement in mental health research

Posted on May 25th 2018

The PARTNERS2 study has been awarded a CRN, McPin and MQ award for service user and carer involvement in mental health research. The Engager study has also been recognised with a highly commended runner up award.

The CRN, McPin and MQ award for service user and carer involvement in mental health research is a joint collaboration between NIHR Clinical Research NetworkMcPin Foundation, and MQ: Transforming Mental Health. It recognises the achievements of research teams which actively seek to involve patients and the public at each stage of the research process, and of service users and carers who are making a difference to mental health research.

This year's winners were announced at a national awards event on the 24th of April; the PARTNERS2 project team were co-awarded the honour with the University of Manchester’s EQUIP study.

PARTNERS2 aims to develop a system of collaborative care based in GP surgeries for people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, by breaking down the barriers between primary and secondary provision of healthcare. It is conducted by a national team of experts, and is led locally by PenCLAHRC’s Professor Nicky Britten and Professor Richard Byng. The award panel were impressed that the academic team collaborate heavily with service users, and commented that they were:

“Excited to see a strong commitment to breaking down the boundaries between the service users and academic staff working on the study”.

The Engager study was also recognised by the panel with a ‘highly commended’ runner up award. It is a collaboration between NIHR CLAHRC Greater Manchester and PenCLAHRC, and is also led locally by Professor Richard Byng.  Working with prisoners, the project aims to develop a way of organising care for men with common mental health problems as they approach being released from prison. The collaboration proposes that the intervention will act as a bridge between a range of services inside and outside of the prison, which this group do not normally access.

The panel were impressed with the way the study 'stayed true to its values', and how the peer researchers were expected to challenge the academic researcher's ideas, and not just affirm them. One panel member notes that:

“The study demonstrated creative and thoughtful ideas on how to address patient and public involvement and engagement in a very challenging context.”

For more information about the awards ceremony visit the NIHR’s news pages.

Visit the PARTNERS2 and Engager project pages to read more about the aims of each study.