Barnsley Consumer Research Advisory Group

Throughout CLAHRC for South Yorkshire and at the start of Yorkshire and Humber we worked with the Barnsley Consumers Research Advisory Group, we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all the work they did to support us. 

The Barnsley CRAG based at Barnsley Hospital NHS FT reviewed both in house and  NIHR CLAHRC YH projects for themes who did not have a PPI group. From 2014 the CRAG reviewed projects and were involved in providing feedback on a report of PPI involvement in the implementation of research findings.Their advice and support has been important in informing the design and conduct of studies and highly valuable in enabling projects to secure ethics approval.

Barnsley CRAG Background: Consumer involvement in NHS research has become a key issue, with the NHS making a national commitment to this. Our trust actively promotes consumer involvement and the improvements in the quality of research this can lead to. In 2001 a group of consumers and researchers was established, whose aim was to provide consumer involvement in research within the trust.

The Consumer Research Advisory Group –  a small group of consumers and researchers who have a special interest in NHS research, provided a consumer perspective to researchers who were planning to undertake a research project within the trust. the group met between three to four times per year, with a key role in undertaking reviews of proposed projects. This generally involved reading research proposals, and other project literature, and providing feedback on any areas which the researcher had requested.

Reasons why CRAG was founded and became involved in Research

There are numerous reasons why researchers benefited from involving the group with its proposed research.
These include:
  • Consumers can help to ensure that issues which are important to consumers and therefore to the NHS as a whole are identified and prioritised.
  • The involvement of consumers can help to ensure that money and resources aren’t wasted on research that has little or no relevance to the NHS.
  • Consumers can help to ensure that research doesn’t just measure outcomes that are identified and considered important by professionals.
  • Consumers can help with the recruitment of their peers.
  • Consumers can access people who are often marginalised, such as people from black and minority ethnic communities.
  • Consumers can disseminate the results of research and work to ensure that changes are implemented.
  • The involvement of consumers is also becoming an increasing political priority.

                                                                                                                                             (Information obtained from INVOLVE, 2005)