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 The Centre for Public Engagement provides professional support, education, consultancy and advocacy on all areas of public engagement, including research.

We work with professionals, service users, academics, research bodies, representative organisations, patients and carers to promote innovative, effective and ethically appropriate public engagement.

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Working with you

We work locally, nationally and internationally with partners in academia, health and social care and government. We can help with:

  • collaboration and advice on research projects

  • advice on public engagement in the workplace

  • education and training for staff or service users on aspects of public engagement in education, service improvement or research

  • organisational strategic consultancy on public engagement

  • service improvement initiatives.

Please contact us at via email.

What we do

Our four main areas of focus are:

Education – we deliver education programmes and develop learning tools and processes to facilitate public engagement in the learning environment.

Research – we undertake work to further investigate and promote the involvement of service users in health, social care, education and research.

Service improvement – we work with service providers at all levels of health and social care and the education sector to ensure that public engagement is thoroughly and effectively embedded to improve the effectiveness and relevance of services and the representation of the public.

Workforce development – we evaluate, develop and augment the skills of the health and social care workforce, creating an evidence base for professional development around patient and public involvement.

To collaborate or seek support, please contact us

Meet the team
Prof Mary Chambers, Director

Mary is professor of mental health nursing with a well-established record of patient and public involvement in education, research, workforce development and service improvement. She is a member of a number of editorial, review bodies and advisory groups nationally and internationally as well as associate editor of the international journal Health Expectations, which has a focus on public engagement. Mary initiated and co-produced the first therapeutic engagement instrument to quantitatively measure the impact of registered mental health nurses’ interaction on service user recovery. Outcomes of her work have had impact nationally and internationally.

Duncan Barron, Patient and Public Involvement Lead

Duncan works to promote meaningful user involvement with research teams and encourages them to incorporate patient and public involvement at the earliest stages of their research. He also has extensive experience of supporting and training members of the public with undertaking involvement roles and activities. Duncan has an established background working with Research Design Services (RDS) and their forerunners beginning in 2000 and also the Primary Care Research Network (PCRN) in Hertfordshire working as a research methodologist. Duncan has a broad experience of supporting a wide range of health and social care professionals and practitioners and academics with their research including providing expert advice and support on all aspects of developing and designing high quality grant applications particularly those aimed at securing National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funding. Duncan also works part-time as PPI Regional Operational Lead for the NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) in the south east and where he is based at the University of Brighton.

Dr Louca-Mai Brady, Research Associate 

Louca-Mai has particular expertise in qualitative and participative research methods and developing and delivering training and workshops with professionals and young people. She has a well-established record in patient and public involvement, and in particular the involvement of children and young people in health and social care research, evaluation and service development. In her role at the CPIE Louca-Mai undertakes a range of research projects and provides support to research teams in the Faculty and NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) South London on the development and delivery of public involvement in research studies and is developing the Faculty and CLAHRCs public involvement work with children and young people.

Sally Brearley, Patient and Public Involvement Fellow

Sally facilitates the centre’s Research Expert Group of service users and carers, who contribute to research undertaken in the faculty, and increasingly to other academic institutions. In addition to her role in the Centre for Public Engagement, Sally chairs the Royal College of Physicians’ Patient and Carer Network and is a lay member on the Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Francesca Taylor, Research Associate


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