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Our history of involvement

We're proud to be one of the leading medical research charities when it comes to incorporating routine public and patient involvement into our research funding decision-making process.

USER stakeholder committee

Our formal research involvement activities began in 2008, with the establishment of the USER stakeholder committee by our former medical director, Alan Silman. The USER committee was made up of people with arthritis as well as non-research active clinicians and healthcare professionals."Recommendations then passed to the science committee who made the final funding decisions” Wendy Broderick, patient insight partner

Wendy Broderick, a patient insight partner who was also previously involved with the USER stakeholder committee, reflects: “This committee had a balance of clinical staff and patients and met several times a year to review project applications and programme grants. The work involved reviewing applications at home prior to meetings and then presenting any thoughts and considerations at the meeting in discussion as a group. Recommendations then passed to the science committee who made the final funding decisions.”
In 2016, in line with our new strategic focus to put people with arthritis at the heart of everything we do, and a desire to fully embed them in making the final funding decisions, we built on the success of the USER stakeholder committee to establish our patient insight partner group.

Patient insight partner group

Our patient insight partners are a group of people from across the UK who have a wide range of experiences of living with a musculoskeletal condition. Following a restructure of our charitable subcommittees, the patient voice is now integrated fully into all our research activities through close collaboration with our patient insight partners. They are instrumental in bringing a patient perspective to the research decision-making process."I am asked to take part in a range of activities, such as visiting centres of excellence… lobbying my MP, working with European partners”Maureen Grossman, patient insight partner

Maureen Grossman, one of our patient insight partners, explains: “Since the charity’s role has evolved and widened, I now do much more as a patient insight partner…I am asked to take part in a range of activities, such as visiting centres of excellence, commenting on products designed to make life easier for patients, lobbying my MP, working with European partners in OA [osteoarthritis] research and co-delivering workshops to help scientists involve patients in their activities. It keeps me busy and I get great job satisfaction!”

We’re constantly looking for new ways to expand our patient involvement activities. By listening to our patient insight partners and working collaborative with other organisations, we’re putting people with arthritis at the centre of research.

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Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.