The Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire speaking to Tina Coldham
Tina Coldham receiving her British Empire Medal on behalf of the King by the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire on 18th March 2024 in Winchester.

Tina Coldham, Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) co-lead for The Birmingham, RAND and Cambridge Evaluation (BRACE) Centre in the School of Social Policy, has been honored with a Medal of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) in the King’s New Year's Honours list.

Renowned for her dedication to inclusive patient and public involvement in research, Tina has been instrumental in ensuring the active involvement of patients and the public across all stages of BRACE evaluation processes.

BRACE is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and aims to examine efforts to transform the organisation and delivery of health and care services across the NHS.

In her role, Coldham works closely with researchers, facilitating involvement from scoping to dissemination phases of BRACE projects. By convening regular meetings of a BRACE PPIE advisory panel and reviewing project outputs and ensuring that research remains relevant and impactful to the communities it serves.

Speaking about her work in patient and public involvement and engagement, Tina said: “I’ve been working in PPI for many years, self-employed. I’m a Participation, Involvement and Engagement Advisor for the Centre for Engagement and Dissemination (CED) at NIHR and was on the INVOLVE Advisory Group from 2012, becoming their Chair in 2017.

INVOLVE was incorporated into the new CED on 2020, and I stayed on during lockdown, when the entire landscape changed, to help set up the new centre, getting staff and policies in place, as well as helping with some of the work.

“I’ve remained a strategic voice for the public helping with the operational work according to my skill set. As someone with enduring mental health problems I’ve got into research to help find solutions to these problems and wider, knowing that the public/patient voice is important in all this. I’m immensely proud that my work for NIHR for 12 years has been reflected in being awarded a BEM.”

Tina started working with BRACE as a PPIE panel member, due to her work with INVOLVE, at the inception of the first BRACE Centre which started in 2018. Her experience and learning over those five years and the Centre’s desire to continue to further embed patients and the public involvement in to all that they do, led to the new centre director inviting Tina to be a PPIE Co-lead on the bid proposal.

My work with the current BRACE Centre came from being a public contributor in BRACE in the early years. I’m now co-lead for PPIE, strengthening my input as part of the team. I’m in a great position to advocate for more PPIE in the ongoing and new evaluations with BRACE and can work to make it happen.

Tina Coldham

Tina’s British Empire Medal was awarded on behalf of the King by the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire on 18 March in Winchester, with a Buckingham Palace Garden party celebration to follow in May.