Becoming a PPI representative

ppi-banner2Find out more about becoming a PPI representative. 

What skills or experience are expected?

  • Many PPI representatives will have extensive experience of the NHS – either as a patient, or as the parent or carer of a patient with a serious or long-term condition, so that you have a clear, personal, evidence-based view of the NHS.
  • There will be a variety of roles. Some roles will require people who are comfortable reading and digesting documents, such as programme specifications, and commenting on aspects relevant to them.
  • Other roles would suit people who feel comfortable taking part in discussions with people from a range of backgrounds, including students and staff teaching on the programmes.
  • For some roles, it could be useful (but not necessarily essential) to have a background in education – for example as a school teacher, or a lecturer at a college or university (in any subject).
  • For some, organisational and/or computer skills could be valuable, e.g. to help organise the University Education PPI forum, either through face-to-face meetings or through a virtual format (including social media).
  • Most important is that you have the enthusiasm to want to contribute towards making the education of healthcare workers the best it could possibly be. 
  • We will provide relevant training or briefings for each assignment. 

Will my privacy be respected?

It will be up to you how much you are willing to tell staff or students about your personal medical history (or, with their consent, that of the person you care for). Clearly, for some of the roles mentioned, the benefit to the students would derive from your willingness to talk openly about your personal/family medical history and experience. For other roles, it may be less relevant for you to share your medical history. No-one will access your healthcare records because of your involvement with PPI, you will have complete control over how much or how little you choose to disclose. During an interview, you should expect us to ask what you are willing to talk about from your medical experience — but again, it will be completely up to you how much you are willing to tell us.

Will there be an interview?

For most of the possible roles suggested above, we would expect to interview in order to ensure that anyone appointed is appropriate for the role, and (if we have more applicants than we need) to select the most appropriate person/people for the role(s).

We will ask you about the extent of your experience as a user of the NHS, what you could contribute to the planning, review and delivery of teaching programmes, including aspects of your personal medical experience you are willing to discuss, and any wider skills or experience that could be relevant for your involvement.

Particularly if the number of people keen to contribute is greater that the number of specific roles being offered, we may establish a wider, virtual PPI community for which we would not expect to interview. 

Will I be paid expenses? What about a fee?

For roles that require you to travel to the University, we will pay your reasonable travel expenses on production of receipts, and where appropriate, either provide meals or reimburse you appropriately.

Also, for specific roles such as those mentioned, we will pay you a fee that takes into account your time involved (either to attend a meeting, or to undertake work remotely, such as reading documentation and commenting on this).

The University defines this work as casual work and pay will be in adherence to the defined rates of pay for casual workers.

You will be informed of the total rate of pay for the work before you agree to accept the work assignment.

As a guide only, we anticipate that the fee for attending a 2 hour committee meeting (including reading papers before and participation in the meeting itself) would be approximately £50.

We will aim to comply with guidelines issued by INVOLVE, the organisation which supports public involvement in NHS, public health & social care research.

What personal documents or information will be required?

We will not ask to see any of your medical documentation. We will need to see documentary evidence of your “right to work” in the UK, such as your passport and basic personal information such as your National Insurance number so that we are able to process your fee.

Will training be provided?

If you become involved with a particular course, then the programme lead, relevant module leads, and/or other suitable people involved with that course would talk to you about the aims of the course, how it is delivered and will discuss your involvement with you.

In time, we also intend that the College-wide community of PPI representatives may help to suggest, and provide, training opportunities to help support your role. This might include interaction with other PPI groups, such as at local hospitals or visits to hospitals or laboratories. We hope PPI reps will be proactive in suggesting/organising training that would be of value to their roles.

When will I start?

We do not have specific dates at the moment, but these will be clarified when you make contact with us. 

Any questions?

If you have any questions about becoming involved in PPI, please email PPIeducationmds@contacts.bham.ac.uk