Birmingham Rheumatology Research Patient Partnership (R2P2)

R2P2 group

We believe that patients should have a say in research that is potentially for their benefit.

The Birmingham Rheumatology Research Patient Partnership (R2P2) is a group of patients who are actively involved in the work of the Rheumatology Research Group in the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, University of Birmingham. R2P2 members advise our researchers about what research we should do, how we should go about it and how we can share it with the public.

Below you will find links to relevant information about R2P2 and the work that R2P2 contributes to. If you are interested in joining and becoming a patient research partner, please contact Becky Birch.

An interview with an R2P2 patient research partner, talking about her experiences of being involved with rheumatology research

Find out more about the Birmingham Rheumatology Research Patient Partnership

Being an R2P2 patient research partner in COVID-19 times

Yes things have had to change, but research has not stopped completely and indeed many projects have started up again. So input from patient research partners is still very much needed and patient research partners are still very much involved in research projects and grant applications. In addition, after a successful pilot we have also expanded the Student Patient Alliance to include more students, so patient research partners can also get involved with that.

It is important to note that for the time being any involvement will be through online/ telephone meetings and emails only, so you won’t be asked to attend in person meetings.

Unfortunately, we were also not able to have an annual meeting this year, we are hoping it is back on next year! In the meantime, we are hoping that the website and emails from the R2P2 coordinators with news and updates will keep you in the loop of what is going on!

R2P2 Noticeboard

Online Rheumatology Patient Group

UHB are hosting their first remote group on zoom. This is for Rheumatology patients at UHB.

What topics will you cover?

  • Diet and Arthritis
  • COVID research and Arthritis

Who will be speaking?

We have three of the UHB Rheumatology consultants. Fiona Maggs and Jackie Cobb will be hosting.

Can I ask questions?

Yes please. There will be a Q&A section at the end but we would like you to send questions on either topic before by email.

What do I do now?

Send an email to if you would like to join the zoom. Log in details will be sent out via email. Don’t forget to send us a question about the topics. We might not be able to answer them all but will try to cover as much as possible.


  • Wednesday 19 May 2021
  • 2.00pm on Zoom

Latest news and updates


People with rheumatoid arthritis are less likely to take part in clinical research studies than before the pandemic.

The Pandemic and clinical trials: A recent survey conducted by the Versus Arthritis funded Research into Inflammatory Arthritis Centre (RACE) has shown that people with rheumatoid arthritis are less likely to take part in clinical research whilst COVID-19 is present in the community than they were before the pandemic.

The RACE patient research partners, including one of our very own R2P2 members, contributed to the survey design and were authors on the paper describing this important research. Read more about the study.

Am I at Risk of Developing Rheumatoid Arthritis?

NRAS has recently added the following resource to their website: Am I at risk of developing RA.

This booklet was developed together with both R2P2 patient research partners as well as with a group of international patient research partners as part of the EuroTEAM project. This resource is specifically developed for relatives of those living with RA. We are very proud that NRAS has chosen to include this resource and we think that this is an excellent example how collaborations between patient research partners, researchers and clinicians can have a very tangible and impactful outcome.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Various organisations have useful resources about COVID-19 which might be relevant for R2P2 members:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - what is it and where to go for information (Versus Arthritis resource):

Versus Arthritis has lots of resources about different types of arthritis and in addition they have pulled together the latest advice on coronavirus and will regularly update this content.

Vaccines for COVID-19 – your questions answered

Coronavirus and RA (NRAS resource):

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society has Rheumatoid Arthritis specific resources. In addition they now have a special Coronavirus page. Here you will find frequently asked questions, access to live COVID-19 question and answer sessions, as well as helpful links to NHS and Government information. The Coronavirus page now also has a short video with information on COVID-19 for South Asian patients living with a rheumatological condition in Hindu.

For the latest about COVID-19 vaccines, please take a look at the following resources:

Vaccines and COVID-19 treatment

Project Updates

R2P2 patient research partners have been actively involved in a number of projects which have exciting updates:


The Rheumatology Research Group at the University of Birmingham is part of the Versus Arthritis funded Research into Inflammatory Arthritis Centre (RACE) Versus Arthritis. Patient research partners have been integral in securing a second cycle of funding for RACE and are continuing to be involved in the various research projects.

Mind the Risk

The MTR survey has reached enough respondents and was recently closed. The MTR project itself officially finished but analysis and writing of articles is of course ongoing. Watch this space for some key findings!


Together with patient research partners, clinicians and the PREFER RA core team, a big survey has been developed which we are about to pre-test. Those of you who are involved with PREFER can expect an invite for pre-testing shortly!

Student Patient Alliance (formerly the R2P2 Student Buddy Scheme)

SPA is an exciting initiative to integrate patient involvement in the training of our research students. It has been going for a little over a year now and if a recent meeting with the students from the pilot and some of the patient research partners involved in the scheme is anything to go by, the scheme is a big success in general.

See past news and updates.

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