Lay Involvement in Knowledge Mobilisation

“It’s a real privilege to be a member of LINK. Through working with the group, I’ve gained an insight into the commitment and dedication of researchers. They dedicate months, even years, to research projects which will improve the healthcare we receive. With all the effort (and resource) that goes into producing research evidence, it’s important that the efforts of research teams are not wasted. As a member of the LINK group, I know that I’m helping make sure that research isn’t wasted. Through LINK, I work as part of a team to think of creative/innovative ways of presenting research to ensure findings are taken up quickly and effectively.”

- Magdalena Skrybant, LINK group member

The Lay Involvement in Knowledge Mobilisation (LINK) Working Party was established in early 2016 to enable and support meaningful Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) in the IAU, supporting the implementation of research evidence into real-life healthcare practice. The group aims to facilitate the movement, or ‘mobilisation,’ of knowledge and evidence-based innovations into wider use, for the benefit of the wider community, nationally and internationally.

The LINK provides a proactive forum for implementation issues in alignment with NIHR INVOLVE PPIE standards, promoting the patient narrative throughout the whole research journey and using networks, skills and experiences to support task and finish groups in the transfer of research findings into practice.

The LINK Working Party brings together members of the patient groups and organisations that it is trying to reach. It is made up of members of the RUG, along with patient representatives from CLAHRC West Midlands (Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care), members of local Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement groups (Haywood Users Group), an ethics specialist, people with links to charities and charitable organisations (e.g ARMA, Arthritis Research UK) healthcare staff and carers. Members have a wide-reaching network of links and connections.

A core team of Knowledge Mobilisers from the Impact Accelerator Unit and a Knowledge Broker work alongside the LINK Working Party and LINK task and finish groups to ensure that there is a strong patient voice throughout the whole research and implementation cycle. The core team also work closely with the LINK Working Party to address any problems or barriers to implementation and to ensure that the high-quality research produced at Keele is maintained throughout the process.

The LINK group is co-chaired by Krysia Dziedzic, Arthritis Research UK Professor of Musculoskeletal Therapies / NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Research Fellow and co-chaired and coordinated by Laura Campbell, Impact Accelerator Unit Project Support. The lead academic is Implementation Fellow Dr Sue Ashby.

“I was invited to join Link about 2years ago whilst chatting to a lovely nurse at the Haywood Rheumatology centre. I mentioned that I was recently retired from Nursing, and would like to channel some of my experiences and skills in a useful way. I had no experiences prior to this of being involved in committees apart from professional forums involved in my work. I was immediately greeted by all LINK members warmly and made to feel that no matter how inexperienced I felt in comparison to many who had been involved in this for some years, I was a valued member of the group. I come away from every meeting now feeling very happy, as I am involved with a passionate group of people from a variety of backgrounds whose joint aims are to disseminate important research to reach all parts of the population, which often involves discussions with patients themselves, getting their views on key areas of care.“

-          Jenny Brown, LINK group member