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Dr Magdalena Skrybant

Dr Magdalena Skrybant, Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement Lead, NIHR CLAHRC West Midlands, visited Monash University between 18 - 28 June 2019, hosted by Professor Helena Teede, Professor at the Monash Centre for Health Research & Impact. Magdalena Skrybant is an experienced Public Involvement Lead for Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) West Midlands, a five-year project funded by the National Institute for Health Research. CLAHRC WM is based at the University of Warwick and also incorporates the Universities of Birmingham and Keele. Magdalena coordinates public involvement activities across all three sites.

During the trip, Magdalena shared her knowledge and expertise of leading and developing public involvement in research, known as Consumer and Community Involvement in the Australian setting, with colleagues at Monash University.

The three main aims of the visit were:

1) To work in partnership with Monash Partners and the Academic Health Science Centre to develop their Consumer and Community Involvement Strategy. In order to help inform the strategy development, Magdalena drew on her knowledge of public involvement in research and experience of leading CLAHRC WM’s public involvement. This includes recruiting 14 public contributors to a Supervisory Committee; co-developing a Patient and Public involvement (PPI) Strategy with public contributors and embedding public involvement in all CLAHRC WM themes and individual projects. Magdalena also contributed experiences of developing strategies to engage and involve people from communities under-represented in research.

2) Co-design educational materials. Magdalena designed and delivered a range of workshops/tutorials for public contributors, researchers and clinical academics. This training equips people with skills to ensure involvement of public contributors is meaningful and that people have requisite skills and resources to do involvement to a high-standard. Topics include: introduction to involvement; involvement throughout the research cycle; setting up an advisory group; reporting and evaluating involvement. Materials and resources were developed so they are applicable to the local setting. Proposed outputs include: slide-decks for use in presentations; activities to make sessions more interactive; ‘quick guides’ that can be used by researchers; resource booklets.

3) Develop strategy for sharing resources. A strategy was developed for sharing learning on developing Consumer and Community Involvement with organisations in other Academic Health Science Centres. This helped to develop a Community of Practice, where learnings and best practices for public involvement in research could be shared. Magdalena drew on her experiences as Chair of the regional group for public involvement in research and member of a national group, bringing together PPI Leads from 11 CLAHRCs.