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Ilana Levene, a DPhil student from Oxford Population Health’s National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, has secured a grant from the Medical Sciences Division’s Participatory Research Fund to cover the costs of public and patient involvement (PPI) in planning a Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) on perinatal care for LGBT+ people.

Priority Setting Partnerships (PSPs) enable clinicians, patients and carers to work together to identify and prioritise particular areas of health and care where there is uncertain or little evidence that could be answered by research.

Ilana’s project will involve academics, clinicians and people with lived experience across the UK who will work together to ensure that the subsequent Priority Setting Partnership has public and patient input embedded from its inception.

Ilana said ‘Collaborating with people with lived experience is important to ensure a focus on their insights and values throughout research, and the feedback from the Participatory Research Fund assessors showed that they were excited to support this example of very early involvement. PPI representatives are always involved in setting research questions developed through PSPs, but it is less common for them to be involved at this early stage before funding is secured for the main project.

‘We have already involved some PPI partners who particularly valued the budget that was included for childcare costs and expenses for virtual meetings to cover costs such as electricity and internet costs.’

This work will contribute towards building PPI networks and contacts, as well as working towards the target of securing funding for the PSP.

The announcement of Ilana’s funding was made at the beginning of Pride Month.