Support the development of new research


To ensure research carried out by the Trust benefits people who use services the research department, which coordinates all research activities for the organisation, is encouraging the involvement of service users and carers.

Research can be a challenging and rewarding process. By supporting the development of research in the Trust you could help the team with some of the challenges they face and help them move towards a more active research culture. Involvement could include sharing your research ideas or reviewing a research project through the eyes of a research participant. This feedback is invaluable in ensuring that the project is valuable and appropriate for participant involvement.

Research projects aim to find out what the Trust should be doing to improve health services for patients and service users. As well as taking part in this research as a voluntary participant, there are two service user and carer groups; Direct Impact and the Project Approvals Panel.

Both groups are currently recruiting more service users and carers who are interested in health research and have some experience of Trust services.

Involvement in the groups can range from long standing members, who have been involved in different research projects, to new recruits just starting out. This makes sure we have a mix of people who have experienced a range of physical or mental health illnesses and who may have accessed different services across the Trust. This particularly important as it can provide researchers with expert knowledge of issues such as what it might feel like to be a participant in the study or what the patient issues may be that researchers might not have thought of.

You don’t need any experience of research as you will be provided with training and given information about more opportunities to develop knowledge and skills in research to participate fully in the research meetings.

About the groups

Direct Impact meets once a month to provide advice and guidance to researchers on their projects. It aims to influence the way research is conducted in the Trust, give advice on any stage in the research process as well as participate in research where appropriate.

The Approvals Panel meets once a month for 2 hours and reviews up to 3 research projects. Before meetings members receive an information pack, which includes the details of the projects to be discussed. The Panel then goes on to consider issues such as what it would feel like to take part in the research, do they feel it is being conducted fairly and also if they think the research could be harmful to researchers or participants.

The travel costs of attending the meetings are covered by the Trust and participants involved in both groups are paid for attending. Meetings are currently being held at Fieldhead Hospital, Wakefield and Castleford and Normanton District Hospital.

If I apply, what will be expected of me?

New members will be provided with support to actively participate in research, for instance, a member with dyslexia would be given more time to read studies, members who are partially sighted can be sent documents in larger font. Training and ongoing support is also available from research staff.

Here are some of the things that is welcomed from group members:

Approvals panel members need:

  • Experience of Trust services as a service user or carer
  • Ability to read to a good standard.
  • Motivation to review research studies in some detail prior to meetings.
  • Good levels of concentration.
  • Commitment to review up to 3 research studies per month in own time (2-6 hours).
  • Keen interest in health matters.
  • Ability to express own opinions of research freely and confidently.
  • Willingness to attend training in research and any related short tasks in own time to further understanding.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of the projects discussed within the panel.
  • Commitment and ability to attend meetings regularly.

Direct Impact members need to have:

  • Experience of Trust services as a service user or carer
  • Ability to put forward new research ideas for Trust health services
  • An interest in health matters.
  • Willingness to attend training in research and any related short tasks in own time to further understanding.
  • Be able to read the written material sent out prior to and within the meeting.
  • Ability to express own opinions of research freely and confidently.
  • Commitment and ability to attend meetings regularly.

Speaking about their experience one service user said, "I got involved with Direct Impact because I wanted to be involved in research so that local services can be improved based on evidence from people and their carers who use services."

Get involved

The team are currently recruiting service users and carers from under represented services across the Trust to help them with their work. You could help by participating in research and/or by providing guidance for the approvals process for all research projects.

A particular interest is welcomed from areas that currently have no members: Barnsley, Calderdale, North Kirklees and learning disability services. Involvement from physical health services across the Trust is particularly invited.

How do I apply?

If you are interested in joining Direct Impact and/or the Approvals Panel, the research department would love to hear from you- particularly applications from the services where we have no current members.

If you would like further information or to apply to become involved in our Trust research contact Helen Carter or Rebecca Spencer on 01977 605285 or email

Support the development of new research

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