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Bursary scheme for East Midlands patient and public involvement groups now open for applications

20th May 2019

Funding boost available for community and voluntary sector groups that provide vital support in shaping local health services.

 

The East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (EMAHSN) has opened a fourth round of funding totalling £15,000. This is the fourth year of the organisation providing bursaries to support East Midlands’ voluntary groups that have an impact on patient and public involvement in healthcare. 

Applications to the scheme are now open www.emahsn.org.uk/publicinvolvement - with groups able to apply for funding up until midnight, Friday 21 June 2019. Up to ten awards of £1,500 will be made to support patient involvement and co-production work. Previous winners are unable to apply for the scheme.

The EMAHSN launched the bursary scheme in 2015 in recognition that many voluntary groups find it difficult even to cover basic costs such as travel and members’ out-of-pocket expenses. This is a vital contribution for many groups and will provide assistance towards meeting running costs. 

Many community and voluntary sector groups exist to make sure that experiences of patients and public are at the heart of future decisions about health services – central to the values of the EMAHSN and something it wants to encourage and sustain across the region.

The funding will support existing and future work to involve public, patients and carers in promoting innovations and the adoption and spread of best practice in healthcare delivery and health research across the East Midlands.

Even small amounts of funding can make a big difference and help ensure these essential groups can continue to sustain and develop their contributions to new models of healthcare and innovative approaches. Many East Midlands health and care organisations are benefitting from the patient involvement and co-production of new services facilitated by these groups.

Mike Hannay, Managing Director of The EMAHSN, said; “Patient and public involvement is so important when developing new and improving existing healthcare services. The public should be at the heart of this process as they can provide valuable lived experience and inform innovation, service planning and delivery in our region.

“We’re lucky that in the East Midlands we have a great network made up of many hundreds of volunteers who commit their time to making sure that patients are listened to, especially those that otherwise may not have the opportunity to contribute, including minority groups.

These bursaries are a reflection of the EMAHSN view that the community and voluntary sector plays a crucial role in the healthcare system – representing diversity and improving equality. These small grants will help to ensure they can continue to represent the views of patients, carers and the public on some of the biggest health challenges facing the East Midlands.”

One of last year’s beneficiaries, Self Help UK used their bursary to have group members build capacity and confidence to actively participate in PPI.

“The funding will enable us to deliver training and support to groups who are seldom heard and whose voice needs to be present in the changing health and social care environment in Nottinghamshire and beyond”.

Applications for the grants will be considered by a panel including representatives from the East Midlands PPI Senate, an independent expert group of patients and public with varied health service user experience. The Senate supports health and social care organisations to embed patient engagement across the region.

For full details and to apply for a bursary award visit: www.emahsn.org.uk/publicinvolvement