Blocks with circles and one with an arrow

1. Strategic Oversight

Service users have been involved in developing BRC strategy, future direction, and the funding application.

This has occurred in the following ways:

  • Setting priorities – We have carried out two priority setting exercises previously and we updated the last exercise (Robotham et al, 2016) for the current BRC through workshops that shaped the strategy. Service users and carers as well as clinical academics, clinicians, and service directors attended the workshops. In addition, we published an ethnography on the development of PPIE in our BRC led by service users that set the tone and identified the gaps in our PPIE (Evans and Papoulias, 2020). All this information benefited our substantive research priorities and our strategy for PPIE.
  • The BRC website was developed and now includes links to a range of opportunities for taking part in research. This includes a platform listing IoPPN studies open to service users and the public locally, hosted on South London and Maudsley’s website, called ‘Take Part in Research’ a new research studies portal within the website (launched in 2023).  Our website, and partner sites, allow patients and the public to connect with research through information on

          (i) how to take part in research,

          (ii) how to help shape research,

          (iii) opportunities for young people,

          (iv) support for researchers,

          (v) community links.

We have also included an example of collaborative working with autistic individuals and scientists to set a research agenda to support clinician and researcher understanding of how to do this. Service users provided input on how they would like to read the site as well as its content. We regularly review this with our advisory board.

  • All strategy meetings and workshops include service user representatives from our advisory groups. Other themes will include service users in developing a more refined strategy as their projects develop.
  • Leadership of the CRIS system (Clinical Records Interactive Search) comes from a committee with a service user chairing the oversight committee. This is an important committee allowing researcher to access anonymised data from the medical records.
  • Service users are an integral part of internal BRC funding processes, for example, sitting on panels for the selection of training and preparatory fellowships, as well as judging any award schemes for patient and public involvement.
  • We have built relationships and now support local service user-led organisations through their evaluation strategies as these arise for instance with the Dragon Cafe.
  • Service users are part of our BRC governance with service user representatives at all levels and with input from our Service User Advisory Group (see below) as needed.


Programme of Activities and Research



Supporting research through providing resources

We host a range of advisory groups, as well as providing training and guidance

Leadership and Lines of Reporting

Strategic management, resources and governance with involvement of service users

Monitoring, reviewing, reporting and measuring

How we will review and measure our success and impact

Conducting research

Enhancing opportunites for service user input into research

Public engagement

Engaging national and local publics with our research and with mental health more broadly

Improving practice with reflection and evaluation

Aiming for continuous improvement to remain at the forefront of PPIE practices