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Case study: Implementing the Participant in Research Experience Survey (PRES): South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

We interviewed the team at South Tyneside and Sunderland to find out how they have found delivering PRES and what lessons they have learnt from it.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust (STSFT) are committed to increasing research opportunities for their patients and the public. STSFT has a growing research portfolio, this year to date they have recruited over 2500 patients to studies in several different specialties ranging from qualitative studies, CTiMPs, ATiMPs and AI trials.

They deem it vital to listen to the experiences of research participants and one of the ways they do this is through the NIHR Participant in Research Experience Survey (PRES). Delivery staff have found many different ways to ensure participants are invited to share their research experience and this feedback is shared widely across the team and wider Trust.

Their research delivery teams have embraced PRES and have witnessed an increased response rate every month. Their Reproductive Health and Childbirth staff are leading the way securing over 65% of their responses to date. We asked some midwives at STSFT about their experience with PRES.

How do you deliver PRES to research participants?

The team distributes PRES in a number of ways, we identify what method will work best for each trial and ask our patients what they would prefer. This includes issuing participants a code to complete the survey in their own time, or there and then electronically via our dedicated iPad, or we hand them a paper copy of PRES to complete with a return post envelope.

How do you feel PRES is going within your speciality?

We feel that PRES is going really well, we always integrate it into how we deliver a study. We are very grateful to our participants for taking part in research and welcome their feedback.

Are there any challenges in delivering PRES?

As with everything, we can have IT issues and problems with the Ipad, however IT and our research team are quick to resolve any issues. Even when our IT fails us we can still ask patients to complete via the code or paper method.

Sometimes lack of space within the department can be a hindrance in delivering PRES. We have a busy waiting area and we need a quiet space to allow patients to complete the survey in privacy.

What are the benefits of PRES?

Receiving that real-time feedback from participants is vital. Our feedback is overwhelmingly positive and it confirms that our patients feel really welcome being involved in research, knowing they are making a contribution to future healthcare. 87% of our participants said they would take part in future research.

How have you implemented any feedback from PRES?

We regularly review feedback. Thankfully there has been no responses that have triggered any immediate action and that in itself is reassuring. We are delighted with the positive feedback we receive – it just reaffirms why we do what we do!

How do participants find the PRES experience?

Everyone we approach is happy to take part and participants have commented that the PRES system is easy to use.

The trust is committed to delivering PRES in the future with plans to expand into delivering PRES to children and younger people taking part in research. The feedback received gives us the opportunity to learn more about the research experience we deliver and helps us find solutions to any challenges that are identified.