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CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex is recruiting two new voluntary Patient and Public Representatives to the Partnership Board

Clinical Research Network Kent, Surrey and Sussex is seeking to appoint two new voluntary Patient and Public Representatives to the Partnership Board. Any NHS service user, patient, carer, or member of the public over the age of 18 is invited to apply.

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) supports patients, the public and health and care organisations across England to participate in high-quality research, thereby advancing knowledge and improving care. It operates through a national coordinating centre and 15 local networks, one of which is the Clinical Research Network Kent, Surrey and Sussex (CRN KSS).

The Partnership Board’s membership includes chief executives and research and development managers from local NHS organisations, CRN KSS clinical directors, chief operating officer and senior management team. The board meets four times per year. Patient and Public Representatives will also attend meetings of the Senior Management Team, Strategic Funding Group and Clinical Leadership Group.

As a Patient and Public Representative to the Partnership Board, you will represent the views of patients and the public from across Kent, Surrey and Sussex in all aspects of research and ensure the activities of CRN KSS are focused on the local community with the most effective utilisation of public funds.

We are looking for individuals with an understanding of the importance and role that health and social care research plays and who share our core value of involving patients and the public in the operation of CRN KSS. We are looking for people with board level or equivalent experience to ensure research is central to the provision and development of health and social care locally.

Please email for an application form. 

For a confidential conversation about the opportunity please contact: Madeline Bell, PPIE Lead

Closing date: Sunday 18 July 2021

Interviews: to be held in August 2021



Role profile - Patient and Public Representative to the CRN KSS Partnership Board role profile (voluntary)


The Clinical Research Network Kent, Surrey and Sussex (CRN KSS) is part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and one of 15 Clinical Research Networks across England. CRN KSS is hosted by the Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust.

CRN KSS supports researchers and the life sciences industry in developing, setting up and delivering high quality health and social care research in all areas of disease and clinical need across the three counties of Kent, Surrey and Sussex. We do not carry out research ourselves, but seek to maximise the opportunities for NHS service users (a term which includes patients, their carers and family members) to participate in high quality research taking place in a wide variety of settings.

We partner with NHS providers and social care providers across the region. This includes hospital Trusts (acute, community and mental health), GP surgeries, pharmacies and other healthcare providers

CRN KSS Partnership Board ensures the representation of all constituent organisations across Kent, Surrey and Sussex and provides oversight of activities.

We believe that public accountability is of paramount importance to ensure that the best interests and the welfare of all participants in research are protected. In addition, we wish to ensure that there is transparency of the finance and organisational structures of the bodies that are responsible for research.

The role

The role of the Patient and Public Representative to the Partnership Board is key to the promotion of the interests of patients and the public in all aspects of research by providing patient and public perspectives operationally and in strategic development.

The role holder will be expected to champion and promote the role of Research Champions across the region and work collaboratively with professionals and others across the network.

Research Champions volunteer their time to help spread the word about health and care research to patients and the public, and especially those groups who are currently less likely to take part in research. They also help research and healthcare staff understand more about the experiences of those who take part in research. More information on what a Research Champion does is on the NIHR website

It is essential that the role holder values the commitment to transparency and honesty in the processes and functioning of an organisation that is funded with public money.

Key accountabilities and key responsibilities

You will be required to: 

  • Ensure that the commitment to promoting a positive research experience for participants is at the heart of CRN KSS, NHS and health and social care research delivery services , Change Programmes and Improvement plans.
  • Provide independent advice and opinion from a patient/public perspective. 
  • Be a critical friend and positive influence on CRN KSS business.
  • Engage positively and collaboratively in Partnership Board discussions.  
  • Embody the CRN and Host Trust’s (Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust) mission, vision and strategic goals.
  • Contribute to the ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of the role. 
  • Maintain confidentiality of discussions and information relating to CRN KSS business. (You must not at any time discuss any confidential information regarding patients or staff or release such information to unauthorised persons. For the avoidance of doubt this is an ongoing requirement).
    Attend meetings, by invitation, of member organisations. 
  • Promote issues or questions that are considered to be important to patients and/or members of the public. 
  • Work collaboratively with Patient, and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) professionals throughout Kent, Surrey and Sussex. 
  • Act as an ambassador for research engagement with stakeholders including the local community. 
  • Contribute to the development of the Research Champion programme and the Research Champion network, assisting Research Champions to fulfil their role.   
  • Contribute, where appropriate, to national PPIE Forums.  
  • Identify training needs and participate in appropriate training and support activities on a voluntary basis.

You may be asked to undertake other duties not outlined above which arise as the role develops.

The person

Any NHS service user, patient, carer, or member of the public over the age of 18 is invited to apply.

Essential criteria

  • An understanding of the importance and role of health and social care research. 
  • The capacity to understand the local and national patient and public involvement agenda. 
  • A willingness to become familiar with the language of research, but still speak plainly when talking to members of the public.
  • A willingness to engage with a diverse range of patient and public perspectives and to use that to inform the work of CRN KSS. 
  • A willingness and ability to read papers prepared for Partnership Board meetings which will include financial and activity reports. 
  • Experience of being a member of a committee.  
  • An ability to communicate effectively and flexibly, with a wide variety of people across a range of settings, e.g at public events, professional settings, board meetings.
  • Commitment to ongoing personal development within the role as required. 
  • An ability and willingness to dedicate the necessary time required to the Patient and Public Representative to the Partnership Board role. This includes attendance at four Partnership Board meetings a year, plus preparation and attendance at four Senior Management Team meetings a year; attendance at four Strategic Funding Group meetings (12 days in total).

Desirable criteria

The following would be helpful but not essential as full training will be given where necessary:

  • Experience of the research process, either as a participant in a trial or study, or some other means. 
  • Experience of patient and public involvement in research. 
  • Understanding of NHS organisations and how they work.
  • Previous Board experience. 
  • The capability to chair a meeting or committee.

It is desirable to have access to a computer and email and be IT literate.

Duration of role

The role is for a period of two years in the first instance.

Remuneration and support

Payment and Expenses

As long as your paid employment is not related to this role and that the role is carried out outside of your work time during the period of their claim the Patient and Public Representative to the Partnership Board role are entitled to a fee in line with current NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination guidelines, but subject to review and change in accordance with national guidance.This fee includes all preparation work for the meeting.

Travel, carer and subsistence costs (where appropriate) will be reimbursed for attendance at meetings on production of receipts and/or completion of the necessary claim form(s).

Support and training

Following appointment, members will be supported by CRN KSS staff, other Board Members and/or an appointed mentor. Any support and training needs will be evaluated in consultation with the Patient and Public Representative to the Partnership Board.

The Patient and Public Representative to the Partnership Board will report to the CRN KSS PPIE Lead and will be supported by the PPIE Clinical Lead.