The features of a JLA Priority Setting Partnership

To ensure consistency and maximum learning, the JLA asks each PSP to ensure that their methods address a set of underpinning principles. These are:

  • transparency of process
  • balanced inclusion of patient, carer and clinician interests and perspectives
  • exclusion of non-clinician researchers for voting purposes, but who may be involved in all other aspects of the process
  • exclusion of groups/organisations that have significant competing interests, for example pharmaceutical companies
  • audit trail of original submitted uncertainties, to final prioritised list
  • recognition that making priority decisions does not create new knowledge, but reviews existing evidence of uncertainty.

Priority setting can only occur if the identified treatment uncertainties have been checked to ensure that they have not been answered by an up-to-date systematic review.


The JLA does not invite representatives of the pharmaceutical industry or those in the research community who are not also clinicians, patients or carers to participate in the priority setting process. Researchers may sit on the Steering Group if the group feels this is appropriate and useful – the JLA Adviser will ensure that they do not have an undue influence on the outcome. Researchers who are currently clinically active may participate in the priority setting if they declare their interests.

Traditionally the health research agenda has been largely determined by the pharmaceutical industry and researchers themselves. This has usually been with minimal input from patients and their carers, or patients, carers and clinicians combined.

The JLA exists to address this imbalance.