Identifying and managing partners/stakeholders
The diagram above shows the range of people and organisations who are involved in PSPs. The JLA Adviser, the PSP Lead and the PSP Project Coordinator are central to the process. It is essential to reach out to partners and the patients, carers and clinicians affected by the health topic being considered.
It is important that all the organisations that can reach and advocate for patients, carers and clinicians should be invited to become involved in the PSP as partners. This helps PSPs to demonstrate that the process was inclusive and aimed to reach as wide a range of constituents as possible. While Steering Groups may not be able ot be fully representative of their communities of interest, the Partnership as a whole can aim to be.
Partners should be organisations or interest groups that represent the following:
- people who have had experience of the health area in question
- carers and relatives of those affected
- health and social care professionals working with patients and carers in the health area in question.
They may therefore include:
- charities or support groups focusing on patients or carers
- Royal College-related groups whose members' work involves helping people with the health condition
- other professional organisations involved in the care of people with the health condition.
Partners will be asked to confirm that they agree to support and uphold the principles of the PSP. They will be listed on the PSP website and will be asked to help spread the message about the PSP to their contacts. PSPs can maintain the interest and engagement of their partners by keeping in regular contact with them via newsletters or other communications.
An organisation's participation is likely to be encouraged if it is contacted by a known colleague, rather than approached 'cold'. There is an example of a partner information email in the Key Documents of the Alcohol-Related Liver Disease PSP.
Steering Group members should be prepared to approach and utilise their established contacts and networks, as well as reaching out to new ones. There are examples of press releases from the Pressure Ulcer PSP publicising the project in the Key Documents section for that PSP.
Finally, a PSP can greatly benefit from the involvement of the relevant Cochrane Review Group, both in terms of identifying relevant systematic reviews at the evidence checking stage, and also for promoting the priorities that may require a systematic review.
Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health. Cochrane contributors (37,000 from more than 130 countries) work together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Many of its contributors are world leaders in their fields - medicine, health policy, research methodology, or consumer advocacy - and its groups are situated in some of the world's most respected academic and medical institutions.
Cochrane's contributors are affiliated to the organisation through Cochrane groups: healthcare subject-related review groups, thematic networks, groups concerned with the methodology of systematic reviews, and regional centres.
The Cochrane Consumer Network is a network of patients, carers and others who may be able to contribute to the work of a PSP.