Lab Activity 1 - Development of online priority setting workshop

The Covid-19 pandemic required the JLA to rapidly develop new methods for working virtually, by adapting its established in-person priority-setting workshop to agree the Top 10 priorities for research into a fully online setting.     

The aim was to provide a rigorous, virtual process to bring together patients, carers and clinicians and to continue to allow for meaningful and collaborative discussion, whilst upholding JLA principles and ensuring consensus can be achieved by agreeing the Top 10.  Ideas were developed in the Lab prior to the first online PSP priority setting workshop in late July 2020 and more workshops have now been completed. 

The report outlines the workshop process, the adjustments made for the online setting, an assessment of the limitations of working virtually and a summary of feedback from participants.  The workshop method will continue to evolve as we assess each new workshop and apply new learning.

Questions and answers:

Using an online method for a workshop may exclude some participants.  How can the JLA ensure a wide range of participants are included?

We will continue to ensure that JLA principles are upheld.  This will include ensuring the process is fair and transparent and that there is equal input from patients, carers and clinicians.  However, we do recognise that for some, participation may be difficult due to lack of skills or access to appropriate technology.  Training and support will be offered and hard copies of materials will be provided in advance.  There may be people who would have been excluded from a face-to-face workshop by the difficulties of travelling (even outside of this pandemic period), so an online approach may actually be preferable in some circumstances.

How will the JLA ensure that everyone has a say?

We anticipate that working online will mean that fewer priorities can be discussed compared with in a face-to-face setting and the numbers of participants in the small groups will be reduced. This will provide more time for everyone to have their say and to feel comfortable in doing so.  To ensure the characteristics of a JLA workshop are maintained, such as open dialogue, participation, trust, fairness, exchange of views and teamwork, four neutral JLA facilitators will support the workshop compared with three in a face-to-face setting.

Key documents