Chapter 4: Setting up a PSP

Setting up the Steering Group

The Steering Group is made up of key organisations and individuals who collectively can represent all or most issues related to the Priority Setting Partnership (PSP), either individually or through their networks.  It is helpful if some members of the Steering Group are from organisations with resources to offer to the process, such as funding, staff, time and expertise.  The person who made the initial approach to the JLA will need to have thought about and started to prepare the following:

  • a strategy for ensuring collaboration between patient, carer and clinician groups
  • sources of funding to run the PSP
  • resources to undertake the process of checking the uncertainties against existing evidence
  • resources for the day-to-day running of the PSP
  • the anticipated outcomes of the process, including plans for dissemination and ongoing follow up.

The Steering Group will work closely with the PSP Coordinator and the JLA Adviser.  The Steering Group will typically meet monthly.  Meetings may be held remotely although at certain points in the project, a face-to-face meeting will be useful and it is always advisable to hold the initial meeting face to face to enable the group to build an effective working relationship (if feasible – see Chapter 8 for detail on the JLA’s online workshop format, developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic).  The JLA Adviser will chair the Steering Group meetings to ensure neutrality, transparency and adherence to the JLA process.

The PSP Leader/Coordinator should check whether any Steering Group members wish to remain anonymous and not be publicly identifiable as being involved in the PSP.  This may mean not including some names in public documentation or on the PSP website.  The template Steering Group Interests and Privacy Form will help with collecting consent to use personal details in publicity.

Steering Group Documentation

There are three important documents to tailor and complete when setting up a Steering Group: 

  1. The Steering Group Terms of Reference, which documents the background to the PSP, the Steering Group tasks and level of involvement and describes a code of conduct.
  1. The PSP Protocol, which sets out the aims, objectives, scope and methods of the PSP. This is an important document for the PSP and to ensure the PSP process is transparent, it should be published on the PSP website and the JLA website once agreed by the Steering Group.
  1. A Steering Group Interests and Privacy form, to be completed by each member of the Steering Group, to create a culture of transparency in the group and help the JLA Adviser manage potential bias.

Templates for all three of these documents for PSPs to discuss and adapt can be found in the Templates and useful documents section.