Making a difference

James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnerships (PSPs) have the potential to impact on the people who participate in them, the organisations that coordinate them, on the public profile of the conditions they are focused on and, of course, on the research that gets done. Measuring impact however is a challenge and the influence of PSPs can take time to emerge.

The question that we are most often asked about is the impact of PSPs on funded research. Funders and researchers need time to respond to a PSP's priorities, to work out exactly what research needs to be carried out to address them. This is an essential step in ensuring that funds and resources are genuinely focused on the issues that will benefit patients and clinicians.

In this section, we aim to bring together the available information on the difference PSPs have made. However, we’re aware that we won’t know about all of the work that is happening and all of the achievements that PSPs have made. Do get in touch if you know of something we should mention. 

A report called More than a Top 10 discusses the types of impact that JLA PSPs have and some lessons learnt around how to maximise the value of the agreed priorities.  An Executive Summary is also available.


In September 2019 Professor Hywel Williams, then Director of the National Institute for Health and Care Research Health Technology Assessment Programme, issued a video message about how researchers can make the most of PSP priorities when applying for funding to research them.   

“Without this coming together of patients with the research community, catalysed by the JLA, the subject of breathing exercises would never have been identified as one that received so much enthusiastic support.”

Professor Sir Stephen Holgate, past Chair of the UK Respiratory Research Collaborative and Steering Group member of the Asthma PSP

“So often, priorities for research are decided by one group of stakeholders. The Alzheimer’s Society supported a James Lind Alliance priority setting partnership to challenge this; so that the views of clinicians, practitioners and patients were considered equally. We are delighted with the result. Taking the Top 10 priorities forward will help to address most urgently the needs of those affected by dementia and those that support and care for them.”    

Dr James Pickett, Head of Research, Alzheimer’s Society