Community Engagement and Involvement (CEI) at GSU

“…the process of working collaboratively with and through groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, or similar situations to address issues affecting the well-being of those people”

– US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For GSU, this means working closely with community stakeholders in our LMICs. These stakeholders might be patients and their families, community leaders or generally anyone in the community affected by our surgical research.

To achieve this, we have developed the below outlined overarching CEI strategy – a flexible approach to reaching and establishing ongoing relationships with relevant community members. Please follow the link to see an outline of this CEI network at each research Hub. Each Hub uses this strategy as a foundation and adapts it to suit local context.

The key building blocks are:
1. Each Hub employs a CEI Lead (e.g. a research nurse), who has been trained in best practice CEI according to the UNICEF standards and is responsible for recruitment, training and ongoing support of the community representatives
2. The community representatives are well-connected key stakeholders with reach into grassroots communities
3. The Hub CEI Lead and community representatives meet regularly to form the (virtual) CEI steering committee
4. The steering committee allows us to reach those in the community who are most affected by our research and ensurse they are empowered to contribute towards decision-making

All CEI activities are being captured and evaluated by the UK-based CEI Coordinator, who is also responsible for training, monitoring and shared learning.

Our CEI Case Studies

Our case studies showcase practical application of CEI in LMIC settings with focus on exploring best practice and highlighting challenges and barriers, as well as potential solutions. Hover over the flip boxes to see a brief description of the study, or click on them to learn about the tailored CEI activities.

Further CEI activities

The NIHR GSU has established a UK-based Public Advisory Group that consists of individuals who have lived for a substantial amount of time in one or more of our LMIC partner countries. The group provides LMIC-specific expertise and input into the development of GSU clinical trials.   with focus on feasibility, accessibility, acceptability and barriers and challenges of the interventions and accompanying documents like PIS and consent forms.

The advisory group has reviewed the patient interview questions for our TIGER study in Ghana, informed on the outline of patient focus groups in Ghana for the CRANE trial, and advised on the design of the patient information sheet and consent forms for the PENGUIN trial.

The group meets every three months and membership currently represents Nigeria, Ghana, The Philippines and India.

Learn about surgery in LMICs: Do you know what the minimum hygiene standards are in hospitals in rural Ghana? Did you know that not every hospital in LMICs has a surgeon on site at all times? Did you know that 5 billion people lack access to safe, timely and affordable surgery?

This is why our research is so important. And we would like to share our findings with you! We try and attend public events regularly, sharing facts on surgical care in LMICs, as well as providing the opportunity to try out some surgery equipment – we promise, it’s fun!

The most recent event we attended was the Birmingham University campus based Patient and Public Involvement celebration. Read the full news article at the link below.