King’s Improvement Science

Involving the public


Involving members of the public to ensure our work makes a difference.

At King’s Improvement Science (KIS), we work closely with people who have personal experience of using health and social care services in south London, or caring for someone who does.

This is a priority for KIS – by involving people who use services and including their voices, we ensure that our research is appropriate to the local situation, and informed by people with first-hand knowledge and expertise of services. This ensures our work achieves a positive impact.     

As a team we aspire to strengthen and improve our involvement activity by reflecting on what has worked well and how we can ensure continued diverse, inclusive and accessible involvement. 

“It has been very empowering to be part of the King’s Improvement Science team who reviewed the rapid change from face-to-face appointments to online remote access due to the pandemic. Having lived experience of accessing services enabled me to emphasise the very real anxieties and problems service users and carers were experiencing due to this rapid change and new way of receiving care.”

- Mel Getty, patient and public involvement member, King’s Improvement Science


Since KIS was set up in 2013, the team has set aside budget to pay people for patient and public involvement (PPI) activities and funded a PPI coordinator, a dedicated role supporting the involvement of patients, service users, their families and members of the public in KIS work. 

Our approach to involvement builds on a set of principles developed in collaboration with public members in 2017. These principles are shown opposite. 

We have since piloted a PPI panel to advise on research applications and projects, co-designed an internal PPI guidance document to support researchers with involvement work, and involved public members in our research projects, and the strategic and operational work of the programme. 

How we are currently involving local people and communities

  • Public members attend KIS programme team meetings.
  • Recruiting public members to a new steering group for KIS and its wider partners.
  • Recruiting public members to research project teams. Public members contribute to team meetings and carry out other activities, supported by the PPI coordinator. For more detail about this involvement and its impact, please visit the research project pages. 
  • Running advisory workshops and focus groups to hear from a wider group of community members (in relation to both research projects and the KIS programme)
  • Keeping in regular contact with local people via the KIS Public Involvement Bulletin.

Involving members of the public in KIS strategic and operational meetings

In November 2020, KIS initiated a process to recruit members of the public interested in contributing to the strategic and operational work of the KIS team. Following applications and interviews, three members of the public were recruited – Helen Cherry, Mel Getty and John O’Toole, all of whom are experienced in patient and public involvement in research. 

During a three-month pilot starting in January 2021, the three PPI members attended bi-monthly KIS team meetings, which have been held virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions.

A review towards the end of the pilot highlighted:

  • Positive learning focused on the value of shared knowledge with a mixed-skills base
  • A balance between meaningful PPI contribution at the strategic level as well as in relation to the KIS research projects, timelines, deliverables and outcomes.

Following this positive review, there was mutual agreement to continue involving PPI members in KIS meetings.

Signing up:

The mailing list is aimed at anyone who lives or uses health and / or social care services in south London or who cares for someone who does (eg as a friend, family member or paid carer). It is also open to anyone interested in keeping in touch with KIS and our involvement activities.

Please email Rachel Rowan Olive, KIS PPI coordinator with any questions at

How will my personal information be stored?

Your personal information (name, email address and phone number) will be processed and stored in a password-protected file only accessible to the PPI coordinator and viewable to administrative staff, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018.

If you would like to be removed from our mailing list at any point, please email: 

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