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Patient and public Involvement and engagement in Musculoskeletal reSearch (PIMS)

PIMS is a group of patients and members of the public. They work with experts at Newcastle University who carry out musculoskeletal research.

PIMS provides a forum for direct interaction with researchers. Members learn more about Newcastle University's fantastic research, and can provide feedback and advice to researchers. By combining leading science with lived experience, we can produce high quality and relevant research.

We strongly believe that patients and public should be involved in every step of research.

We hope to make research better by working together with Research Into Inflammatory Arthritis Centre Versus Arthritis (RACE) and our patient partners, and we’re always on the look-out for new, enthusiastic people to get involved.

The content below provides further information on PIMS, but if there is anything else you need to know, please contact us on 0191 283 9600, email, or follow us on Twitter: @PIMS_Ncl

Postal Address: PIMS, Rheumatology Clinical Research Team, Room 49 Level 1 Education centre, Freeman Hospital, Freeman Road, High Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE7 7DN.

Information for patients and the public

It is crucial for patients and the public to have a say in research, especially when this is being done on their behalf. The Health Research Authority (HRA) describe this process in more detail.

How it works:

  • We invite members to attend regular meetings. These take place in January, April, July and October, with many other meetings taking place in between.
  • At meetings, researchers will discuss their projects and members are able to ask questions, give feedback, influence research proposals and learn more about the work being done.
  • Everybody with an interest is welcome to join and contribute. PIMS may be of particular interest to people who are affected by, care for, or have friends and family affected by musculoskeletal conditions.
  • The conditions we study are (but are not limited to) rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, Sjögren’s Syndrome, fatigue, lupus and ankylosing spondylitis/axial spondylarthritis or orthopaedic related conditions such as trauma, degenerative disease, arthroplasty, spinal conditions and sarcoma.
  • PIMS is managed by a team of patient partners, researchers, clinicians and research staff. It is co-ordinated by Dr Arthur Pratt, Dr Kenneth Baker and Leigh Romaniuk.

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals and the Musculoskeletal Research Group  are actively involved in furthering our understanding of musculoskeletal conditions, with the aim of improving diagnosis, care and treatments.

Information for researchers

Why is patient and public involvement important in research?

There are many benefits of patient and public involvement in research.

People with lived experience of a condition can improve research design using their practical knowledge and highlight if elements lack feasibility.

Collaborative study designs can promote recruitment and retention of participants.  When participants are more engaged, the data obtained can be of higher quality. This can all contribute to findings being more relevant and having the potential to influence clinical care and ultimately, patient outcomes.

PIMS offers the opportunity to receive feedback on your research and research plans from patient research partners. Members may provide feedback on grant proposals, research findings or the direction of your research in general.

More information about PPI, and resources for applicants to NIHR research programmes, can be found here

If you would like to involve patients and the public in your musculoskeletal research, please email or call us on 0191 283 9600.