Welcome to our ACER Public and Patient Involvement group

Who we are:

As a result of public interest in our work following several public engagement events in Aberdeen (May Festival, May 2019, Techfest, September 2019, and Café Med, Oct 2019)  we formed the ACER PPI group.  We held our first meeting on the 31st October 2019 which was very well attended. We presently have 18 members , some of whom participate remotely as they live further afield. We aim to host four meetings each year (approximately every 3 months). Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic we have continued to meet virtually on Zoom and will do so until we can safely meet face to face again. We are currently funded by The Morningfield Association to allow us to reimburse members travel and provide a light lunch and refreshments at our meetings.

Our goal is to develop and maintain a group of members of the public, patients and their carers who are interested in the health and wellbeing of older people to promote research which can improve the quality of life of older persons.

Public engagement with research is important. Public engagement can shape research to ensure it is relevant, important, accessible, and acceptable to patients.

This can:

  • Improve the care of older persons
  •  Improve the health and wellbeing of older people and their carers

Through regular meetings, the group discuss issues important to them about health and ageing, suggest new topics that they think important for research, help improve the design of research projects, learn about the research process and develop new skills and knowledge.

What we do:

Through regular meetings, the group discuss issues important to them about health and ageing, suggest new topics that they think important for research, help improve the design of research projects, learn about the research process and develop new skills and knowledge.

Recently our members have supported several sizeable grant applications by contributing towards improving the design and accessibility of the proposed studies, and some members have adopted the role of co-applicants jointly with academic and clinical researchers.

Another example of our work is the co-development of public information materials to promote our work in relation to a particularly harmful group of medications called anticholinergics. This project was funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust (Grant No. RPGF1806/66). Our members led on the design of a leaflet and on an animated information video to help the public understand what these medications are and why we are worried about their use. The key purpose of these materials is to empower patients and the public with the knowledge and confidence to ask more questions about their medications.

How can I become involved?

We are always keen to welcome new members. If you are aged 65 years and older with an interest in the health of older people, or  provide formal or informal care/support to older persons, and can  join in with group meetings (either face to face at Foresterhill Health Campus, Aberdeen or virtually by Zoom) or can participate by phone or email, then we would like to hear from you.  We have prepared an information flyer which you can download here.  Please email acer@abdn.ac.uk for more information about our group.