Everyone Included, the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Parternship NHS Trust's (AWP) approach to recruiting participants in research, was launched on 17 March 2014. AWP are the first trust in the UK to adopt this approach to letting service users know about research opportunities that are relevant to them - a core pledge of the NHS constitution.
The Everyone Included team is responsible for letting members of AWP (including clinicians, service users and researchers) know about research currently happening within the Trust, and responding to queries via email, telephone and post. The team also works with AWP members to identify only relevant and appropriate research studies to use Everyone Included for participant recruitment.
Everyone Included has seven research studies in process, and has sent out letters to over 2,000 service users within the Trust. Since the launch, Everyone Included have adopted a more targeted approach in sending introductory letters and will only write to service users where a relevant research opportunity exists.
There is also an on-going advertising campaign, including posters and leaflets in waiting areas and staff rooms, drop in workshops and presentations at weekly team meetings. This approach is set to continue while Everyone Included is embedded across the Trust, giving sufficient time to become a recognised and understood policy.
Despite the overwhelming NHS and public support, recruitment to health research remains a major hurdle in the UK. As part of the planning for changing the Trust's policy, Clinicians and service users were asked 'what would be the best way to be informed about research?' Of those asked, less than 1 per cent voted for the existing system, in which busy clinicians need to give permission for service users to be told about research. The majority voted for an updated system in which service users could find out about research directly. In line with this consensus, Everyone Included was launched to overcome these barriers and to improve awareness and participation in research activity.
Study teams apply to the Everyone Included team for assessment of suitability (only low impact research studies will be considered) to use Everyone Included. Their application is then reviewed by the Everyone Included Virtual Review Panel which is made up of AWP clinicians, academics and service users to ensure any views about the research study remain impartial. The Research Ethics Committee must also approve Everyone Included as an appropriate recruitment method, and once this part of the process is complete, Everyone Included can then
begin to identify patients who match the eligibility criteria for the study.
Importantly, Everyone Included acts as an intermediary between study teams and the prospective participants. No patient information leaves AWP or will be viewed by anyone outside of the Trust.
Only eligible service users will be approached, firstly with an introductory letter explaining what Everyone Included is and how it works. Providing the service user hasn't written, called or emailed the Everyone Included team to let them know they do not wish to receive any further information about research, the service user will then be sent a research study specific letter and go on to decide whether they would like to take part in the study by contacting the research team directly.
For more information on Everyone Included please visit the AWP website.