Learning from Greater Manchester’s People and Communities during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Engaging and involving public contributors and the Greater Manchester community is essential to improving health care.

In collaboration with NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Greater Manchester (ARC-GM), Health Innovation Manchester has been working with a range of public contributors as part of our Public and Community Involvement and Engagement (PCIE) work.

Public contributors have helped to design, align and enact key research and innovation activity across Greater Manchester through Public and Community Involvement and Engagement (PCIE) panels.

This has included the new Greater Manchester Public Community Involvement & Engagement (PCIE) Forum, which brings together leaders (both staff and public) of public and community involvement and engagement from health and care organisations including universities, research infrastructure, health and social care providers, the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.

Professor Caroline Sanders, PCIE Lead for ARC-GM and Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) said it has been crucial to engage with members of the Forum during recent months.

caroline sanders

She said: “The forum brings together leadership for public involvement and engagement from across Greater Manchester organisations and communities focusing on health, care and well-being. It has been a platform for sharing experiences and learning during the pandemic, especially concerning inequalities for marginalised and seldom heard communities.

“The forum has been a platform for our formal system organisations, for example universities, NHS) to learn from the fantastic innovation within our voluntary sector organisations and networks that have joined us to work together.”

In the past six months the forum has been involved with discussions surrounding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on minority groups, existing inequalities and communities. The forum has also discussed experiences of health and healthcare during COVID-19 as well as digital literacy and exclusion.

Professor Sanders continued: “Our online community has rapidly generated new partnerships and activities to address major challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, including how to maximise diversity and inclusion; how to address social isolation and digital inequalities; and how to coproduce appropriate services and innovations.”

Sue Wood, Head of ARC-GM Operations, added: “There has never been a more important time to ensure that we are listening to our public members and the people who support them. Our work with the forum has given us the ability to reach out across Greater Manchester in ways that would not have been possible on our own.”

If you would like to get involved or find out more about the Greater Manchester Public Community Involvement & Engagement (PCIE) Forum and the work during COVID-19 visit the ARC-GM website.

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