About the project

In Europe, about 23% of our population is at risk for poverty or social exclusion together with that studies in Europe show that around half of all patients cannot understand basic health care information that is presented to them by healthcare professionals. This segment of the population is clearly underrepresented in health and medical research (Bonevski et al., 2014) and there is also an established priority by the European Commission (2019) that we need to generate a better understanding of specific health and care needs and better solutions for addressing those needs, including specific needs of people in vulnerable stages of life, people with physical or mental impairments, or of population groups in socioeconomic situations with structural disadvantages (https://ec.europa.eu/research/pdf/horizon-europe/annex-1.pdf) in order to improve the transparency and equality in our health care. The first step is to provide healthcare professionals (HCP), patient organisations and other relevant stakeholders with a basic understanding of the role, function and characteristics of research in general together with how to approach this neglected target group.

By implementing an innovative approach for teaching and learning, based upon evidence-based outcomes, as well as designing continuing education and training activities that link with the European Social Charter (ETS no.163) and the European Pillar of Social Rights (2017).

The objectives of this project are to (i) develop, (ii) test (iii) implement and (iv) disseminate the training package for HCP, patient organisations and other relevant stakeholders, enabling them to facilitate person-centred care and support the inclusion of patient and public involvement, especially those from socially disadvantaged groups, in health research. A further objective is to produce a functional training programme, reflective of the sociocultural diversity across Europe. The project aims to make the training material accessible to a broad range of HCP and other relevant stakeholders and will do so through multi-mode delivery.

In the partnership, there is highly experienced researcher partners (Norway, Sweden) and knowledge mobilisation partner that has extensive VET experience (Norway), Health Care providers and other relevant stakeholders (Estonia, Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and the Netherlands) who are highly motivated to implement the training into service provision.

Project methodology and activities comprise:
1. A functional and evaluated training material that is based upon research evidence and the needs analysis from the target recipient nations.
2. The training will quickly have an impact through high quality continuing vocational education and training (CVET) that enhances service provision by addressing the need to support the inclusion of patient and public involvement, especially those from socially disadvantaged groups, in health research.
3. Health care organisations and other relevant stakeholders will have access to this open resource material so they can provide continuing education and training that will update their health professionals' knowledge in this area in order to maintain a safe and effective practice
4. As prioritised by the European Commission, it is paramount to create a more sustainable healthcare system that can address that everyone has access to affordable, preventive and curative health care of good quality. Therefore, it is paramount to ensure transparency and equality in health and medical research through improved clinical research and measurement literacy.
5. The training will be economically viable to implement and at the same time, be able to reach a large group of members of healthcare staff, students or other relevant stakeholders. This is due to the methodological design of concrete and focused 1-day training course that emphasis addressing knowledge and skill deficits in this area.

In the long-term, the training package together with its implementation plan will be updated and adapted for other partners' operational directives. The project's key products will remain freely available online for a minimum of 5 years after funding, allowing longer-term access for HCP and relevant stakeholders. It is anticipated that the transnational networks and relationships formed through this project will also lead to new training initiatives and projects across Europe.

The project will result in raising a European awareness of these aspects, which adheres to the established priorities of the European Commission (A strong social Europe for just transitions, Brussels, 14.1.2020 COM(2020); European Commission Communication 'European Disability Strategy 2010-2020: A Renewed Commitment to a Barrier-Free Europe', November 2010; European Commission Communication 'The European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion', December 2010).