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Published: 03 February 2023

We are seeking new members for our Patient and Public Partnership network

By Caroline Walsh, Public Health Officer, NSS

Are you keen to use your experience to help others? By becoming a member of our Patient and Public Partnership network you can use your voice to improve our four national screening programmes. Read on to find out more about our PPP network and how you can join us.

What is our Patient and Public Partnership?

In the National Screening Service we want to ensure that our services meet the needs of the people using them and are truly person-centred.

We have four population-based screening programmes: BreastCheck, BowelScreen, CervicalCheck and Diabetic RetinaScreen. We work in partnership with participants of each programme in a variety of ways called Patient and Public Partnership; we refer to it as the ‘PPP’.

“The people who experience screening bring to us a different and highly valued perspective – the reality of what it is really like. Working in partnership with Patient and Public Representatives allows us to test ideas and co-create solutions with the people who matter.”
Fiona Murphy, Chief Executive, NSS

You can read more about our Patient and Public Partnership Strategy here

What is our Patient and Public Partnership network?

We established our PPP network in 2019. We have 33 PPP representatives from across Ireland in our network. They provide the patient voice on NSS projects, working groups and committees through different levels of involvement including consultation, and partnership in decision-making.

“When I agreed to be a PPP rep I was concerned that I was simply there to tick a box. It has been a pleasure to discover that this hasn’t been the case, and in fact patient involvement is now being viewed by many in the service as vital.”
Grace, PPP representative

Who is being invited to join the Patient and Public Partnership network?

We know the importance of a diverse and inclusive PPP network that represents the people who live in Ireland. We are building a PPP network that is made up of people from different backgrounds, with different perspectives, experiences and interests. 

To do this we are seeking people who have an interest or knowledge of at least one of our four population screening programmes, and who do not already formally represent any organisation or group.

You do not need to have a clinical background. You will be an ‘expert by experience’. We will provide additional training and supports, as required.

We do require that PPP representatives are 18 years or older.

What does joining the Patient and Public Partnership network involve?

You can participate in many different ways. You can:

  • Assist in the design, delivery, and evaluation of NSS services 
  • Share your views and expertise and participate in NSS discussions and project work virtually or face-to-face
  • Support the NSS as we seek to put patients and the public at the heart of our decision making 

In recent years, our PPP reps have worked on a variety of projects including: NSS Corporate Strategy development, Cervical Cancer Elimination Project, Strategic Equity Framework development, the Expert Reference Group and Interval Cancer Groups. Their expertise, developed through experience, has been invaluable and we are grateful to all who have given their time and voice to these projects.

In 2023, there will be many more opportunities for our PPP reps as we continue to make sure their voice is central to our projects, groups and activities.

What specific skills or experience do I need to join?

  • Some experience of screening services either as a patient, carer, relative or member of the public is desirable
  • Ability to provide critical and constructive feedback 
  • Good communication skills
  • The confidence to voice your own opinions clearly and take part in group discussion 
  • The ability to listen and respect differing opinions 
  • An awareness of equality and diversity – maybe these issues have affected you?
  • A positive attitude

How to get involved?

If you would like more information on our Patient and Public Partnership (PPP) network or on how to get involved, please email: ppplead@screeningservice.ie

“If you have the time and the interest, then just go for it. Listening to everything going on helped give me confidence and I personally gained from being a PPP representative.”

Breda, PPP representative

Learn more about the work completed by PPP