Setting up the steering group
A steering group is required to coordinate the Priority Setting Partnership and organise its activities. The steering group generally includes and is led by the individuals or representatives of groups who have made the initial approach to the JLA to carry out a priority setting exercise. They are usually organisations with resources to offer to the process, such as funding, staff, time and expertise.
They will have thought about and started to prepare the following:
- a strategy for ensuring collaboration between patient, carer and clinician groups
- sources of funding to run the Priority Setting Partnership
- resources to undertake the process of checking the uncertainties and preparing them for entry into UK DUETs
- resources for the day-to-day running of the Partnership
- the anticipated outcomes of the process, including plans for dissemination
Ideally the administration and coordination of a Partnership should be undertaken by one person or organisation on the Steering Group. This would include maintaining the partnership contacts database, setting up meetings and taking action notes, coordinating Partnership activities and communications and being a first point of call for enquiries. The value of this vital role being held centrally and consistently throughout the process cannot be overstated.
The JLA offers support, facilitation and guidance. The practical work is carried out by the other members of the steering group. They are responsible for:
- publicising the initiative
- checking and collating the uncertainties
- taking the final priorities to research funders
The Steering Group must include representatives of patients and clinicians. This usually includes representatives from some form of “umbrella” group, such a charity or professional association. In accordance with the JLA’s fundamental aims, only those representing patients and clinicians (who would not normally be involved in setting the clinical research agenda) are able to participate in the priority setting exercise.