SURF: Members' Training Day

13 May 2008

Baker Street Meeting Rooms, London


Maria Cann attended the SURF Members, training day in London. Alison Tingle, Simon Jones, Peter Harper and Heather Loveday from Thames Valley University presented some very interesting concepts in research.  There were discussions around quantitative and qualitative research, the latter being particularly interesting, especially in relation to healthcare.


There were a multitude of ways to gather qualitative information from patients and the public that can be used to inform decision making, tailoring services to meet patients' needs, and be more efficient and effective in delivering high quality healthcare.  This data is of particular value in making policy decisions on healthcare from a strategic viewpoint.


Abstracts from research papers were circulated for discussion to include a research paper on patient involvement in patient safety by David L B Schwappach, BMC Health Services Research, based on findings from interviews with patients in two Swiss hospitals.  The paper concluded that "Many patients experience undesirable events during hospitalisation and a significant number of patients are seriously concerned about their safety.  Surveying patients about experiences with safety-related events in hospital seems a valuable tool for identifying and monitoring problematic areas of care and undesirable events.  Evidence from the qualitative interviews indicates that safety remains an unsaid word between patients and their care providers."


Maria Cann outlined the Charity's involvement in research that had been commissioned by the National Patient Safety Agency in which the Imperial College London had requested our involvement.  This linked into the research cited in the abstract.


There had been structured interviews with members of MRSA Action UK and other service users.  Following this a quantitative survey was designed looking at aspects of patient safety where untoward events may occur.  This research included questions on hand hygiene; medication and patient identification.


Some open questions were also included in the survey and provided an additional insight into other aspects of care impacting on the patients' perception of safety in the healthcare setting.  Errors in medical records were an area that cropped up with some significant frequency.


The 32 responses received by the Charity on behalf of Imperial College London were postal surveys, so there would be no opportunity for an interviewer to skew the results, something that can sometimes happen in a face-to-face survey.


Maria Cann outlined that they had analysed the findings but would be unable to publish the findings as the information was copyright to the researcher at Imperial College London.  The findings of people who had been affected by healthcare infections would be compared to the wider population's opinions as part of the research.


During lunch the group were tasked with the design of a logo for the network and a poster for two forthcoming conferences:


NHS - National Institute for Health Research, at the East Midlands Conference Centre - 11th and 12th November 2008

Infection Prevention Society Conference in June 2008

INVOLVE would send a delegation from this group


Various aspects of research were discussed and ideas were sought for future meetings of the network.  Some online discussion was suggested to further explore how to publicise the Research Network as a resource.


Maria Cann again outlined the need from some research into the aftermath of MRSA.  This had been discussed at the last meeting and there needed to be some feedback on what ideas were being taken forward from that meeting.


For more information about the HCAI Research Network and to sign up to become involved visit INVOLVE's website at


If you are looking for patients to peer review your research proposal or to become involved in your research into patient safety and / or preventing, informing and education on healthcare infections then please contact us at or join the HCAI Network.

Maria Cann
MRSA Action UK
13 May 2008