Patient and Public Involvement

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Medical research is carried out for the benefit of patients, and is only worth doing if it leads to better knowledge about ill health, its causes, prevention and treatment and, in turn, helps patients. Taking part in a research study but can also include research being carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ members of the public.

There are many different ways of being involved in our research activities; from joining the Advisory Panel to help develop our research strategy, or helping make sure the research is reported in understandable ways, or attending one of our research interactive events to learn more about what we do.

On 27 September 2016 we organised a Public Involvement Day jointly with the NIHR HPRU in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections and the Institute of Infection and Global Health, at the University of Liverpool. This day was for anyone involved in research, from postgraduate to professor.
The aim of the day was to explain why public involvement is so useful.

Download our leaflet to find out more about the work we do at HPRU GI.

Read the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) and Public Engagement (PE) strategy for the work of the HPRU GI.

Public Engagement

We arrange engagement activities in the community and engage with local schools including visits to university labs.

Bug Terror Resources


Bug Terror! Outbreak in a box
This is a ‘reusable’ educational resource to engage school children, or other groups, with the topic of epidemiology and public health by creating a disease outbreak scenario which groups have to work through.


The resource activity introduces the many different aspects of epidemiology that need to be considered when dealing with an outbreak situation and its control including person, place, time, and communications. This resource has been developed as a collaborative project by HPRU GI researcher Caoimhe McKerr, HPRU EZI researcher Margaux Mesle, and HPRU members David Singleton, Dan Hungerford, as well as Becky Glennon-Alty (Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool), with funding from the Wellcome Trust.




How To Lose Weight Well

On 9 January 2018, the Channel 4 TV programme 'How to Lose Weight Well' was aired and looked at the gut microbiome in relation to diet.


As part of this programme Professor Arjan Narbad,  from the Quadram Institute of Bioscience (QIB), was interviewed on the use of Faecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) and whether it can help people to lose weight. See clip at 43.44 to 44.34: 



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Environment Day

On 30 September 2017, HPRU GI PhD Student Saskia Neuert, along with two other researchers from QIB attended the Environment Day of the Open Academy in Norwich. At this event Saskia had some activities to introduce FMT and our inner gut environment in comparison to the environment of a wastewater treatment plant.


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Meet the Scientists

On 8 July 2017, we ran a stall for young children and their families at the World Museum Liverpool, during a hands-on science day as part of the University of Liverpool's Meet the Scientist event.

Our Troublesome Tummy Bug stall, with the aid of 'Gerry the Gut', a giant inflatable intestine, saw over 800 children and adults consider Gastrointestinal pathogens and illnesses and how personal and kitchen hygiene can improve public health.






Summer School

On 27 June 2017, PhD student Caoimhe McKerr, in collaboration with NIHR HPRU EZI, ran an outbreak activity as part of the University of Liverpool's Faculty of Health and Life Sciences' Summer School week for Year 10 students. The team simulated a disease outbreak scenerio and asked participants to work out what had infected the patients.


Following on from this successful event, the team have been awarded the Faculty's Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Grant to produce further resources to support future outbreak events aimed at school children.



Lee And Saskia At Nnuk Open Day And Fete

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Open Day and Fete

On 10 June 2017, NIHR HPRU GI researchers Dr Lee Kellingray and Saskia Neuert ran a stall at the NNUH Open Day and Fete showcasing the work of the Quadram Institute and HPRU GI. They engaged with over 200 members of the public discussing their research on gut microbes and diet, as well  Faecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT). See International Infection Prevention Awareness Week below for more details on the FMT programme.


 Brilliant Club

The Brilliant Club

Dr Erica Kintz, PDRA, ran 6 tutorials from February to May 2017, as a Brilliant Club tutor. Her tutorials were given to Year 9 and 10 students focussing on 'Food Poisoning and Outbreaks'. 


The Brilliant Club is an award-winning charity that seeks to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds to progress to highly selective universities.


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Infectious Science

On 6 March 2017, in collaboration with the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections, we held an evening 'Infectious Science in the Pub' event at The Everyman Bistro in Liverpool. This free-of-charge event, attended by 70 members of the public, featured 6 fast-paced scientific TEDx-style talks from HPRU researchers on topics such as gut infections and climate change. The objective of the event is to encourage people from all ages and backgrounds to take an interest in emerging and zoonotic infections, and the event provides an opportunity for our researchers to develop their public engagement skills.


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Welcome Trust's 'The Crunch'

Professor Martin Maiden and Dr Frances Colles have been involved in the Wellcome Trust’s ‘The Crunch’ activities to help people think about how our food, our health and our planet are all interconnected. They worked with Pearson to produce a script, and then did some filming with them at farm and laboratory locations to describe how Campylobacter isolates from broiler (meat) chickens and wild birds were collected and genotyped.  The videos were incorporated as part of a larger education package created by the Wellcome Trust for school children aged 14-16.

For more information on the module ‘Why cook your chicken?’ visit:

Watch the Farm Story:
Watch the Lab Story:


Faecal Microbiota Transplant Team




International Infection Prevention Awareness Week

The International Infection Prevention Awareness Week runs from 17-21 October 2016. During this week NIHR HPRU GI researchers Professor Arjan Narbad and Dr Lee Kellingray launched a new treatment programme for Clostridium difficile (C.diff), a bacterium that infects the gut. The Faecal Microbiota Transplant team is establishing the use of faecal microbiota transplants at the Norfolk and Norwich University hospital to combat C.diff infections. The treatment process involves faecal material, which is screened and confirmed to be infection-free. It is then mixed with saline and administered, filtered and infused via a fine tube into the stomach or small bowel.

In the last year, the lives of 20 patients diagnosed with C.diff have been transformed by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital by the use of Faecal Microbiota Transplant. Overall this treatment has had a 90% success rate. This new service is the result of a successful multi-disciplinary collaboration combining the skills of hospital consultants, lab staff and HPRU GI scientists at the Institute of Food Research.

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STEM Outreach Event

Dr Helen Clough, in her role as a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Ambassador, attended the Liverpool Common INSET Day in October 2016 at West Derby High School in Liverpool. The event was attended by teachers of Science subjects from across the six local authorities. Helen took part in a session with 70 teachers and demonstrated how the STEM Ambassador programme is able to support their curriculum, extra-curricular and careers-based activities. Helen talked about her role as a statistician immersed in science subjects, what inspired her to become a STEM Ambassador, and described some of the activities in which she and other University of Liverpool-based statistical STEM colleagues have been involved to date.


University of Third Age

Lee Kellingray, Research Assistant at the Institute of Food Research spoke to the University of Third Age, Norwich group, on gut microbiome and the importance of microbiome in health and disease. The University of Third Age is an organisation which provides opportunities for retired and semi-retired people to get together and learn new things in a collegiate environment.


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Primary School Science Festival

On 6 July 2016 we held fun workshops for school children at the World Museum Liverpool, during an interactive, hands-on science day for primary school aged children. With the aid of 'Gerry the Gut', a giant inflatable intestine, local children were asked to think about, describe and make sense of tummy bugs.

The event was selected to be a case study for the University of Liverpool's Faculty of Health and Life Sciences and is published on the Faculty's Public Engagement website.


 St Andrews Eaton 

Eaton, Norwich

Professor Arjan Narbad of the Institute of Food Research gave a talk to 150 people on looking after gut bacteria, as part of the Summer Programme of St Andrew’s Church Hall, Eaton in Norwich.


 University Of Liverpool Educational Opportunities Schools Workshop 010715

Summer School

PhD students Natalie Adams and Tanith Rose helped to run an activity on gastrointestinal infections for Year 10 students as part of a Health and Life Sciences Residential Summer School at the University of Liverpool on 1 July 2015.  The 33 students were introduced to the work of the HPRU GI and discussed some of the different pathogens that can cause stomach bugs.  The students then took part in an interactive experiment to simulate the spread of an infectious disease and considered how public health experts track down the source of an outbreak, and what measures can be put in place to try and reduce spread.

Get Involved

One of the best ways to ensure our research meets the public need is to ask people for their feedback and advice on the research being developed. You don’t need any particular knowledge or skills, just a willingness to give your opinion and the desire to get involved.

Training and support for members of the public and patients who are interested in becoming involved is provided.

For more information about ways to get involved or to join the mailing list for future events please contact: or follow us on Twitter @HPRUgi