Heart Surgery Priority Setting Partnership

heart research logoThe Heart Surgery Priority Setting Partnership is a collaboration between the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Leicester and the James Lind Alliance (JLA). The JLA is a non-profit-making initiative that brings patients, carers and clinicians together in Priority Setting Partnerships (PSPs). 

These partnerships identify and prioritise uncertainties, or ‘unanswered questions’, about the effects of treatments that they agree are the most important. The aim of this is to help ensure that those who fund health research are aware of what really matters to both patients and clinicians. These questions, if addressed by researchers, could help with the progression of modern medicine and be to the benefit of patients.

The Heart Surgery PSP was established following a workshop held on the 13 February 2017 that sought to develop a national research strategy in cardiovascular surgery. The main conclusion of the workshop was that an agreed set of research priorities would be welcomed by the main funders of research into cardiovascular disease. In November 2017 the Board of Heart Research UK agreed to fund the PSP in full with a grant of £80,000. This provides funding for key staff and resources, and ensures that the PSP will be a success.

The first step in the Heart Surgery PSP is to conduct a national survey to identify the research priorities of patients, carers, clinicians and researchers - whether they are the prevention of heart disease, diagnosis, or treatment and care of people undergoing heart surgery. This will be followed up by a second survey, to prioritise the questions asked and to help decide where research funds should be allocated. This way, we can ensure that research is relevant to those who deal with the issues surrounding heart surgery every day.