Patient and public involvement and engagement

What is health economics? 

Health economics is a branch of economics related to the value of healthcare provision, the effectiveness and efficiency of treatments, and behaviour in relation to the consumption of health and healthcare.

The Health and Care Economics Cymru Public Involvement and Engagement strategy has been embedded into the Health and Care Economics Cymru Action Plan, subject to monitoring and reporting, as a core work package.

Increasing public involvement in health and social care research from development of the research idea, to sharing the research findings, makes services more responsive to the individuals and communities who use them. Improved services can lead to improved health interventions which are also cost-effective e.g. patients concerns inventory may focus the clinical consultation for head and neck cancer, providing patients with the treatment options that they need to aid their recovery.

We have adopted the definition of ‘public involvement in research’ which sees research co-produced ‘with’ or ‘by’ the public, in contrast to research that is ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ the public without opportunities for contribution (Health Research Authority, 2020). This means we aim for patients and people with relevant experience to contribute to how our research is developed, designed, conducted and shared with others.

There will also be opportunities to take part in a study as a research participant.

Join HCEC Public involvement

Image from the ESRC Festival of Social Science at Bangor University, November 2019. Professor Rhiannon Tudor Edwards is presenting a general overview to a crowd including members of the public, service providers, and research staff from the Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation (CHEME)


Would you like to help develop health economics research in Wales? 

If yes, please consider joining the Health and Care Economics Cymru Public Involvement and Engagement database of people who are interested in developing research projects. Information about involvement opportunities and details about current research projects are circulated to individuals in this group via emails and newsletters. 

What does membership mean? 

Being a member of the Health and Care Economics Cymru Public Involvement and Engagement database for Health and Care Economics Cymru means you can: 

  • Learn about and influence health and social care research in your area 
  • Share ideas to inform studies 
  • Use your experience as a patient, service user, carer or family member to help others 
  • Influence the study design as a co-applicant to make funding applications more successful (by including the views of those likely to be affected by the treatment/intervention). 
  • Discuss the work with research teams via email, Zoom, Teams, in person, or over the telephone 
  • Have the opportunity to access free training about health and social care research (link to Health and Care Research Wales training page: 
  • Be reimbursed for time in meetings/reviewing documentation (in line with current guidelines from Health and Care Research Wales). 
  • Have your travel expenses covered if you need to attend meetings in person*. 
  • Be involved in dissemination activities 

*If you also join the Health Care Research Wales Public Involvement Community: 


Image from the ESRC Festival of Social Science at Bangor University, November 2019. Dr Mary Lynch leading a focus group discussing social prescribing with members of the public, service providers, and research staff from the Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation (CHEME). 

Report on the #ESRCFestival WHESS Festival – 03-12-19

Advisory Board

Mrs Karen Harrington

Karen joined us as a public involvement and engagement representative on the Health and Care Economics Cymru advisory board in 2019. Karen is also a co-applicant for the Health and Care Economics Cymru application which was funded 2020-2023.

Karen has a degree in Psychology (2001) and an MSc in Psychological Research (2005) from Bangor University. She has enjoyed the opportunity to learn how about health services limitations are being challenged and the research being undertaken to improve service can be for the benefit of the public. Karen has contributed to the development of the Health and Care Economics Cymru Public Involvement and Engagement strategy and wider action plan and said:

“The ongoing pandemic has highlighted the importance and need for accessible and effective health services for all. It is reassuring that measures are being taken and indeed implemented that improve cost-effectiveness in this arena to ensure the long term sustainability of the NHS”.

Mr Nathan Davies

Nathan Davies has been involved in Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) activity in health and care research for about 10 years. For example, he has reviewed funding applications for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and has been a member of various groups, such as the Health and Care Research Wales Scientific Board for Health Research Grants. Nathan has reviewed curriculum Modules for the Health Scientist Training Programme, administered by the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHS). He has also reviewed public-facing materials, such as information packs and consent forms for randomised clinical trials.

Nathan has enjoyed a diverse career in education before working in the third sector for a number of years.

When he is not carrying out public involvement and engagement activities or working, he also enjoys spending time with his family and going for walks along one of the many local beaches.

Dr Llinos Haf Spencer

Llinos is a Research Officer at CHEME and a Research Officer for LLAIS (Language Awareness Infrastructure Support) for NWORTH Clinical Trials Unit at Bangor University. Llinos has a degree (1995) and PhD (2000) in Psychology from The University of Liverpool, and has worked as a Teaching Fellow and Research Officer on various health related research projects at Bangor University since 1999. Research projects include studies on gynaecological cancer follow-up (TOPCAT-G), type-1 diabetes in children (EPIC Project), end of life care (My Choices Project), Welsh language awareness in health care, Welsh language transmission within the family (Twf and onwards), and re-thinking attainment and poverty in rural education (REAP) to name a few. Llinos was also a co-author on the Living Well for Longer and Wellness in work CHEME reports funded by Public Health Wales. Llinos has a particular interest in the health and well-being of people living in Wales.

Dr Liv Kosnes

Liv is a Senior Research and Evaluation Officer, Swansea Centre for Health Economics (SCHE), Swansea University. Liv has a background in psychology and is the evaluation lead within SCHE and part of the Health and Care Economics Cymru (HCEC) management team where she project manages HCEC South Wales, leads on the impact strand and co-leads on public involvement and engagement. In the last few years Liv has built up a portfolio of evaluations and projects utilising a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies for work within health and social care, local authority and the third sector, as well as commercial projects. Liv’s experience and interest lies in health and behavioural psychology, theory of change, evaluation tools and practices.

Contact details: 

You may contact Llinos or Liv directly or submit your enquiry using our contact form. 

Dr Llinos Haf Spencer 
Phone:01248 383171 (You can leave a telephone answer message and Llinos will call you back) 

Dr Liv Kosnes 


Join HCEC Public involvement