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Tackling inequalities in clinical research: an infographic to share recommendations for a more inclusive future

Graphic image with a diverse group of people sitting in front of the skyline of Birmingham, with the University of Birmingham's clock tower and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as the most prominent buildings

As part of its ongoing commitment to fostering diversity and inclusivity in research, the NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is pleased to share a new and accessible output from a roundtable discussion on pathways to inclusive research, to supplement the briefing note which was previously published.

The roundtable brought together leaders from the BRC, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, and the University of Birmingham with researchers, clinicians, patients, volunteers, and local charities. The aim was to stimulate discussion and develop joint steps that formed a pathway on how we can tackle health inequalities to better ensure clinical research reflects our diverse population. Recognising the importance of reaching a diverse audience, we developed an infographic to present the key recommendations from the roundtable.

“This infographic is an effective tool to support healthcare researchers in involving diverse people in an inclusive and meaningful way. As a patient and public involvement representative who was involved in this project, I think this is certainly a step in the right direction….”

– Tony Kelly, Patient Partner

As detailed in our previous report, the roundtable identified the following recommendations for healthcare organisations and researchers to tackle health inequalities in research:

  • speak clearly, without jargon and acronyms
  • ask the right questions
  • create a welcoming inclusive culture
  • feed back the impact of involvement
  • increase diversity in institutions

By creating this infographic, we aimed to break down barriers and ensure that the information discussed during the roundtable is available to everyone, regardless of their background, abilities, or familiarity with technical jargon or research-oriented materials.

And it doesn’t end with making the information easier to understand: by presenting the recommendations with clear and concise language, supported by relevant images and graphics, we hope to also foster widespread dissemination and engagement with the ideas and proposals summarised in the infographic.

Byron Batten, Head of Inclusion-Improvement, Communications and Engagement at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said on the creation of this asset: “Infographics have the power to engage diverse groups of people, including those with limited scientific or medical backgrounds. By presenting the research in an accessible and visually appealing format, the infographic can raise the public’s curiosity, encouraging them to learn more about the topic and engage in discussions surrounding diversity in biomedical research.

“Creating the infographic to disseminate the outputs of the BRC roundtable on research reflecting the UK’s diverse population is important because it enhances the visual impact, simplifies complex data, increases reach and accessibility, broadens public engagement, and also serves as an advocacy tool to influence policy and decisions making.”

Tony Kelly, Patient Partner, member of the BRC Muscle Health Group PPIE group and Diabetes Champion, commented: “The voice of the voiceless from all ethnic backgrounds must be heard, and this infographic is an effective tool to support healthcare researchers in involving diverse people in an inclusive and meaningful way. As a patient and public involvement representative who was involved in this project, I think this is certainly a step in the right direction and must be followed through.”

We invite you to view the infographic, share it with others, and join us in our journey towards a more inclusive future in clinical research. For more information about the BRC’s commitment to diversity in research, please contact Mr Byron Batten, Head of Inclusion-Improvement, Communications and Engagement at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.