About the Vascular JLA Priority Setting Partnership

Despite ongoing research activity in the UK and other countries, there are still many questions about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of vascular disease that remain unanswered.

It is important for research funders to understand what is important to patients, carers and vascular health professionals so they can focus their research on areas that will make the biggest difference.

The Vascular James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) will also help to increase awareness of why research into vascular conditions is necessary and important. It will be used to campaign for major funders to invest in vascular conditions, as there will have been an independent process to identify what research is necessary and relevant.

The project is being independently overseen by The James Lind Alliance, a non-profit making initiative. They specialise in bringing patients, carers and health professionals together to identify and prioritise uncertainties, or 'unanswered questions' that they agree are most important.

The James Lind Alliance is internationally recognised as an authoritative and independent organisation to guide this work and produce an unbiased result, which gives equal weighting to the views of the different groups.

Download the Vascular JLA Priority Setting Partnership protocol

The project process

1. Create a steering group

Made up of representatives from service users, carers and vascular health professionals, this group agrees the plan of action, scope and takes responsibility for the PSP.

2. Launch the survey

A survey is created asking service users and their carers to respond by posing questions they have for research.

3. Summarising the responses

With oversight from the steering group, the JLA Information Specialist will sort all the responses and creates summary questions. This becomes a long list of summary questions.

4. Evidence checking

The long list of summary questions is checked against existing research evidence to ensure they are true uncertainties. Any questions that have already been answered by research are removed.

5. Interim priority setting

Service users and carers are asked to vote on the most important questions in an interim priority setting survey. This reduces the remaining long list of summary questions to a shorter list to be discussed at a workshop.

6. Workshop

The highest ranked questions from the interim priority setting survey are discussed in a number of workshops of service users, carers and vascular specialists who together agree the ‘Top 10’ list of priorities across a range of vascular disease areas. The workshops will be facilitated by an adviser from the James Lind Alliance.

7. Publish and promote Top 10 research priorities

The ‘Top 10’ is announced and published on the Vascular Society website and the James Lind Alliance website and promoted to researchers and funders. The PSP works with researchers and funders to further develop the priorities into specific research questions.