HEER Group Ground Rules

The Help from Experts by Experience for Researchers (HEER) group is a well-established service user and carer group helping to shape research at LYPFT. We are a Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) group available to all people working in Mental Health research. These are the ground rules that the group established.

Members of HEER – Help from Experts by Experience for Researchers are committed to valuing and celebrating diversity and difference. They recognise that carers, service users and workers deserve mutual respect.

  1. Group members will respect each other and each other’s views and opinions.
  2. Group members will listen to, and not interrupt each other; everyone should be given a chance and encouraged to speak.
  3. Unless directly relevant to the group and or meeting, personal issues should not be discussed. HEER is a working group and not a therapy group; the Research & Development team can  support with signposting.
  4. Group members will respect the chair of the meeting and will treat visitors and observers with respect.
  5. Visitors to the group will be given constructive feedback.
  6. If members of the group cannot attend a meeting they will do their best to let someone know beforehand by calling R&D on 0113 8552387 or by emailing research.lypft@nhs.net .
  7. All members of the group will endeavour to be punctual out of respect for others and so that meetings can start and finish on time. If someone has to leave early they should inform the chair in advance.
  8. Mobile phones should be turned off or put onto silent/vibrate mode during meetings unless an urgent call is expected. The group should be notified if a phone is to be left on.
  9. Group members can take time out from meeting attendance if they feel they need to.
  10. Travel expenses can only be reimbursed with proof of a valid bus/train ticket.
  11. Group members must not attend meetings under the influence of drink or drugs excluding prescription drugs.
  12. Lay membership is limited to 10 persons.
  13. The group will make new members, observers and visitors welcome.

New Members

  1. New members must attend at least two meetings as an ‘observer’ without receiving payment or expenses before they can become a full group member.
  2. Once the maximum number of lay members is achieved a potential member may continue to attend as an `observer’ until such time as they are invited to become a lay member.

Ending or Pausing Membership

  1. We understand that life can be unpredictable; if you need a break from attending please just let us know.
  2. If a member of the group does not attend three meetings consecutively and does not make contact with Research and Development team during this time, they will be contacted to ask if they wish to continue as a member and if they need further support.  If the team is unable to successfully make contact within 4 weeks, membership and associated payments will cease.
  3. If a member of the HEER group would like to end his/her membership of the group, they should contact the Research & Development team. This may be done either verbally, by email or in writing.


  1. What is said in the group is confidential.
  2. It is assumed that everything discussed in the group is to remain confidential and cannot be overheard.
  3. Group members will abide by the Trust’s confidentiality procedure. This is available LYPFT Confidentiality Code of Conduct

Resolving Disputes

  1. Where possible disputes should be resolved at the earliest opportunity by the group. However, we recognise that it may not be possible to raise a difficult issue immediately particularly if it is in a group meeting and that a group member may want to deal with an issue outside the group setting or seek support.
  2. If a member of the group, observer or visitor to the group, says or does anything in a meeting which is offensive or upsetting for another, this should be raised as soon as possible either in the group or individually outside the group.
  3. If a group member feels they cannot raise the issue with the person who has offended them, they can approach the Patient Research Ambassador (PRA) or another R&D representative. In doing so they may want to have the support of another member of the group.
  4. If the issue cannot be resolved either individually or in the group, or by the R&D representative, the issue will be taken to the PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service).

PALS can be contacted on Freephone: 0800 0525 790


  1. All lay members who receive an honorarium for attendance at meetings are personally responsible for any payment of tax and for informing the benefits agency where appropriate. Payment is equivalent to the National Living Wage. LYPFT also pays a home payment fee. The home payment fee is per month, not per meeting and is a contribution towards internet costs, heating and lighting bills and any costs associated with joining a meeting in a person’s own home.
  2. R&D will withdraw the payments of an honorarium and home payment fee to any member who does not abide by the ground rules.
  3. Payment will be made by bank transfer. All receipts for expenses incurred will need to be passed to the administrator.

Version 11 – 03/07/2024

Page last updated: 17th Jul 2024 11:54am