JLA Concept


"JLA" stands for the James Lind Alliance; a non-profit making initiative that was established in 2004 to better integrate patient need into health research. The mission is to run "Priority Setting Partnerships" (PSPs) to bring patients, carers and clinicians together to ensure that researchers, and those who fund health research, can focus on what matters to both patients and clinicians. The JLA PSPs identify and prioritise the top 10 'treatment uncertainties' or 'unanswered questions' about the effects of treatments that they agree are most important for research.

The JLA believes that:

  • addressing uncertainties about the effects of treatments should become accepted as a much more routine part of clinical practice
  • patients, carers and clinicians should work together to agree which, among those uncertainties, matter most and thus deserve priority attention

Sometimes, the studies in health research do not investigate the questions clinicians and patients would really like answers to. It can be quite easy for researchers to move from one question to the next logical one, without realising the new or unexplored needs that patients might have. That is why it is important to get patient need feeding back much more directly into the extremely useful work that health researchers do.

On the 1 April 2013, the management of the JLA's Priority Setting Partnerships was taken over by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC). Professor Dame Sally C. Davies, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor at the Department of Health said: "Bringing patients and clinicians together to prioritise treatment uncertainties which they agree are the most important for research is at the heart of the NIHR. The JLA Priority Setting Partnerships support the NIHR in developing research evidence to meet the needs and support decision making by professionals, policy makers and patients. The transition of JLA management to NETSCC provides real opportunities to embed and further develop the work of the JLA, working in partnership with the NIHR."

If you want to find out more about the James Lind Alliance and the work that they do, please visit their website.

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