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Jargon Description

A carer is a relative, friend or partner who provides (or intends to provide, or used to provide) a substantial amount of care to another person on a regular basis, but not necessarily through living with them.

Case Report Form

A printed, optical, or electronic document designed to record all of the protocol required information to be reported to the sponsor on each trial subject.

CCG Accountable Officer

The Accountable Officer is responsible for ensuring that the CCG fulfils its duties, and delivers improvement in the quality of services and the health of the local population whilst maintaining value for money.

Chief Investigator

The person who takes overall responsibility for the design, conduct and reporting of a study if it is at one site; or if the study involves researchers at more than one site, the person who takes primary responsibility for the design conduct and reporting of the study whether or not that person is an Investigator at any particular site.

Citizen Advisory Groups

Citizen advisory groups involve 10-30 members of the public who sit as a committee to inform and advise decision making over an extended period of time. Advisory groups can create effective and on-going dialogue that allow issues and concerns to be explored in depth, and ideally addressed, while the participants are still involved. They can take many different forms depending on the exact purpose of the group. The group may meet either over a couple of days as a one-off event, or regularly over a longer period.

Citizen Assembly

A citizens’ assembly is a group of people who are brought together to discuss an issue or issues and reach a conclusion about what they think should happen. The people who take part are chosen so they reflect the wider population – in terms of demographics (e.g. age, gender, ethnicity, social class) and sometimes relevant attitudes (e.g. preferences for a small or large state). Citizens’ assemblies give members of the public the time and opportunity to learn about and discuss a topic, before reaching conclusions. Assembly participants are asked to make trade-offs and arrive at workable recommendations.

Citizen Jurys

A Citizens' Jury is a method of deliberation developed by the Jefferson Center where a small group of people (between 12 and 24), representative of the demographics of a given area, come together to deliberate on an issue (generally one clearly framed question), over the period of 2 to 7 days. They are a tool for engaging citizens on a range of issues. Such as examining cuts in public service funding, balancing work and family life or healthcare provision. They are relatively inexpensive compared to larger deliberative exercises, such as Citizens' Summits and Planning Cells. Their small size allows for effective deliberation, but they are sufficiently diverse and citizens are exposed to a wide range of perspectives.

Citizen Panel

A Citizens' Panel is a large, demographically representative group of citizens regularly used to assess public preferences and opinions.  When conducted online it is sometimes known as an e-Panel. They aim to be a representative, consultative body of local residents. They are typically used by statutory agencies, particularly local authorities and their partners, to identify local priorities and to consult service users and non-users on specific issues. More recently, there have been attempts to form a European Citizens’ Panel at the international level, taking the method beyond its traditional space at the local level.Participants are generally recruited through random sampling of the electoral roll or postcode address file. Postal recruitment tends to be a popular approach given its wide reach and relatively low cost. However, a number are recruited by other means to ensure recruitment of socially excluded and hard to reach groups.

Clinical Advisory Group

Clinical Advisory Group is a national group which providing formal clinical advice to ministers, the CAG tested the scope of each specialized service against the four factors in the Health and Social Care bill to determine whether a service were truly ‘specialized’ or not.

Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

Clinically-led membership bodies. With GPs as members. CCGs plan and decide what services are needed for diverse local populations. They then buy these services from local service providers. CCGs commission (plan and buy) most of the hospital and community NHS services in the local areas for which they are responsible.

Clinical Guideline

A systematically developed statement for practitioners and participants about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances.

Clinical Research

Clinical research aims to find out the causes of human illness and how it can be treated or prevented. This type of research is based on examining and observing people with different conditions and sometimes comparing them with healthy people. It can also involve research on samples of blood or other tissues, or tests such as scans or X-rays. Clinical researchers will also sometimes analyse the information in patient records, or the data from health and lifestyle surveys.

Clinical Trial

Clinical trials are research studies involving people who use services, which compare a new or different type of treatment with the best treatment currently available. They test whether the new or different treatment is safe, effective and any better than what already exists. No matter how promising a new treatment may appear during tests in a laboratory, it must go through clinical trials before its benefits and risks can really be known.


A way of working where service providers and users, work together to reach a collective outcome. The approach is value-driven and built on the principle that those who are affected by a service are best placed to help design it.


Collaboration involves active, on-going partnership with members of the public in the research process. For example, members of the public might take part in an advisory group for a research project, or collaborate with researchers to design, undertake and/or disseminate the results of a research project.


A commissioner is the person (or organisation) who asks for a piece of research to be carried out.


Commissioning usually involves identifying funding for a piece of research, preparing a research brief, advertising the research topic, selecting a shortlist of researchers who apply to undertake the research, arranging for proposals to be peer reviewed, making a decision about which researchers are going to be awarded the funding and agreeing a contract.

Commissioning Board

A Commissioning Board is a group of people who oversee the commissioning process. It is made up of research funders, researchers, health and/or social care professionals and often includes people who use services and carers.

Community Appraisals

Community Appraisals are surveys of local need and opinion about issues such as local housing, schooling, training, employment, culture, health, social welfare and community facilities.


During a research project, the researchers must put data protection measures into place, to ensure that all of the information collected about the participants is kept confidential. This means that the researchers must get the participants’ written permission to look at their medical or social care records. It also means that any information that might identify the participants cannot be used or passed on to others, without first getting the participants’ consent. For example, when researchers publish the results of a project, they are not allowed to include people’s names. This confidentiality will only be broken in extreme circumstances: where it is essential for the person’s care, treatment or safety, where it is required by a court order, e.g. in a criminal investigation, or it is necessary to protect the public.

Consensus Voting

Consensus Voting is a method used to identify the consensus opinion through a balanced voting system. It can be done with an organisation or community and at a local or national level. The process involves: Everyone (or a group) is allowed to put forward a proposal.A list of options regarding the issue is drawn up. Everyone votes on the options based on their preference. The most preferred option of a participant will receive the most points and decrease by one on all lesser options.Votes are counted and the option with the most overall points is the winner.


Consultation involves asking members of the public for their views about research, and then using those views to inform decision-making. This consultation can be about any aspect of the research process –from identifying topics for research, through to thinking about the implications of the research findings. Having a better understanding of people’s views should lead to better decisions.


The term consumer is used to refer collectively to people who use services, carers, organisations representing consumers’ interests, members of the public who are the potential recipients of services, groups asking for research to promote good health or because they believe they have been exposed to potentially harmful circumstances, products or services.

Crowd Wise

Crowd Wise is a community participation method for making shared decisions such as setting priorities, allocating budgets or responding to a consultation. It produces outcomes which the participants are more likely to support or accept as consensus emerges through a combination of discussion and voting on a set of previously formed options.


The practice of obtaining services, ideas, functions, or contacts from a large and undefined network of people. This process can occur online and offline, but it tends to involve predominantly online communities.