We know hearing about actual experiences of local people who use health and social services enables students to understand what good quality care is and how to deliver it.
The School has a well-developed infrastructure to support the involvement of service users and carers in all aspects of our work and has a full-time service user carer involvement co-ordinator.
We have an embedded strategy for service user and carer involvement in the School, a payment policy and links with the local community which has led to service users and carers becoming increasingly involved in the learning experience of our students.
Service users and carers are sharing their experiences to enhance the students' education, providing unique insight into the care they receive and their needs. There has been a good response from the community and we have been able to build a database of a range of service users and carers who are willing to participate.
Some service users and carers are actively involved in teaching while others contribute to course review and development. We are also focusing on involving service users and carers in student recruitment and assessment as well as research. The recruitment of local service users is ongoing.
If you've recently used health or social services and would like to share your experience to help train the nurses, physiotherapists and social workers of the future then we would like to hear from you.
How to get involved
In March 2010, with a colleague from York University, we successfully applied for the Ian Light Award to develop an e-learning resource, Service User and Carer Centre.It allows staff and students access to a wide range of resources including information about local and national organisations, case studies (written, internet and DVDs) and publications related to service user and carers. We involved a small group of service users and carers to influence the Centreâ€™s development. We hope to use the Centre to share emerging information to enhance best practice.