Service user involvement strategy
Service user involvement in health care is widely supported at a national
level both through the NHS plan and the Department of Health's Patient and
Public Involvement agenda. The relevance of service user involvement within the
education of health professionals is therefore clear and explicit.
Working in partnership with service users is central to
our ethos (.pdf) of preparing the next generation of health and social care
practitioners. Our service users are involved at many levels throughout the
planning and delivery of all our programmes which includes:
- curriculum design
- recruitment and selection of students
- classroom based discussion or activities
- practice placement support
- Service User Reference Group -
terms of reference (.pdf)
If you want to become part of our team please complete our
service user application form (.pdf).
What our students say
Within our School students and academics alike have noted the importance and
significance of service user involvement.
Anne Marie Wallace, second year BSc Nursing
I learnt the importance of listening to service users. The
service user involvement has been so valuable for my own professional
development. It allows me to look at experiences through the service users eyes
and in turn enable me to change my practice, in particular with listening and
It has also reinforced my belief that when listening to patients it is so
important to follow through on questions or queries, even when the working
environment can be so busy.
Zoe McKinley, second year BSc Nursing
I learnt that for service users the seemingly little things can
matter the most. For me having service users involvement was very
helpful as it gave an insight into what they went through and highlighted areas
that are most important to them and that we, as nurses, could/should address.
Through their stories, I think the most consistent theme was that it was the
little things that mattered the most to them at the time of their experience.
For example, being offered a cup of tea or having their hair washed seemed much
more important than the bigger nursing tasks. I was marked by one service user
when they said that for them, a good nurse could mirror the emotions/mood of
their patients and I have become conscious of trying to apply that into my
practice a much as possible.
Dudzile Mkwananzi, second year BSc Nursing
A great tool that helps us to treat people how we would want to be
treated. I think that service user involvement is one of the best
educational tools we can ever have as students. It allows us to consider our
practical experiences and as students we develop our skills more with the
patients' feelings in mind. We learn to treat our patients the same way that we
would like to be treated. To me, service users provide excellent learning
Natalia Dooley, second year BSc Nursing
It helps me improve personal care giving. I really enjoy the
service users coming in to the university and sharing their experiences with me.
As a student it makes me realise and understanding what service users value from
us in practice so that I can improve my personal care giving and practice in the
Clare Hobbs, Occupational therapy
Gaining the service users' perspective helps us to develop more
effective therapeutic relationships. Throughout the occupational
therapy course we have had numerous talks from service users. They have provided
a fascinating insight into the experiences and perspectives of services users
and their carers.
Heath and Well-being in Inter-professional Practice module, a service
user with Spina Bifida came to talk to us about his experiences of living with
the condition and the treatment he has received from various health care
professionals. His input provided us with an insight into what is important to
him as an individual (for example, his independence) and the impact that OT has
had on his life. He also discussed social issues such as the challenges and
discrimination faced by himself and others with a disability.
Gaining his perspective of these issues is vital for us as OT students as it
encourages us to empathise with service users, thus enabling us to develop more
effective therapeutic relationships and practice in a more client-centred
manner. The session highlighted to me the knowledge, skills and attributes that
service users value in healthcare professionals, and it prompted me to reflect
on the kind of OT I would like to be.
Accessing service users
A database of service users who are willing to be involved across a range of
educational activities can be accessed by academic and administrative staff to
source information about those service users who are best placed to support
specific educational activities.
Please note: If you are a member of staff interested in
accessing the service user database, it can be found in the HHS staff Moodle area.
Guidance for staff and service users
A set of guidance
notes (.docx) for use both by academic staff and service users have been
developed by the Service User Reference Group to support involvement activities.
These have been designed specifically to outline the necessary preparation which
needs to be undertaken prior to any involvement activities.