Involvement Case study Kingston and St George’s University

The Faculty of Health and Social Care at Kingston and St George’s is a joint faculty across the two universities with considerable expertise in patient and public involvement across both education and research activities.

The University currently has an intake of 75 students on the BA programme and 45 students on the MSW programme. There are 22 academic staff in the Faculty.

Service user and carer involvement

Service users and carers have been involved in the faculty since 2003. they now contribute to a range of teaching and research activities including curriculum development, teaching, student recruitment and selection, student assessment, the writing of research proposals, data collection, analysis and dissemination of research findings and general Faculty committee work. The Faculty has also developed a series of guidelines to assist staff who are working with service uses and carers. 

There is a consultative forum to provide an opportunity for dialogue and feedback from service users and carers into the education and training programmes of the Faculty and to identify and promote opportunities for user participation in development, delivery and evaluation of teaching.

Benefits for students
“When you talk to students about their experiences on the social work programme, the best bits that they always remember are the sessions where service users and carers have been involved.”
Hilary Tompsett; Professor of Social Work

“Working with service users and carers probably is the best part of my role really at the university. My role is to coordinate all of the involvement so module leaders will come to me and then I will approach people I know that are involved with us.”
User and carer coordinator

“Most of the time, when they are on placement and when they qualify, they are obviously encountering people in crisis so they get to see them informally in the workshops, they’re actually able to have a conversation and ask them whatever they want.”

“One module was about mental health and the lady who came to visit us, she had severe mental health issues and that was a real eye opener.”
MSW student

“You have to have a balance as a student social worker – you have to be professional but you have to bulid good rapport. It just gives us a hint of what life’s going to be like as a social worker.”
BA student

Views of service users and carers
“It keeps students grounded. I think it’s very easy for students to get sucked in to academia. It’s really good that they have the opportunity of exploring those issues with service users and carers.”
Service user educator

“You can tell how happy they are that we are there and how much they absorb the information and how much it means to them.”
Service user educator

“Here at Kingston, any comments we have to be made are always listened to and acted on.”
Carer educator

“It’s very rewarding, so you’re always feeling quite enthusiastic to come along really and you always learn something as well, something new.”
Service user educator

Further details available from Denise Forte:

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