Involvement Case study University of Leeds

School of Healthcare
The School of Healthcare is committed to the NHS and Social Care imperative of putting the service user at the centre of all that is planned, commissioned and delivered. According to their website, their approach is underpinned by

“the fundamental values of mutual respect, empathy and honesty and a belief that when we bring together the expertise of service users and carers with that of health and social care professionals, we can continue to grow and improve the quality of our service.”

As well as involving service users and carers in student education, they also involve them in research, and innovation & knowledge transfer.

There are 12 academic staff and the courses have a current yearly intake of 40 students on the BA and 20 students on the MA course.

Service user and carer involvement
Service users and carers have been involved in the programme since 2004. They participate in the design and delivery of courses, take part in lectures, course design, assessment and evaluation of the courses being delivered. An Involvement Advisory Group was established in 2007, 50% of whom are service users and carers. This group provides a forum for staff to discuss their ideas/plans for involvement with a group of staff already engaged in involvement and service users and carers that are actively involved in the school and local community.

The views of service user/carer educators:

“The university staff here are brilliant, they’re really supportive, they listen –  they’re very willing to work with you.”
Service user educator

“I’m involved in interviewing social workers students on the social work course and I do some lecturing on looking after ourselves.”
SWEP member and ex-social worker, Mike Bush

“I do have a lot of passion for it and passion to share that with others so they can learn from my experiences.”
Service user educator

“My hope for the future really is that there’s a system – maybe social enterprises – more of those around, where people can sell their skills and be part of a group of people that support each other.”
User and Carer Coordinator / Lecturer

The views of students

You can read things in a book about anti-oppressive practice and anti-discriminatory practice and social inclusion but to see how it’s impacted on somebody is crucial.”

I’ve never really worked with service users from a social work perspective before so sitting in an interview with them and sort of learning the skills of communication, it sort of gets you used to that and makes you more comfortable around clients.”

The views of teaching staff

“It’s good for the students to get a perspective on the service user and carer rather than just the theory.”
Learning and teaching coordinator

“One of the things we do – we spell out right at the beginning that one of the tasks they have to do when they first come on the course is to complete an interview with a service user.”

“We do some training for service users and carers, sometimes that’s for new service users and carers and sometimes, that’s for people who have interviewed before but they just want to update themselves.”


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