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Service user and carer involvement:
health and social care

Service user and carer involvement at the university was first formalised in 2004, initially within the then School of Health and now within the Faculty of Health, Education and Society (FHES).

About the service user and carer group

The purpose of the service user and carer group is to promote best practice and connect faculty staff with service users who are willing to engage with student education by sharing their lived experience of health and social care.  The expertise and insights of service users will contribute to the professional development of students, enhancing their communication skills and ability to develop and maintain effective professional relationships. The involvement of service user and carers in the development and delivery of programmes is not only good practice but is also a professional, statutory and regulatory body (PSRB) requirement for most health and social care programmes. Please refer to our service user and carer strategy (PDF, 189KB) for more information.

We recognise members of our service user and carer group have a wealth of experience of various sectors of health and social care and have a desire to improve and innovate services through their involvement in the education of the future workforce. Since its inception we have welcomed the input of group members in all aspects of our educational activities, including:

  • Validation and approval events
  • Consultation in curriculum changes
  • Recruitment of staff and students (interview panel)
  • Open days
  • Small and large group teaching
  • Part of a module assessment team
  • Conferences and study days
  • Participation in research

We are an enthusiastic group that aims to enhance the education of health and social care students at the University, through sharing our lived experience with students and adding value to the community.

Students benefit hugely from this group, through the use of real-life experience to inform additional learning resources, and the development of what we teach and how they learn.

Anyone who has been or is a service user and carer is welcome to become involved in the group. 

Service user and carers will be eligible for payment for their contribution to educational activities.

If you are interested in getting involved please contact julie.gardner@northampton.ac.uk for more information.

Service User and Carer Group testimonials:

Here’s what members of the group have to say about their experience:

“I find working with the University very fulfilling and educational in the widest way. I find at my age I can still learn something every day and meeting the university staff, students and other members of the group most enlightening and very valuable to me as an individual and to others I work with in pensioners forum, the veterans club etc. I would love to do more.”

“Being an active member of the service user and carer forum at the University has been a rewarding opportunity for me to share my lived experience with students and staff and develop new skills.”

“I have been part of the University’s service user and carer group for approximately 5 years. Projects I have been involved with include: adult nursing module validations, observational assessments, academic sessions with nursing students on inter-professional working and life experience/s, attendance at student open days and interview development/design (practical scenarios).”

“Working at the University of Northampton as a service user has been an immensely interesting life experience. Being involved with such a diverse group of people is stimulating and the seminars and meetings are very lively and informative.”

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