Service User and Carer Involvement

Service User and Carer Strategy 2014-17

Shared Experiences - Learning Together


The Faculty of Education Health and Wellbeing (FEHW) formally sets out through this strategy its continuing commitment to service user and carer involvement. The strategy outlines our vision for service user and carer involvement and the actions we will take over the next three years.

It is recognised that the experiences of each service user and carer is unique. As a Higher Educational Institute (HEI) we can and should seek to gain invaluable insight and understanding into the experiences of service users and their carer’s.  The ultimate purpose of involvement is to develop, critical, flexible, reflective, innovative social work and health care practitioners able to respond to the changing needs of service users and their carers both now and in the future.

In refreshing this strategy we have met and consulted with service users and carers, health and social work colleagues and student representatives on the Strategy Hub Group to discuss and agree the contents of the action plan. The draft plan has also been circulated widely to subject leads and Heads of Service for comment and was finally adopted by the Strategy Hub Group in January 2014.

For more information about the Strategy, please email

Strategic Intent

We value the contribution that service users and carers make to the education of health and social care professionals to ensure that they are fit for practice and that they always act in the best interests of the service user.  We will endeavour to work in 'co-productive' partnerships with service users and carers through our SUCCESS group to enhance the quality of health and social care courses and thereby improve the overall student experience.

Co-production is about developing more equal partnerships between people who use services, carers and professional (Social care institute for excellence, 2013) 

Strategy Aims

We aim to actively involve service users and carers in all aspects of programme development, delivery and review of existing and new health and social care courses in ways that are meaningful and respectful. 

We will:

  • Contribute to improving the quality of life of service users and carers by taking action to increase the awareness of our students of the need to work in partnership with service users and carers and similarly with our partner organisations to address their holistic needs
  • Seek and promote the views of service users and carers and challenge discriminatory practice
  • Encourage and facilitiate the continous devlopment and training of service users and carers and staff in HEI's                                                            
  • Comply with professional and statutory requirements for service user and carer engagemnt on health and social work programmes             
  • devlop a measurable ongoing action plan to deliver the strategy over the next 3 years
  • build on and establish new opportunities for service user and carer engagement in reserach and project devlopment


Principles and values underpinning the strategy are:

service user and medical student

The importance of involving service users and carers in the teaching and learning of subjects where students are being prepared to work with them is recognised in both policy and practice.

The Faculty’s Service and User and carer strategy promotes involvement by adhering to the following principles of: 

  • Transparency. We will set out clearly the purpose for involving service users/ carers in our work;
  • Choice: We will work with service users/carers who use social care and health services to agree the most effective means for involvement;
  • Fairness and Equity.  We will ensure that the task identified for service user/carer involvement  is in proportion to their abilities;
  • Consultation: We will seek the views of service users and carers. Regular feedback will be given to service users and our partner agencies about how service users’ and carers’ involvement has influenced the programme; 
  • Accessibility: We will work with service users and carers to overcome some of the barriers to service user involvement;
  • Engagement: We aim to include the widest possible range of people in our work including those groups who are “rarely heard;”
  • Respect:  We value the contribution, expertise and time of service users and carers;
  • Continuous Improvement:  We will reflect on and use what we have learnt from service users and carers to influence the design and delivery of the health and social care courses.

button on Best Practice page via success page

Our key objectives over the next three years to enable us to achieve our aims are as follows:      

  1.  Maintain commitment of the School/Faculty to this initiative and aim to ensure its’ long term sustainability in the new structures.
  2. Strengthen and support the SUCCESS Group so that it can continue to contribute effectively to the implementation of this strategy.
  3. Explore further opportunities for sharing best practice and working across the faculty to enable service user and carer involvement across all programmes;
  4.  Develop systems to embed the involvement of service users/carers in all aspects of programme design, delivery and evaluation for professional programmes in Health and Social Care and to extend these benefits to other programmes across the new Faculty where practical.
  5. To promote  service user/carer engagement and participation in research activities in the School;
  6.  To promote effective interdisciplinary working and education.
  7. Continue to strengthen existing partnerships with service users and carers and connect regionally and nationally to explore new partnerships and networking to promote and build on the achievements of the ‘SUCCESS’ group;

We have developed an action plan setting out in detail what we have to do to achieve these objectives.