The service user and carer group felt that having a discreet identity was important as part of its’ development strategy and the group came up with the name Service Users and Carers Contributing to Educating Students for Services.

This very aptly forms the acronym SUCCESS and recognises the contribution that service users and carers make to the success of the Faculty. This name is now widely known and established throughout the Faculty as being synonymous with service user and carer involvement and engagement within the Faculty.

Naming the group SUCCESS has helped to develop a team ethos within the group, raised its’ profile quite considerably and given a greater feeling of equality to team members when introducing themselves as members of the SUCCESS group.

The SUCCESS group is currently made up of around 50 individual service users and carers with a variety of health conditions and experiences of health and care services. Each experience provides a unique and valuable contribution to the enrichment of our students learning.

We have also developed partnerships with organisations that advocate for service users and carers. These partnerships enable us to access the voices of people that are seldom heard such as looked after children, care leavers and people with learning disabilities.

The group is led by the SUCCESS staff team (2 members).

  • Our SUCCESS group is actively involved throughout the student journey (from admission to graduation) and in all aspects of programme development, delivery and review of existing and new health and social care courses.
  • Our involvement is planned so that the contributions made meaningful, respectful and valued.
  • We help to develop, promote and share best practice for the involvement of service users and carers in health and social care education and research particularly where it is a professional requirement.
  • We develop partnerships with external organisations that are advocates for service users and carers to support our work, for example Walsall SUE, Dudley Carers in Partnership, Friends2Friends, Healthwatch, Voices for Choices…..

To contact the SUCCESS team, please email

Involvement Examples

  • SUCCESS attend Open Days at all 3 campuses, where they speak to potential new students and explain how SUCCESS will be involved throughout their journeys within University
  • SUCCESS are involved in selecting students for courses and will be on interview panels for courses such as Nursing, Mental Health, Social Work, Learning Disability, Midwifery, Paramedics, Physicians Associate, Physiotherapy Return to Practice, Health Care Science, Biomedical Science and Masters in Adult Nursing and Mental Health Nursing
  • Some SUCCESS members get involved in induction sessions where we visit first year groups and explain in more detail how and where we get involved and give some experiences and reasons of why they do this.


  • Expert Patient Panel - Panel of experts by experience answering pre-pared question asked by your group regarding their conditions, experinces and care received. These sessions have been described as very powerful and knowledgeable with many students asking for more time with the SUCCESS members
  • Resources - as there are 3 campuses it can sometimes be difficult to have SUCCESS members at each one for every session, therefore we film some sessions and put them online as a Reusable Learning Object, so that students on all campuses get the same knowledge and real life stories
  • Role Play - courses such as Social Work and Nursing have sessions on skills and gaining consent. SUCCESS members get involved by acting as patients or clients and students will practice their skills and communciation as they would in a real life situation
  • What's your story - a simpler version of involvement. SUCCESS members will talk to students about their experiences and their stories giving students a chance to ask any questions they may have


  • Strategy Hub Group - oversees the strategy for service user and carer involvement across the Faculty
  • Course Management Committee - every professional course has a course management committee and we have service user/carer representative on each one of them
  • Furthermore SUCCESS are invoved in designing new courses and modules and validations of courses.

  • SUCCESS has a key role in promoting and supporting service user/carer engagement and participation in research activities across the Faculty. The Centre for Health and Social Care Improvement (CHSCI) is committed to involving service users and carers in research whenever their involvement adds to the validity and scope and outputs of the study
  • Some SUCCESS group members have a keen interest in research and are also members of the Faculty’s user led research group called RESULT and have contributed to a Research bid into organ donation

Our SUCCESS group is fully supported to help ensure that members are able to fulfil its role in the Faculty. All members receive an induction about the role of SUCCESS, options for fees and expenses are fully explained and new members are gradually introduced to the various opportunities for involvement across the Faculty.

A corporate induction is also being developed together with opportunities to join appropriate staff development training sessions.success training

Training is provided prior to SUCCESS members joining interview panels for the recruitment of students and initially they will shadow interview sessions before becoming a full member of the interview panel.

Once matched to and agreeing to undertake an involvement session a briefing will be arranged with the relevant academic to ensure that the purpose of the involvement session is understood and to allow the SUCCESS member the opportunity to confirm that they are comfortable in delivering the brief.

The Team arrange regular Coffee mornings for SUCCESS member to meet together in a social environment where they are able to share involvement experiences and also to feedback from Faculty groups and committees that members sit on as SUCCESS representatives. Coffee mornings also provide a valuable opportunity for academics to discuss further opportunities and ideas for involvement.  ‌‌‌‌

The Faculty has developed a module providing 20 credits at Level 4 for service users and carers. This is delivered annually with the purpose of developing confidence and preparing new service users and carers to participate in involvement at the Faculty. The module, titled ‘Partners in health and social care and education’, is a short course aimed at service users/carers who have on-going contact with health and social care services. It aims to help develop the confidence and skills to work with university staff to teach the next generation of health and care professionals. It is intended for people who have had not previously been involved in the education of health/social care professionals.

The module covers a range of topics and issues related to service user and carer involvement in professional education including ‘looking after yourself’, confidence building, talking to groups, interviewing, advising on the development of new courses, research and evaluating existing courses.

SUCCESS Partnerships module

There are no course fees although participants need to be willing to become involved as a service user/carer in supporting the Faculty’s teaching and learning programmes, contributing to interviewing students and through their personal experiences gained as a service user/carer to help develop health and social care modules and research projects.

Our SUCCESS group currently has just over 50 members from diverse backgrounds, a wide range of ages, with extensive experiences of health and social care, either as a service user themselves or as a carer.

Here are some of our‌ SUCCESS members:

 ‌     Alan HackettAlan Hackett....     

I am a retired Engineer who has had a successful and varied career in electronic design in a variety of industries.  Having suffered a profound ischaemic stroke in 1996 after returning from a business trip to the Far East, I now feel it is important to use my experience to help others however possible. As such I am now the Vice-Chair of Dudley Stroke Association and a proud member, since late 2015,  of the Service User and Carer team at the University of Wolverhampton. 

Whilst being involved with the SUCCESS team at the university I have really enjoyed working with the Students and the Staff and I hope to bring a realistic and thought provoking perspective to living with a long-term disability. I have been well supported to help prepare me to fulfil this role and the team do an exceptional job in briefing me on the needs of the various assignments I have undertaken.


Hilary Jones     ‌Hilary Jones...

I first became involved with SUCCESS through a fellow volunteer with a shared interest in Organ Donation and research. 

A background in teaching followed by years of managing a chronic health condition equips me to bring my experience as a service user to a new educational setting. I love these opportunities to contribute to the shaping of the health and care services of the future and I have now been a part of SUCCESS for around 4 years.

I’ve been involved in things such as the design and validation of courses, interviewing candidates, delivering workshops; role play sessions, participating on panels to discuss current issues and many more.

We get to meet so many very caring people and I find the work stimulating.  It stretches me as well as, hopefully, raising awareness or increasing understanding for the students – and I think that makes me a better patient and a more informed user of services. My involvement has also been therapeutic for me, helping me to regain my confidence which I lost during my ill health.


  ‌Janet Taylor 1  Janet Taylor....

I have been a member of the SUCCESS group for around 4 years now. I happened to be in the right place at the right time whilst I was looking for work and recovering from my illness and disability. I saw an advert for the Partners in Health and Social Care module and an opportunity to work with the School of Health and Wellbeing which is now a Faculty. This was a dream come true as I am also a member of a service user lead mental health group in Wolverhampton where I was a Director until December 2015, having to step down due to health issues.

I feel it is very important to engage with students to ensure we can influence the future care we receive as it can be difficult to change the mind set of those who are already set in their ways and do not welcome change.

The fact that we have a very passionate Dean who could visualise the value of our input to the University is amazing and the staff have warmly taken us on board without it being seen as tokenistic.

With this role I enjoy meeting new likeminded people from all backgrounds and at all levels of education and professions and being able to share my experiences. 


    kanta sandhu Kanta Sandhu....

My extensive experience with the caring and the medical professions occurred after my brain surgery 3 and half years ago and I have recently joined SUCCESS to help share my experiences of healthcare. Dealing with my brain injury continues to be a long journey of change and awareness.

What attracted me most to becoming a part of the University’s SUCCESS team is that I fully support and value their way of teaching and learning through sharing experiences. To help the future caring and medical professionals gain a better insight into the reality and impact they have on patients’ lives by the ways in which they work is very important and satisfying for me.

With the volunteering I have done so far in SUCCESS, I feel it has been very rewarding and it you can definitely see it creating thinking and change into the students minds and most importantly seeing  them learning about vital human connection, communication, care and compassion.


   Roy Doré 1        Roy Doré....

At one time or another in our lives we all use health and social care services. I became aware of the SUCCESS group through my work with Age UK and the work of the group immediately appealed to me. I was soon fully immersed in defining and shaping the student journey in University which is immensely rewarding. I have now been a part of SUCCESS for around 4 years.

The group is involved at every point of a student’s time within the university and I enjoy every minute of my involvement. At times I am required to think hard about my own experiences and learning but I’m fully supported by the SUCCESS group, the academics and of course the students. Sharing our experiences couldn’t be easier and I am assured that in doing so we will help to make for better health and care practitioners for all service users and carers.


          Stacy EvansStacy Evans....

I have been a part of the SUCCESS team since 2014 and mostly get involved in Midwifery having 2 young children myself.

I’ve been involved in interviewing candidates for courses, assisting in selecting the best students onto the course and attending meetings to give input from a service user perspective. I have also been a representative for SUCCESS on the Equality & Diversity committee meetings. 

Being a part of SUCCESS has given me the opportunity to make a difference in the students’ journeys from recruitment to graduation. It is a joy to meet students and staff at the university and it gives me satisfaction to be part of their learning. Furthermore being a part of their development and being involved in this way has benefited me in developing my own skills and contributing to the University’s success.


Susan Higgs        Susan Higgs....

 I had been involved with groups at our local hospital through my late husband’s six years of illness before he passed away in 2009. Finding myself at a complete loss after his passing, his passing left a huge hole in my life and I met a member of the University staff at a function who invited me to join a research group at the University. Subsequently I was approached by Rupy Pandaal to join SUCCESS.  Following an induction and training I have taken part in all aspects of the SUCCESS Teams involvement work including interviewing candidates for courses on Nursing, Mental Health, Social Work and Paramedics. I have been involved in Psychology Counselling and represented SUCCESS during development and validation of the new Physiotherapy course.

I am a SUCCESS group representative on the RN Management Committee and represented SUCCESS at this year’s Nursing Times Awards. I thoroughly enjoy the work I do, I feel I am helping to make a difference and SUCCESS has helped me to gain a new purpose in my life.

The sections below show some feedback and comments that we've received from the people that we work with:

'Thoroughly enjoyed today’s session with Jane, it gave us an opportunity to discuss topics that are rarely in any modules right now and listening to Janes personal experiences was a real eye opener. I would love to have more sessions like this.' Public Health April 2016

'Please convey our thanks to the members that did the SLAiP talk today, it was very much appreciated and we are grateful that we got to hear their experiences first hand.'' SLAiP March 2016

The SUCCESS members presentations were very good, it was interesting to hear about their experiences as there is always a lot more to a person than meets the eye. It teaches us that we should never judge a book by its cover’ Nursing Inductions January 2016

‘Session was very moving, thoroughly enjoyed it’ Mental Health December 2015

‘Session was really engaging, useful to hear patient’s views’ Adult Nursing November 2015

‘The SUCCESS members were very good, interesting to hear about their experiences as there is always a lot more to a person than meets the eye. Teaches us that we should not judge a book by its cover’ Expert Patient Panel October 2015

‘Having SUCCESS members interact with us and help us develop our skills in a safe environment is a priceless opportunity’ Social Work Skills October 2015

‘Having a real person to talk to and gain consent from is much better than trying to talk to a mannequin. Also the immediate feedback from the service users is incredibly useful’ Nursing Practice Skills September 2015

All in all, a really positive session and I feel it achieved its initial aims and based on this, we would like to continue to include service users in this way within the module’. Other members of staff have mentioned that they would like to set up a training session for SUCCESS members on ‘role playing’ for any of those who do not feel very confident in doing this in the first instance.   Adult Nursing, City Campus

'SUCCESS did a fantastic and engaging job! Alan shared a most meaningful account of his stroke journey and was able to appropriately apply some humour which was very well received by the students'.

'Sue, as always, conveyed her personal journey of caring with utmost compassion and this was clearly appreciated by the student nurse group. Sara gave a most thoughtful and insightful contribution of her lifelong journey and how she has overcome obstacles to progress a role as a lecturer'.

'Steve managed to give a most meaningful and helpful account of OCD and the impact of this. The panel complemented each other really well and the whole session was a professional joy to lead. The student evaluation is also very positive indeed!'   Mental Health Nursing, City Campus                                                                                                                                               

'Jane's presentation/talk was very well presented, listening to her personal life experiences and stories about transgender perspectives, were an eye opener. I believe the students as well as myself were hsppy to be able to talk about such a topic that is not so widely spoken about'  Public Health, City Campus

'Please can you pass on my thanks to Teresa for her contribution to the session last week. She provided some really valuable insights and myself, Ann and the students appreciated her time and commitment and experiences that she was able to bring to the session.     Children's Nursing, Walsall Campus

'Please convey our thanks to the members that did the talk today as it was very much appreciated and the students asked that we pass this on’   SLAiP, Walsall Campus

‘Amazing session with the SUCCESS members, everybody agreed that they would have loved more time with them’   Adult Nursing, Walsall Campus  

‘Roy was very kind, approachable and honest; he gave the students a good understanding of the service user perspective’   Public Health, City Campus

‘Steve managed to give a most meaningful and helpful account of OCD and the impact of this’    Mental Health Nursing, City Campus

‘SUCCESS members shared some very personal and powerful experiences which I felt made the students really appreciate the session and the SUCCESS members. I want to say a big thank you to Steve, Sue and Sara, very much appreciated’  Adult Nursing, Burton Campus

'HCPC & CSP informally applauded our excellent SUCCESS Group (Service Users and Carer group) , Headed by our superb Service User and Carer Coordinator,  Rupy Pandaal, that support our professional health and social care programmes and ensure that the service user and carers voices and perspectives are in the classroom and at the heart of our students’ selection, learning and assessment. This was noted as a model of excellence.'

Physiotherapy Validation Team