health-open-day

Service User and Carer Team

The SUC Team at Staffordshire University brings together members of the public who have used health or social care services or who have cared for friends and relatives.

They support all the courses delivered in the School of Health, Science and Wellbeing. Our team members are classed as ‘experts by experience’, whose input is vital in the planning and delivery of courses. The team aims to use lived experience to help shape tomorrow’s health and social care practitioners.

Our Mission Statement

We are a team of service users and carers who engage in a wide range of activities throughout Staffordshire University’s School of Health, Science & Wellbeing, as required by several different professional regulatory bodies.  Our goal is to share relevant experiences and skills to enhance student learning and to promote the next generation of health and social care professionals and to place the service user at the centre of everything they do.  In this way we hope that our input improves the relevance, quality, and delivery of services for all.

Our activity

There are service user and carer sessions taking place several times a week and team members are involved in the whole student journey: from open days, to welcome week, through to graduation. The School is committed to involving service users and carers in a meaningful way. Many of the School’s new courses, documentation and policies have been developed in coproduction with service users and carers.

We also support with:

    • Sharing lived experience
    • Recruitment of students and staff
    • Planning and developing courses (focus groups, steering groups, brainstorming)
    • Teaching and learning (sharing experience with students, role-play, Q&A sessions)
    • Giving students feedback
    • Course monitoring (evaluating sessions, committee meetings)
    • Research projects

Working with charities and external organisations

The School of Heath, Science and Wellbeing works with charities, as well as individuals, to engage with groups of service users and carers with specific lived experience. 

 

A big thank you to **** for sharing her story. Listening to those with lived experience really helps to bring lectures/theories/law/processes etc to life!

Social Work Practice Apprenticeship student

 

It was very inciteful to hear their personal experience, to relate the theoretical to a real person's experience. This made for a very engaging session.

Mental Health Nursing student

Getting involved

Why join our team?

Use lived experiences

You will be helping to educate students and improving the quality of our courses.

Personal development

You'll gain new skills, confidence and feel empowered to find your voice

Feel valued

Join our thriving, supportive team and receive payment for your involvement

Who can apply?

We are actively recruiting service users and carers who:

  • have recent experience of using health and/or social care services
  • are passionate about supporting health and social care education 
  • are reliable and keen to help others

We are keen to hear from lesser heard voices, including people living with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health conditions, and those who have experienced multiple disadvantages. We would also like to hear from people with recent experience of using maternity services and parents/carers who have accessed services for their children.

Please contact Wendy Brammer and Anna Richards, Service User and Carer Coordinators, and ask for an application form. 

 

Service users are a pivotal part of the MSc advanced clinical practice

Service users are a pivotal part of the MSc advanced clinical practice. The service users allow our students not only to be hands on in clinical practice but also they are involved in creating patient simulations for the advanced health assessment module, they are involved in the prescribing, clinical reasoning and decision making and leadership module, as well as being integral to our course committee meetings helping drive course development. Course feedback suggests the following from our students:

“The ability to go in the labs with service users is invaluable to practice new skills”

“The support and encouragement to step outside of own comfort zone has been rewarding”,

“Interactive time with lived experience experts has been hugely beneficial”

Kate James

Senior Lecturer/Programme Lead MSc Advanced Clinical Practice

Meet some of the team

Charlotte

Charlotte

Hi, I’m Charlotte and I joined the team in 2019. I was previously a student in the School of Health and Social Care, but changed track for health reasons. With the SUC Team, I hope to help healthcare professionals understand the diverse needs of staff as well as patients, and make healthcare an achievable career for people with disabilities.

Since joining the SUC Team, I have enjoyed experiencing the wide variety of tasks we undertake, from interviewing prospective students and staff, to sharing my lived experiences of being a patient across the School. I have even guest-lectured on the history of mental health care in England. For me, it is this variety which makes the SUC such an interesting and rewarding role. I love working with students and helping them increase their knowledge and experience.

Outside Staffs, I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of the Highlands and Islands, Centre for History.


Tricia

Tricia 

Hi there, my name is Tricia, and I joined the SUC Team in February 2021.

I joined the team to be able to share my experiences, and knowledge with students, and academics. I also support and participate in practice learning opportunities for students. I am able to provide a unique insight into the life of a service user with physical health conditions.

Since joining the team, I’ve supported in a wide range of courses such as, social work, adult nursing, mental health nursing, paramedics science, human factors and psychology.

Student simulation has been invaluable. One exceptionally proud moment for me was when one student “potentially” saved a “real” patient’s life following the simulated patient scenario that I was involved in. This had a profound effect on me and clearly demonstrates the powerfulness of the student’s learning. The collaboration and communication between academic, students and myself has been invaluable, and very rewarding.


Ida

Ida

I'm Ida. I first joined the Team in September 2019.

I had received a poor episode of treatment in 2018.  I wanted to capitalise on this, using it to support the development of the next generation of health care professionals.

The work is varied, it provides me with a context in which to do my own research and learning.  The biggest benefit for me is that it gives me a sense of purpose.  Whilst I love to engage in personal development and trust me, I challenge myself endlessly, I also love seeing others grow and flourish, whilst most of that is with the students it also includes academic members of staff and my colleagues in the SUC Team.


Andy

Andy

I'm Andy, a new Service User and Carer. A friend introduced me to one of our Coordinators who outlined the role explaining how my experience can help. I embraced this opportunity; it fits with the way I strive to live on a giving basis. I want to help. 

I’ve assisted with recorded presentations and shared my lived experiences, this I found very therapeutic. 

Sharing lived experience is far more than a case study but a chance to question and investigate. This benefits me with my outlook on life: it’s a sort of symbiotic relationship. I'll endeavour to improve my skills and look forward to helping out wherever my coordinators feel I can be of good use.


Jonathan

Hi, I’m Johnathan. I’ve been a member of the Service User Carer Team for two years.

I was invited to join by our first supervising social worker who lectured for Staffordshire University. She said that my lived experience of being a Foster parent for over seven years was extremely valuable to share with the students and I jumped at the chance to part of a successful and dynamic group of academics.

I find my contributions are well received by the students and that the academics value my work and are thankful. I’m honoured to work with Staffordshire University and am passionate about sharing knowledge with our future professionals.


Maxine

Hello, my name is Maxine. I have been in the SUC Team for three years now. I was introduced by one of our existing Service Users and Carers following the death of my brother. I supported my brother who, after the death of my mum, went to live in a residential care home. He had a learning disability with additional physical disabilities. I was very close to him, and I have lovely memories of our days out for meals and shopping. I was constantly advocating for him as along with good services provided, some were poor. I can share these experiences with the students for discussion and learning.

I also have two long term conditions myself which I can share with students and talk about the associated issues in a learning environment. I am very happy to do this as I get a lot of satisfaction from sharing my story and I’m sure, through feedback, the students benefit from the opportunity to question and test out theories in a safe environment.

There are so many opportunities within the University to represent Service Users and Carers and I feel privileged to be part of this supportive and friendly team at Staffordshire University.

 

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