Service users and carers at the College of Human and Health Sciences
Service users and carers provide first-hand experience, real life stories and inspire students to link theory to practice. The Nursing and Midwifery Council and Health & Care Professions Council require all education providers to involve users and carers in the planning, delivery, teaching and evaluation of professional programmes. In the College of Human and Health Sciences we established our user and carer involvement health group in 2010.
Why is user and carer involvement important?
Whilst students learn from users and carers in clinical settings, for example when they are on placement, individuals may be too ill or anxious for this to occur. Students need to learn from users in situations where the student feels free to comment and to ask questions. Meeting users and carers outside clinical environments helps students gain a clearer understanding of how medical and social conditions can affect people’s daily lives.
Service user and carer input in professional programmes enables students to be taught by users and carers and so to be better equipped to deliver care in a more effective way than those taught merely about issues relating to users and carers. Input from individuals with long term health conditions and their carers is therefore very important to the students’ learning.