The Lived Experience Network comes to Wales for the first time

The College welcomed Vaughan Gething to the UK wide Lived Experience Network to develop good practice in service user involvement in our programmes

 LEN conference







(Above) Vaughan Gething with the Patient Experience and Evaluation in Research (PEER) group

Healthcare students, staff and service users from across Wales and England recently gathered together to discuss and exchange ideas with the collective aim of supporting and improving healthcare services.  The Lived Experience Network (LEN) event was hosted in Wales for the first time and took place at the Swansea University Singleton Campus.

LEN is an international network set up and led by Jools Symons, Leeds University in 2012. It has 188 members from 83 institutions across 6 countries. It is a network of people with a shared interest in patient and public involvement in higher education, who aim to develop a critical alliance of people with lived experiences, students and academics for the purpose of enhancing and improving practitioner education, patient and carer experience and associated research in health and social care.

The Swansea event was opened by Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport, and Professor Michelle Lee, Deputy Head of College for Learning and Teaching; followed by a Welsh showcase of good practice examples of service user involvement in health professional education programmes.

The College of Human and Health Sciences presented the Patient Experience and Evaluation in Research (PEER) group, which provides a patient perspective to students and staff at an early stage in their research journeys. This was followed by interactive sessions debating; “What students get out of involvement” and “Accessing hard to reach groups”. The Tenovus Patient Choir provided some uplifting entertainment during the day.

Julia Terry, Associate Professor and Team Lead for Mental Health Nursing said “Swansea University, was thrilled that Vaughan Gething,Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport has taken time out from his busy schedule to visit this Lived Experience Network (LEN) event. This network moves around the UK and this is the first time it’s been hosted in Wales. We have brought Welsh universities together who all involve service users and carers in their health and social care education programmes. Having local people talk to our students about their experiences of services and what they would like to see in professional workers is a vital part of student learning.  We came together as students, staff and service users to learn more from each other about how we achieve excellence in this area, to showcase good practice and involve local people more in improving services.”