Health Volunteers provide first-hand experience, real life stories and inspire students to link theory to practice. The professional and regulatory bodies for healthcare education such as the Nursing and Health and Care Professions Council require all education providers to include public and patient involvement in the planning, delivery, teaching and evaluation of professional programmes. We established our Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) group in 2010.
We join purposefully with health volunteers to improve the student learning experience. Local people are involved in a range of activities:
- interviewing students
- planning programmes
- classroom teaching
- making digital stories
Become a Health Volunteer
Throughout the year we hold training sessions for both new and existing health volunteers.
Why is public and patient 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.
Health volunteers' 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.