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Health Service Users and Carers Group

The Health Service Users and Carers Group is a group of individuals with lived experience and knowledge of Health Care services. This group is embedded in Health care education at the University of Suffolk. We use an approach of co-production. Co-production means that being involved in the creation, planning, delivery and evaluation of the activities that are carried out. You will help to design exercises that re-create and address issues within Health care services that you have experienced. This allows us to centre your real-life concerns at the heart of Health care Education, improving this for all involved.

We would like to get to know you and explore your interests and aspirations. We want to understand how you would like to be involved and aim to make this happen. The aim of the group is to ensure that health care students and qualified professionals studying at UoS never lose sight of the service user they are caring for and working with and that the service user is at the centre of everything they do.

You can get involved in:

  • interviews,
  • teaching sessions,
  • meetings,
  • creating videos and written resources
  • Sessions around Equality and Diversity
  • And so much more

It doesn’t matter if you have no experience of meetings or other activities everyone is welcome and will be supported.

People with a variety of experiences and knowledge are involved in many elements of health care education. Their involvement is fundamental to the activities at the University of Suffolk. Involving people with experience of health care services is highly valued by students and the different health care course teams at The University of Suffolk and our practice placement providers.

Involvement can include being involved in anything related to health care education across University of Suffolk from admissions, interviews, contributing to teaching and learning activities with students, assessing students' skills and knowledge, developing learning materials, influencing what is taught, and making sure service user and carer perspectives are integral to decision making forums. 

Admissions interviews

Involvement in admissions interviews means being part of an interview panel alongside a member of the course team. Together people discuss their views of the quality of applicant's interview and make a decision about if the applicant is suitable for the  course. 

Contributing to teaching and learning activities

This can mean service users and carers talking in small groups or to large conference audiences, about their experience of health care and what worked well and what could have been different. When students hear and really take in these experiences it can make a big difference to their understanding and it influences their values and shapes their practice. 

Assessing students' skills and knowledge 

Examples of this are where service participants observe and/or take a part in a student role play and provide feedback to the student. Students really appreciate this immediate feedback.

Developing learning materials and influencing the curriculum

This can be about creating case studies or for example a list of top tips.  Learning materials that are informed by people’s experience and knowledge make education more vital and engaging. Service users and carers are involved in shaping what is taught and how it is taught and advise the course teams at The University of Suffolk on potential changes. 

Taking part in decision making forums

Service users and carers can be involved with course committee meetings. This is where students get a chance to feedback their views to the course team and partners and service users and carers also have a voice. 

These are just some of the ways people get involved at the University of Suffolk l, but there are other ideas and we would be interested to hear from you if you have an idea. 



For further information, please contact: 

Dr Ruth M Strudwick,  DProf MSc BSc(Hons) CTCert PGCE SFHEA
Associate Professor
Professional Lead: Radiography & Interprofessional Learning
School of Health & Sports Sciences
SNEE ICS AHP Faculty Co-Lead
t: 01473 338543 | m: 07789 431399 | e: | w: