Service Engagement


The School of Healthcare has undertaken a number of enterprising projects particularly related to service user and carer empowerment. The projects have arisen out of the school’s commitment to direct engagement of services users and carers in the education of health professionals and the design and delivery of care services.


Yorkshire Forward commissioned the School to undertake an evaluation of twelve diverse NHS Regional Employability programmes to determine the impact of efforts to enable economically inactive people to access training and work placement in local hospitals. Evaluation included video and audio recording of real people’s stories detailing the impact of the employability programme on their attainment of paid work, building of confidence and real transformation of life chances. The evaluation has been instrumental in raising the profile of NHS employability locally and nationally.

The Patient Learning Journey is a landmark programme, devised collaboratively with the medical school, to support service users and carers to fulfil their roles in bringing patient experience and knowledge into education and service development. Participants explore their own motivations and reflect on the value of their experiential knowledge and how it can be harnessed to support professional learning and service improvement. Participants serve on advisory groups for trusts, service user and carer forums and participate directly in professional education as simulated patients,teachers and curriculum advisors.

Patient experiences captured through stories are becoming an important driver for improving care. A White Rose Health Improvement Partnership project, Arthur and Co., explored the value of digital story-telling as an enabler of collaborative learning.

The collaboration with Arthritis Care, in partnership with Pilgrim Projects, and the School, explored living with arthritis by the telling and sharing of patient stories for use in health and social care education and service development enabling voices to be heard in any lecture theatre, boardroom of conference venue in the world creating unprecedented access to and impact from personal experience.


The Arthur and Co Stories have been downloaded over 700 times since they were made publicly available in August 2008 and participants from the group have been invited to sit on a national health innovation advisory board and have also been invited to design bespoke learning events for senior healthcare managers, including the national Clinical Governance Support team and are consulted by the Department of Health for advice on policy development.

The Patient Learning Journey project is now adopted across the strategic health authority area, the impact of this initiative will continue to expand enabling service users to have a voice that will inform the future of professional education and service provision.