Service User FAQs

SHC - Social Work UG 4col

Who are Service Users and Carers?

Service users are people who have used health or social care services, or are eligible to use these services. Service users are often people with medical or social needs, and are sometimes referred to as patients.

Carers are people who offer support or care for others who have health or social care needs. Carers are often, parents, partners, family members or friends. See our Service User Videos here.

Who can volunteer?

Anyone with direct experience as a carer, patient, or service user of health and social care services. We are keen to work with people of all ages and abilities and from a diverse range of backgrounds as that reflects the breadth and depth of the experience we want to offer our students. For some research or health innovation work, there may be a requirement for services users or carers to have had experienced of particular health social care problems.

What skills do I need?

Your experience and a willingness to work with us and share that experience is the key skill that you need. We will support you in regards to how to share that knowledge and experience so that it influences students learning and the research that we undertake.

How much time does it involve?

The amount of time you give is up to you and would be something that we would agree with you. It could range from a 1 hour teaching session through to a whole day as part of a team assessing students work or interviewing prospective students. It might be one hour per semester or more frequently if you are involved in more than one area of work. Peoples’ circumstances change and therefore you can alter the amount of time you commit to working with us accordingly.

Is there any training?

Yes, we offer a programme of training opportunities; beginning with Patient Learning Journeys for those who are new to the School of Healthcare, to workshops on different aspects of working with the School to Master Classes on topics identified by the Service User and Carer community as being of interest to them. For student education individual sessions are arranged with course leaders to provide an introduction to the teaching programme. Training is provided to help prepare you for working with us and also as a recognition of the contribution that service users and carers bring to our work.

Is there any payment?

We do pay people for their contribution to teaching. For some research projects funding is not always available to pay people for their time but expense are reimbursed (e.g., travel, parking fees). We recognise that for a number of reasons some people would prefer to have their contribution acknowledged in non-monetary ways and we look to do this through providing access to other opportunities within the university.