Involvement with Staff
The Faculty of Health Studies has a number of ways that people can be involved in the Faculty, and we are constantly evaluating these activities and seeking additional ideas.
Strategic Involvement in the Faculty
The Faculty of Health Studies ensures that there is Service User and Carer involvement wherever possible in the life of the Faculty.
There is Service User representation on the Faculty Health and Safety Committee and the School Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee.
Service Users and Carers are also involved in the Annual Contract Review which is lead by the Yorkshire and Humber Strategic Health Authority.
In 2009, at the interview day for the new Dean, Service Users and Carers joined academic colleagues to hear presentations and question the applicants.
The annual Research and Knowledge Transfer Faculty Showcase has also invited Service User and Carers to get involved for the last two years. A number of changes to the structure and process of the showcase have been made to make sure the event is as accessible as possible. Over the last two years, there has been a joint presentation between a member of staff and a Service User.
Service User and Carer Advisory Group
Our Service User and Carer Advisory Group meets quarterly and provides a forum for Service Users and Carers who are interested in influencing health care education and training to meet and discuss ideas with staff and students.
Issues that have been discussed in previous meetings include:
- Service User and Carer involvement in the assessment of students
- Making digital stories of Service Users' and Carers' experience; involvement in the selection of students
- Ideas for the content of educational programmes
These meetings are friendly, enthusiastic events and new Service Users and Carers are always welcome.
The School of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy (now the School of Allied Health Professions and Sport) at the Faculty of Health Studies, University of Bradford, worked jointly with the Comensus project at the University of Central Lancashire and Advocacy in Action in Nottingham to develop a series of on-line learning materials in collaboration with Service Users and Carers.
This work involved Service Users and Carers sharing their experiences of health and social care to build the virtual community 'Bradton'.
The 'Bradton' project created an inter-professional learning and teaching resource that promotes insight into real personal histories.
Experiences are presented online in film, audio and transcript by service users or by actors. This project related closely to government initiatives for service improvement in health and social care and provided the opportunity to work and engage with the wider community.
Involving Service Users and Carers in virtual learning allows individuals to share their stories in an online environment and provides healthcare students with a better understanding of the implications and complexities of ill health.
More recently the project has looked to develop the virtual voluntary sector. This allows voluntary groups to share the good work that they do and provide a teaching resource that promotes insight into the work, funding, location and members of such groups.
All of the materials are based on real people and real groups.
Course Management Teams
The Faculty of Health Studies undertakes regular reviews of the academic content included in our programmes to ensure that we are reflecting current concerns in health and social care practice.
Ongoing discussions with Service Users and Carers are particularly useful to verify that Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses include and highlight issues and topics of concern to them.
Several programme areas have included Service Users and Carers in their Course Management Teams, where the content and management of the course is reviewed.
Digital stories can be of different forms, an audio recording, an audio recording which also contains photographs or still images, or a video clip.
Service Users and Carers may choose to record their own thoughts or have someone read these for them.
These electronic mediums can be used to record Service Users' and Carers' experience and these can then be used in a variety of ways in teaching.
Bradton has developed mainly from video clips of actors reading the narratives of local Service Users and Carers.
In addition, teaching and learning technology staff are working with several Service Users to develop smaller audio and photograph recordings.
Service Users and Carers have found these an interesting and useful way of documenting experiences of health and social care which have been important to them. They can provide a real insight into how people feel in a particular situation.