service user involvement

Public participation in planning and implementing health care has become a government mandate in many states. In UK mental health services, this 'user involvement' policy dates back nearly three decades and has now become enshrined in policy. However, an implementation gap in terms of achieving meaningful involvement and influence for service users persists.

On the 4 June 2013, eight Scottish universities involved in the Scottish Inter-University Social Work Service User and Carers’ Network, supported by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS), collaborated to produce the first national service user and carer conference aimed at highlighting the importance of involving people who have experience of using social work and/or health services in the education of social workers and other professionals.

SCIE report 54. Workforce Development report 54. Since 2002 higher education institutions (HEIs) have been required to develop service user and carer involvement (SUCI) throughout the design and delivery of degree programmes. This small-scale study aims to provide a benchmark of how practice is progressing across the 83 HEIs in England which offer the social work degree, and to support the development of guidance for social work educators. Report published by Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE ) in February 2012.

The Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC), the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) commissioned this research with the aim of strengthening user involvement in Northern Ireland. Report 18 looks across health and social care services for children, young people and adults. Report published by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) in February 2008.

This paper outlines a project commissioned by the Department of Health which focused on participation in the undergraduate and postgraduate social work degree. Focusing on how service user and care organisations can develop their involvement in the undergraduate and post graduate social work degree and drawing on successes of the first two years, the paper then goes on to identify existing barriers to successful partnership and possible ways forward. This project was a joint venture between Shaping Our Lives, Department of Health and SCIE.