Working together for a better future in Social CareThe Faculty of Health and Social Care have been featured in the Guardian for the use of service users in our BA (Hons) in Social Work. John MacDonough, Senior Lecturer in Social Work is pioneering a way of training and recruiting students by involving service users in all aspects of the course.
John leads on the involvement of service users in the recruitment and teaching of our students in the Social Work BA (Hons). Having service users involved throughout a student's time with us at the Faculty of Health and Social Care ensures that our students get to experience all aspects of the care they will be providing and its effects on the people who will be using those services.
A service user is anyone who has used a service, might use a service, or could use a service in the future. We use different words like 'clients' or 'customers' but this is about taking away those labels. There is no 'generic service user', and this is one of the things that students learn.John MacDonough, Senior Lecturer
John attended the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) conference in Stockholm this July, where he was representing LSBU as part of the PowerUs network which is an international learning partnership focused on service user and carer involvement in social work education.
Next semester we will be running a new module as part of the BA Social Work Programme 'Advocacy, Partnership and Participation' in which students will be taught alongside service users and carers. This new module is based on similar modules that have been run over the past few years at Lund University in Sweden and Lillehammer University in Norway, and will be prepared and delivered with on-going input from these universities through the PowerUs partnership.
John additionally holds events on the involvement of service users in their care and in the training of the social care workforce of the future. Earlier this year John held a conference "Partnership in Social Care at a time of cuts" at LSBU which brought together, students, service users and healthcare professionals to discuss how together they can work to ensure the best care and improvements in the current political climate. The conference was extremely successful and John is due to run another event so please check the What's on at LSBU for more details in the near future.