University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Keeping Us Grounded: Academic Staff Perceptions of Service User and Carer Involvement in Health and Social Work Training

Rooney, Joy ORCID:, Unwin, Peter ORCID: and Shah, Prag (2019) Keeping Us Grounded: Academic Staff Perceptions of Service User and Carer Involvement in Health and Social Work Training. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 43 (7). pp. 929-941. ISSN 0309-877X Online: 1469-9486

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Academic staff perceptions of the value and purpose of service user and carer (SUAC) involvement within a health and social work faculty in an English university were explored in this co-produced qualitative study. Relevant research findings over the past two decades were reviewed and two SUAC researchers, plus an academic member of staff, designed the study based around fifteen semi-structured telephone interviews.
Findings were that staff were very positive about the benefits brought by SUAC involvement, in respect of their own grounding, knowledge, and continuing professional development (CPD), these findings not having previously been reflected in the literature. Barriers to involvement of SUACs were found to be negligible compared to those found in recent literature, and the input of SUACs appeared to be embraced by academic staff. This changing picture has emerged at a time when managerialism and marketization affect the working conditions of staff. In times of increasing workloads, this study suggested that academics find SUAC involvement both supportive and constructively challenging. SUACs were perceived to bring fresh interdisciplinary knowledge and challenges to staff value bases alongside constructs of professionalism that staff may not be able to access elsewhere. The encouragement of interdisciplinary ways of thinking was noted to have been a serendipitous consequence of SUACs from different backgrounds inputting on courses across the faculty.
Recommendations are to better ensure consistency in the use of SUACs in terms of resourcing, support, and development if such involvement is to be meaningful rather than marginalised and de-valued.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published online by Taylor & Francis in the Journal of Further and Higher Education on 01 Feb 2018, available online:
Staff and students at the University of Worcester can access the full-text via the UW online library search. External users should check availability with their local library or Interlibrary Requests Service.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: staff views, health and social work, service users and carers, higher education, disadvantages and barriers to involvement, co-production
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Joy Rooney
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2018 13:41
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2021 04:00

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