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Service User and Carer Involvement in Education for Health and Social Care: Promoting Partnership for Health

ISBN: 978-1-4443-4793-7
264 pages
June 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Service User and Carer Involvement in Education for Health and Social Care: Promoting Partnership for Health (1444347934) cover image


Service user and carer engagement in health and social care, and in the education of practitioners in this area, is emerging as one of the most important new drivers within government policy in a number of countries. However, beyond the rhetoric, there are few guides that address the practicalities of setting up and running such a project.

This book is unique in that it will appeal to practitioners, policy makers, and commissioners in health and social care practice and education who buy in to the principles of service user engagement, but who find it hard to know how to progress the practicalities. Based on the set up and running of the unique and very successful Comensus project, this practical and accessible text will provide a framework for building authentic and sustainable community engagement in health and social care education and practice.

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Table of Contents

Promoting Partnership for Health.

The Comensus Writing Collective: Notes on Authorship.

Notes on Language.


Part I: The Context.

1 Service User and Carer Involvement in Higher Education.

2 The Social and Political Context.

3 Beyond the Campus: Universities, Community Engagement and Social Enterprise.

4 Research and Evaluation of Service Users’ and Carers’ Involvement in Health Professional Education.

5 What Counts Cannot be Counted: Community Engagement as a Catalyst for Emotional Intelligence.

Part II: Personal Experiences: The Case of Comensus.

6 Setting up a Service User and Carer Engagement Project: Comensus.

7 Climbing the Ladder of Involvement: A Manager’s Perspective.

8 Stories of Engagement.

9 Making Sense of Involvement in Comensus.

10 Shedding Masks: Transitions in Mental Health and Education, a Personal View.




Appendix 1: Research and Evaluation Planning Worksheet.

Appendix 2: Terms of Reference for Comensus Advisory Group.

Appendix 3: Year One Issues and Solutions.

Appendix 4: Terms of Reference for CIT.

Appendix 5: COMENSUS: Action Plan 2009.

Appendix 6: Year Three Sub-Groups of The Community Involvement Team.

Appendix 7: Year 3 Issues and Solutions.

Appendix 8: Protocol for the Development of Learning Resources Involving Service Users and/or Carers.

Appendix 9: Service User/Carer/Public Consent Form.


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Author Information

Soo Downe is Professor of Midwifery Studies at University of Central Lancashire. She is a coordinator of the Comensus project and has led the research activity linked to Comensus. She is editor of Normal Childbirth, by Elsevier, and joint-editor of our forthcoming title - Essential Midwifery Practice: Intrapartum Care.

Mick McKeown is Principal Lecturer in mental health nursing research at the University of Central Lancashire, and co-founder of the Comensus project with Soo Downe. He is a trade union activist for Unison and contributes to union debates relating to service user involvement.

Lisa Malihi-Shoja is co-ordinator for the Comensus Project at the University of Central Lancashire. She is dedicated to service user and carer involvement and has developed and supported a n umber of projects across a wide range of settings, including community projects, acute care and forensic projects.

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