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Co-production of teaching content and delivery with an NHS service user group

02 January 2024
Volume 6 · Issue 1


There is national recognition that the participation of the public in educational curricula of health professionals benefits all. Feedback from both service users and students confirms that collaborative working should be considered as best practice, particularly in healthcare education. The evidence suggests that these developing models of educational delivery can lead to a change in health professionals’ perceptions, enhancing practice that may be far reaching and helping to support future service delivery.

The service user or patient as teacher is not a new phenomenon, and developing the concept into a more integral and active educator role has become a goal across care sectors and countries (Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), 2018; Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), 2019). The paradigm shift from authoritarian approaches in the past also encompasses health policy, legislation and education provision across the western world (Scammell et al, 2015; Scottish Government, 2022). Amid this change, formalising and defining characteristics of service user populations has become more challenging as there are a range of non-professionals across society, including many diverse cultural, social and third-sector organisations (Kuti and Houghton, 2019).

This article will use the term ‘service user’, but it is recognised this may vary in other work and that authentic learning experiences value the contribution of this population. The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (2023: 11) describes traditional ‘chalk and talk’ delivery as problematic and suggests that a lack of depth of application is aligned to ‘trying to teach someone to swim by showing them a video’. This relates to engaging with service users to enrich student experience using more embedded, person-centred, co-operative relationships, which are now embraced in the delivery of teaching supported by sound pedagogies.

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