Involving patients and service users in healthcare education has never been more important to ensuring the best care in the future.
We call this: humanising healthcare. And since 2016, we’ve been collaborating with City, University of London to make it a reality. Together, we’ve worked to introduce patients and carers to future healthcare professionals, and seen a hugely positive impact on everyone involved.
Creating a patient-centred future
Building relationships with service users allows students to understand their future patients as a whole person beyond their medical diagnosis. Hearing first-hand about their needs, anxieties and experience of the disease develops empathy and lays the groundwork for a truly holistic approach to care.
Btesam, a newly qualified Therapeutic Radiographer, talks about the lasting impression that speaking with service users had on her. Their insights made her aware of how much impact healthcare professionals have on the overall experience of patients.
We’ve heard from our clinical colleagues how well prepared our students are for their placements. I’m convinced that a key part of that is how the volunteers have worked with the students prior to placement.
Richard Thorne, Senior Lecturer in Radiotherapy
Partnership and empowerment
As well as benefiting the students, we’ve also had very positive feedback from our service user volunteers. For some, it helped them to reflect and process their experience of breast cancer. Others formed new friendships and support networks. But they all shared a sense of empowerment in being able to shape the experience of future patients.
Coming into academia fresh, I’d never really thought about this idea of involving service users in student education and now I couldn’t see a course that would exist without them, they’ve made such an impact from the get-go.
Matt Carr, Lecturer in Diagnostic Radiography
Ready to develop your own patient involvement?
City, University of London lecturers answer key questions on what’s involved, how much it costs, and how it meets the HCPC standards.
What makes for sustainable and effective volunteer involvement? Read top tips from City, University of London volunteers.
Get in touch
Want to start recruiting? Contact our Patient Experience Lead, Susanna Glover, to get advice on good practice and how to get the most out of your volunteer relationships.
Further information - conference presentations
We presented at conferences together with university staff and service user volunteers on best practices and stakeholder benefits in our Humanising Healthcare collaboration.
Learning at City Conference – June 2021
Watch our live presentation, featuring Breast Cancer Now, university staff, and one of our service user volunteers, at City’s own conference for sharing innovation and good practice in learning and teaching (find our paper from 29:27 into the recording).
UK Imaging and Oncology Congress – June 2021
Watch our presentation, including student and service user videos, from the virtual UKIO Congress in June 2021.
National Association of Educators in Practice – April 2021
View our presentation slides from the virtual NAEP conference in April 2021.
Radiography courses at City
Students can study either diagnostic or therapeutic radiography at City. Diagnostic radiographers use imaging techniques to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of illness. Therapeutic radiographers use advanced technology to plan and deliver highly accurate radiotherapy for people with cancer - check out their course pages to learn more.