Advancing Healthcare Sciences through Staff, Student and Service User Partnerships

Vivien Rolfe


The reforms to the National Health Service scientific training as part of the Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC) initiative have attempted to streamline the delivery of undergraduate-level education through a core Healthcare Science Bachelors programme. Central to the reforms, and therefore an integral part of the curricula, is the involvement of patients and service users. Although their involvement is well-established in other medical and healthcare-related disciplines, for Healthcare Science it is new. This case study presents the approaches to integrate patient and service user views in two undergraduate programmes, namely Life Sciences and Physiological Sciences, including input into both programme governance and delivery. The study outlines the challenges and benefits perceived at these early stages of implementation and raises important questions for future research.


Academic partnerships; service user involvement; healthcare science education

Full Text:



Bailey, D. (2005) ‘Using an action research approach to involving service

users in the assessment of professional competence.’ European Journal of Social Work, 8(2), 165-17.

Brett J., Staniszewska, S., Mockford, C., Herron-Marx S., Hughes, J., Tysall, C. and Suleman, R. (2014) ‘A systematic review of the impact of patient and public involvement on service users, researchers and communities.’ Patient, 7(4), 387-95. doi: 10.1007/s40271-014-0065-0

Department of Health (2010) Modernising Scientific Careers: The UK Way Forward. Available at: (Accessed: 22 February 2015).

Department of Health (2011) An overview of Modernising Scientific Careers. Available at: (Accessed: 22February 2015).

Elwyn G., Laitner, S., Coulter, A., Walker, E., Watson, P. and Thomson, R. (2010) ‘Implementing shared decision making in the NHS.’ British Medical Journal, 341, 971.

Health and Care Professions Council (2014) Standards of education and training guidance. Available at: (Accessed: 22 February 2015).

Korteland, N., Kluin, J., Klautz, R., Roos-Hesselink, J., Versteegh, M., Bogers, A. and Takkenberg, J. (2014) ‘Cardiologist and cardiac surgeon view on decision-making in prosthetic aortic valve selection: does profession matter?’ Netherlands Heart Journal, 22, 336-343.

Lucas, B. and Pearson, D. (2012) ’Patient perceptions of their role in undergraduate medical education within a primary care teaching practice.’ Education for Primary Care, 23(4), 277-85.

MacPhee, M., Weir, P., Davis, M., Semeniuk, P. and Scarborough, K. (2009) ‘Practice and academic nurse educators: finding common ground.’ International journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 6(32). doi: 10.2202/1548-923X.1882

NHS Networks (2014) Accredited BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science Programmes for PTP. Available at: (Accessed: 22 February 2015).

Oliver, S., Liabo, K., Stewart, R. and Rees, R. (2014) ‘Public involvement in research: making sense of the diversity.’ Journal of Health Services Research and Policy. doi: 10.1177/1355819614551848

Peck, E., Gulliver, P. and Towel, D. (2002) ‘Information, consultation or control: user involvement in mental health services in England at the turn of the century.’ Journal of Mental Health, 11(4), 441-451.

Pollard, K. and Evans, D. (2013) Theorising service user involvement from a researcher perspective. In: Staddon, P., ed. (2013) Mental Health Service Users in Research: Critical Sociological Perspectives. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 39-51. ISBN 9781447307334

UCAS (2014) UCAS Website. Available at: (Accessed: 22 February 2015).



  • There are currently no refbacks.