Service user and carer involvement in research and development

To ensure research carried out by the Trust benefits people who use services the research department, which coordinates all research activities for the organisation, is encouraging the involvement of service users and carers.

Research can be a challenging and rewarding process. By supporting the development of research in the Trust you could help the team with some of the challenges they face and help them move towards a more active research culture. Involvement could include sharing your research ideas or reviewing a research project through the eyes of a research participant. This feedback is invaluable in ensuring that the project is valuable and appropriate for participant involvement.

Research projects aim to find out what the Trust should be doing to improve health services for patients and service users. As well as taking part in this research as a voluntary participant, there is also a service user and carer research group.

Members are provided with research training and given information about more opportunities to develop knowledge and skills in research to participate fully in the research meetings.

The travel costs of attending the meetings are covered by the Trust and participants involved in the group are paid for attending. Meetings are currently being held at Fieldhead Hospital, Wakefield.

If I apply, what will be expected of me?

New members will be provided with support to actively participate in research, for instance, a member with dyslexia would be given more time to read studies, members who are partially sighted can be sent documents in larger font.  Training and ongoing support is also available from research staff.

Here are some of the things that is welcomed from group members:

  • Experience of Trust services as a service user or carer
  • Ability to understand participant documents in a research project
  • Motivation to review research studies in some detail prior to meetings.
  • Good levels of concentration.
  • Commitment to review up to 3 research studies per month in own time (2-6 hours).
  • Keen interest in health matters.
  • Ability to express own opinions of research freely and confidently.
  • Willingness to attend training in research and any related short tasks in own time to further understanding.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of the projects discussed within the panel.
  • Commitment and ability to attend meetings fairly regularly.

Speaking about their experience one service user said, “I got involved with because I wanted to be involved in research so that local services can be improved based on evidence from people and their carers who use services.”

Get involved

The team are currently recruiting service users and carers from under represented services across the Trust to help them with their work. You could help by participating in research, reviewing projects and advising researchers on issues which might affect service users and carers taking part in their research.

How do I apply?

If you are interested in joining the service user and carer research group, the research department would love to hear from you.

If you would like further information or to apply to become involved in our Trust research contact Helen Carter or Rebecca Spencer on 01977 605285 or email research@swyt.nhs.uk