Service User and Carer Group (SUCG)

We are a group of service users of health and social care services who have recent experience of health and social care. We also have carers who have been caring in the community for family members and loved ones as core members of the group.  

About us

The group meets within the School of Health Sciences at the University of Surrey about three times a year. Our group members are experts in care and care-giving by their experience of receiving care from health services as well as giving care in the home to loved ones. Also lecturers, researchers and students are core members of the group.

By being involved in the group our service users and carers help us shape the new generation of health care professionals from an early stage in their careers, so that all our students are aware of the perspectives and experiences of service users and carers and can benefit from their insights and experiences of care.

Purpose of the group

The purpose of the group is to develop the involvement of service users and carers within all the activities of the School of Health Sciences, particularly research and education.

Service user and carer involvement is important to our school so that we reflect the needs and experiences of service users and carers in our educational and research activities.This enables us to benefit from the experiences of those who have received care as patients and carers within health and social care services. Service user and carer involvement will benefit our student practitioners by helping them to understand the patient and carer perspective and this will benefit student’s cognitive and emotional development and in the future enhance the quality of patient centred service delivery.

Our objectives

  • Identifying opportunities for engagement of the user and carer perspectives in all aspects of professional education including programme design, recruitment, delivery, management and evaluation.
  • Involvement in all research activities including design, implementation, dissemination. 
  • Ensuring the user/carer perspectives are reflected within the whole education provision and research activities.
  • Contributing to programme validation events.
  • Embedding the ethos and culture of service user and carer involvement within the School and review the responsibilities of the Group annually. 

Current involvement activities within the school

  • Discussions with students on a range of health and social care issues
  • Contributing to research activities
  • Providing advice on research strategies and research bids
  • Interviewing prospective students using multiple mini interviews (MMI)
  • Developing learning resources
  • Involvement in curriculum development and programme validation events.

Would you like to join the group?

We are actively seeking service users and carers to join our group. 

If you are interested and wish to have further information about the group please contact the chair of the service user group: Anne Arber

Frequently asked question

People who have volunteered to join the group who have used or are using health services as a patient or people who have experience of caring for a loved one who is or has been ill. We include people of all ages and abilities and from a diverse range of background. 

No qualifications are needed but your experience is important to us. The key skill is being able and willing to share that experience with our students and with researchers within the school. 

Yes training is available. For example we offer unconscious bias training and training in how to interview students.

It would be great if you could come forward to join the group. We will be able to pay travelling expenses and there will be a small fee for any teaching that is undertaken.


Past projects

“Making Friends” was written by Ann Emery and the ideas and materials for the play were generated from a project entitled AFRESH, which is a study on fostering empathy between student nurses and older people from the local Age UK group. The project was collaboratively designed and managed by Ann Emery (Age UK) and Dr Khim Horton and Dr Anne Arber, Senior Lecturers at the University of Surrey. The play was recorded in the television studios at the University of Surrey by Brian Johnson and sound design and editing was performed by Ian Arber.

Alan Parker contributed to a successful research proposal to the British Lung Foundation in 2016 by working closely with researchers and then writing the lay summary of the research. Alan was a carer for his wife who had an illness called mesothelioma.  

The group contributed to a successful revalidation event on 2 February 2017, when the group were visited by members of the Nursing and Midwifery Council to hear about our service user activities. 

Contact us

  • Phone: +44 (0)1483 686700
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Find us

School of Health Sciences
Kate Granger Building
30 Priestley Road, Surrey Research Park