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The Personalisation Agenda: The Service User Role in Practice Learning. Jane McLenachan Head of Division of Social Work & Health Studies School of Applied Social Sciences. Personalisation: implications for social work. New types of worker roles organisational & professional context

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The personalisation agenda the service user role in practice learning l.jpg
The Personalisation Agenda: The Service User Role in Practice Learning

Jane McLenachan

Head of Division of Social Work & Health Studies

School of Applied Social Sciences


Personalisation implications for social work l.jpg
Personalisation: implications for social work Practice Learning

  • New types of worker roles

  • organisational & professional context

  • Emergence of brokerage role

  • knowledge & skills needed: social model of disability, safeguarding, advocacy, negotiation , communication, commissioning

  • Resource issues – provides a ‘contradictory mix of empowerment & disempowerment?’ (Sang 2009 p32)

  • What students need to learn?


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Project Aims Practice Learning

  • Enhance student understanding of policy context of adult care & personalisation agenda (DH 2006)

  • Build upon well established service user and carer involvement in social work degree

  • Explore practice learning opportunities with individual service users and carers as part of personalisation agenda

  • Produce good practice guide for development of future service user led practice learning


Project overview l.jpg
Project Overview Practice Learning

  • 2nd year Social Work students at Sheffield Hallam University

  • 60 days practice learning, March - July 2009

  • 3 students

  • 6 service users and carers - all adults

  • Inclusive Living Sheffield (ILS) – service user organisation

  • Each student matched with 2 service users/carers and with ILS

  • Service users trained as work based supervisors


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Preparation & Planning Practice Learning

  • Mapping of learning opportunities against NOS for Social Work (TOPSS 2002)

  • CRB checks on service users

  • Audit of health & safety & insurance requirements

  • Payment arrangements

  • Preparation of students

  • Training for service users


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Project Evaluation Practice Learning

  • Pre-project questionnaire completed by service users/carers and students addressing their:

  • prior experience of practice learning

  • concerns & expectations of project

  • Post-project questionnaires & interviews with students, service users/carers and university staff to examine:

  • perspectives & experiences of all involved

  • Evaluation report produced with recommendations for future practice


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Evaluation Outcomes Practice Learning

  • Students gained insight into ‘daily realities’ of service users or carers - from a perspective not always seen by professionals, saw "both sides of the coin"

  • Experience of inter-professional working in practice

  • Enhanced understanding of social model of disability & impact of disabling environments

  • Insight into budget management and service commissioning

  • Enhanced communication & assessment skills

  • Developed knowledge of personalisation and adult care law

  • Opportunity to see disabled people as active & contributing and not "defined by our disability"


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Evaluation Outcomes (2) Practice Learning

  • Experience had "broadened the students' horizons"

  • Students brought a different perspective to the service user/carer's own situation

  • Work undertaken by student "left a legacy" for the service user/carer through concrete outcomes

  • Learned about benefits & challenges of personalisation

  • Service user role as supervisor challenging for both

  • Importance of clarifying boundaries & personal space

  • Flexibility & intensity of placement – both strength & challenge

  • Worthwhile experience for all involved. On scale of 1-10, mean score was 8 for success of placement


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Recommendations Practice Learning

  • Clarity about purpose & expectations of placement – for both student & service user

  • Co-ordination - convened by host agency to address sense of distinct parts to placement

  • Co-ordinated approach to tutor role

  • Off-site practice educator acting as lead person providing consistent supervision & assessment

  • Length of placement – sufficient learning opportunities V intensity for service user

  • Need tangible, concrete outcomes and clear assessment arrangements


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Recommendations (2) Practice Learning

  • Training & preparation

  • spread out over more, but shorter days

  • utilise creative ways of introducing the documentation

  • use experienced service users/carers in future training.

  • early initial meeting between students and service users/carers

  • Mentoring & support

  • peer support arrangements for students

  • use of social networking sites

  • mentor role for service users


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Recommendations (3) Practice Learning

  • Confidentiality – issues to address in practice report & assessment process

  • Need for coherent programme of learning but that also allows for flexibility

  • Proactive & engaged students – implications for placement allocation process

  • Practicalities – minimum bureaucracy BUT:

  • Funding arrangements that don’t compromise benefits – needs national response

  • CRB checks

  • Health & safety assessments & insurance arrangements


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Next Steps Practice Learning

  • Training of further group of service users & carers

  • Development of placements with new group of service users at SHU

  • Service user placement project established at DMU with Leicester City Council

  • SfC funded project supporting service user completion of Enabling Learning module at DMU


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Acknowledgements Practice Learning

This project was completed at Sheffield Hallam

University and the involvement of the following people

is acknowledged:

  • Mark Doel, Research Professor of Social Work; Deborah Develin, Senior Lecturer Practice Education; Elaine Flynn, Practice Learning Co-ordinator; Beverley Murphy, Practice Learning Coordinator

  • Students: Charlene Bennett; Jenny Holroyd; Brett Howarth

  • Service users & carers: Christine Barton; Muriel Crookes; Viv Lowndes Smith; Geoff Pick; Gill Price; Marjorie Quine; Jacqui Stubbs, Inclusive Living Sheffield


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References Practice Learning

DH (2006) Our health, our care, our say: A new direction for community services London The Stationery Office

HM Govt. (2007) Putting People First London HM Government

Sang B (2009) Personalisation: Consumer Power or Social Co-Production? Journal of Integrated Care Vol 17 No 4 p 31-37

SfC et al (2009) Quality Assurance Benchmark Statement & Guidance on the Monitoring of Practice Learning Opportunities www.skillsforcare.org.uk

TOPSS (2002) The National Occupational Standards for Social Work www.skillsforcare.org.uk


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