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Exemplar Health Care and Sheffield Hallam University Announce New Partnership

Exemplar Health Care has announced a major new partnership with Sheffield Hallam University, one of the UK’s largest and most diverse universities, marking a significant milestone in their longstanding relationship.

The partnership, rooted in the shared commitment to advancing learning disabilities and social work education, now see’s greater collaboration between the university and Exemplar Health Care’s Service User Council.

In their normal role, Service User Ambassadors from across Exemplar Health Care homes meet monthly, as part of the council, to propose new ideas and contribute to shaping the organisation’s policies, services, and home design, ensuring they have a collective voice in decision making.

Sheffield Hallam University lecturers Nicola Woodhall and Evan Howle, along with Expert by Experience, Raymond, recently met with Exemplar Health Care’s Service User Council to discuss the current curriculum and how it could be adapted to better represent the needs of those using care services.

The Council provided the Sheffield Hallam team with invaluable insights into their personal experience of being supported in a range of health and care settings, how care professionals can best adapt their approach to engaging with individuals living in social care settings, and what they want health and social care professionals of the future to do for them.

The Council’s feedback will now be incorporated in the university’s course materials for the 2024 academic year, helping Sheffield Hallam better prepare their future health and social care graduates for a career supporting individuals with learning disabilities, autism, or complex care needs.

As the Service User Council comprises over 50 Ambassadors, drawn from Exemplar Health Care homes across England, the Council was able to provide Sheffield Hallam with a broad range of views and experiences from across England, with insights drawn from tens of local authorities. This ensures that adaptations to course materials reflect differences in social care systems across the country helping prepare future graduates to work across the country.

Alongside the development of the MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner Specialist Route the BSc Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Nursing and Social Work) and Social Work courses have undergone a curriculum redevelopment. The ongoing partnership with Exemplar Health Care will help Sheffield Hallam University deliver on their goal of including service user voice in their curriculum development and module teaching to help prepare students for a career in health and social care, whilst meeting the requirements of regulators the Nursing and Midwifery Council and Social Work England.

Nicola Woodhall, Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “We are exceptionally grateful for the opportunity to draw on the invaluable insights of the Service User Council. The joy of going to a group is that they absolutely will not sugar coat their feedback, but it helps ensure our curriculum is based on their real-world experiences and that we are preparing the next generation of nurses and social workers to better understand the support needs of people using social care services.

“The hands-on experience at Exemplar Health Care fosters a deep understanding of social care that goes beyond textbooks. Many students struggle to truly understand social care until they work in it. However, once the students have been to Exemplar Health Care, they come back with a genuine passion for the field. This is a hugely important part of making sure community care services can access the health and social care professionals they need now and in the future.”

Sophia Feurtado-Jackson, Service User Engagement Manager at Exemplar Health Care, who created and organises the Service User Council meetings, said: “Our collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University is a testament to the commitment we share in elevating the standards of care for individuals with complex needs. This partnership is not just about education; it’s a bridge between theory and the real-world insights that people using care services can bring to the table. Together, we are fostering a learning environment that values the perspectives of those we ultimately aim to serve, creating a ripple effect that will resonate in the future practices of healthcare professionals. I hope it will set a precedent for a more compassionate, empathetic, service-user-led approach to education and the practical application of nursing.”

 

 
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