User involvement

At the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, at our sites in Oxford and Swindon, we aim to draw on the views and experiences of those who have used health and social care services in order to help us plan our teaching and research. Our programmes include Nursing, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Midwifery, Operating Departmental Practice and Paramedic Science, in addition to our research teams who undertake research in different areas of health and social care.

Volunteer opportunities

In the faculty, we use the term ‘user involvement’. You might also have come across the term 'public patient involvement' (PPI) which has a similar meaning. There are opportunities to get involved in various activities and to share your thoughts and experiences. We are currently looking for new people to join our team of volunteers. If you would like to get involved, please read the information below and contact Philippa Trehearne (

Find out more

Why is service user involvement important?

Service user involvement is important as we want to ensure that our research, teaching and recruitment strategies take into account, and are reflective of, the real-life experiences of those who use health and social care services.

What do service users do?

Service users help us in various ways, such as giving us feedback on interview days about prospective students, proof reading information sheets that will be given to potential research participants, or even sharing experiences of health or social care received as part of a seminar or lecture with a group of students.

Who can be involved?

We are looking for individuals from all walks of life and backgrounds. We are particularly interested in people who have had experience of health and social care services, as a patient, service user or carer within the last 5 years.

How much time do I need?

The amount of time given by our volunteers is variable. Sometimes participation is requested over a whole day, sometimes a shorter time is needed.

Do I need qualifications?

No qualifications are needed as it is your views, experiences and perspectives that we are interested in finding out about.

We will ask you to do a short training about Unconscious Bias before you work with us if you will be involved in interviewing prospective students. 

How will I be supported?

We run regular groups to support our service users and these provide an opportunity to meet others who are involved and to find out more about activities you might like to be linked with.

Will my expenses be reimbursed?

We will cover reasonable travel expenses to our meetings or activities. Attendance at quarterly meetings is voluntary and unpaid, but you would be entitled to claim a fixed hourly rate for work such as interviewing or course evaluations.  

How do I get involved?

If you would like to get involved or to find out more, please contact Philippa Trehearne (