Something positive, something negative, and a take-home message for our students.

I am proud to have been involved in Service User and Carer involvement in one way or another for around 40 years or so now. One of the most exciting areas of activity, in my opinion, has been the involvement in professional education and in particular, Social Work courses.

Having a central budget and a requirement for our involvement has made a real difference. Nothing is perfect, but our involvement as Service Users and Carers has really changed Social Work education for the better in my opinion.

I believe that having Service User and Carer involvement from the start teaches students to work in more tailored and personable ways from the beginning, and I am proud to have been involved in this process alongside many others.

I am also involved in the disabled people’s and service user organisation, Shaping Our Lives. You can learn more about this network and find lots of helpful resources at:

A downside of Service User and Carer involvement from my point of view, is that it can often feel as though we are taking two steps forward and one step back due to financial cuts in services and regular changes in policy. Such events can set limits to the support available and can make it difficult for Service Users and Carers who are committed to making a difference.

So having covered the positive and the negative, I’d like to share a take-home message to our students:

There is no getting away from it – working in Health and Social Care can be difficult, but at the same time extremely rewarding and impactful. You are capable of making a positive difference to the lives of other people – the lives of people who are ‘up against it’ – sometimes more than you could ever imagine.

So, do the best you can and remember, you are being equipped with professional competencies and skills. If you combine these skills and listen to what Service Users and Carers say to you, then ultimately you are in the best position to assess what course of action will be most helpful.

Believe in yourself, stick by your patient, and never underestimate the importance of your role.

Profile image of Peter Beresford
Profile image of Peter Beresford

–  Professor Peter Beresford OBE

Professor Peter Beresford OBE is a leading figure in the arena of citizen participation and involvement, and perhaps the pre-eminent voice in relation to service user and carer participation in service design, delivery and evaluation. He is currently Professor of Citizen Participation at the University of Essex, Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at Brunel University, Co-Chair of independent user-controlled organisation, think tank and network Shaping Our Lives and a visiting professor at Edge Hill. In 2007 he was awarded his OBE and in 2016, he was named as one of the top 100 influential people in the UK in relation to issues of disability and impairment.


Research Theme | Public Health

Research in this cluster focuses on health inequalities, delivery of public health interventions and the balance between population and individual perspectives. There is also work on population musculoskeletal health led by Prof Paola Dey, Dr Ben Langley and Dr Nicola Relph. A group led by Prof Stuart Fairclough, are exploring the impact of detrimental lifestyle-related behaviours, such as physical inactivity, sedentary behaviour and poor sleep, on child and adolescent health, including movement behaviour interventions to promote well-being.

Research Theme | Health and Wellbeing

This cluster focuses on the impact of lifestyle factors on health across the life course. This includes the role of the arts, psychotherapy and creative psychotherapy in health, led by Professor Vicky Karkou, the influence of digital technology and data analytics in enabling good health, led by Professor Ella Pereira and the management of sickness absence, stress and resilience in healthcare settings, led by Prof Paresh Wankhade.

To learn more about our Health and Wellbeing research theme, please visit

Research Theme | Supporting Care

In this cluster Professor Sally Spencer, Dr Carol Kelly and Dr Andy Levy lead work on systematic reviews and the management of chronic respiratory conditions. Active research topics include self-management strategies in bronchiectasis and emotional health in rehabilitation.

Professor Mary O’Brien, Professor Barbara Jack and Dr Kate Knighting lead work on the management of palliative and end of life care. Active projects include characterisation of respite care services for young people with life-limiting conditions and further development of the Carers Alert Thermometer (CAT).

To learn more about our Supporting Care research theme, please visit

Research Theme | Improving Professional Practice

Professor Jeremy Brown, Professor John Sandars, and Dr Axel Kaehne lead this research cluster.

Activities focus on three main areas: Performance enhancement in health professional development, the Impact and assessment of education in health and other related professions – including theory-driven approaches to the evaluation of education, and the Evaluation of improvements to health care services.

To learn more about our Improving Professional Practice theme, please visit


Research Theme | Children, Young People and Families

The work of this group focuses on young people with complex needs, those requiring palliative care and those living with long-term conditions. Teams within this cluster, led by Professor Bernie Carter and Professor Lucy Bray, have a particular interest in pain management, support and information for children and young people undergoing clinical procedures in hospital.

To learn more about the Children, Young People and Families research theme please visit


Introducing the Health Research Institute

Since its launch in 2014, the Institute has established a strong brand and attracted a portfolio of multi-disciplinary research that extends beyond traditional medical approaches to reflect a broader multi-agency view of healthcare.

To maintain future growth and more effectively encompass this broader definition of health research, the PGMI (Postgraduate Medical Institute) has been restructured and relaunched as the Health Research Institute. This supports the Institute’s overall mission to facilitate and enable collaborative research across a range of academic perspectives with external stakeholders in the NHS, social care, charities and other health-related organisations.

We have developed collaborative research relationships with a number of tertiary and secondary care NHS Trusts and clinical commissioning groups in the North West Coast region and beyond, as well as local councils, third sector organisations and small businesses. Our work is driven by a collective goal to grow locally led health research by combining clinical, academic and other regional strengths to attract external funding.

Successes to date have included National Institute for Health (NIHR) Research Fellowships, funding from the Research for Patient Benefit and Health Services and Delivery Research funding streams, and work commissioned by Health Education England.

The Institute serves as a research enabling platform for a range of thematic areas, which are designed to harness complementary internal and external research strengths. You can read more about each theme in our upcoming blog posts.

Proposed Book Series Approved for Publishing

Dr Paul Simpson

Congratulations to Applied Health and Social Care Lecturer, Dr Paul Simpson whose co-authored proposed book series, ‘Sex and Intimacy in Later Life in a Changing World’ has been approved for publishing.

The series will follow the below themes:

[Volume 1] Later life sex and diversity

[Volume 2] Desexualisation and consent

[Volume 3] Resexualisation and agency

[Volume 4] Later life and sex global perspectives

The series of books are due to be published from 2020 onwards. For further information please email


CAMHS Senior Nurse


Congratulations to Applied Health and Social Care student, Claire Morris, who has recently been appointed as a Senior Nurse in a new service within Warrington Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Claire’s new role falls within Youth Justice, and she expressed gratitude towards her MSc in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Wellbeing as she felt this has been crucial in securing her place at Warrington.

We’d like to congratulate Claire, and also Hayley Mckenzie and Joanne Inman for their teaching on this module!

Lesley Wins Student Enterprise Award

Nutrition Student Enterprise Award

Congratulations to Edge Hill Nutrition student, Lesley, who won the ‘Student Enterprise’ Award for producing the nutritious game, ‘Calorific’. Student Lydia was also a very close runner up with her game, ‘Plantydicious’.

Both students had developed their initiatives within the Nutrition and Entrepreneurship module at Edge Hill University lead by Hazel Flight and John Mercer.