What does DUCIE do?

The DUCIE network aims to:

  • provide support, and help meet the needs for continuing professional development, of involvement workers employed in HEIs
  • share and disseminate good practice and examples of existing posts and initiatives
  • provide opportunities for debate and the teasing out of complex areas of practice
  • develop good practice guidelines on the involvement of users and carers in learning and teaching in higher education (building on work begun with the Learning from Experience guide),  the establishment of involvement worker posts, and development of a context in which they can flourish.
  • act as a central point of contact for national initiatives, such as the Mental Health in Higher Education project, seeking to engage with users and carers involved in learning and teaching in Higher Education
  • act as a campaigning and pressure group

Activities:

  • DUCIE guidelines for the employment of service user and carer involvement workers in higher education.
  • Ian Light Award for work in pairs
  • DUCIE jiscmail discussion list (with 60+ members)

See here for

Background to the network:

See also this longer extract from a recent book

In the summer of 2005, a small band of user and carer involvement development workers, based in Higher Education Institutions, met over two days in Nottingham.   They had in common that they were fairly newly appointed to posts with the aim of facilitating user and carer involvement in education for health and social care.   Lively discussion was accompanied by a shared sense of optimism and enjoyment in the possibilities of these new roles.  They were seen to pose significant challenges too.

Some of the issues related to the cross-cutting nature of the work.  Workers made reference to the need to ‘juggle too many balls' or ‘spin too many plates at once'.  They spoke of ‘wearing lots of different hats' and the complexity of ‘working with different voices'.  There was a real sense of people being pulled in a number of different and sometimes opposing directions; a set of challenges which will be familiar to anyone who might be considered a ‘boundary spanner' (Williams 2002). 

Other key issues were around hidden agendas, lack of clarity in what is expected of the role and tokenism; with one worker describing ‘being parachuted in to rubber stamp things'.   For some the role felt unstable, reflecting temporary or part-time contracts and ‘inadequate resources'.  One worker felt they were precariously ‘standing on tip-toes'; another in a state where they felt they were ‘about to be rained on'. Most could identify with the ambient fear of getting things wrong.

Two statements from the meeting stand out for me. When asked to describe a picture they had drawn of themselves in role, one person said "I'm trying to push the main door open when it seems that service users and carers are only allowed in through a little door that is open at the side!'. Whatever progress may already have been made in involving service users and carers in education and engaging with communities, ‘pushing the main door open' can be a major task. The second image relates to tensions involved in work that breaks new ground. "It's a challenge" one worker said "not being a this or a that"; with colleagues always seeming able to assert much clearer, established and accepted role identities.

   

Supported by the Mental Health in Higher Education (mhhe) project, but with a remit that goes beyond mental health, the DUCIE network meets two to three times a year and has proved a means for the sharing of expertise and experience between those employed in development worker roles. 

 

Blog Posts

Journal of autoethnography for health and social care.

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 17, 2018 at 17:32 0 Comments

This journal aims to provide a forum for opening intellectual curiousity and exploration via auto ethnographic enquiry. The journal casts a critical eye over the material, social, cultural and political worlds we inhabit.

Find out more.

Keeping Control - animation

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 12, 2018 at 11:00 0 Comments

IF BAD THINGS HAPPEN AND THEN YOU ARE NOT HELPED OR PROTECTED THAT MAKES IT MUCH WORSE

This animation was commissioned to disseminate the findings from a research project carried out at Middlesex…

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Action for Care Workers' Wellbeing

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 12, 2018 at 10:30 1 Comment

Yesterday, on World Mental Health Day (10 October 2018), Action for Care-Workers Wellbeing (ACW) was launched.

Facilitated by BASW, ACW is a collaborative network of professionals from the NHS and social care who represent a wide range of key UK caring professions (Nursing, General Practice, Psychiatry, Psychology, Social Work and Paramedics).

The group’s aim is to raise awareness of stress and burnout within the health and social care workforce, identify solutions, and propose…

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Abstracts and reviewers wanted: International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 5, 2018 at 10:14 0 Comments

The 9th International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health takes place in York next July. It is an opportunity for social work practitioners, researchers, service users and carers to come together to discuss practice innovations, research and futures for social work in the spheres of health and…
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Upcoming changes to the Mental Health and Mental Capacity Acts: video of SCIE webinar

Posted by Jill Anderson on September 27, 2018 at 15:17 0 Comments

In September 2018, SCIE hosted a webinar to discuss the forthcoming changes to the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act. The webinar reflected on the important changes in how people's rights are protected. A panel of policy and practice experts in both pieces of legislation helped practitioners, academics and others reflect on these important changes.

View…

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Minds, Madness, Medicine: should we change the way we treat mental illnesses? - video of debate at the Hay festival

Posted by Jill Anderson on September 23, 2018 at 7:42 0 Comments

Deaths from heart disease have fallen by almost two thirds since the 1960s.Yet outcomes for those with mental illness, from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, have not improved for decades. Is this because we have the wrong diagnoses? Might neuroscience provide more precise descriptions and therefore more effective treatment? Or is mental health too complex for us to understand it in mere…

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Religion and Belief: supporting inclusion of staff and students in higher education and colleges

Posted by Jill Anderson on September 22, 2018 at 8:30 2 Comments

Advance HE has issued a comprehensive new guide: “Religion and Belief: supporting inclusion of staff and students in higher education and colleges" to higher education institutions across the UK, and colleges in Scotland.

The guidance examines a full range of engagements with students, staff and beyond the campus in areas such as access, recruitment and civic responsibilities, providing detailed recommendations which institutions may wish to consider when…

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Patient and Public Involvement and engagement and coproduction - call for papers.

Posted by Jill Anderson on September 13, 2018 at 14:51 0 Comments

INVOLVE is currently exploring what is meant by ‘Co-production’ its application in health and social care research varies, revealing a lack of consensus around the concept. Some argue that co-production in research is just ‘really good PPI’, whilst for others it is very different: a much more deliberative process which requires public members and researchers to be involved on an equal footing throughout every stage of the design and delivery of research.…
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Asylum 25.3 is out now

Posted by Jill Anderson on September 11, 2018 at 15:10 0 Comments

This special Welfare Rights feature was inspired by discussions with people attempting to navigate the welfare system and has been developed by co-editor Ria Dylan and Danny Taggart.

Asylum cvr 25-3 web image

Asylum 25.3 presents a series of articles that reflect the despair, illness and worse that people have…

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SMaRteN network - project coordinator post

Posted by Jill Anderson on September 11, 2018 at 15:06 0 Comments

This role will support the development and coordination of a national student mental health research network, including a Student-led Research Team, ensuring strong stakeholder engagement across the network activities.…

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