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

Launch of Mad In Asia - online platform

Posted by Jill Anderson on July 17, 2018 at 10:14 0 Comments

Mad in Asia is an online platform whose primary mission is to contribute to changing the narrative about madness and mental distress.

Mad in Asia hopes to showcase narratives that are contextually relevant for the Asia region that focus on the inclusion of persons with psychosocial disabilities as well as challenge the dominance of western biomedical psychiatry and clinical psychology. Led by persons with psychosocial disabilities from Asian countries and in collaboration with…

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Community Open Online Courses (COOCs)

Posted by Jill Anderson on July 17, 2018 at 10:08 0 Comments

Community Open Online Courses (COOCs) are an opportunity for people to share their passions, ideas and knowledge with each other.  What learning is created is down to you, the users.  Learning is most enjoyable when it is taught by those with enthusiasm and a desire to share what they know.  The word ‘courses’ is loosely used, there are no exams, no tests, no qualifications required.  The aim is to get people from all parts of the community to generate learning opportunities and to share…

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The Angry Consumer - embracing difficult conversations

Posted by Jill Anderson on July 10, 2018 at 10:54 0 Comments

This is a great new blog post by Nev Jones. 

Download here.

Assessment for Social Justice: perspectives and practices within higher education - new book

Posted by Jill Anderson on July 1, 2018 at 19:05 0 Comments

Assessment for Social Justice: perspectives and practices within higher education, by Jan McArthur, looks at assessment in HE through the lenses of critical pedagogy and social justice, and offers new insights to both fields of enquiry. …

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Trauma and Madness in Mental Health Services - new book

Posted by Jill Anderson on June 30, 2018 at 10:30 0 Comments

This new book, by Noël Hunter, represents a critical exploration of the mental health system as it pertains to individuals experiencing 'madness'

trauma and madness

Is written entirely from the perspective of people with lived experience

Offers resources and directions for the future, as recommended by people with the experiences in consideration.

Find out…

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Social policy first hand An international introduction to participatory social welfare

Posted by Jill Anderson on June 29, 2018 at 14:30 0 Comments

Social policy is often constructed and implemented by people who have little experience of its impact as a service user, but there has been a growing interest in greater public, patient and service user involvement in social policy as both political activity and academic discipline.

Social…

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Mad Studies webinar series

Posted by Jill Anderson on June 27, 2018 at 13:59 0 Comments

This series of eight online webinars will introduce participants to mad studies, an emerging, interdisciplinary field encompassing a variety of philosophical, social, and cultural perspectives on what we consider "madness." As a discipline, mad studies seeks to challenge dominant understandings of "mental illness," rejecting the notion that the biomedical model of psychiatry is an accurate interpretation of human mental and emotional states. Mad studies offers a variety of alternative…

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Paying people who receive benefits - coproduction and participation.

Posted by Jill Anderson on June 27, 2018 at 13:55 0 Comments

This At a glance briefing, from SCIE, looks at benefit changes that can make it easier for people who use services and carers to get involved in paid co-production/ participation in health and social care. 

View the briefing.

Independent review of the Mental Health Act: A summary of the interim report

Posted by Jill Anderson on June 15, 2018 at 14:57 0 Comments

This useful briefing, on the NHS Confederation website, summarises key points from the interim report for Mental Health Network members.  View the briefing.

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