The impact of LUPIN

To assess this, in August 2011 twenty Lancaster DClinPsy programme trainees took part in a semi-structured questionnaire-based survey (9 from 1st year, 9 from 2nd year and 2 from 3rd year) on their experiences of, and the perceived impact of, service user involvement on the programme.

The main themes relating to the impact of service user involvement are summarised below, along with illustrative quotes:

1. Changed and/or improved clinical practice

Gaining valuable knowledge to use within my clinical practice.

It has made me understand better what is needed in a clinical setting.

Brings home what works and what doesn't, through hearing LUPIN member's experiences of what they found helpful/unhelpful during their therapy/involvement with services.

LUPIN involvement has made me much more likely to use service-user involvement in service design in the future when I qualify.

It provides me the opportunity to ask questions I do not feel I could ask my clients, and to feel more reassured/modify my approach as necessary.

2. Increased knowledge

I learn more effectively because the subject takes on a more real aspect and is not kept to theoretical domains.

Deepened my understanding of issues that I had not been previously familiar with.

Hearing an alternative voice that you don't get in textbooks and allowing me to consider how my practice may be experienced by my clients.

Provided very good strategies and recommendations for how to deliver information and present documents.

A human perspective to remind us that not everyone is alike and that the evidence base needs to be supplemented with a person centred approach.

3. Increased reflection

Reduced the notion of us (clinical psychologist) and them (service user).

Helped me to reflect on my practice.

Made me consider my own biases/ prejudices that I maybe wasn't aware of beforehand.

Service user input has been some of the most emotionally-affecting and interesting teaching on the course. It has reminded me to remember how I view people before I consider their problems or mental health issues.

It has challenged my practice as a therapist.

4. Better understanding of the experiences of service users

Greater understanding of the experience of certain life events or mental health difficulties which I myself may not have any experience with personally.

It helped me to understand how services are experienced personally in real life.

Service user's stories have been very powerful.

Better understanding of the power differentials between service users and professionals.