The South West Academic Health Science Network places the public at the very centre of all its work. To accomplish this we invite people who use services to work alongside us and play a key role in improving health and social care.

We value and respect the time and commitment people give to our organisation. Below is some information we hope you will find useful.

Can anyone get involved?
If you are a member of the public or a carer and use health or social care services we would welcome your involvement.

We define ‘public’ as anyone who’s not professionally involved in health and social care. We want members of the public and patient and carer representatives from across the South West region to help shape our work and decision-making process.

We are particularly keen to hear from people who are passionate about driving forward health care improvements and who are keen to share their experience as people who use services to help inform new innovations in healthcare.

We are inviting members of the public to join our Check it group. The aim of the group is to gain public perception and input into SW AHSN documentation, ensuring the person is always at the centre of any work we produce. The Check it group will include members from across the South West region to ensure each county has representation and their voice is heard. The group will act as a critical, constructive friend to the organisation, providing the SW AHSN with valuable perspectives from people who use or have used health and social care services.

We are currently recruiting members for the group. Click to download the role description, terms of reference and application form.

If you would like any more information about Check it please contact info@swahsn.com

How can I make my voice heard?
Your voice can be heard through a variety of mediums to reach our partners and we welcome people who use services to assist us with their views from a variety of forums.

Our partners include; Private Industry, NHS, Research, Universities.
Please see our Hubs for current projects.

We want to hear your opinions, and you can pass them on by getting involved in project steering groups, focus groups and by sharing information through discussion and debate at public events.

How do we use your views?
We have a number of patient and public involvement representatives, who make a valuable contribution to our projects.

Over 20 representatives have helped us to develop and progress the ground-breaking 100,000 Genomes Project in the South West. This group regularly takes part in focus groups, workshops and debates and suggest ways to improve patient information which we have fed back at a national level. See news story.

We developed a public consultation survey and worked in collaboration with our local Health Watch to seek public opinion about our Medicine Support Service pilot project. This feedback informed the improvement of public information for the project. See news story.

What can I expect from getting involved?
Your voice is important and we hope that you will gain satisfaction from helping to inform our work. We hope you will enjoy meeting new people, be able to share your views in a secure environment and watch them transform and shape our work. We have an expenses and reimbursement policy so that you will not be out of pocket for getting involved in our work. Please contact us for a copy of this policy or download here.

Who should I contact?
If you are a patient or carer representative or an interested member of the public who would like to have a say in our work, please email info@swahsn.com or call 01392 247903.

The SW AHSN newsletters are free for the public, if you would like a copy please click here.