Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

Patient, Carer and Public Involvement

Make your experience count. Use your experience to help shape the future of healthcare professionals’ education.


Apply today

Patient, Carer and Public InvolvementWatch the video
The PCPIs have a real passion for what they do and are wholly committed to supporting us to deliver high quality, job-ready graduates who will make a real difference to patient care. The value of working with the PCPIs is felt by both staff and students across all of our courses and continues to make a difference to everything we do.” – Sue Brent, Head of School of Nursing and Health Sciences

Patient, Carer and Public Involvement (PCPI) in healthcare related degree courses is essential in terms of developing the knowledge, understanding and skills of students, as well as being a prerequisite for accreditation from professional bodies, and potential funding from external organisations. There is an explicit expectation within the NHS that the patient is at the centre of the services that they use, and an expectation of regulatory and professional bodies that PCPI is both explicit and embedded in all healthcare related courses.

At the University of Sunderland, our PCPI programme has been running since 2014, and we currently work with about 250 PCPI participants. They come from all walks of life, with years of work and life experience, and many have underlying medical conditions, about which they provide a case study for teaching and learning purposes. We provide our PCPI participant with full training, support and we also pay them for their time. We consider our PCPI participants as members of the team within the Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing.

PCPI participant and students

What we do

The Patient, Carer and Public involvement (PCPI) programme provides an opportunity for you to have a say in the way that training and education is designed and delivered as well as having an opportunity to interact with students who are healthcare professionals in training. This is done through participating in a number of areas, offering an opportunity to share your views and experiences across healthcare with a view to improving future services. There are also opportunities to contribute to development of communication and history taking skills. These activities provide a chance to interact with other PCPI participants, students and academics and have a real impact on shaping the skills of future healthcare professionals.

There are a variety of ways that you can contribute to undergraduate programmes which can include:

Recruitment and Selection: As part of the recruitment process for many of our health-related courses, students are invited to attend a selection event. As part of this event, you can get involved in meeting and interviewing the students with regard to their suitability for the course they have applied for (Nursing, Paramedic Science and Out of Hospital Care, Pharmacy, and Medicine). In addition, there are opportunities to participate as a panel member on interview panels with potential employers as part of the student selection process for clinical placements. The University currently uses values based recruitment and full training in our selection procedures is given if you would like to get involved in this area.

Teaching: There are a number of different ways you can get involved in teaching sessions. Opportunities include condition-specific seminars, communication and consultation skills, clinical skills, and clinical examinations. Details of each session can be found in the PCPI Handbook. 

Programme Management: Programme Management Boards meet to discuss all aspects of individual courses to ensure students receive a high standard of training and education. PCPI participants attend these boards to tell the group about PCPI involvement and influence.

Curriculum Development: Modules are taught through a range of methods, including PCPI participants sharing their experiences, which is a very valuable part of helping students learn. PCPI participants’ experiences can be extremely valuable in identifying gaps and priorities in the subjects we teach. As new courses are developed, PCPI participants are involved from initial conception through to course approval.

Physical Examination: PCPI participants act as model patients for mock clinical tests (eg electrocardiogram (ECGs)) or around diagnostic examination, for example respiratory, cardiovascular or abdominal examinations. They then provide feedback to the students on their communication skills.

Assessment (Objective Structured Clinical Examinations- OSCEs): An OSCE comprises of a number of stations within a circuit, every student rotates around the circuit completing each station within the circuit. Each station can last between 5-15 minutes. OSCEs are designed to test clinical skill competence in skills such as communication, clinical examination, prescribing, etc. Opportunities for PCPI participants to be involved in OSCEs include recounting a social history, medication history and acting as model patients around diagnostic examination.

Simulation and role-play

PCPI Reference Group: The PCPI Reference Group will identify the benefits to the organisation and PCPI participant of being involved in the work, and negotiate the boundaries to involvement.

Research: Research opportunities have recently involved reading applications for funding and adding a patient’s perspective to these, and contributing to focus groups regarding point of care testing.

Training opportunities

All new PCPI participants receive full training before contributing to teaching and learning at the University.  Initial training opportunities include:

  • Equality and Diversity
  • Communication, Consultation and Feedback skills
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs)

Further training opportunities will be available as new areas are implemented.

PCPI logo

Further information

For further information about our PCPI participants, please contact:

Lesley Scott
Senior Lecturer (Patient, Carer and Public Involvement)
Email: l.scott@sunderland.ac.uk
Tel: 0191 515 2388

Register your interest

Keep me up to date relating to my interest in the University of Sunderland via:



Text message/SMS


You may unsubscribe at any time.

The University of Sunderland is collecting this information in order for you to register your interest in becoming a PCPI participant. Your information will be stored securely and used only for the administration and provision of this request. Further information on how your data is stored and used can be found in our Consent notice – PCPI.

Oops! You've not opted in to receiving information relating to your interest in the University of Sunderland via:



Text message/SMS


You may unsubscribe at any time.