Diana Rose is a social scientist and has been a mental health service user all her adult life. After a period of academic work followed by unemployment, she pioneered a method for involving service users in peer evaluation of mental health services at a London NGO. In 2001 she joined the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London working to put the service user voice into all aspects of the research process. In 2005 she was made co-director of the Service User Research Enterprise and this year she was made Professor in User-Led Research.
We need much more theoretical and conceptual clarity around what we mean by involvement, engagement, and now, post-Francis, the patient experience. In my Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) some people are frustrated with research because they argue Francis has told us what’s wrong and we just need to get out there and fix it. I am also struck by the question of whether the emphasis should be on coproduction or user-led research. I can see both sides of the argument but I think I’d still like to keep a space for user-led activity. .