Social Accountability - working in partnership with the community

Social accountability is the obligation of medical and other health professional schools to orient education, research and service activities towards addressing the priority health needs of the community, region, and/or nation they have a mandate to serve - where priorities are jointly defined by government, health service organisations, the public and especially the underserved.

World health organisation, 1995

We are positioning our education, research and service delivery to meet priority local health needs and make a major contribution to University-wide efforts to improve and enhance the way the University of Sheffield works in partnership with others across the Sheffield City Region and South Yorkshire.

Our aims

  • Inspiring students to engage with the idea of what it means to be a socially accountable health professional and adopt a commitment to serve in a spirit of social justice within their future practice wherever that may be
  • Encouraging staff to collaborate with community partners and co-produce learning and teaching, research and knowledge transfer activities that can similarly demonstrate a positive impact on the health and well-being of the people and communities surrounding the University of Sheffield
  • Creating opportunities for a wide variety of different community partners to contribute to curriculum change and research project development, influence the mind-set and career trajectories of the next generation of health professionals, and involve staff as well as students in their efforts to improve people‚Äôs health and well-being across the Sheffield & South Yorkshire Region
  • Working in partnership with community partners in an honest and authentic way to break down barriers and facilitate changing patterns of university-community engagement and interaction. 

A programme of work is now underway across the Faculty to support this vision led by Professor Deborah Murdoch-Eaton (Academic Unit of Medical Education) and Professor Elizabeth Goyder (ScHARR) and overseen by Charlotte Watson, MDH Faculty Social Accountability Project Manager (based within AUME) with support from a project steering group.