Peter Beresford

Professor Peter Beresford

Director of Centre for Citizen Participation - Social Work

Room: Mary Seacole 301G
Brunel University
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1895 268741
Fax: +44 (0)1895 269853

About Peter

Academic qualifications



Peter Beresford OBE is Professor of Social Policy at Brunel University and also Director of the Centre for Citizen Participation. His particular areas of focus are public, patient and service user involvement in policy and practice; democratisation and participatory approaches to research, particularly in relation to user controlled and user involvement research.


He has a longstanding involvement in issues of participation and service user involvement in research and evaluation, as writer, researcher and educator. His areas of particular interest are disability, mental health, palliative care, social work and social care, welfare reform, social work education and participatory research.


He is an academic who is also actively involved in the development of policy, practice and research through affiliations and strong networks with national (and international) research, policy, practice and service user organisations and structures. His involvement in policy and practice development has a particular focus on social care and social work. He has been a member of many government and non-statutory committees and is currently a trustee of the National Skills Academy for Social Care and member of the Department of Health’s Ministerial Forum for Social Care Leadership and Workforce Recruitment and Retention Group. He is also a Fellow of the NIHR School for Social Care Research and a Visiting Professor at Edge Hill University


The Centre for Citizen Participation has a record of successful research and other collaborations with other academic, professional and public organisations nationally and nationally. Peter is also Chair of Shaping Our Lives, the national user controlled organisation and network concerned with the strategic development of user involvement and improved service quality in health and social care. Shaping Our Lives is a strategic partner for user involvement in the third sector with the Department of Health and a frequent research partner of Brunel University.


He has published widely in his fields of interest (see ). He writes regularly in the Guardian and writes a regular column in the journal of The College of Social work (see also and .


Research interests

He is currently undertaking research on understandings of madness and mental health, end of life care, user and carer involvement in social work education, welfare state reform and participatory social policy. He has an ongoing involvement in person-centred support, personalisation in policy and services, disability policy. He is particularly interested in and involved in user controlled and user involvement research. He is co-author of the Scoping Review of User Controlled Research published by the NIHR School for Social Care Research (

Research centres



Journal Papers

(2013) Beresford, P., From ‘other’ to involved: User involvement in research: an emerging paradigm, Nordic Social Work Research 3 (2) : 139- 148 Download publication

(2013) Boxall, K. and Beresford, P., Service user research in social work and disability studies in the United Kingdom, Disability and Society 28 (5) : 587- 600

(2012) Beresford, P., From 'vulnerable' to vanguard: Challenging the Coalition, Soundings (50) : 46- 57

(2012) Slasberg, C., Beresford, P. and Schofield, P., How self directed support is failing to deliver personal budgets and personalisation, Research, Policy and Planning: The Journal of the Social Services Research Group 29 (3) : 161- 177

(2012) Beresford, P., Schofield, P. and Slasberg, C., Can personal budgets really deliver better outcome for all at no cost? Reviewing the evidence, costs and quality, Disability and Society 27 (7) : 1029- 1034

(2012) Beresford, P., Ignored or just forgotten?, Journal of Integrated Care 20 (4) : 202- 204

(2012) Beresford, P., Are personal budgets necessarily empowering for service users? If not, what is it all about?, Research Policy And Planning 29 (1) : 37- 43

(2012) Beresford, P. and Boxall, K., Service Users, Social Work Education and Knowledge for Social Work Practice, Social Work Education 31 (2) : 155- 167

(2011) Fleming, J., Beresford, P., Hoban, M. and James, V., Shaping our age – Involving older people in improving their wellbeing, Generations Review (July)

(2011) Staniszewska, S., Adebajo, A., Barber, R., Beresford, P., Brady, L-M., Brett, J., Elliott, J., Evans, D., Haywood, KL., Jones, D., Mockford, C., Nettle, M., Rose, D. and Williamson, T., Developing the evidence base of patient and public involvement in health and social care research: the case for measuring impact, International Journal of Consumer Studies 35 628- 632

(2011) Barber, R., Beresford, P., Boote, J., Cooper, C. and Faulkner, A., Evaluating the impact of service user involvement on research: a prospective case study, International Journal of Consumer Studies 35 609- 615

(2011) Cotterell, P., Harlow, G., Morris, C., Beresford, P., Hanley, B., Sargeant, A., Sitzia, J. and Staley, K., Service user involvement in cancer care: The impact on service users, Health Expectations 14 (2) : 159- 169

(2010) Beresford, P., Public partnerships, governance and user involvement: a service user perspective, International Journal of Consumer Studies 34 (5) : 495- 502

(2010) Bryant, W., Vacher, G., Beresford, P. and McKay, E., The modernisation of mental health day services: participatory action research exploring social networking, Mental Health Review Journal 15 (3) : 11- 21

(2010) Beresford, P., Peter Townsend, disability, fabianism and self-organisation - an enduring difficulty. an obituary, Disability and Society 25 (2) : 253- 258

(2009) Boxall, K., Dowson, S. and Beresford, P., Selling individual budgets, choice and control: local and global influences on UK social care policy for people with learning difficulties, Policy and Politics 37 (4) : 499- 515

(2009) Beresford, P., Personal health budgets for the uk nhs: A revolution for the patient?, Patient 2 (2) : 69- 72

(2009) Beresford, P., Expert advice, Mental Health Today 9 (7) : 10- 11

(2009) Smith, E., Donovan, S., Beresford, P., Manthorpe, J., Brearley, S., Sitzia, J. and Ross, F., Getting ready for user involvement in a systematic review, Health Expectations 12 (2) : 197- 208

(2009) Huxley, P., Evans, S., Beresford, P., Davidson, B. and King, S., The principles and provisions of relationships: Findings from an evaluation of support, time and recovery workers in mental health services in England, Journal of Social Work 9 (1) : 99- 117

(2008) Beresford, P., All quiet on the western front, British Journal of Social Work 38 (4) : 827- 828

(2008) Postle, K., Beresford, P. and Hardy, S., Assessing research and involving people using health and social care services: Addressing the tensions, Evidence and Policy 4 (3) : 251- 262

(2008) Beresford, P., Croft, S. and Adshead, L., Is specialist palliative care social work being neglected?, European Journal of Palliative Care 15 (1) : 22- 25

(2008) Smith, E., Ross, F., Donovan, S., Manthorpe, J., Brearley, S., Sitzia, J. and Beresford, P., Service user involvement in nursing, midwifery and health visiting research: A review of evidence and practice, International Journal of Nursing Studies 45 (2) : 298- 315

(2008) Beresford, P., Time to go, Mental Health Today November 2008 19- 20

(2008) Beresford, P., Croft, S. and Adshead, L., 'We don't see her as a social worker': A service user case study of the importance of the social worker's relationship and humanity, British Journal of Social Work 38 (7) : 1388- 1407

(2007) Beresford, P., The role of service user research in generating knowledge-based health and social care: From conflict to contribution, Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice 3 (3) : 329- 341

(2007) Beresford, P., Disability rights and wrongs, Disability and Society 22 (2) : 217- 224

(2007) Beresford, P. and Postle, K., Capacity building and the reconception of political participation: A role for social care workers?, British Journal of Social Work 37 (1) : 143- 158

(2007) Beresford, P., User involvement, research and health inequalities: Developing new directions, Health and Social Care in the Community 15 (4) : 306- 312

(2006) Beresford, P., Poverty, Sociology 40 (5) : 976- 977

(2006) Beresford, P. and Branfield, F., Developing inclusive partnerships: User-defined outcomes, networking and knowledge - A case study, Health and Social Care in the Community 14 (5) : 436- 444

(2006) Glasby, J. and Beresford, P., Who knows best? Evidence-based practice and the service user contribution, Critical Social Policy 26 (1) : 268- 284

(2005) Beresford, P., Developing the theoretical basis for service user/survivor-led research and equal involvement in research, Epidemiologia e Psichiatria Sociale 14 (1) : 4- 9

(2005) Beresford, P., Redistributing profit and loss: The new economics of the market and social welfare, Critical Social Policy 25 (4) : 464- 482

(2005) Beresford, P., Service user': Regressive or liberatory terminology?, Disability and Society 20 (4) : 469- 477

(2005) Beresford, P., Social work and a social model of madness and distress: Developing a viable role for the future, Social Work and Social Sciences Review 12 (2) : 59- 73

(2004) Barker, P., Rolfe, G. and Beresford, P., Reframing the nurse's role through a social model approach: A rights-based approach to workers' development, Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 11 (3) : 365- 368

(2004) Beresford, P. and Croft, S., Service Users and Practitioners Reunited: The Key Component for Social Work Reform, British Journal of Social Work 34 (1) : 53- 68

(2004) Beresford, P., Where's the evidence?, Mental health today (Brighton, England) 31- 34

(2002) Beresford, P., Harrison, C. and Wilson, A., Mental health service users and disability: Implications for future strategies, Policy & Politics 30 (3) : 387- 396

(2002) Beresford, P., User involvement in research and evaluation: Liberation or regulation?, Social Policy and Society 1 (2) : 95- 105

(2002) Beresford, P. and Wilson, A., Genes spell danger: Mental health service users/survivors, bioethics and control, Disability and Society 17 (5) : 541- 553

(2002) Beresford, P., Thinking about 'mental health': Towards a social model, Journal of Mental Health 11 (6) : 581- 584

(2001) Beresford, P. and Croft, S., Service users' knowledges and the social construction of social work, Journal of Social Work 1 (3) : 295- 316

(2001) Beresford, P., Service users, The British Journal of Social Work 31 (4) : 629- 630

(2001) Beresford, P., Cheshire: The biography of Leonard Cheshire, VC, OM, Disability and Society 16 (3) : 456- 457

(2001) Hoban, M. and Beresford, P., Regenerating regeneration, Community Development Journal 36 (4) : 312- 320

(2001) Beresford, P., Service users, social policy and the future of welfare, Critical Social Policy 21 (4) : 494- 512

(2000) Beresford, P. and Holden, C., We have choices: Globalisation and welfare user movements, Disability and Society 15 (7) : 973- 989

(2000) Wilson, A. and Beresford, P., 'Anti-Oppressive practice': Emancipation or appropriation?, The British Journal of Social Work 30 (5) : 553- 573

(2000) Beresford, P., Service users' knowledges and social work theory: Conflict or collaboration?, The British Journal of Social Work 30 (4) : 489- 503

(2000) Beresford, P., Unequal partners: user groups and community care, Disability and Society 15 (3) : 540- 542

(2000) Beresford, P., What have madness and psychiatric system survivors got to do with disability and disability studies?, Disability and Society 15 (1) : 167- 172

(1999) Beresford, P. and Evans, C., Research note: Research and empowerment, The British Journal of Social Work 29 (5) : 671- 677

(1996) Beresford, P., Poverty and disabled people: Challenging dominant debates and policies, Disability and Society 11 (4) : 553- 568

(1996) Beresford, P., Reply to: 'A response to Beresford & Croft "It's our problem too"' by Peter Golding, Critical Social Policy 16 (3) : 109- 115

(1996) Beresford, P. and Green, D., Income and wealth: An opportunity to reassess the uk poverty debate, Critical Social Policy 16 (46) : 95- 109

(1995) Beresford, P. and Croft, S., It's our problem too! Challenging the exclusion of poor people from poverty discourse, Critical Social Policy 15 (44-45) : 75- 95

(1995) Beresford, P. and Croft, S., Time for a new approach to anti-poverty campaigning?, Poverty 90 12- 14

(1994) Beresford, P., Commentary on future community care research, Community Care Management and Planning 2 (2) : 63- 64

(1994) Beresford, P. and Campbell, J., Disabled people, service users, user involvement and representation, Disability and Society 9 (3) : 315- 325

Book Chapters

(2013) Beresford, P., Experiential knowledge and the reconception of madness. In: Coles, S., Keenan, S. and Diamond, B. eds. Madness contested: Power and practice. Ross-on-Wye : PCCS Books 181- 196

(2012) Wilson, A. and Beresford, P., Šílenství, úzkost a postmoderna: Uveďme to na pravou míru!. In: Kolářová, K. ed. Inakost – Postizeni – Kritika: Společenské konstrukty. Prague : Vydalo Sociologicke Nakladatelstv (Slon)

(2012) Beresford, P., Psychiatric system survivors: An emerging movement. In: Watson, N., Roulstone, A. and Thomas, C. eds. Routledge handbook of disability studies. London : Routledge 151- 164

(2012) Beresford, P., Service-user involvement. In: Gray, M., Midgley, J. and Webb, SA. eds. The SAGE handbook of social work. London : Sage 693- 706

(2012) Beresford, P., Die rolle des wissens der betroffenen beim aufbau von alternativen zur psychiatrie. In: Russo, J. ed. Aud der suche nach dem Rosengarten: Echte alternativen zur psychiatrie umsetzen. Berlin : Verein zum Schutz vor Psychiatrischer Gewailt [Association for Protection Against Psychiatric Violence] 8- 15

(2012) Beresford, P., User involvement in research. In: Becker, S., Bryman, A. and Ferguson, H. eds. Understanding research for social policy and social work: Themes, methods and approaches. Bristol : Policy Press 146- 151

(2011) Beresford, P. and Branfield, F., Building solidarity, ensuring diversity: Lessons from service users’ and disabled people’s movements. In: Barnes, M. and Cotterell, P. eds. Critical Perspectives on User Involvement. Bristol : Policy Press 33- 45

(2011) Beresford, P., Survivors history group take a critical look at historians. In: Barnes, M. and Cotterell, P. eds. Critical Perspectives on User Involvement. Bristol : Policy Press 7- 18


(2014) Beresford, P., Personalisation. Policy Press

(2012) Carr, S. and Beresford, P., Social care, service users and user involvement. Jessica Kingsley Publishers

(2011) Beresford, P., Fleming, J., Glynn, M., Bewley, C., Croft, S., Branfield, F. and Postle, K., Supporting people: Towards a person-centred approach. Policy Press

(2010) Beresford, P., A straight talking introduction to being a mental health service user. PCCS Books

(2009) Sweeney, A., Beresford, P., Faulkner, A., Nettle, M. and Rose, D., This is survivor research. PCCS Books

(2008) Beresford, P., Salo, M. and Varner, E., Kokemuksen muodonmuutos: Kohti palveluiden käyttäjien omaa tutkimustoimintaa / The transformation of experience: Towards service user controlled research. Mielenterveyden Keskusliitto

(2007) Beresford, P., Adshead, L. and Croft, S., Palliative care, social work and service users: Making life possible. Jessica Kingsley Publishers

(2006) Branfield, F. and Beresford, P., Making user involvement work: Supporting service user networking and knowledge. York Publishing Services (for Joseph Rowntree Foundation)

(2000) Carter, T. and Beresford, P., Age and change: Models of involvement for older people. York Publishing Services (for Joseph Rowntree Foundation)

(1999) Beresford, P., Green, D., Lister, R. and Woodward, K., Poverty first hand!: Poor people speak for themselves. Child Poverty Action Group

(1997) Beresford, P. and Turner, M., It's our welfare: Report of the Citizens Commission on the future of the welfare state. National Institute for Social Work

(1996) Trevillion, S. and Beresford, P., Meeting the challenge: Social work education and the community care revolution. Hyperion Books (for National Institute of Social Work)

(1996) Harding, T. and Beresford, P., The standards we expect: What service users and carers want from social service workers. National Institute For Social Work

(1995) Beresford, P. and Trevillion, S., Developing skills for community care: A collaborative approach. Ashgate Publishing Limited

(1993) National Institute for Social Work., Beresford, P. and Harding, T., A challenge to change: Practical experiences of building user-led services. Hyperion Books (for National Institute for Social Work)

(1993) Beresford, P. and Croft, S., Citizen involvement: A practical guide for change. Palgrave Macmillan

Page last updated: Tuesday 26 November 2013