Social care dilemmas tackled by new national School01 May 2009, PR 86/09 Urgent questions about how England should best support the 1.8 million adults receiving social care services will start to receive better answers from today with the opening of the School for Social Care Research in which King’s College London will have a leading role.
With a budget of £15 million over the next five years, the School will lead research in the field, all of it aimed at improving services to improve people’s lives.
It is collaboration between five universities, led by Professor Martin Knapp at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, who is Director of the new School. The other universities involved are the University of Kent, Manchester University and the University of York. The school is funded by the Government’s National Institute for Health Research.
Among the questions the School will try to answer are how users of social care services can be given more control and greater choice, whether there are better ways of commissioning services and how social care practice can mesh effectively with health care and other services.
Professor Jill Manthorpe, Director of the Department of Health funded Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London, is one of the country's leading social care researchers with expertise in the areas of risk, adult safeguarding, dementia and the workforce. In this new School she has been appointed as one of the five founding members of the Executive chosen through national competition.
She comments: ‘It is a great honour to be appointed as a founder member of the new School's Executive Group, and a real mark of the contribution that King’s College London makes to research on social care practice.
‘Recognition of the importance of world-class research as needing to inform the national investment in social care is important for the public purse but even more so for individuals and families. Almost everyone will make use of social care services at some time in their lives, particularly if they live to old age or have a disability.
‘The new funds, available to us at King’s and to other universities as part of the School, will have to be wisely spent if we are to improve the support that people receive when they are seeking to change their lives or to die with dignity and compassion.’
Professor Knapp adds: ‘It’s an exciting venture and one which matters more than ever because of the dramatic changes in our population, people's rising expectations, the nature of care and the rising cost of providing it.
‘I hope we’ll be able to not only set the highest standards of research but also make sure that our findings affect the real world and address the questions to which the public want answers. Our mission is to improve care and improve people’s lives.’
Although the School is a collaboration between five universities, it will, in time, have the flexibility to commission research from other institutions and companies.
One of its first tasks will be to carry out a public consultation to help define the areas it should investigate.Notes to editors School for Social Care Research
To find out more about the School for Social Care Research visit its website at www.lse.ac.uk/collections/nihrsscr
or call 020 7955 6225.
Professor Jill Manthorpe
Professor Jill Manthorpe is Director of the Department of Health funded Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London. She leads a team of researchers that specialises in new workforce roles; social care practice and the impact of practice on people using services. The Unit informs policy and practice; education and regulators; and has a key role in knowledge transfer activities within London and nationally. Her expertise is called upon by national and local government; charities and user groups; professional associations and educational providers, as well as European and North American networks. http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/sspp/interdisciplinary/scwru/
King’s College London
King’s College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher Education
2008) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King’s has more than 21,000 students from nearly 140 countries, and more than 5,700 employees. King’s is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate.
King’s has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £450 million.
King’s has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe; no university has more Medical Research Council Centres.
King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King’s Health Partners. King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world’s leading research-led universities and three of London’s most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit: www.kingshealthpartners.org
Melanie Gardner, Senior Public Relations Officer
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