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12 April 2024

At the April Day Centre Research Forum

Ailsa Cameron and Catrin Noone discussed their day centre research projects at the Forum

People at a garden party

Reimagining day care’s role can they play in policy and practice. Relational practice in day centres.

At the DCRF on 11 April 2024, presenters Ailsa Cameron and Catrin Noone discussed their day centre research projects.

The 32 attendees were affiliated to different local authorities, universities, service providers and an NHS trust; two were international day centre experts or researchers from the US. Many asked questions and there was considerable discussion on several points after each presentation.

Ailsa Cameron considered the role of local authority funded day care in meeting policy objectives across the social care and health sectors. She set out three ‘reimagined’ models of day care provision suggested by data collected in the NIHR School for Social Care Research project ‘Reimagining Collective Forms of Day Care’. Ailsa's slides.

Catrin Noone shared insights from her study which used a Participatory Action Research approach. PAR is not a method, but an approach which involves committing to a set of principles. She discussed the value of generalist day centres as ‘sites’ for relational practice, emphasising their ability to go beyond person-centredness and toward person-led practices which can completely transformative lives. She discussed the challenges and opportunities of applying this approach in a day centre. Catrin's slides.

Both speakers demonstrated how valued day centres are by the people involved with them, for many reasons, not least because they are spaces in which genuine connections are built and in which people can find joy. Day centres’ ability to be adaptable was a running theme, and something which was thought to contribute to their continued relevance within the mosaic of services for older people. Ailsa’s ‘ecosystem’ of three models of day care that could work together was particularly interesting.

This event report by Katharine Orellana.

The Day Centre Research Forum is coordinated by Katharine Orellana of the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce, King's College London.

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Katharine Orellana

Research Fellow