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The NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South London began on 1 October 2019. It aims to conduct high-quality research to help the NHS and care services offer excellent care based on sound evidence across south London and beyond.

Staff at the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce in the Policy Institute at King’s College London are leading on the NIHR ARC South London Social Care Theme.

About the Social Care theme

Social Care theme work has concentrated on day services and being responsive to local social care priorities. Day services are valuable places for people with multiple and complex social care and support needs, who want to remain in the community. Such services offer care, advice and support to different people, including older people, people with experience of homelessness and people misusing substances. Yet day services are under-researched.

This research is needed to better understand current provision and capacity of day services in South London as an essential part of social care. It addresses questions around the value of day services for people with multiple long-term and complex conditions and what day services need to operate effectively and efficiently.

What is the aim of our research?

Our overall aim is to strengthen social care services in South London, to highlight their strengths in communities and to support them in capturing and communicating their outcomes. Two studies address this aim.

Study 1: MACE (Mapping And Community Engagement)

In the MACE (Mapping and Community Engagement) study (2019-2021), we mapped strengths and gaps in provision and demand for day services in South London and built strong networks for the subsequent research programme. MACE study page.

Study 2: SARP (Setting And Responding to Priorities)

Setting And Responding to Priorities (SARP) (2021-2024) is a longer-term broad research programme involving co-producing research and development priorities for social care communities and responding to those priorities and working with London Councils. SARP builds on the MACE (Mapping and Community Engagement) study (2019-2021), which mapped strengths and gaps in provision and demand for day services in South London and which built strong networks for the subsequent research programme.

Involvement, engagement and other work

Alongside these studies, our capacity development work in the sector has included co-creating community networks which aim to widen involvement in research by under-represented people living in south London, implementing innovative methods, supporting the workforce to work with people living with dementia and supporting ARC South London social care post-docs.

SARP study page.

Day Centre Research Forum

We have also set up and run a Day Centre Research Forum to facilitate local and national collaboration between researchers and stakeholders working in the day services field.

Adopted studies

In addition to the projects detailed on these pages NIHR ARC South London has adopted a number of social care research projects.

Staying in touch

If you’d like us to keep you posted about our work, please email with ‘keep me posted about ARC’ in the subject heading, highlighting whether you’re interested in a specific area or user group. See our Privacy Notice. You may unsubscribe from this list at any time by emailing Katharine Orellana.