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NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South London

NIHR ARC South London Social Care theme

The first phase of the Social Care theme will concentrate on day services. 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, with a high Social Return on Investment.

Poster outlining this Social Care theme.

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. This aim will be achieved through conducting two studies.

Study 1: MACE (Mapping And Community Engagement)

In the first study we will produce a detailed map of day services in four boroughs of South London to ascertain strengths and gaps in provision and demand.  We will engage with the community of day services, social care practitioners, local authorities etc. to build a strong network for the next study. 

Alongside this, we are running a Day Centre Research Forum to facilitate local and national collaboration between researchers and stakeholders working in the day services field.

Study 2: SARP (Setting And Responding to Priorities)

SARP builds on MACE. In this study, we will co-produce research and development priorities for South London social care communities, including day services, together with stakeholders and to respond to these priorities by developing practicable tools, such as self-auditing instruments.

How is our work addressing problems faced by people living with more than one long term condition and inequalities?

Users of social care services often experience multiple, complex long-term conditions and need social care and support. Conditions may include physical disabilities, mental health conditions, addictions, or loneliness. Social care services support some extremely deprived groups. This research focuses on filling gaps in knowledge around the value of day services and other social care services and to strengthen them as community assets.

Who are we collaborating with?

Co-production and stakeholder involvement lie at the heart of this research. Both studies will involve day service and social care stakeholders, including staff, volunteers and current and prospective users. The second study also involves family/friend carers, staff from local authorities, community groups, primary care services and homelessness and addictions services to identify key research questions for social care in South London from practice perspectives. On the national level, we will network with relevant organisations such user groups, unions and social care bodies.

How are we involving patients, services users, carers and public?

Study participants will include day service and social care users, future users, carers and other people in South London’s diverse communities. We will seek their opinion and input to coproduce questions, findings and outputs. Our theme has a public/patient service user/carer lead.


Theme lead: Jill Manthorpe

Deputy lead: Kritika Samsi

Post-Doctoral Fellow: Katharine Orellana

Post-Doctoral Fellow: Caroline Green

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.

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