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NIHR School for Social Care Research

Commissioned work at the Unit

The National Institute for Health Research School for Social Care Research (SSCR) was established in 2009 and is one of the leading funders of research into adult social care practice in England. 

From May 2019, HSCWRU joins with six other partner institutions in the School's next five year phase of work.

Unit Director Professor Jill Manthorpe, Michelle Cornes, Jo Moriarty, Martin Stevens, Kritika Samsi, Maureen Crane and Louise Joly of the Unit are all SSCR Fellows.

SSCR-commissioned work at the Unit includes:

Investigating the quality of social work decisions in supervision

Social workers sometimes make decisions about people’s wellbeing that are life changing. This study is investigating how social workers make decisions and is collecting evidence of the possible impact of different supervision practices on quality. Project page

Using Telecare for Older People In Adult Social Care: UTOPIA study

The overall purpose of this study is to explore factors that promote and inhibit the successful use of telecare for older people who use adult social care services. Key aims are to find out: what help telecare is intended to offer to older people; how telecare is used in practice in people’s homes; what information people think adult social care departments should be collecting (if any) to tell if telecare is working well for people who use it. Project page

‘Optimal time’ of moving to a care home for people with dementia

The project will produce empirical evidence regarding what may be the most optimal time for a person with dementia to move to a care home. This sensitive, yet important, question has not been addressed previously. By synthesizing qualitative perspectives and statistical evidence the findings will be used to develop practice factsheets and guidelines to support practitioners working with people with dementia and carers in advisory capacities when faced with these questions. Project page.

Social care practices with carers: an investigation of practice models

The study highlights the varied role played by carers’ workers in supporting family carers. Access to the right sort of information continues to be a problem for family carers. Personal budgets offer new flexibilities for some, but there is still a need for traditional support aimed at giving carers a break. Project page.

Risk, safeguarding and personal budgets

Personalisation has been a policy aspiration of the Department of Health for over 25 years. However, many practitioners and managers had concerns about increased risks arising from the use of PBs, particularly as Direct Payments (the main vehicle for personalisation). This study aims to find evidence to support or counter these fears. Project page.

Models of safeguarding: a study comparing specialist and non-specialist safeguarding teams for adults

Developing good models of safeguarding practice is of prime importance for local authorities to ensure that attempts to protect people thought to be at risk of abuse, mistreatment, and neglect are effective but do not over-protect them or deprive them of their human rights. This research aims to identify benefits and costs of different forms of safeguarding practice. Project page.

Rebuilding Lives

This project aimed to increase understanding of how practitioners can meet the longer-term support needs of formerly homeless people who are rehoused, and of the ways in which support is provided. The study followed on from the FOR-HOME study. Rebuilding Lives project page. And see: the Homelessness Research Programme at SCWRU.

Methods Reviews

Evans, C., Stone, K., Manthorpe, J. & Higginson, I. (2013) 'MRC guidance on developing and evaluating complex interventions: application to research on palliative and end of life care', London: NIHR School for Social Care Research.

Hussein, S. (2011) 'The Use of 'Large Scale Datasets' in UK Social Care Research', London: NIHR School for Social Care Research.

Moriarty, J. (2011) 'Qualitative Methods Overview', London: NIHR School for Social Care Research.


Other NIHR SSCR projects with Unit involvement:

'Social care interventions that promote social participation and well-being: a mixed methods study' Project website

'Relocation, portability and social care practice: investigating the barriers and solutions encountered by disabled people when moving across local authority areas for employment and education reasons' Project briefing

'Supporting people with learning disabilities who have offended to live safely in the community: negotiating policy and practice to promote social inclusion and rehabilitation' Project briefing




About the National Institute for Health Research

‘The mission of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is to maintain a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals, working in world class facilities, conducting leading edge research focused on the needs of patients and the public.

The NIHR is a large, multi-faceted and nationally distributed organisation, funded through the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Professor Dame Sally Davies, as the head of DH R&D, is responsible for NIHR.

An Advisory Board provides strategic advice on the direction, implementation and management of the NIHR.

Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has worked with key partners involved in the different elements of NHS research to transform research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research.’

Go to the NIHR website


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