Social care research in England will get up to £20 million in new funding through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), boosting research to improve adult social care across the country.
The investment by the Department of Health and Social Care will fund the next five years of the NIHR School for Social Care Research (NIHR SSCR) led by LSE and directed by Professor Martin Knapp.
NIHR SSCR funds adult social care research and training for research staff. It brings together leading academic centres for social care research in England, and supports world-class research by social care professionals and academics to improve the way social care is delivered.
The NIHR has already invested £30 million into the School for Social Care Research, which celebrates its 10 year anniversary in 2019. Thanks to the new investment, NIHR SSCR will continue to build the evidence base and develop capacity in social care research in England over the next five years.
The new funding will allow the NIHR SSCR’s partner organisations to build on their work in areas such as mental health, dementia, and care homes. Two new partners have joined the School - Kings College London and the University of Birmingham - bringing the total number of partners to seven. NIHR SSCR will launch a call for research proposals in summer 2019.
Ongoing LSE research projects funded by NIHR SSCR include evaluation of preventive strategies in social care, support to young adult carers, the economic case for social care interventions, and the quality and performance of long-term care in English local authorities. Since 2009, LSE has been the lead partner for NIHR SSCR, commissioning 128 research studies and many scoping and methods reviews.
The £20 million investment into social care also includes £1.8 million investment for training researchers through the new NIHR Academy, which will be coordinated through NIHR SSCR.
Commenting, Professor Martin Knapp at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Director of the NIHR School for Social Care Research, said: “The social care system relies on robust evidence to show what people need and want, what works and with what resource implications. I’m delighted that the School is receiving further investment from NIHR through DHSC to answer these questions. Our research will continue to involve people who use services, those who provide unpaid care and the care workforce to ensure that social care works for the people who need it.”
LSE Director Minouche Shafik added: “LSE is delighted to continue its leadership of NIHR SSCR for a further five years, consolidating the university’s reputation for research excellence and impact in the social care field. This recognition is testament to the expertise we have at LSE and our commitment to research in such an increasingly important policy area.”
Care Minister Caroline Dinenage said: “This £20 million boost to social care research is an investment in the future and will help us understand how best to provide care and support that keeps people living healthy, happy and independent lives for as long as possible.”
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