Researchers led by the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (CPEC) are launching a new Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded project which will support the adult social care sector to innovate.
The study, which is a collaboration between research and practice partners, is the first of its kind, looking at the entire process of innovation in adult social care: from the point when new ideas are created to the way they are implemented and spread.
The project brings together the LSE, Care England, Islington Council, King’s College London, Kingston University London, Local Government Association (Care and Health Improvement Programme), Social Finance, Thurrock Council, Turning Point and the University of York.
Dr Juliette Malley, who leads the project, commented, “It’s really exciting work… there are lots of promising innovations happening in adult social care, but we don’t know what makes some of them go on to become part of mainstream practice while others fall by the wayside.”
The five-year study will uncover new evidence about what helps adult social care innovations to be developed, scaled-up and spread. Based on this, the project will produce a series of recommendations for future decision-making, planning and implementation of innovations across the adult social care sector.
Researchers will work closely with social care service users, carers, care providers and local authorities throughout the project. These diverse experiences from across the sector will inform the research at every stage.
In the first stage of the study, workshops and discussions with stakeholders will help researchers to understand more about how innovation in adult social care is currently perceived. Together they will design a series of case studies to explore the process of innovation.
In the second phase of the study, the research team will analyse the case studies to understand more about the conditions which enable innovations to spread, and to identify how innovation can be supported with changes to policy and infrastructure.
A national survey in the final phase of the project will be sent to local authorities and social care organisations. This will test the findings from the case studies, and build an understanding of the situation in different parts of the country, including organisations’ capacity to innovate.
Dr Malley said, "We want this study to start us on a road towards an infrastructure that will allow effective, affordable, and equitable innovations to flourish in adult social care. It would be great to see promising innovations spread more widely as a consequence of this study."
The project will be launched at an event on Monday 13 January 2020 at the LSE. The event will be chaired by Sir David Behan, and speakers will talk about their experiences of innovating in the sector. Further details and information on registration are available at https://sascilaunch.eventbrite.co.uk.
Find out more about the SASCI project at http://www.lse.ac.uk/cpec/research/sasci.