Major boost for social care research

Posted on 8 November 2018

Social care research at the University of York will receive a share of £20 million funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), boosting research to improve adult social care across the country.

As part of the overall funding investment, the University’s Department of Social Policy and Social Work will receive funding over five years to support research studies and enable the training of researchers. The work will be coordinated by the NIHR’s School for Social Care Research (NIHR SSCR), of which the University of York is a member.

NIHR SSCR funds adult social care research and training for research staff and the University of York is one of only a handful of universities which have been involved with it since its formation nearly a decade ago. In that time the department has undertaken several influential studies which have delivered a positive impact across a wide range of social care issues, including help for older people seeking care and working people with disabilities.

Professor Yvonne Birks is Associate Director of the School and led the funding application. She said: “People using social care services, and those who care for them in formal and informal roles, deserve the same high quality research to underpin the services that people in healthcare receive; and those who work in social care need to know what works.

“This new investment brings money and opportunities to develop social care research careers and we are proud to have a part to play at York.”

Making the £20 million funding announcement, Minister of State for Care Caroline Dinenage said: “Thanks to advances in healthcare, people in England are living longer than ever before. That’s a testament to world-leading research and is clearly something to celebrate, but it’s important to think about how we can adapt our health and care system to meet the changing population’s needs.

“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.”

As well as the University of York, the NIHR SSCR partner institutions are the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), King’s College London, and the Universities of Bristol, Birmingham, Kent and Manchester.

The director of the NIHR SSCR, Professor Martin Knapp at the LSE, 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.”

Notes to editors:

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR): improving the health and wealth of the nation through research.

NIHR’s health research investment includes substantial funding for social care research under the themes outlined below.

Established by the Department of Health and Social Care, the NIHR:

  • funds high quality research to improve health
  • trains and supports health researchers
  • provides world-class research facilities
  • works with the life sciences industry and charities to benefit all
  • involves patients and the public at every step

For further information, visit the NIHR website

Research funded by NIHR uses data provided by patients and collected by the NHS as part of their care and support, and would not be possible without access to this data. The NIHR recognises and values the role of patient data, securely accessed and stored, both in underpinning and leading to improvements in research and care.