Care services minister Ivan Lewis today announced the creation of a school of research into adult social care in England, backed by £15m of Department of Health funding over the next five years.
The school of social care research will carry out primary research across adult social care, with a particular focus on social work, and professionals as well as academics will contribute to its work.
Lewis said: “We want to improve the evidence for social care practice so we can be sure that people in this country are provided with better and more effective services in the future. This new school will make a major contribution to improving the volume and quality of the research in the English social care sector.”
The school, which will be based at the National Institute for Health Research, will have a team of researchers backed by external associates.
It is now inviting applications to join the research team from academics working on Department of Health-funded research programmes with a track record in research.
Lewis signalled the creation of a research school at the 2006 National Social Services Conference. The DH then commissioned Commission for Social Care Inspection chair Denise Platt to examine the idea, among others to raise the status and quality of social care.
In her status of social care report, published in April 2007, Platt pointed out the huge inequality in government funding for research into health and social care and said new research was needed into personalised care, effective commissioning, user-managed services and the role of social work.