CIRCLE has been announced as a partner in a brand new Centre for adult social care, which will aim to put evidence into practice to promote and maintain people’s independence and wellbeing.

CIRCLE at the University of Sheffield will be partnering with the University of Birmingham, as part of a broader consortium of key stakeholders from across the four nations of the UK, to develop a brand new Centre for adult social care, which will aim to put evidence into practice to promote and maintain people’s independence and wellbeing.

The new Centre called IMPACT (Improving Adult Care Together) has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, and the Health Foundation. It will be the first Centre of its kind in the UK.

The Centre will:

  • Lead the way in helping people working in adult social care, carers, and the people they support make better use of high-quality, practice-based evidence to support innovation in adult social care
  • Build capacity and skills in the adult social care workforce
  • Help develop sustainable and productive relationships between all of those working across adult social care
  • Improve our understanding of what helps or hinders when putting evidence into practice.

The Centre will receive funding of £15 million over the next six years, with equal contributions from ESRC and the Health Foundation.

Sue Yeandle

Professor Sue Yeandle will be IMPACT’s Deputy Director, working with a wide range of academic, policy and practice partners, carers and people with lived experience of using social care services to help develop and lead a programme of innovation and improvement. She will help lead the way to help develop a programme of innovation and improvement for adult social care in the UK.

Sue said: “This is an exciting development, and comes at a crucial moment. IMPACT will work across the UK, listening to what people affected by adult social care have to say. We’ll bring all kinds of evidence together – lived experience, the expertise of people working in social care, findings from the latest and best research. Then we’ll work together to address vital issues – reducing loneliness among the very old; including and supporting people with dementia; enabling people with learning difficulties to lead active lives; giving carers a break when needed. There’s huge potential for making a difference when people work together as IMPACT will do.”

Professor Jon Glasby profile picture

Jon Glasby, Professor of Health and Social Care at the University of Birmingham and IMPACT’s director, will be working with a range of partners from across the UK to lead the co-development, establishment and delivery of the centre. Jon said:

“Adult social care touches people’s lives in such important and intimate ways, and it’s crucial that it’s based on the best possible evidence of what works.

“Good care isn’t just about services, it’s about having a life – and the ESRC and the Health Foundation are providing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a real difference.”

Adult social care covers a wide range of short and long-term programmes and therapies to help people who are older, or living with disability or physical or mental illness, live independently and stay well and safe.

Nearly 850,000 people in the UK receive adult social care, which can include being supported in their own homes, communities, or residential settings such as care homes. It includes a wide range of assistance, such as help with daily activities like washing and dressing, to support for family and friends, rehabilitation and reintegration to communities and long-term nursing care.

Recognising the combined value of good practice and robust evidence from different sources, the Centre will bring together people with lived experience of social care, those providing unpaid care, people working in adult social care, experts in the mobilisation and implementation of evidence, social care providers, commissioners and policy experts, and academic teams from across the UK.

Together with stakeholders in adult social care and beyond, the IMPACT team will agree priorities and design, establish, deliver and evaluate the Centre’s work programme, aiming to lead to sustainable change in the use of evidence in adult social care.

The Centre will receive phased funding until 2027, and builds on previous ESRC investments in social care including the Sustainable Care Research Programme, and ESRC’s Innovation in Social Care Initiative. The Centre has been funded by ESRC through UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF).

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