Home care is at times characterised by poor employment practices which hamper good care, in some cases leading to degrading work practices and high turnover. The sector faces rising demand and staff costs, reductions in public funding and rationing of care by local authorities, with more people making private arrangements, often without support. Experts claim home care needs a ‘relationship-centred approach’, innovation including greater use of technology, and skilled workers. Few studies have examined home care provision in the UK and the social relations in which it is embedded. This team’s work examines how approaches to care, the use of technology and job design inter-relate in innovative home care provision, affecting sustainability and wellbeing. The focus includes study of the potential of innovative home care models to foster sustainable care relations, use technology and create job quality.
The team working on home care is led by Dr Diane Burns, and comprises Dr Kate Hamblin and Dr Cate Goodlad. It is focusing on emerging models of innovative home care and how these incorporate technology; the consequences of these, and other innovations, for the wellbeing of all parties; their impact on caring relationships, care workers’ jobs, and carers and care recipients’ daily lives; and their scope to deliver support sustainably with wellbeing outcomes.
Its main research questions are:
- What innovative home care models are emerging in different local and national UK contexts?
- What capacity do innovative home care models in the UK have to support sustainable care at home and wellbeing outcomes? Through which mechanisms is this achieved?
- In planning home care, and its potential future use of technologies, what can be learned from other countries about how home care models affect the wellbeing of those using and providing care, with particular reference to innovative provision in Australia and New Zealand?