Monday 11th January

How do you shape a market? Explaining local state practices in adult social care 

Prof. Catherine Needham
University of Birmingham

The Care Act 2014 gave English local government a duty to ‘shape’ local social care markets. Qualitative data from eight local authorities show that multiple care markets require shaping within a locality (e.g. older people’s residential care; domiciliary care; day opportunities for people with disabilities). Grid-group cultural theory can be used to explain patterns of local authority market shaping, based on a four-part typology of rules and relationships: procurement (high state control, weak relationships with providers); managed market (high state control, strong relationships with providers); open market (low state control, weak relationships with providers); partnership (low state control, strong relationships with providers). Data shows that local authorities are using different types of market shaping in different parts of the market, and these are shifting over time. Challenges to the sustainability of the care system (funding cuts, workforce shortages, rising demand) are pulling local authorities towards high control approaches. These run counter to the Care Act’s emphasis on individual choice and control (most compatible with the open market), and co-production (most compatible with partnership). Some local authorities are experimenting with hybrids of these two low control approaches. However, the rival cultural biases of different types mean that hybrid approaches antagonise providers and risk further unsettling an unstable market.

Catherine Needham is Professor of Public Policy and Public Management at the Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham.  She has published a wide range of articles, chapters and books for academic and practitioner audiences, many of them focused on social care or the public service workforce.  Her most recent book was published by Springer in 2018 and entitled Reimaging the Public Service Workforce. She tweets as @DrCNeedham

Watch Catherine's presentation

For the full report see: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/shifting-shapes

For the animation see: https://youtu.be/Nh16gdsZIb0

Monday 7th December

Private Labor Market Intermediaries in the evolving market for live-in migrant care work between Germany and Poland

Professor Simeone Leiber
University of Duisburg, Essen

This presentation deals with private companies involved in organizing so-called live-in care arrangements between EU member states, with a particular focus on Germany and Poland. Due to gaps of the public long-term care system, employing live-in migrant care workers in private households has become a widespread individual solution for growing long-term care needs in Germany. Since eastern EU enlargement, private brokerage agencies placing Polish live-in migrant care workers in German households have grown considerably. The analysis presents so far unique data of the field by combining an online survey among brokerage agencies with semi-structured qualitative expert interviews with agency heads and other political stakeholders. Building on approaches conceptualising the role of intermediaries in formalising domestic work, this research aims to provide a more fine-grained typology of private brokerage agencies, taking into account not only the legal environment and structural features of these private enterprises, but also their strategic positioning under conditions of high legal uncertainty in the EU multi-level governance system. By analysing corporate as well as political strategies of these intermediaries, we distinguish three different agency types we call pioneersminimum effort players and followers.

Professor Simone Leiber

Simone Leiber is professor for social policy at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. She has been a doctoral and postdoctoral researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute for the Studies of Societies, Cologne, and senior researcher at the Institute of Economic and Social Research at the Hans Böckler Foundation – a research institute funded by German labour unions. Her research interests are: comparative welfare state research with a particular focus on care polices.

Watch Simone's presentation

Who cares? Financialisation in Social Care.

Harry Quilter-Pinner
Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)

Who cares? Financialisation in social care. 

Finance has permeated every layer of our economy and society. Testament to this is the growing control of big finance over social care. In the last few decades private provision of social care – in particular residential care – has become the norm, with large scale borrowing used by companies to buy up care homes across the county. But the evidence is increasingly clear that these business models, driven as they are by financialisation, are neither sustainable nor desirable. How did this happen? Why is it a problem? And, what do we do about it? These are the questions asked by IPPR’s recent research on the future of social care.

Harry Quilter-Pinner

Harry is a Senior Research Fellow in the Work and the Welfare State team.

He heads up IPPR’s flagship Better Health and Care programme which looks to shape policy in the UK on the NHS, social care and public health. He was a lead author on the independent cross-party Lord Darzi Review which shaped the NHS Long-Term Plan and recent NHS funding settlement. He has also led the organisations work on austerity and public spending, and contributed to research on education, welfare and environmental policy.

Harry writes regularly for the Guardian, Times, Independent and New Statesman, and has appeared on radio and tv, including Sky and BBC news.

In addition to his role at IPPR, Harry also works for LGBT Consortium, the UK’s LGBT+ sector body. He was previously Director of Strategy at SCT, a homelessness and addictions charity and has worked at Global Counsel, a consultancy firm, and at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

He has a degree in economics from the University of York.

Watch Harry's presentation

Monday 15th June

Carers and the failure of ‘identity’

Prof. Luke Clements
University of Leeds

Carers and the failure of ‘identity’

The seminar celebrates the 55th anniversary of the founding of the carers movement; the 25th anniversary of the enactment of the first ‘carers’ recognition’ statute and 10th anniversary of the landmark European Court of Justice ruling in Coleman v. Attridge Law.

It considers the effectiveness of ‘carer recognition’ legislation, enacted in many jurisdictions over the last four decades – and questions the potential of such laws to radically address the profound disadvantage that many carers experience.

In his seminar Luke Clements suggests that identify based approaches, aimed at protecting the rights of unpaid carer and of taking them to a ‘socially just’ destination have not delivered and are unlikely to.

Luke Clements is the Cerebra Professor of Law & Social Justice at the School of Law, Leeds University.

Luke was involved in the drafting of the Westminster Bill’s that became the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 and the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004, as well as acting as the expert adviser to the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee scrutinising the Care & Support Bill 2013.

He has written widely including a comparative analysis of global carer rights laws – L Clements ‘Does your carer take sugar?’ in the Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice (2013) Volume 19 pp 397 -434.

A brief biographical note is at https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/law/staff/184/professor-luke-clements  

Watch Luke's presentation

Monday 18th May

The Financialisation of Care: Investment funds and the sustainability of UK care homes

Dr Amy Horton
University College London

A sustainable care sector depends not only on sufficient funding, but also on the ways in which finance is sourced and used by providers. This research identifies changing uses of debt and real estate assets among large care home companies. It explores the implications for care workers, the built environment of care homes, and the stability of the sector. Findings are based on analysis of corporate reports and interviews with investors, carers and managers. Theoretically, the study is informed by care ethics and critiques of financialisation. Overall, I argue that certain financial strategies have made the sector more fragile, and a different approach is needed to ensure universal access to good care and decent employment in the sector.

Amy Horton joined UCL as a lecturer in economic geography at UCL in 2017, after completing a PhD at Queen Mary University of London. Her research examines the intersections of finance, care and labour. In particular, she investigates the financing of care homes and strategies for organising by care workers and wider movements, in both the UK and US. Previously, Amy worked as a policy researcher and campaigner in NGOs focusing on the international financial institutions, financial regulation and human rights.

Sustainable Care Research Associate, Patrick Hall comments:

“Dr Horton presents her research concerning the ownership of care home provision in England. She argues that the undervalued sector (residential and nursing care homes) has seen a process of ‘financialisation’ in line with broader trends in postindustrial nations. This process , she argues, is at odds with a feminist ethic of care and that the nature of care work is resistant to its processes of standardisation and de-personalisation.”

Watch Amy's presentation

More coming soon

For more information, contact Dr Kelly Davidge k.s.davidge@sheffield.ac.uk