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“Professor Shareen Hussein is leading a study to develop a measurement scale focussed on work-related quality of life for people working in social care – ‘Developing a scale of work-related quality of life for adult social care staff: Phase One’. The work is funded by the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit programme.

The research team would like to invite you to participate in the final stage of this work, by completing a consensus survey on domains of work-related quality of life for social care workers. The survey should take around 15 to 20 minutes to complete and there is an option to enter a prize draw, with three prizes of £50 in high street vouchers.

The survey has been designed through earlier stages of work; specifically, reviewing current evidence, and carrying out interviews/focus group discussions with social care and policy experts, care workers and care providers.

The information that will be collected is not about your own experiences, instead the aim is to seek your views on key areas that might affect care workers’ wellbeing. The results will inform the development of a measure of work-related quality of life for care workers, and will open up debate about working conditions and strategies for improving wellbeing at work in the adult social care sector in England.”

If you would like to take part in the survey, please click here.

“This cross NIHR ARC event brings together practitioners from health and social care and all those interested in learning from the pandemic to support older people and staff living and working in care homes.

The webinar starts with a presentation of a completed study looking at visiting in care homes and how these findings can inform future practice. It then showcases three studies. One recently completed that compared the evidence on what needs to be in place for effective online consultations with the experience of health and social care staff during the pandemic, one with emerging findings and one, just starting.

The final session is a discussion between participants and speakers to share learning, support cross organisation working and enable researchers and practitioners to discuss what works for residents and staff.”

Research projects being discussed are:

  • Care home visits during the pandemic: The impact of testing and vaccination and the effects on all involved – Clarissa Giebel, University of Liverpool. NIHR ARC North West Coast
  • Videoconferencing and online technology for communication between care homes and health and social care practitioners – Krystal Warmoth, University of Hertfordshire. NIHR ARC East of England 
  • Identifying approaches, barriers and facilitators to visiting in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic – Claire Surr, Leeds Beckett University. NIHR ARC Yorkshire and Humber
  • Visit-id: a study of care home visiting arrangements during Covid-19 – Josie Dixon- London School of Economics and Political Science. NIHR ARC North Thames

To register click on Eventbrite

Are you interested in social care research?

Are you someone who uses, works in, or commissions social care?

Do you have a good idea for a research project but don’t know where to begin?

If so, then this free online event is for you.

Run by the NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) London and RDS South-East (Kent, Surrey, Sussex) with support from the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) Kent, Surrey and SussexARC South London and ARC North Thames, the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) North-West London and CRN Kent, Surrey and SussexNIHR School for Social Care (SSCR) and Make Research Count, this event will:

·         Raise awareness of the support and funding available for social care research through the NIHR

·         Share learning from successful collaborations and partnerships

·         Offer an opportunity to network with people with shared interests, with a view to collaborating and building capacity in our regions

Who should attend

·         Researchers with an interest in social care or the interface between health and social care

·         Social care practitioners

·         Health professionals working in social care settings or with social care users

·         Social care users and their informal carers

·         Commissioners and providers of care”


To register please click here

National Institute for Health Research’s Research Design Service North West

Your First Research Grant: Developing funding proposals in applied health and social care – online event

16 June 2021, 9.30 am to 12.30 pm

About this event:

The event will include a presentation from a successful first-grant applicant, an overview of RDS support, and guidance on fundamental aspects of the design of a funding proposal including Public Involvement.

Who should attend

This event is open to UK-based healthcare professionals, social care and public health practitioners, and health and social care researchers who are intending to apply to any NIHR or other open, competitive, peer reviewed funding programme.

 Informal drop-in sessions*

If you would like an initial informal chat with an RDS adviser we are offering drop-in sessions after the event, from 1.30pm. Please indicate on the registration form whether you would like a slot, and we will contact you to arrange a time.

 *Please note the drop-in sessions are only available for North West-based attendees. You can find contact information for your local RDS here.

 More information and registration”

To register click here 

This cross NIHR ARC event brings together practitioners from health and social care and all those interested in taking forward learning from the pandemic to support palliative and end of life care in care homes. The webinar starts with the experience of care home staff and how working with researchers made a difference. It then showcases two studies, one with emerging findings and one, just starting. The final session is a discussion between participants and speakers to share learning, support cross organisation working and enable researchers and practitioners to discuss what works for residents and staff.

An overview of the session:

25th May – 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Introduction: NIHR ARC national groups Palliative and End of life care and Care homes; Building Collaboration and Innovation – Claire Goodman, University of Hertfordshire, NIHR ARC East of England

‘Hiding in plain sight’ care home staff priority questions during a pandemic: implications for working with care homes and end of life care – Anita Astle MBE – Managing Director Wren Hall Nursing Home, Dr Reena Devi, University of Leeds, NIHR ARC Yorkshire and Humber, Dr Alys Griffiths , University of Liverpool, IHR ARC North West Coast

‘Can’t do this alone’ – Integrated Community Palliative Partnership; what have we learnt from COVID? Delivering palliative care in care homes, working across partnerships to deliver the Enhanced Framework for Care Homes as a Policy priority -Anna Bone, King’s College London, NIHR ARC South London

CovPall_CareHome – learning from care homes on provision of palliative care -Katherine Sleeman, NIHR ARC South London

What have we learnt, what next? Curated conversation. Audience response to presentations, key points of learning and future research initiatives post pandemic Catherine Evans, King’s College London, NIHR ARC South London & Stephen Barclay, University of Cambridge, NIHR ARC East of England


To register please click here 

“The Director of Science, Research and Evidence for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is looking to select an exceptional person to be the Programme Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme, to succeed Professor Jo Rycroft-Malone who comes to the end of her tenure at the end of November 2021.
If you believe passionately in evidence-based care and want to make the health and social care services and organisations work better for service users, patients and the dedicated staff and managers who provide care, and you have a strong track record in health and care services research, then this is the role for you. Leading this influential programme will allow you to work across the health and social care sectors and alongside key influencers in government.
As Programme Director, you will be accountable to the Director for Science, Research and Evidence for the DHSC through the Head of Research Programmes. You will be accountable for the programme’s research budget, the overall scientific quality of its portfolio and for probity of decision-making. You will have oversight of the programme’s portfolio of funded studies, currently around 193 contracts with a total value of around £122M. Working in the NIHR, you will have the opportunity to improve the care and well-being of service users, patients and their families and support networks, as well as health and social care professionals across all sectors of care provision.
The right candidate will have proven experience of health and social care services research and proven reach into service management, as well as sound knowledge of research and development (R&D) in the field of health and social care. They will also have a good understanding of research methods, excellent communication and negotiating skills and proven ability to chair large committees effectively.
The total time commitment to the NIHR HS&DR programme is, on average, around one and a half days per week, to cover attendance at meetings, approval of contracting new research, and undertaking a strategic role within the HS&DR programme and wider NIHR. The contract will initially be for three years, to be reviewed after two years. The Department of Health and Social Care will reimburse the successful applicant’s employing institution for their time commitment.
At NIHR our people are our success. We aim to attract a diverse community from a broad range of cultures, ethnicities, and beliefs. We want to unite under our shared vision, best research for best health, by attracting a diverse community of stakeholders. We welcome applications from under-represented groups.
We strive to host inclusive and accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. We will do everything we can to meet individual committee member’s needs.”
For more information click here  

Supporting Social Care Research in South Central is an event organised by

  • the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Design Service South Central;
  • the NIHR Thames Valley and South Midlands, and Wessex Clinical Research Networks; and
  • the NIHR Oxford and Thames Valley and Wessex Applied Research Collaborations.

“We are hoping to bring together researchers, practitioners, commissioners and users of social care, with an interest in research, in the South Central and Wessex regions, to consider how we can develop and support social care research here.

We would be delighted if you could attend, and would be most grateful if you could circulate this information to any colleagues you feel would be interested in attending.”

The event will take place on Wed, 26 May 2021 09:45 – 13:00.

You can register here

“As part of the NIHR School for Social Care Research’s commitment to developing research capacity in adult social care, we are inviting Stage 1 applications for Developing Research Leaders Awards.

With support from the NIHR Academy, we are seeking high-quality applications from individuals to develop their careers as research leaders in adult social care research in England. Applicants can request funding of up to £50,000.

The Developing Research Leaders Award (DRLA) Scheme aims to address the need to support individuals at a more advanced level in their research careers by providing tailored and targeted support to develop further as the next leaders for adult social care research. This is particularly where individuals would benefit from resources to help them to accelerate their progression.

The deadline for Stage 1 applications is 16.30 on Thursday 3 June 2021. Applicants are asked to submit an Intention to Submit by 16.30 on Thursday 20 May 2021.”

For more details please click here 

“Applicants will need to make a strong case to the School for the proposed plan for their career development with a clear commitment to establishing a long-term career in adult social care research, including the organisational support they will receive, any training they will undertake as part of their workplan, and how this package will help them take the next steps in their research career or develop their research capacity.

The School will consider awards of up to 32 months in duration. Awards must finish no later than 28 February 2024.

Funding is available for awards of up to £50,000 per applicant.

Applications received by 16.30 on Wednesday 2 June 2021 will be considered by the Capacity-Building Management Team of NIHR SSCR Executive Group.

Applicants are asked to submit an Expression of Interest by 16.30 on Wednesday 12 May 2021.”

“An evidence-based programme for care home residents living with dementia improved their quality of life and reduced agitation and other symptoms of dementia. A major study across the UK found that the Well-being and Health for People Living with Dementia (WHELD) programme was effective and cost less to deliver than usual care.

The WHELD programme supports care home staff to deliver patient-centred interventions for residents with dementia. It seeks to reduce reliance on antipsychotic drugs and uses social interaction, personalised activities and exercise to improve care.

Most person-centred interventions used in care homes are not based on scientific evidence. WHELD was tested in a large clinical trial, which showed that it improved quality of life for people with dementia. The programme also reduced agitation and the overall burden of neuropsychiatric symptoms such as depression or aggression.  A reduction in the number of hospital and GP visits made the approach less expensive to deliver than usual care.

What’s the issue?

A third of people with dementia in the UK (288,000) live in care homes. Those in care homes tend to have more severe dementia than those living in the community. Agitation and a range of other behavioural and psychological symptoms make it challenging to care for these people.

Person-centred care is the gold standard of care for people with dementia. Yet previous research has found that many care home residents have as little as two minutes of social interaction each day. There is currently no effective, evidence-based intervention to help staff care for these patients without using drugs.

In the first stages of this programme, researchers reviewed 40 studies on psychosocial interventions for people with dementia in care homes. These studies supported the use of person-centred approaches such as reminiscence therapy, in which photographs or other mementoes are used to help someone recall life events and memories. Walking, seated exercise, circle dance or other pleasant activities of the person’s choice were also found to help.

The researchers then looked at training manuals for person-centred care in dementia. Only four out of 170 manuals described interventions with proven benefits.

The team developed the first version of the WHELD programme based on the most practical and effective therapies. It combined person-centred care, management of agitation and non-drug approaches. A first randomised controlled trial tested this version of WHELD in 16 care homes over a period of nine months. It found that reviews of antipsychotic medication halved the use of these drugs. This increased the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia unless the medication review was combined with personalised activities. The combination of review plus social interaction significantly improved quality of life and reduced the risk of dying among people with dementia by 30%.  Exercise reduced symptoms of agitation.”

For more details on this programme click here