A body of work from researchers in the Health, Social Care and Well-being
Centre (HSCWBC) in the School, on the safety and well-being of vulnerable
children and adults, has directly shaped three sets of policy and practice
guidelines — from the Department of Education, the Department of Health
and the Home Office. The research has been used as an evidence base to
underpin the guidance required by health and social care practitioners.
Such guidance contributes to frameworks for practice and as such are key
to the role and function of these practitioners.
The importance of person-centred social support has been recognised by
successive governments as central to the development of effective and
supportive social care services. The research led by Brunel and funded by
the DoH and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, made a substantial
contribution to the enhancement of UK social care policy and practice in
relation to the personalisation agenda. Parliamentary committees and
policy consultation used the research to develop new social care policy.
Standards of service care delivery were developed and implemented in
partnership with service users; these were adopted at a policy and
practice level. The development and use of evidence based practice guides,
training programmes and web resources facilitated the successful adoption
and implementation of person-centred support nationwide. In summary,
public debate was influenced, equality and empowerment for service users
was advanced, national policy and practice enhanced, health and welfare
improved and economic impacts achieved.
A major element of modernising English adult social care is the
introduction of individual, user-directed
budgets. The Social Policy Research Unit (SPRU) led a major, multi-method
research programme evaluating the Individual Budget (IB) pilot
projects in England; and a
linked study of the impact of IBs on family carers. Through this, SPRU has
influenced: the content
of the Department of Health's (DH) good practice guidance for personal
budgets; the DH's
approach to piloting and evaluating NHS Personal Health Budgets; the
Department for Work and
Pensions (DWP) piloting and evaluation of `Right to Control' trailblazer
projects; and, the agenda
for an Audit Commission investigation into financial management of
personal budgets. Most
importantly, it has helped shape the agenda for national and local
organisations striving to
successfully implement personal budgets, particularly for older people.
This case study focuses on the researcher's work on witness protection
arrangements put in place by police forces to ensure the safety of
individuals and close relatives whose lives are in danger as a result of
their willingness to give evidence in criminal trials. Typically this
involves the permanent relocation of witnesses and their families to new
communities and the adoption of new identities.
This research was the first of its kind in the world and its impact has
been evident in:
The research has had significant impact in three key areas:
This case study concerns a body of research by Dr Julie Ridley, Dr Helen Spandler and Dr Karen
Newbigging into Self-directed Support (SDS) and Direct Payments (DPs), which examines
perspectives and experiences of policies to promote choice, control and flexibility in social care,
and provides a critique distinguishing between rhetoric and reality. Early qualitative and action
research focused specifically on mental health, including work for the Scottish Executive (Ridley)
and the Department of Health (Spandler), leading to cutting-edge policy critiques (Spandler),
engagement with the field to distil key implementation themes (Newbigging) and later, to broader
based evaluation of SDS policy implementation in Scotland. Collectively and over time, this work
has had a direct influence on social care policy and law across the UK, as outlined below.
Research led by Professor Sue Yeandle at Leeds on working age
carers has focused policymakers' attention on carers' contributions to
society, their role in the health and social care system, and the issues
they confront in reconciling paid work with unpaid care. The research
findings have: (a) provided a vital evidence base, shaping policy work of
the national charity, Carers UK, (b) influenced Government policy
formation and evaluation, including playing a direct role in shaping the
Government's National Care Strategy in 2008, and (c) informed wider policy
and parliamentary debate supporting carers of working age.
A corpus of research developed over twenty years brings together
experience and expertise of staff, students and researchers at Birmingham
City University in the Early Years (EY) cluster. This has had effects on
practice in contexts in which national and international EY policy,
leadership and pedagogy are developed and produced, enacted and contested.
It has affected specific areas of learning and development, e.g.
mathematics, including thinking skills, creativity, information and
Research that was policy, programme and issue-focused has stimulated
discussion and action, locally, nationally and internationally, for
instance in Europe, Central and South-east Asia and Australia.
Research at Newcastle has made a significant contribution to the public
services modernisation agenda in the areas of inter-agency working and
information-sharing. The research showed that effective
information-sharing required not just that different information systems
are made compatible with each other, but also that people from different
professional cultures are enabled to work together through a common
understanding of information governance issues. In active collaboration
with a range of service providers, a number of processes and tools were
developed for the significant benefit of service users. They have been
implemented in a variety of policy settings, including children's services
and adult social care, and have informed current programmes funded by the
Rapid response reports, commissioned from the IOE's Thomas Coram Research
Unit (TCRU) by the Departments for Education and Health specifically to
inform policy-making, have helped to determine the financial and practical
support for disadvantaged families and children in England for more than a
decade. This important series of reports has achieved impact not only by
producing robust findings that government departments can rely on but by
building relationships of trust and mutual understanding between national
policy-makers and researchers.