A £20m funding boost has been announced for social care research in England.
The investment by the Department of Health and Social Care will fund the next five years of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Social Care Research (SSCR).
Care Minister Caroline Dinenage said: “Thanks to advances in healthcare, people in England are living longer than ever before. That’s a testament to world-leading research and is clearly something to celebrate, but it’s important to think about how we can adapt our health and care system to meet the changing population’s needs.
“This £20m boost to social care research is an investment in the future and will help us understand how best to provide care and support that keeps people living healthy, happy and independent lives for as long as possible.”
The NIHR SSCR, which brings together leading academic centres for social care research in England, funds adult social care research and training for research staff.
The funding will be used to build on work in areas such as mental health, dementia and care homes to help provide more effective services.
Ongoing research projects include investigating how staff in supported accommodation can support people with challenging behaviours, looking at whether providing adaptations to bathing facilities in people’s homes can improve quality of life and relieve pressure on other services, and studying how hearing dogs can affect people’s wellbeing and mental health.
The £20 million investment into social care also includes £1.8m investment for training researchers through the new NIHR Academy, which will be coordinated through the School.
The seven SSCR partner institutions are: London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE); King’s College London (KCL); University of Birmingham; University of Bristol; University of Kent; University of Manchester; and University of York.