NIHR School for Social Care Research, .
Initial consultation on SSCR research themes: analysis of responses. Report commissioned from Ann Richardson by the NIHR School for Social Care Research.
NIHR School for Social Care Research, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.
The School for Social Care Research (SSCR) was set up by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)1 to develop the evidence base for adult social care practice in England by commissioning and conducting research. It was launched in May 2009, with a budget of £15 million over five years. Open to new ideas and suggestions, we actively sought to consult the practitioner communities, the wider public, users of social care services and carers about key social care practice issues SSCR should address through our research to inform our developing research agenda. This report sets out the responses from this exercise up to February 2010. The principal means of consultation was on-line. We put out a general call for ideas on the SSCR website, with an invitation to anyone with an interest in social care to complete a short form suggesting topics for consideration. In all, 41 individuals and organisations submitted 121 topics through this process. In addition, we invited suggestions through a number of meetings, including the SSCR Advisory Board, the SSCR User, Carer, Practitioner Reference Group, a joint meeting between Making Research Count and directors and senior managers of adult social care services, and through emails directly to SSCR contacts, with a total of 32 ideas collected from these sources. We thank all those who have fed into our thinking by these means. We must stress that the results from the process were dependent on the ability and willingness of particular individuals and groups to respond to the on-line consultation and, consequently, the results cannot be said to be ‘representative’ of the views of practitioners or the general public. Nonetheless, they do cover a wide range of people concerned with and about the future of social care. It should also be added that many of those proposing topics were undoubtedly unfamiliar with existing research in this area, so that some of the ideas proposed had been studied in some depth already. Some of the topics raised in the consultation were the concerns of an organisation or individual, without necessarily posing a researchable suggestion. All responses received in response to this initial on-line consultation are included in this analysis. It is important to recognise that our consultation process will be ongoing, and we may revise this paper as new ideas emerge. We will also be looking to identify gaps not covered by the consultation responses where evidence is urgently needed to support practice.
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