Nov 16 2014

Final conference, 26 November 2014

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Our final conference takes place on Wednesday 26 November 2014, 10.00 to 16.30.

This conference, jointly hosted by the Personal Social Services Research Unit at the LSE and the NIHR School for Social Care Research, will bring together learning and recommendations from just over two years of activity on knowledge exchange and impact in adult social care. The conference will present findings from our LSE HEIF 5-funded project, Creating an Impact: Social Care Research in Action (SCEiP), which aimed to: bring researchers and social care professionals together to identify key issues in social care and apply research evidence to those priority issues; further enhance dialogue between research, practice and policy stakeholders to support joint knowledge development and exchange; increase the demand for, and utilisation of, research evidence by professionals; and explore ways to demonstrate the impact of social care research.

This conference will discuss findings from the study, as well as wider activities funded by the NIHR School for Social Care Research, discuss examples of non-traditional methods for knowledge exchange and methods for impact assessment, as well as recommendations for next steps. Outputs and guides for knowledge exchange and impact from the SCEiP project will also be launched. The Conference will feature contributions from experts, researchers and practice colleagues in the adult social care field.

Outline programme

10.00: Welcome, introduction and scene setting
11.00: Lightening talks: SCEiP project activity
12.00: Lunch
12.45: Parallel sessions

  • Session 1: Evidence into Practice – This session will focus on issues around improving links between research and practice, how to engage all ahead of proposal developments (for research or for service improvement), building research capacity within the sector (across academia and practice)
  • Session 2: Knowledge Exchange Methods – This session will focus specifically on methods (such as videos, infographics, social media) to share research evidence as well as to engage practice and research, covering what works, barriers etc.
  • Session 3: Impact Assessment – This session will focus on research impact assessment – methods, tools – and how to evaluate research approaches throughout a study.

14.00: Learning from policy piloting – three examples from health and social care
14.30: Lessons from the SCEiP project
15,00: Debate session
16.10: Closing keynote on research engagement
16.30: Close

Speakers include:

  • Professor Martin Knapp, NIHR School for Social Care Research; Personal Social Services Research Unit LSE
  • Louise Johnstone and Cheryl Page, Cumbria County Council
  • Dr Adrian Adams (University of Kent)
  • Becki Meakin, Shaping Our Lives
  • Dr Chris Rainey, West Sussex County Council
  • Dr Nik Morris, Nik Morris Associates Ltd
  • Dr George Julian, Personal Social Services Research Unit LSE
  • Nat Al-Tahhan, NatAlt
  • Madeleine Stevens and Tamsin Arai, Personal Social Services Research Unit LSE
  • Dr Andre Tomlin, National Elf Service
  • Dr Sarah Carr, The Social Care Elf
  • Sophie Castle-Clarke and Susan Guthrie, RAND Europe
  • Stefanie Ettelt, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Anji Mehta, NIHR School for Social Care Research; Personal Social Services Research Unit LSE
  • Dr Elizabeth White, The College of Occupational Therapists
  • Professor Jill Manthorpe, Social Care Workforce Research Unit, KCL
  • Andrea Sutcliffe, Care Quality Commission
  • Annie Hudson, The College of Social Work
  • and many more!

This event is free to attend. Places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment: www.sceip2014.eventbrite.co.uk.

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Aug 26 2014

Reflecting on … unconferences …

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It’s finally that time when we’re almost at the end of our project and just about have time to reflect on the number of activities and initiatives we had underway. Have we improved knowledge exchange between researchers and practitioners in social care (as well as others)? Do we now know the best methods to use? We’ve tried so many activities I may have lost count and its only really in pulling together final reports that the range of activities becomes obvious, and more so the need to reflect on them and share our reflections. We’ll be doing most of this at our final conference on 26 November 2014 but will share some thoughts over the next few weeks here as well.

One of the very early things we tried was an unconference. We brought together about 50 people (mostly professionals but some researchers) for a half-day workshop without any agenda or programme. First thought – panic! But it was amazing. Everyone was very engaged; people had come to share their research and practice priorities, others to find out what an unconference was. We discussed why people had come along, and then participants set the agenda themselves for the remainder of the workshop and very actively engaged with group work. The discussion was summarised in a short report and captured (brilliantly!) in a visual note.

Was it a good knowledge exchange method? Definitely. Not having a set agenda allowed those participating to discuss their aims for the afternoon and decide what they wanted to focus on, while at the same time drawing out key points for research and practice priorities (as we’d hoped!). Its definitely nerve-racking for the organisers – the possibility that participants may feel they’ve wasted an afternoon or aren’t getting what they’d expected, and the possibility that nobody would agree to a plan for the workshop and it would fall flat… We were clear that this was a trial, a new approach for us and we wouldn’t be guaranteeing any outcomes – which was very important to manage expectations.

But all in all it was both fun and informative. Here’s what others thought….

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Jun 27 2014

Announcing the Social Care Elf: a new member of the National Elf Service

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by André Tomlin and Martin Webber

How do you keep up to date with the latest reliable social care research?

Ask a hundred people who work in social care and you’ll probably get a hundred different answers! There’s no simple and easy way to keep abreast of the latest evidence because it’s so scattered in terms of where it’s published, often in obscure locations, frequently behind pay-walls.

But of course, it’s not just about getting your hands on the evidence, it’s also about actually being able to read and understand the research when you have the time and inclination. Social care research can be jargon-filled and impenetrable stuff that you need a degree in research methods just to decipher! And there just isn’t enough time to spend reading lengthy research reports.

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Jun 13 2014

Deadline extended: Early Career Researcher Knowledge Exchange and Impact Residential

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As some applicants are finalising institutional completion of their applications we have extended the deadline for applications to noon on Monday 23 June 2014

Are you a PhD student or an early career researcher?
Are you interested in ensuring your research gets used?
Are you available on Thursday 10 – Saturday 12 July 2014?

If you can answer yes to these three questions then you could be eligible for an (almost) fully funded place at the LSE SCEIP and NIHR SSCR summer residential on knowledge transfer taking place in Birmingham. Run for the first time this summer, the residential seeks to address some of the opportunities (and challenges) of knowledge transfer and develop an understanding of the importance of considering impact early.

Designed to focus on those at the start of their academic careers, the residential will make use of workshops, interactive exercises and facilitated peer learning throughout.

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May 28 2014

Seeking journal articles for special issue of Research, Policy and Practice – deadline 23 June

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Writing journal papers is never easy (well to the majority of us!). Papers are perhaps more likely to get written in academic settings with pressure from line managers, career requirements and things like the Research Excellence Framework, but even then the need to move on to the next research study or manage multiple studies makes it difficult to focus on writing.

I imagine there are many other priorities within non-academic settings, research doesn’t necessarily lead to a journal article or publication of the research findings, and the support isn’t always then available to develop a journal paper. Perhaps a journal paper isn’t seen as essential, but it is useful in sharing messages from research to a wider audience and for individual development. It’s also useful in sharing high-quality research carried out as part of Masters or PhD studies.

Research, Policy and Planning Journal

Research, Policy and Planning Journal

So we’re asking you to tell us about your research and an article from it you would like to publish. We’re offering you the opportunity to receive support to develop your paper and publish it as part of a special open-access issue of @SSRGUK’s journal Research Policy and Planning in early 2015 (subject to independent peer-review of course!).

Complete our application form and send it back to us as soon as you can (by 5pm on Monday 23 June 2014 at the latest) and we’ll go from there!

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May 12 2014

Early Career Researcher Knowledge Exchange and Impact Residential

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Are you a PhD student or an early career researcher?
Are you interested in ensuring your research gets used?
Are you available on Thursday 10 – Saturday 12 July 2014?

If you can answer yes to these three questions then you could be eligible for an (almost) fully funded place at the LSE SCEIP and NIHR SSCR summer residential on knowledge transfer taking place in Birmingham. Run for the first time this summer, the residential seeks to address some of the opportunities (and challenges) of knowledge transfer and develop an understanding of the importance of considering impact early.

Designed to focus on those at the start of their academic careers, the residential will make use of workshops, interactive exercises and facilitated peer learning throughout.

Continue reading

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Mar 28 2014

New date: Improving practice through research together – Ideas swop shop: 13 May 2014

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Looking forward to Monday’s ideas swop shop… and then unfortunately had to postpone as one of our core team is off sick!

We’ll be holding the swop shop on 13 May 2014 now. Partly as we are hosting a workshop on user-led research in the afternoon and the ideas swop shop will compliment that workshop very well.

Register now at http://sceipideasswopshop.eventbrite.co.uk.

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Feb 24 2014

POSTPONED: Improving practice through research together – Ideas swop shop: 31 March 2014

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The best way to get evidence to improve services? Get those delivering services, commissioning them, researching social care, receiving services, caring for those receiving services (etc; and anyone else interested) into a room together and ask them what their priorities are and what skills they can bring to the table to research them. OK so that’s not academically tried and tested but we would all agree everyone involved in adult social care in whatever form – managers, practitioners, frontline staff, people who use services, carers, researchers – all have important roles to play in generating the research evidence that will shape policies and practice and improve adult social care practice. And you will all have your own interests and priorities.

So that’s what we’re doing. Asking you to join us in late March, put your priorities and needs for adult social care on the table, bring your individual skills and expertise with you and share them with others. Then …

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Feb 12 2014

Do we (tele)care what the evidence says?

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In recent years there has been a growing evidence base surrounding the effectiveness, efficiency and merits of telecare. Incorporated within a large Department of Health evaluation that commenced in 2008 (the Whole Systems Demonstrator programme) the evidence for telecare is mixed. This post sets the scene around evidence for telecare and introduces an event taking place on 20 February 2014 to which you are all very welcome.

What is telecare?

The Department of Health defines telecare as ‘a combination of alarms, sensors and other equipment to help people live independently. This is done by monitoring activity changes over time and will raise a call for help in emergency situations, such as a fall, fire or a flood’ (Department of Health 2009).

Telecare is a combination of monitoring equipment and monitoring services to enable people to remain independent, usually used in the home. Equipment can be activated by the user (e.g. pendant alarm) or can monitor behaviour passively (e.g. epilepsy bed sensor or a flood detector) triggering an alert when changes are detected.

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Feb 10 2014

Reflecting on 18 months of SCEiP: barely scratched the surface?

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A dedicated pot of funding and two years to bring practitioners (broadly defined) and researchers together to exchange knowledge and to explore knowledge exchange methods seemed like an immense opportunity when we started in August 2012. The freedom to decide with them what we were going to do in the project, rather than telling them what we would do, and the possibility of increasing engagement between research and practice by the end of the project was amazing. It still is… but as we’ve been through the first 18 months of the Social Care Evidence in Practice (SCEiP) project we’re learning a lot and realising that perhaps even the funding, time and freedom we have through the SCEiP project may not be enough to do more than scratch the surface.

Hi! I’m the project manager for the SCEiP project, and have spent some time reflecting on the first year of the project before fully getting into year 2 activities. There’s a lot to reflect on and lots of recommendations and suggestions coming together… I won’t go into all of those in this post, but will do in follow-up posts. Here I just wanted to briefly reflect on where we have reached.

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