Care Workforce Change
Organisation, delivery and development
The care workforce is an integral component in enabling pathways to sustainable arrangements in care capable of withstanding new shocks and addressing longstanding challenges, including ‘decent work’ for care workers. We focus on the workforce that delivers adult and children’s social care across different settings and arrangements. The workforce is embedded within an evolving provider and commissioning arrangements and impacted by wider and system developments and shocks expected. The evolving care structures, markets and individual preferences will drive workforce change in the coming decades and we want to understand the dynamics and outcomes of different pathways to change. Our work realises that change always happens in response to endogenous evolvement of the care ecosystems and its individual components, sometimes in a paced and somewhat predictable manner, yet change can be sudden and unplanned in response to system shocks and unexpected exogenous factors. For example, we want to understand to what extent recent system shocks have accelerated the uptake of innovations in the delivery of care and what are the impact of these on different groups of workers’ jobs, wellbeing and their ability to provide quality care to diverse service user populations.
Our research focuses on understanding the drivers, nature and implications of care workforce change where paid work of care connects to, and is shaped by, other elements of the care ecosystem. We organise our investigations at the macro (systems and national policies), meso (care delivery and provision) and micro (individual and groups of workers) levels. Specific projects will be designed in partnership with relevant stakeholders, groups and individuals through ongoing dialogues and mapping of priorities. Issues of diversity and inequalities across the life-course of workers and those receiving care are at the heart of our research methodological and conceptual design. The Workforce Change Research group has the following five broad research questions:
- What are the main drivers for workforce change, both paced and sudden?
- How is the workforce changing in response to different drivers?
- How does the care workforce drive and respond to change?
- What are the current workforce innovations in delivering care?
- How do care providers/employers drive and respond to workforce change?
Commentary on Care Workforce Change
Commentary pieces relating to Care Workforce Change
Rachael Black draws together the discussions from the Future of Care North conference centring on the care workforce, including the changing nature of the role and the potential opportunities this could bring when encouraging people to join and remain in the sector.Read More about The Future of Care Work?
In this episode of the podcast we’re discussing the new EU Care Strategy, which was formally adopted by the European Commission in December 2022. Becky Driscoll, one of our Research Associates, is joined by guests Stecy Yghemonos (Eurocarers) and Zoe Hughes (Care Alliance Ireland).Read More about Podcast- The EU Care Strategy: a watershed moment for unpaid carers and care workers across Europe?
Researcher Nadia Brookes explores what innovation in social care looks like, and how it can be one way of fixing a ‘broken system’.Read More about Do we really need innovation in social care?
Drawing on research by Carers UK and the Centre for Care, Serena Vicario explores the process and importance of self and social identification for unpaid carers, and what systems in place, or in development, can help do this.Read More about “Am I a carer?” Why self- and social identification of carers are becoming unavoidable topics
A selection of recent publications from the Care Workforce Change team.
The Care Workforce Change team is led by Professor Shereen Hussein at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.