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
Kate Hamblin speaks with care sector employers about how values-based recruitment can lead to better retention and positive, person-centred care.Read More about Podcast- Values-based recruitment in Adult Social Care, part one
Serena Vicario and Nadia Brookes share some results of their inquiry on the extent and nature of social care workforce innovation in the UK.Read More about Workforce innovation in the UK social care sector: an update on our inquiry
Duncan Fisher and Suliyat O’Balogun explore established perceptions of home care provision, and how these perceptions inspired Suliyat to start her own home care business in 2023 with a different model.Read More about Podcast- Elevating home care: a new provider challenges perceptions
Majella Kilkey writes about the current discussions around restricting migrant care workers’ bringing dependants to the UK.Read More about “Taking back control of our borders”. It’s the dependants stupid!
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.