What are we doing?

We are working with partners in Adult Social Care at Hertfordshire County Council and Norfolk County Council. Together we are creating and testing four Communities of Practice that are focusing on increasing research skills among social care staff. We are calling these Communities of Practice ‘Research in Practice’ Teams. The teams are focusing around a topic relevant to Adult Social Care and to the work of each RiPT lead person.

The topic areas identified are:

  1. Exploring citizen attitudes towards the use of Technology Enabled Care home activity monitoring systems to provide proactive social care service interventions to support independent living at home..
  2. The impact of occupational therapy in adult social care learning disability services: exploring the experiences of people with learning disabilities, their carers and occupational therapists
  3. Exploring the effectiveness of OT reablement services in increasing independence among residents
  4. Exploring the lived experiences of older people discharged via ‘Discharge to Assess’ Pathway One (i.e. people who are discharged to their own homes).

Each Community of Practice includes 5-7 people. This includes Adult Social Care practitioners and experts by experience

Each team has a Lead person. This is a social care practitioner employed by Hertfordshire or Norfolk County Council. They are funded for two and a half days a week for two years.  They are being provided with training and support to develop and undertake a research project.

Each team also includes up to 5 Associate members who are funded for one day/month to take part in the RiPT research related activities and undertake some training. The Associate members can be anyone employed in adult social care or social work services across the East of England and across the statutory and voluntary sectors.

Experts by Experience – service users and carers, are being supported to be actively involved in the research projects undertaken by each RiPT.

A virtual Research Support Hub involving all project team members provides training and support for RiPTs. It also facilitates links between the four RiPTs and between the RiPTs and the wider research and practice community in the region.