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Helping create a more sustainable social care system for carers and patients alike, the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit programme (RfPB) has funded £2.5 million of new research into social care.

The new funding was driven by RfPB’s 2018 funding call for research focused on adult social care.

Twelve new projects have been funded, ranging from work to find the best ways to care for people in their own homes to online tools aimed at teaching adults with learning disabilities how to read. Research proposals and funded projects were submitted from leaders in the field to early career researchers.

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The funding is part of NIHR’s ongoing efforts to build and improve social care research in England.

Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage said: “Social care research has the power to transform people’s lives by building our knowledge of which types of care best support our health, happiness and independence. The NIHR’s investment in innovation will help create a sustainable social care system for the benefit of everyone – from older people to unpaid carers to those with learning disabilities of any age.

“There are some fantastic projects already underway, and I’m looking forward to seeing what brilliant ideas are brought forward in this annual funding call, which will significantly boost social care research in this country.”

Amongst the newly-funded projects are:

  • A questionnaire to help researchers find out what services are the most useful in helping people with dementia to live in their own homes
  • An online tool to help teach adults with learning disabilities how to read
  • Research into the quality and costs of residential facilities and supported living to  provide evidence to help healthcare commissioners provide services, and help families lobby for the best support
  • Research looking at the best way to review homecare services, so that councils can ensure they are providing cost-effective support for people living at home
  • An online tool designed to help informal carers to cope with their caring responsibilities and access support and resources when they need them
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