Innovation or doing things differently is often seen as a solution to problems. Adult social care might seem to be an area where new approaches will naturally flourish (with competition between providers, different people paying, choice over types of care and provider and so on). Yet, while there are many innovations and good evidence that some benefit people using care services, they do not spread rapidly and often do not become mainstream. Many get abandoned, despite seeming promising.
Compared to other parts of society, little is known about innovation in social care and why good ideas do not spread. Many organisations and people offer to help with innovation but not much is known about what they do and how they do it, or what works.
The SASCI project has been set up to draw together experiences of innovating or changing things in adult social care to let people know what might help and avoid 'reinventing the wheel'.
Our aim is:
To help policymakers, managers and practitioners to develop policies and make decisions that will foster innovation in adult social care and enable it to flourish so that:
more people benefit from the innovations that could improve lives
the adult social care sector can respond to current and future challenges, meeting demand for care in a sustainable way.
We will be working with partners and stakeholders across England to:
Build up evidence about the process of innovating in adult social care and what influences that process, including the role of infrastructure for supporting innovation.
Develop a typology of adult social care innovations and of the infrastructure for supporting innovation in adult social care, with associated web-based inventories detailing the current state of the sector to improve knowledge about innovations and the innovation infrastructure
Develop a theoretically-informed, evidence-based framework for understanding innovation in adult social care to inform the practice of innovating
Better understand where and how the process of innovating in adult social care can be supported, by mapping the capacity for innovating and use of the support infrastructure across England, to direct policy and efforts to foster innovation
Build capacity in social care research through career development and building skills in the sector.