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Conceptualising and characterising innovation in adult social care


We will:

  1. describe the range of innovations and actors involved in innovation, creating a typology and initial characterisation of adult social care (ASC) innovation;

  2. identify key contextual factors, capabilities and activities important for ASC innovation;

  3. set the focus for case studies in WP2, theoretical direction in WP3; and

  4. inform data collection for the survey in WP6. 


WS1a: Understanding innovation – stakeholders’ views

To gather views we will hold multi-stakeholder workshops  and key informant interviews designed in collaboration with our Public Stakeholder Engagement Group (PSEG). Stakeholders will include service users, carers, practitioners, managers, commissioners and elected members across all adult social care  (ASC) sector.

Participants will be asked to consider how innovation is defined by the ASC sector and the range of innovations; who is innovating and where; and the rationale for, critiques and challenges of ASC innovation. 


We will produce:

  • a list of innovations and innovators, showing what innovations are happening, where and by whom 

  • a paper outlining a typology of ASC innovations

  • a web-based inventory of innovations, including details of where innovations are happening and who is involved

  • a paper discussing stakeholders’ perspectives on ASC innovation, identifying key themes related to the innovation process that require conceptualisation. 

WS1b: Setting the theoretical direction for the study

We will undertake a structured review of theoretical literatures around innovation and produce a working paper setting out the study’s conceptual framework (and including directions for collecting data on key themes).

WS1c: Developing a consensus over the study direction

Outputs from the workstreams above will form the basis for consultation with stakeholders through meetings and social media to support later activities in the project.


We are interested in  hearing what people and organisations are doing differently to improve the lives of people receiving social care and the staff delivering care. This could include changes to processes for allocating or managing care or assuring and improving the quality of care; working with commissioners of care in different ways to design or manage services or particular types of services; new services and products; changes to your business model perhaps involving repurposing of space or ownership; using technology in a different way to drive forward changes in outcomes for people or deliver efficiencies for the organization or broader system.  


Juliette Malley

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