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Investigating why and how innovations in adult social care are designed, implemented and spread in context


We will:

  • investigate why adult social care (ASC) innovations are generated, adopted, designed, implemented and spread through case studies of specific innovations in three topic areas. 



In this work package there will be three workstreams, each focusing on a topic area and consisting of at least three innovation case studies. 


Overall nine case studies will be chosen to maximise diversity in terms of innovation types, range of actors involved, whether innovations are introduced in the context of transformative or incremental change, and their ability to illuminate themes to be explored in the project.

Each worksteam will:

Phase I

  • conduct a rapid review of literature related to the innovation being investigated to identify themes of relevance to the data collection

  • produce working papers to report identified studies with tables to summarise key themes related to the innovation process

Phase II

  • conduct 4-6 semi-structured key informant (KI) interviews with people involved in the design of the innovation to explore: the rationale for the innovation, sources of inspiration and conduits for learning about the innovation, intended goals and activities to achieve the goals, stakeholder engagement, resources employed and bought-in

  • hold a workshop at the site with the KIs and other site stakeholders to validate logic models, discuss findings, enhance buy-in to the study and discuss recruitment for the next stage of fieldwork

  • produce working papers illustrating retrospective logic models for each innovation, outlining how inputs and activities should achieve desired outputs, outcomes and impacts and making explicit underlying assumptions and theories

Phase III

  • conduct up to 11 face-to-face semi-structured interviews or group interviews per site with people involved in delivering the innovation and key delivery partners to understand differences between planning and implementation, resource use, experience of implementation, and questions relating to theoretical themes from the project

  • conduct at least 3 face-to-face semi-structured KI interviews in each site who have imparted relevant knowledge to the site or learnt about the innovation from the site to ask about contact with the site and seek to understand what knowledge about the innovation is being spread (e.g. awareness, research evidence, know-how), through what medium (e.g. formal networks, conferences, media), and the strength of relationship between contact and site

  • produce working papers

  • discuss findings in a series of face-to-face workshops with SASCI researchers to enable debate, critique, and facilitate development of a shared understanding across the different case studies and topic areas and identify areas of divergence

Phase IV

  • hold a feedback workshop at each site to share and reflect on findings and ensure that sites gain clear benefit from participating in the research. 


WS2a: Integration – ‘social model’ innovations
We will focus on innovations in integration of ASC and other agencies, adopting a perspective on innovation in integration rooted in social models of health and consistent with ASC statutory responsibility to promote prevention and wellbeing. We will explore innovative approaches including: place-based strategies to optimise balance between health, ASC and other system-wide priorities; re-framing programmes to meet rising demand for NHS care by tackling health inequalities and social determinants; and empowering individuals and communities to combat social determinants.

WS2b: Human resources innovations 
We will focus on innovative approaches to maximising human resources (paid and volunteer) in the context of well-known workforce shortages and turnover, as well as on new developments to stimulate engagement with communities and volunteers.

We will investigate how local authorities shape local ASC labour markets and other innovations to support ASC staff. 

WS2c: Consumer-oriented innovations
We will focus on innovative mechanisms for delivering, expanding or strengthening consumer-oriented approaches largely concerned with enabling greater choice and control over their care, whether state- or self-funded. 


WS2a: Jose-Luis Fernandez and Gerald Wistow

WS2b: Jill Manthorpe

WS2c: Yvonne Birks and Kate Baxter

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