Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods
Sefydliad Ymchwil Gymdeithasol ac Economaidd, Data a Dulliau Cymru

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All Wales Academic Social Care Research Collaboration

New_NISCHR_ASCC_Colour.JPGFunder: National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (NISCHR)

Funding: £792,311

Start Date: 2nd January 2012

End Date: 1st June 2015

Research Team

Catherine Robinson (Bangor University)

Gareth Rees (Cardiff University)

Diane Seddon (Bangor University)

Judith Phillips (Swansea University)

Nick Andrews (Swansea University)

Martin O’Neill (Cardiff University)

Victoria Macfarlane (Cardiff University) 

Luke Cowie (Cardiff University)


Working in partnership across Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea Universities and funded by the NISCHR, the All Wales Academic Social Care Research Collaboration (ASCC) will strengthen the capacity of HEIs and their partner agencies to deliver on an agreed and prioritised research agenda to respond to national and local needs.

The three regional teams will contribute to the following work framework:

  • Development and exploitation of national datasets (Bangor)
  • Increasing capacity and research skills in the workforce (Cardiff)
  • Promotion of evidence based practice (Swansea)

Each regional team will pilot and evaluate a different model over a three-year period, aiming to identify and establish effective approaches to increasing the quantity and quality of social care R&D in Wales.

Cardiff: Social Care and Social Work Research Skills Capacity Building, the WISERD E-learning Initiative

  • One of the three models will be to develop a WISERD e-learning initiative to raise the research skills of service providers across Wales.
  • A Research Development Fellow (RDF) funded by NISCHR and based and supervised at WISERD Cardiff will develop the e-learning project, working in conjunction with the WISERD TCB team and local partners to develop a training website.
  • The website can be accessed by trainees both as a means of distance learning and also as a resource to assist in specialist courses that may assume some brief (e.g. 1 or 2 days) attendance at WISERD.

Adult Social Care and the Foundational Economy

This  research project will examine provision and delivery of adult social care by means of social licencing, social enterprises, co-operatives and not for profit organisations. The project will be rooted in the arguments for a ‘Foundational Economy’ (Bentham et al 2013; Law and Williams 2014) and will involve collaboration with colleagues in Manchester, Durham and Queen Mary University. This project will adopt multi-method approaches within a case study framework (Yin 2014).  A range of methods will be employed including reviews of the literature, interviews with key stakeholders, analysis of routine data and geo-spatial data, economic and organisational modelling and comparative policy research.  It will build on the skills and knowledge available form a multi-disciplinary steering group (see governance).  In addition, through collaboration, it will establish a lasting and unique network of researchers, policy actors and practitioners working in the field. The aim will be to undertake:

  • comparative policy research on not-for profit social care provision in the UK and in other countries (examples might include Emilia Romagna; British Columbia; Basque Region; Barcelona). 
  • describe the current extent of not-for profit sector provision in Wales and where possible compare with levels in other regions of the UK and Europe; 
  • analyse the standard UK adult social care agency business models and its consequences for the extent and quality of care and for employment conditions (including pay and hours); 
  • collate evidence on the potential benefits of a foundational economy approach in terms of changes to work and organisational aspects of home care; 
  • undertake a case study in Wales (with a potential comparative case study in Enfield) to assess and identify mechanisms and policy interventions that enable Local Authorities to shift towards not-for-profit provision.

Additional Research Team: 

Karel Williams (Manchester University)

Julie Froud (Manchester University)

Paula Hyde (Durham University)

Sukhdev Johal (Queen Mary University)



Transforming Social Services in Wales: Role of Alternative Business Models - Heulwen Blackmore, Welsh Government

A Review of the Evidence on Models of Social Enterprise in the Provision of Adult Social Care in the UK, Europe and USA - Luke Cowie, WISERD, Cardiff University

A Pragmatic Approach to Public Services Reform - San Leonard, Social Firms Wales

A Right to Request: Can Wales learn from Social Enterprise Spinouts in the English NHS? - Ross Millar, Kelly Hall and Robin Miller, University of Birmingham



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