New Workforce Research and Education Development Project

A new research project titled ‘Realising Potential: Securing the Involvement of the Informal Carer Workforce’ will identify ways to better connect carers, resources for carers, health agencies, as well as education and workforce initiatives across Cheshire and Merseyside. It builds on the understanding that carers play an essential role for our friends and family, for our communities and for our health and social care system.

The project is a collaboration led by Voluntary Sector North West (VSNW), in partnership with the Centre for Health Promotion Research (Leeds Beckett University), and the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and has been commissioned by Health Education England NW and Cheshire and Mersey Local Workforce Education Group (C&M WEG). It will be achieved via the following:

Literature Review
The Centre for Health Promotion Research will examine the current evidence base (including grey literature, e.g. VCFSE reports) for best practice in supporting carers; this will include evidence about the needs of different carer groups, including age, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. The main questions are:

  • How well do healthcare services value and involve carers?
  • What are the best ways to support carers?
  • How can carers and the people they care for be supported to maintain good health and wellbeing?
  • How can carers be supported to stay in employment?

Informal Carers Asset Based Scope Report
VSNW and CLES will work with carers, and carer support organisations to identify current support in Cheshire and Merseyside, and understand what carers value. Following a mapping exercise conducted by local VCFSE agencies, the following will be identified:

  • Local assets, networks and interventions
  • Workforce and education developments
  • Learning resources

As part of this, five case studies will be drawn together and their cost benefit (CBA) calculated.

Best Practice Briefing and Benchmarking Review
VSNW and Ariadne HR Associates will develop a set of training tools to help healthcare organisations (hospitals, GP practices, etc.) better support staff with caring responsibilities.

Informing Priorities for Further Development Programme
Research recommendations will inform implementation of the Cheshire and Merseyside Sustainability and Transformation Plan.

This project runs from July 2017 to March 2018. To discuss further, contact Warren Escadale, Chief Executive of Voluntary Sector North West (VSNW) at warren.escadale@vsnw.org.uk or call 07753 147 664.

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