SCIE to be part of leading brand new centre to implement evidence in adult social care

24 March 2021

A brand new centre for adult social care will be developed which will put evidence into practice; all to promote and maintain people’s independence and wellbeing. To make the centre successful, the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) will be partnering with the University of Birmingham, as part of a broader consortium of key stakeholders from across the four nations of the UK.

The new Centre is called IMPACT (Improving Adult Care Together) and will be the first Centre of its kind in the UK. It’s being funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, and the Health Foundation.

The Centre will:

  • Lead the way in helping people working in adult social care, carers, and the people they support make better use of high-quality, practice-based evidence to support innovation in adult social care
  • Build capacity and skills in the adult social care workforce
  • Help develop sustainable and productive relationships between all of those working across adult social care
  • Improve our understanding of what helps or hinders when putting evidence into practice

The centre will receive funding of £15 million over the next six years, with equal contributions from ESRC and the Health Foundation.

SCIE will be part of the Leadership Team of the new Centre/the IMPACT consortium. SCIE, working with a wide range of academic, policy and practice partners, carers and people with lived experience of using social care services to help develop and lead a programme of innovation and improvement.

Ewan King, Deputy Chief Executive, SCIE, who will be on the Centre’s leadership team says:

SCIE has been at the forefront of promoting evidence informed improvement and practice in adult social care for over 20 years, and are delighted to be involved in this important initiative. The sector has been comparatively starved of support to help it make the best use of evidence, and I hope that this Centre can go a long way towards overcome this barrier; enabling the sector to use evidence to improve people’s outcomes.

Jon Glasby, Professor of Health and Social Care at the University of Birmingham who has been appointed as IMPACT’s director and will be working with a range of partners from across the UK to lead the co-development, establishment and delivery of the centr

Adult social care touches people’s lives in such important and intimate ways, and it’s crucial that it’s based on the best possible evidence of what works. Good care isn’t just about services, it’s about having a life – and the ESRC and the Health Foundation are providing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a real difference.

ESRC Executive Chair, Professor Alison Park, says

The complex nature of the social care system means that frontline practice does not always benefit sufficiently from the evidence we already have about what works.The increased implementation of evidence-based innovations and improvements in adult social care are crucial to ensuring better outcomes for the many people who use these services, and their carers and families. Finding a way to make this happen is challenging – but the prize, in terms of improvements to adult social care, makes it essential.

Will Warburton, Director of Improvement, the Health Foundation, says:

The fragmented nature of the adult social care sector poses real challenges for ensuring the consistent provision of evidence-based, high quality care and support. The IMPACT Centre will work alongside people with experience of care, carers, commissioners and providers to develop practical support that will increase the use of high-quality research evidence in the adult social care sector across the UK.

Recognising the combined value of good practice and robust evidence from different sources, the Centre will bring together people with lived experience of social care, those providing unpaid care, people working in adult social care, experts in the mobilisation and implementation of evidence, social care providers, commissioners and policy experts, and academic teams from across the UK.

Together with stakeholders in adult social care and beyond, the IMPACT team will agree priorities and design, establish, deliver and evaluate the Centre’s work programme, aiming to lead to sustainable change in the use of evidence in adult social care.

The Centre will receive phased funding until 2027, and builds on previous ESRC investments in social care including the Sustainable Care Research Programme, and ESRC’s Innovation in Social Care Initiative. The Centre has been funded by ESRC through UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF).

Notes to Editors

For more information or interviews, please contact: Hasan Salim Patel - - Communications Manager (Arts, Law and Social Sciences) or contact the press office out of hours on 07789 921 165

Call specification: ESRC/Health Foundation UK Centre for Evidence Implementation in Adult Social Care (Strategic Priorities Fund).

Professor Jon Glasby will lead the co-development, establishment and delivery IMPACT with the following partners: Skills for Care, the Social Care Institute for Excellence, the Care Workers’ Charity, Scottish Care, Carers UK, the British Association of Social Workers, Think Local Act Personal, the Association for Directors of Adult Social Services and the universities of Sheffield, Stirling, Ulster and Cardiff.

For further details of IMPACT’s work, please contact

The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK - The Health Foundation supports research and analysis on adult social care both in-house and through its awards. For example, they will soon be publishing projections on the future funding needs and reform of the adult social care system, as well as workforce and provider issues. They are also funding a community of practice for social care analysts and exploring how data analytics can be used to improve social care through our Strengthening Social Care Analytics programme.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. For more information visit The ESRC is the UK’s largest funder of research on the social and economic questions facing us today. It supports the development and training of the UK’s future social scientists and funds major studies that provide the infrastructure for research. ESRC-funded research informs policy-makers and practitioners and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective.

UK Research and Innovation works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. We aim to maximise the contribution of each of our component parts, working individually and collectively. We work with our many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas. Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £7 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

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