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LGBTQ+ Older Adult Social Care Assessment (LOASCA) project

LGBTQ+ couple using a laptop together


The LGBTQ+ Older Adult Social Care Assessment (LOASCA) study provided detailed knowledge of how adult social care workers consider sexual orientation and gender identity when assessing older people and how older LGBTQ+ people experience assessments.

Funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research School for Social Care Research (NIHR SSCR), the project was undertaken by the University of Birmingham in collaboration with the University of Manchester, University of Bristol, and Opening Doors, a nation-wide charity offering services to older LGBTQ+ people.

The project team consists of:

  • Dr Jason Schaub (project lead, University of Birmingham)
  • Dr Paul Willis (University of Bristol)
  • Dr Stephen Hicks (University of Manchester)
  • Professor Ben Thomas (Opening Doors)
  • Dr Dora Jandrić (research fellow, University of Birmingham).

About the LOASCA study

The study used a collaborative process that included eight co-researchers, older LGBTQ+ people with lived experience of social care. These co-researchers undertook a range of research tasks and contributed across the project including: project design, data collection, data analysis, and dissemination, as well as ensuring the project findings were relevant and applicable.

This cross-sectional mixed-methods study used a multiple site case study design to understand:

A) How social care workers engage with issues of SOGI when assessing older LGBTQ+ people with care and support needs.

B) How these service users experience and receive assessments.

Webinar: Understanding how social care assesses older LGBTQ+ people for support

Project outputs

  • Community-based graphic report
  • A short digital film
  • Knowledge exchange webinar
  • Academic journal articles
  • Conference presentations
  • Social care and social enterprise practitioner events
  • Practice knowledge brief
  • Co-researcher framework.
LGBTQ+ couple chatting over coffee

The CIRCLE project

The CIRCLE research project, led by Dr Jolie Keemink at the University of Kent in collaboration with The Applied Research Collaboration Kent Surrey Sussex, involves various partners such as universities, local authorities in Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, and LGBTQ+ voluntary organiszations like Opening Doors and Switchboard. Funded by the NIHR ARC KSS, the study spanned from October 20′22 to September 20′24. Its objective is to enhance inclusivity for LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer) residents in residential care facilities catering to individuals aged 50 and above.

Skills for Care LGBTQ+ learning framework

This framework for supporting LGBTQ+ individuals in their later years is designed to establish a foundation for recognising the insights, knowledge, understanding, and skills essential for the social care workforce. The goal is to enable them to engage affirmatively, inclusively, and effectively with people from gender and sexually diverse communities. Dr. Trish Hafford-Letchfield of the University of Strathclyde spearheaded the development of this project in collaboration with the LGBT Foundation, with funding provided by Skills for Care.

The framework describes core knowledge and skills, common and transferable across different types of service provision. It outlined four domains: LGBTQ+ awareness and affirming practice; health and wellbeing in later life; personalised care and support; and leadership, education and service development.