When Professor Jon Glasby made his proposal, he was inspired by the Dutch knowledge organisation for long-term care, which he had visited last year. ‘The mission of the UK Centre for Evidence Implementation in Adult Social Care is similar to that of Vilans. The aim is to not only examine health care, but to also improve it.’
A department of British professors, led by Professor Glasby of the University of Birmingham, recently submitted an application to the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) for a large subsidy to set up a similar centre with the name, IMPACT. Glasby: ‘IMPACT stands for IMProving Adult Care Together – because we believe that many different people from all backgrounds must come together to share ideas and experiences in order to improve Adult Social Care (ASC).’ The subsidy application is for £15 million over seven years.
Introducing scientific evidence
‘That seems like a lot of money, but we need it to improve social care for adults throughout the United Kingdom,’ says Glasby. ‘And very little has been invested in this sector in recent years, particularly in research and innovation. We want to improve healthcare by, among other things, introducing more scientific evidence in the ASC field; and we want to increase the capacities and skills of ASC workers with on-the-job training and education. We also want to make an impact by maintaining long-term and productive relationships between all stakeholders within the ASC field. Finally, we want to find out more about what the implementation of evidence supports or hampers in practice.’
It is not an easy mission for the IMPACT program to succeed. After all, it is about improving primary care services in people’s lives, partly dispersed over the various systems and legal frameworks of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. ‘To balance the different aspects of IMPACT’s work, our leadership team therefore consists of people from different backgrounds – from experienced experts to researchers and professionals.’
If the proposal by Glasby and his colleagues is granted, he will be given a year to set up the centre and six years to improve care. ‘The visit to Vilans certainly inspired me. Particularly in the area of cooperation. Our success will depend on how well we can work with all parties in the field, and we can learn a lot about that from Vilans.’