Investing in the workforce for older people’s health services –start of an important research study

The School of Healthcare Sciences is leading on an important research study funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Programme. This project is investigating what workforce development interventions are more likely to work to ensure a knowledgeable and skilled support workforce for older people in health and social care settings. The increasing number of older people in the UK population who require care provision means that the development of a suitable support care workforce will remain a long term priority for NHS managers and other organisations that provide care.

The study’s aim is to present a series of improvements for the design and implementation of interventions for support workers who provide care for older people in health and social care settings. The study will use a systematic realist review methodology, a novel approach of synthesising evidence to inform policy and practice through examining what works in complex interventions. The study will complete in 2015.

The research team, which is led by Professor Jo Rycroft-Malone and Dr Christopher Burton, is a multi-disciplinary group with a track record in research which focuses on training and development in health and social care, public service improvement, and realist review methodology. The Co-Investigators are; Professor Brendan McCormack, University of Ulster, Professor Sandra Nutley, University of St Andrews, and Dr Diane Seddon, Bangor University.

More details about the study can be viewed here.

For further information, please contact Lynne Williams (project manager) on 01248 383170 or email

Publication date: 21 November 2013