EXPERTS from local councils and the University of York are coming together to tackle some of the big issues around social care.

The four-year Curiosity partnership also involves City of York Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Doncaster City Council and Hull City Council, as well as residents and academics from universities in those areas.

Funded by more than £1M from the National Institute for Health and Care Research, the partnership aims to address some of the key issues around social care in the region.

They include, how to support people to live independently at home, living with dementia, issues around loneliness and isolation for older people, plus how we can help older people live life to the full, even in the presence of frailty, health or memory problems.

The partnership will create a project team to explore research priorities and train up council staff and academics in research techniques.

It will also ask local residents to take part in the project to help decide what the big research questions should be and join specialist teams to help answer them.

Professor Yvonne Birks at the University of York’s Social Policy Unit, said: “We are thinking big and thinking differently when it comes to the future of social care, and we are hoping local communities can play their part in this incredibly important project.”

“The Government has invested heavily in health research, but less so in social care. Social care research is now a high priority but councils and universities need to build capacity and infrastructure to deliver ambitious research for the future.”

Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care at City of York Council, said: “Residents have told us that they want to live independently in their own homes for as long as they can.

“Delivering the support that enables residents to do that comes from working with community and voluntary organisations, to co-design local solutions, together with providing statutory services.

“We’re delighted to bring our experience and expertise to the Curiosity Partnership to research new ways to support our residents.”

Cllr Michael Harrison, executive member for adult services at North Yorkshire County Council, said: “Social care is one of our greatest challenges; therefore we are delighted to be involved in this four year research project alongside colleagues elsewhere in the region, to better understand the issues our residents face daily.

“The social care needs of the population are as important to us as it is to those who benefit from assistance and we hope this research will inform decisions that enable people to live independently for longer through better care and support.”

Further details of the Curiosity Partnership can be found here: