The Health and Care Workforce Interdisciplinary Research Network is aligned to the Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute and has evolved to support the development of research related to the organisation and delivery of care within NHS, health and social care, including businesses, and the voluntary community and social enterprise (VCSE) sectors. Our work spans across health and care organisations to share expertise and resource, developing cross-boundary frameworks and research partnerships through social prescribing, with the potential to reach and actively contribute to improved health and wellbeing.
The Health and Care Workforce Interdisciplinary Research Network aims to work with health and care providers to explore the intersectionality between arts and science via the exploration of the role of arts in wellbeing, for example, how the arts can be used to give voice to stigmatised health conditions, decrease social isolation and build community cohesion.
Together with colleagues from the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, we develop research, from design to dissemination, in collaboration with our partner organisations, incorporating community and public engagement to connect communities, organisations and assets, based on current issues within the context of health and social care. This will facilitate potential for knowledge exchange to have a tangible impact on practice and policy, local growth, regeneration to transform lives in the region.
The Institute has strong relationships and research collaborations with a broad range of external partner organisations across health and care. Within NHS settings, we focus on working collaboratively to utilise and apply research to deliver the workforce strategy as outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan 2019 and the Interim NHS People Plan. Within health and social care settings, research focuses on identifying and solving real-world issues such developing people, identifying the individual and collective needs of organisations, health protection and delivering interventions to support and retain workforces, including formal and informal carers.
During the current COVID-19 pandemic, our research has, and continues to focus on areas such as the wellbeing of staff, recruitment and retention, and health protection for the health and care workforce. Within the VCSE sector, we are working collaboratively with Veterans in Crisis Sunderland on research into decreasing social isolation in the veteran population and increasing wellbeing through a participatory arts programme at the National Glass Centre. We are also extending work within dementia and supporting carers across the life course.