L&G escalates investment into research for social care

UK’s fragile social care system gets an essential boost from Legal & General.

The UK has been facing a social care crisis for some time, but a global pandemic that targets the elderly and frail has irreversibly exposed its weakness.  The coronavirus pandemic highlights the fragility of the UK’s social care system and underscores that quick action is needed to rethink and redesign care to look after the most vulnerable people effectively.

Today, Legal & General is pleased to announce that the Advanced Care Research Centre’s (ACRC) seven year multi-disciplinary research programme will commence in September this year, with 25 new researchers working with senior academics from across the University of Edinburgh, led by Professor Bruce Guthrie.   Helping to increase resilience in the sector, ACRC was established by partners Legal & General and the University of Edinburgh in January 2020.

Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General, said: “The current threat to our later life care system is very real. This work with the University of Edinburgh was in the planning phase and is now moving into the ‘doing phase’.   Rather than looking at quick fixes on short-term Covid-19 specific issues, the pressures on the care system will remain after the current pandemic subsides, and a longer-term, system-wide, research-backed approach will be required.   Life expectancy has increased, but living longer doesn’t currently mean living well.  It’s time to stop thinking solely about how to extend life, and think harder about how to improve the quality of life we already have.  We are delighted to be supporting Professor Guthrie and his team in this important work.”

Professor Bruce Guthrie, ACRC Director, said: “Positive, evidence-based change to the way care is delivered to those in later life was important before this crisis, and will be even more important and urgent afterwards. As a clinical practitioner as well as an academic, I see the immense pressure that NHS and care systems are under because of COVID-19, but we must not lose sight of the longer term goal of ensuring that care in later life is as effective, safe, humane and efficient as possible. The ACRC plans to deliver cutting edge research which will think ahead to support and inform real improvement over three, five and ten years.”

The ACRC, enabled by Legal & General’s £20 million funding, will deliver research across a breadth of academic disciplines designed to improve understanding of care in later life and to revolutionise how it is delivered.  The ACRC research is underpinned by three cross-cutting areas of activity in stakeholder engagement and public debate, improvements to the data infrastructure, and a uniquely interdisciplinary Academy to train the future academic, policy and practitioner leaders in later life care.
All research will be in the public domain and for public benefit.

Image credit: Dahin / Shutterstock