USW Professor to lead partnership of Welsh universities to deliver landmark study

Professor Mark Llewellyn, Director of the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care

Professor Mark Llewellyn

The Welsh Government has commissioned a partnership between leading academics across four universities in Wales and expert advisers to deliver the evaluation of the ground-breaking Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.

Professor Mark Llewellyn, Director of the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care (WIHSC) at the University of South Wales (USW), will lead the team alongside Professor Fiona Verity, Director of the Wales School for Social Care Research.

Colleagues from Swansea University, Bangor University and Cardiff University will also work as partners in the study, which is being supported by PRIME Centre Wales.

The project will deliver an independent and objective assessment of the implementation of the Act and the way in which it has impacted on the well-being of people who need care and support, and their carers.

The Act is a significant departure from previous public policy, and sets out major change in social care and social services and in relationships between social serves and citizens, communities, and sectors outside government.

The approach of the team will be to examine the implementation and impact of the Act through its five principles – voice and control, well-being, co-production, multi-agency working, and prevention and early intervention – and the financial implications of each.

Each of these principles will be evaluated by an academic ‘theme lead’ supported by an expert adviser. This combination is crucial to ensuring that skills and knowledge of the academics is complemented by the practical expertise and experience of making and implementing policy, delivering and managing social care, working with citizens across organisational boundaries, and putting people at the centre of ‘what matters’ to them. The research team will also be supported and challenged by the Study Expert Reference Group who will co-produce the study.

Prof Llewellyn, a Health and Care Policy specialist at WIHSC, said: “it is a huge privilege to be leading this team to deliver such an important study.

“We are focused on providing an evaluation that will have something meaningful to say about the way in which the Act has impacted upon individual citizens, family members and carers, communities, workers and organisations. This is a hugely complex task, but one that we are looking forward to undertaking in partnership over the coming years.”

Fiona Verity, Professor of Social Work and Social Care, Swansea University and Director of the Wales School for Social Care Research, commented: “We are very mindful of the significance of this evaluation given the Act’s focus on transforming the way that social care operates in Wales. We have assembled a Wales-based team with expertise across all areas of social care, and, under the leadership of Prof Llewellyn, we will explore how the ambition of the Act is being achieved in practice. ”