USW academic involved in research into well-being legislation

Dr Rachel Iredale, a Reader in Public Involvement at USW, is involved in the research into the Social Services and Well-Being Act (Wales) 2014 . Neil Gibson April 2018

Dr Rachel Iredale is involved in the research into the Social Services and Well-Being Act.

A UNIVERSITY of South Wales (USW) academic is involved in a project that will look at whether the Social Services and Well-Being Act (Wales) 2014 has been a success.

Dr Rachel Iredale, a Reader in Public Involvement at USW, is involved in the research into the legislation.

‘Measuring The Mountain’ will aim to understand social care provision through the eyes of the people who need it, and the carers who help provide it.

The project brings together experts in policy, research, public engagement, co-production and social care, and puts the expertise of people who are receiving social care support, along with their families and carers, at its heart. 

“This approach to evaluating the impact of Welsh legislation has never been taken before and that it’s a co-productive enterprise, working across sectors with a network of organisations, makes it truly unique,” said Katie Cooke, Project Manager.

Using SenseMaker® technology, volunteer Listeners will have hundreds of conversations with the diverse communities of Wales, recording people’s experiences of social care. These stories will reveal where the Act is working well and where things could be done differently. 

Findings from these stories will inform a Citizens’ Jury in late September. Led by Dr Iredale, who is Steering Group Vice-Chair, a small number of people will spend three days looking more deeply at key aspects of the Act’s implementation. 

Expert witnesses will provide additional evidence and the Jury’s findings will contribute to Welsh Government’s understanding of both the implementation of the Act and the shaping of its future.

“At USW we have led the way in public engagement for more than 20 years. We were the first organisation in the UK to conduct a Citizens’ Jury in 1997,” said Dr Iredale.

“With this new project, combining the use of SenseMaker to gather stories about social care from service users, and empowering citizens to become listeners, we really are co-producing research.

“And that’s the best sort of research in my view - real, honest, transparent, grounded in experience, and able to drive significant change across Wales.”

Huw Irranca-Davies, Minister for Children and Social Care, reinforced the collaborative and co-productive approach

“I’m proud that Welsh Government are funding this exciting initiative which puts the people of Wales at its centre,” he said.

“It is only through understanding what social care is like for those involved with it, that we will really understand the extent to which the Social and Services and Wellbeing Act is improving outcomes for the people of Wales.”

‘Measuring the Mountain’ wants to capture experiences that reflect the diverse communities involved in social care in Wales. If you have a story to share, or know others that do, and want to get involved visit / or contact Katie Cooke at