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  Domiciliary (home) social care in the last year of life: direct provider practice, training and supervisory experiences. A mixed methods study

   Division of Health Research

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  Dr S Hughes, Prof N Preston  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

10 million people in the UK are aged over 65. In England, the adult social care workforce is estimated at 1.45 million strong with 38% working in domiciliary (home) care settings. It is known that this workforce is largely female, generally older (over 55) with a high staff turnover (around 25% annually) particularly in the domiciliary sector. Many of these workers care for clients approaching the end of life (EoL). A search for services in Lancashire found a third of domiciliary providers specifically offering palliative and end of life care. We also know that people in the last year of life will spend the majority of their time cared for at home with many preferring this as the place to die. While family and friends may provide much of this care, many people are dependent on domiciliary services if they wish to stay at home. It is reported that 49% of those aged >75 live alone.

Aims and objectives
Building upon our recently completed systematic review and findings from our European embedded case study (InSupC) which highlighted social care issues for this client group, the study aims to understand the practice, training and supervisory experiences of frontline workers delivering end of life care. It would seek to determine the extent and characteristics of this work in England, identifying deficits and facilitators in worker experience and mapping this against that of patients and family caregivers. Particular objectives include:

• understanding how workers are selected and trained in EoL care
• understanding how employing agencies support and supervise staff in these roles
• exploring the social care experiences of patients and family caregivers
• determining how terms and conditions of service impact workers experience

Mixed methods case study using survey, interview and observational data collection techniques. We anticipate that the case will be focussed on the direct care worker and their employing agency and service user network.

Informal enquires about the project should be made directly to Dr Sean Hughes. Applications are made by completing an application for PhD Health Research October 2017 through our online application system. Closing date, midnight 3rd April 2017.

Funding Notes

Awards are available for UK or EU students only for a maximum of three years full-time study. Awards will cover University Fees and Doctoral Stipend (2017-2018: £14,553).

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