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RESEARCH INTO EVIDENCE BASED SOCIAL CARE ANNOUNCED

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A new research initiative designed to help councils base their social services on sound research evidence will be f...
A new research initiative designed to help councils base their social services on sound research evidence will be funded by £1.5m from the department of health and matching support from local councils, health minister Simon Burns has announced.

The initiative will start in January and be carried out by Exeter University and a consortium of 12 local authorities in the south-west of England.

In response yesterday to a parliamentary question Mr Burns said: 'The aim of this new initiative is to help local authorities improve the cost-effectiveness of social services through better use of research evidence. I am very pleased to say that contractual terms have now been agreed and contracts are likely to be signed very shortly with Exeter University and a consortium of 12 directors of social services in the south west of England for this jointly funded initiative, beginning in January 1997.'

The aims of the project are to:

-- translate the results of existing research into practice

-- ensure that research findings are available to local authorities

-- ensure that social work education and training incorporates research knowledge

-- start new research where major gaps are identified

Professor Swales, director of research and development at the department of health, said: 'This work will demonstrate in one region how the results of research can be used to directly influence local services and improve service quality for the benefit of users.'

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