Pioneering Health and Social Care


Supporting NHS702018 is the 70th anniversary of the NHS, but also the 70th anniversary of the passage of the National Assistance Act and the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Seebohm report – two landmark events in the history of the adult social care system. Birmingham has been at the forefront of developments in both health and social care throughout this period, acting as a critical friend to policy and practice.

In adult social care, we deliver the UK’s longest-running social work programme, which began with a formal qualification in 1908 (one year even before the new University opened its iconic Great Hall). We have worked with Downing Street to review the future funding of adult social care, produced national guidance on how to support older people when care homes close, advised the NHS Future Forum on health and social care integration, and helped to create a new national research programme to develop more sustainable adult social care

Perspectives from our social and health care experts

Why we fund social care differently to the NHS and why there is a need for a change

By Jon Glasby, Professor of Health and Social Care and Head of School of Social Policy

“Many people still assume that social care is funded in the same way as the NHS and will be available to them free of charge, and it often comes as a severe shock when people find out that this isn’t the case – usually when they are already in crisis and urgently need support.”

Read the full article on the Birmingham Perspective
Jon Glasby

The National Assistance Act 70 years on – Lessons for the social care green paper

By Catherine Needham, Professor of Public Policy and Public Management

Ahead of the much-anticipated release of the new social care green paper, Catherine reflects on four things that a look back at the National Assistance Act can teach us.

Read the full article on the Social Sciences Birmingham blogging platform
Below: Catherine Needham speaks about the four things a look back at the National Assistance Act can teach us:

In health care, the University of Birmingham has played a key role in new partnerships dedicated to using research in the field to push for improvement in health care provision.

The Birmingham, RAND and Cambridge Evaluation (BRACE) Centre is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to conduct rapid evaluations of promising new services and innovations in healthcare. The Centre aims to examine efforts to transform the organisation and delivery of health services, exploring their implementation, impacts, sustainability and potential for scale up across the NHS. 

Visit the BRACE website

The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute (THIS Institute) is led by the University of Cambridge and our Health Services Management Centre is one of a number of partners in the institute. The Centre is seeking to create a world-leading asset for the NHS by improving the science behind healthcare organisation and delivery.is founded on the principle that efforts to improve care should always be based on the best quality of evidence. Some of that evidence will be created by NHS patients and staff themselves, using innovative citizen science methods in large-scale research projects.

Visit the THIS Institute website
Below: Centre Directors Judith Smith (BRACE) and Mary Dixon-Wood (THIS Institute) introduce the work that is being done: 


A new funding deal for the NHS: are we (and the NHS) ready to grasp the nettle?

By Judith Smith, Professor of Health Policy and Management

“The NHS is being challenged to come up with a ten-year plan, setting out what we can all expect in return for the investment being made. Assuming that taxes rise to fund this new NHS settlement, there will be strings attached, ones that will likely mean a shake-up of the NHS. My fervent hope is that this will not be (yet another) organisational restructuring, but rather some serious modernisation of the way in which care is delivered, designed with close involvement of staff and patients, so that the NHS can truly be fit for a long and healthy future.” 

Read the full article on the Birmingham Perspective

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