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NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) West Midlands

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) West Midlands

NIHR ARC West Midlands logo

The NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) West Midlands is a five-year initiative (2019-2024) with a mission to create lasting and effective partnerships across health and social care organisations, and universities (Birmingham, Keele and Warwick) in order to improve care services across the West Midlands.

ARC West Midlands Research themes

Medical practitioner in discussion with patient

1. Long term conditions

Medical practitoner with patient

2. Acute care interfaces

Youth counselling session

3. Integrated care in youth mental health

Maternity health care

4. Maternity services

Our research is underpinned by these four cross-cutting themes

Organisational science, planning meeting

5. Organisational science

Public Health - meeting between three people in face masks

7. Public health

Research methodology and informatics

6. Research methodology and informatics

Social Care - two people talking, one in a wheelchair, one crouching down

8. Social care

Latest news

Strengths-Based Practice in Adult Social Care During COVID-19: Insights From Practice Reviews in the West Midlands

Sharanya Mahesh, Research Fellow University of Birmingham

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on adult social care services. With the enforced closure of services, such as day centres in the community, and the emergence of new priorities due to the pandemic, local authorities have been required to introduce and adapt to new ways of working so that they continued to support people meaningfully.

Working with the West Midlands Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (WM ADASS), the Social Care theme of ARC WM have produced a report examining the impact of the pandemic on strengths-based practice. Document analysis on nine practice reviews undertaken between October 2020 and September 2021 form the basis of the report. Since their introduction, practice reviews have become an integral part of the peer challenge programmes led by the WM ADASS. Analysis of the reviews highlighted some positive and negative impacts on strengths-based working, and also brought to light the impact of the pandemic on staff who were at the forefront of demonstrating strengths-based practice.

NIHR ARC West Midlands is one of 15 ARCs across England aiming to improve the health and care of patients and the public. We are part of a £135 million investment by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) with matched funding provided by local health and social services.

Our work builds on research conducted by our predecessors, the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for West Midlands, and the CLAHRC Birmingham and Black Country pilot.