Photo of Prof Lydia Hayes

Kent research supports All-Party Inquiry into care sector workforce

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Care has acknowledged “a great debt of gratitude” to a team led by Kent Law School Professor Lydia Hayes for providing “expansive, thorough and vigorous” research in support of their All-Party Inquiry into the care sector workforce.

Professor Hayes explained: ‘We investigated how care workers could be better supported to develop as career professionals and why this was necessary. We analysed care standards regulation in each of the UK’s four nations and identified the complex skills that care workers need.’

With financial support from the GMB Union, Professor Hayes collaborated with Dr Eleanor Johnson and Alison Tarrant to produce the report ‘Professionalisation At Work in Adult Social Care’.  It provides a picture of professionalisation in adult social care across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and is cited frequently in the APPG Inquiry Report entitled ‘Elevation, Registration & Standardisation: The Professionalisation of Social Care Workers’.  To support the Inquiry, the research team considered policy initiatives, current skill and knowledge requirements, workforce registration, induction, training and the legal regulation of workforce standards.

In an introduction to the Inquiry Report, Louise Haigh MP and Gillian Keegan MP said: ‘We owe a great debt of gratitude to Dr Hayes, Dr Johnson and Alison Tarrant for their expansive, thorough and vigorous report to us, which has proved to be a great help in increasing our understanding of how this sector presently functions, and the challenges that it faces.’

As a result of their research, Professor Hayes’s team found that training issues, workers’ occupational registration, regulatory concern for service-user safety, terms and conditions of work, and sector funding are intricately connected.

Professor Hayes is Principal Investigator for a Wellcome Trust project on The Legal and Social Life of Care Standards Regulation in England, Scotland and Wales.