ESRC-funded research provided Cornwall Council with effective training tools for social care staff - improving adult care and leading to yearly cost savings of £80,000.

Impacts

  • Around 3000 staff per year receive training using the new model developed by the KTP Associate
  • The training improved the effectiveness of ‘Safeguarding Adults’ measures in social care
  • The e-learning package developed through the KTP contributed to a yearly cost saving of around £80,000
  • Further information gathered from the KTP provided the inspiration for a ‘Living well with dementia’ project, a person-centred care approach to people with dementia
  • Based on the findings the KTP Associate has produced a number of publications about training transfer which have influenced local authorities across the country
  • The initial KTP has led to further KTP collaborations between the Plymouth University and Cornwall Council, looking at the delivery of social care strategies for the Department of Adult Social Care and Support at Cornwall Council.

"I think what it has done for us is given us the confidence to say what we believe in; rather than hoping it's true, we have that evidence now to back it up." (Corinne Leverton, Learning Training and Development, Adult Care and Support, Cornwall Council)

About the research

After a Serious Case Review following the murder of a young man with learning disabilities highlighted a failure to raise adult protection alerts, Cornwall Council recognised the need to review training of care staff.

Although they already ran training programmes, they had no way of knowing whether the programmes were effective or not, and lacked the necessary expertise to analyse and review the evidence. To deal with this challenge they entered a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Plymouth University.

KTP associate Dr Lindsey Pike found that Council staff could benefit from academic research on how to maximise training transfer - applying acquired knowledge or skills once back at the workplace. Instead of training based on a ‘ticking boxes’ culture without looking at outcomes, Dr Pike encouraged the council to utilise training transfer, such as getting delegates to attend a course over numerous sessions with time in between to reflect and practice skills in the workplace. She also suggested booster sessions for feedback and discussion on the challenges and successes encountered.

The KTP Associate helped to develop a set of principles that could be applied in a range of different contexts by the council when designing its training. She was instrumental in developing an e-learning package, and contributed to the development of a new training programme in Human Rights that was specifically designed to incorporate aspects of Safeguarding Adults, the Mental Capacity Act and Equality and Diversity.