Programme 2021-22

The following events took place during the 2021-22 academic year. Details of future events will be shared on the main Health and Care Studies Seminar page.

Previous events

What changes has the pandemic brought to long-term care organisation in OECD countries?

Thursday 31 March 2022
18:00 to 19:30

Dr Ana Llena-Nozal, Chair: Professor Mary Daly

The COVID-19 crisis has hit the long-term care (LTC) sector particularly hard. This presentation analysed the effects of COVID-19 on LTC in OECD countries. It took stock of the wide range of policy responses that countries have implemented, detailing the changes over time on testing strategies, reduction of interactions and isolation measures, digitalisation of services, and workforce. The presentation also assessed emergency preparedness in the sector, as well as the effectiveness of workforce and vaccination strategies. Finally, the presentation showed how policy responses affected care continuity and the well-being of residents while also outlining the organisational and coordination challenges.

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The regulation of social care: Improving the treatment of workers through regulatory law

Wednesday 26 January 2022
18:00 to 19:30

Professor Lydia Hayes, Chair: Professor Mary Daly

Professor Hayes presented new research, undertaken during the pandemic, showing that care safety and job quality in care settings are inseparable. The findings point to failures in the regulation of care provision. Job quality indicators, highly relevant to the objective of care safety, were being ignored or marginalised by providers and inspectors. Professor Hayes made the case that existing regulatory law provides the social care sector with a framework of sector-specific employment standards. Better understanding of the potential of regulatory law could help organisations that represent either employers or workers to improve terms and conditions of work as an inseparable element of the quality of care.

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If social determinants of health are so important, shouldn’t we ask patients about them?

Wednesday 10 November 2021
18:00 to 19:30

Professor Sue Ziebland, Dr Andrew Moscrop, Chair: Dr Paul Brankin

The COVID pandemic has highlighted health inequalities in England. COVID mortality rates for people living in deprived areas have been more than double those of people in more affluent areas. But unequal health outcomes have been worsening for decades. The difference in life expectancy between men in the poorest and wealthiest parts of the country has been widening steadily and there is now a gap of ten years. Put simply, the poorer someone is, the poorer their health is likely to be. And, the poorer their experience of NHS care is likely to be too. For specialist care within hospitals, for example, poorer people have less access, longer wait times, and worse outcomes.

It is known that these unequal health outcomes and experiences of healthcare are significantly influenced by social factors or ‘social determinants of health’, including education, employment, housing, wealth, and income. Yet despite their clear relevance to people’s health and healthcare experiences, social health determinants are not routinely enquired about or documented in clinical settings. This discussion will consider what this means for understanding health inequalities, for ensuring a fair healthcare system, and what relevance it may have to individual patient care.