Stakeholder engagement in a rapid review to determine the effectiveness of interventions to attract, recruit and retain social care workers

Date & Time
Wednesday, September 6, 2023, 3:05 PM - 3:15 PM
Location Name
Session Type
Oral presentation
Engaging stakeholders and building partnerships
Oral session
Rapid reviews and other rapid evidence products 2
Edwards D1, Trigg L2, Carrier J1, Cooper A3, Csontos J1, Day J2, Gal M3, Gillen E1, Lewis R3, Edwards A3
1Wales Centre For Evidence Based Care (WCEBC), School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, UK, UK
2Social Care Wales, South Gate House, Wood Street, Cardiff, CF10 1EW, UK
3Health and Care Research Wales Evidence Centre, Health and Care Research Wales, UK, UK

Background: The UK social care sector is under increased pressure to combat workforce shortages. With recruitment of professionals impacted by Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, social care needs innovations to attract, recruit and retain staff.
Objectives: To work in partnership with stakeholders to determine the effectiveness of interventions to help attract, recruit and retain social workers and social care workers within the UK context.
Methods: This rapid review (RR) was conducted by the Wales COVID-19 Evidence Centre (WCEC). The question was submitted by Social Care Wales, and at an initial stakeholder meeting, they provided a strategic overview of the social care situation in Wales outlining the need for the review. A search of available UK literature (including grey literature) from 2017 to 2022 was conducted within 1 week. At the second stakeholder meeting, the research team presented findings from this, to determine the focus of the RR.
Results: This RR and subsequent publication was coproduced with the stakeholders over 2 months. Effective interventions to help with the attraction, recruitment and retention of social workers included practice learning, fast-track graduate programmes and apprenticeships. For the wider social care workforce, effective interventions included pre-employment training, national recruitment campaigns, care work ambassadors and values-based recruitment. Weaknesses in the primary studies included lack of follow-up and objective evaluations of the interventions.
Conclusions: The Social Care Wales team used the RR to inform its programme of work for developing the social care workforce across Wales. On stakeholders’ recommendation, findings were presented to the Directors of Social Services, workforce leads, managers and staff within Wales through the Association of Directors of Social Services. Impact was achieved through the inclusion of the review in the monthly summary of advice to the Technical Advisory Cell of Welsh Government, and it was used to inform the Health and Social Care Committee, House of Commons enquiry ‘Workforce: recruitment, training and retention in health and social care’.
Patient, public and/or healthcare consumer involvement: The stakeholders included members of the WCEC public partnership group and representatives from Social Care Wales who are the regulator for the social care workforce in Wales.