About the PSSRU
The PSSRU’s mission is to conduct high quality
research on social and health care to inform and influence
policy, practice and theory.
To conduct long-term research to help shape
the development of social and health care systems, in
the UK and internationally, while also responding to
more immediate research needs.
To develop and employ rigorous research methods
from a multidisciplinary base.
To examine the performance and functioning
of social and health care finance, organisation and
delivery, with a particular emphasis on promoting efficiency
To conduct research that meets the best standards
of research governance.
To work towards greater user involvement in
To disseminate research findings to a variety
of audiences through a variety of media.
To develop the research and related skills
of PSSRU staff.
The PSSRU was established at the University of Kent
at Canterbury in October 1974. In 1996 new branches
opened at the London School of Economics and Political
Science (LSE) and at the University of Manchester. All
three host departments have been assessed as ‘outstanding
by international criteria’; by the Higher Education
Funding Council. By having three branches the Unit benefits
from increased opportunities for collaboration with
other academic and practice colleagues and a wide base
PSSRU researchers come from a wide range of disciplines
and backgrounds, including the caring professions. The
distinctive PSSRU style of analysis draws on a wide
variety of research approaches, which have been collated
and developed systematically as the ‘Production of Welfare’ approach. The Unit's work has had an important influence
on theory, and policy development and reform in several
countries: for instance, in care-managed community care
of older people and the study of costs and the costs
The PSSRU at the University of
Kent is based in the School of Social Policy,
Sociology and Social Research in Canterbury. It includes
the publications office and the Sir Roy Griffiths Library
of Community Care. The branch director is Professor
The PSSRU at the London School of Economics and Political
Science (LSE) is part of LSE Health
& Social Care, which in 2009 was awared a Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. The School has an unmatched reputation
for depth and breadth in British social science with
a long history of formidable policy impact. The branch
director is Professor Martin Knapp.
The PSSRU at Manchester is part of the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences at the University of Manchester. The faculty incorporates one of the largest medical schools in Europe. The Unit is based within the School of Medicine. The branch director is Professor David Challis. The North West Dementia Centre (NWDC) is part of the PSSRU at Manchester.
The Centre for the Economics of
Mental Health is located at the Institute of Psychiatry
in London: it is independent of the PSSRU but shares
many links and some staff.
Department of Health funded research units
The PSSRU is one of three social care research units which receive core funding for five-year programmes of work from the UK Department of Health. The others are the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London and the Social Policy Research Unit at the University of York. The DH also funds 14 research units which concentrate more exclusively on health care studies.
More information on the Department of Health's social care research commissioning is available on the DH website.
Around half of the unit’s funding comes from other research commissioners.
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