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Social Care Innovation Lab

Social Care Innovation Lab



Currently the aspect of social care is underrepresented when it comes to research on kidney disease. The idea of the Social Care Innovation Lab (#SCIL) is to explore which social care topics are important to consider when designing research focused on kidney disease. It aims to bring together different perspectives and create the opportunity for new collaborations and ongoing involvement to discover new knowledge and to increase research capacity.

The ‘Innovating Research Ideas in Kidney Health and Social Care’ conference on 15th March 2018 in Llandudno provided an opportunity for people to discuss their ideas freely. Two labs were held during the conference and 37 delegates participated. There was an enquiry into ‘what are the top three interesting and challenging areas of social care in kidney disease?’ and the labs concluded with a voting exercise to provide information about which topics were perceived to be most important. Additionally, attendees contributed 99 individual ideas and suggestions during the labs.



Individual comments:

Attendees contributed 99 individual ideas and suggestions and these are listed in the appendix. These ideas can be grouped under the following topic areas:

  • Lifestyle
  • Knowledge, understanding, information
  • Treatments
  • Support
  • Daily life
  • Psychological aspects
  • Services


Topics voted on:

In lab one, the three topics voted to be most important were:

  • Support
  • Education, awareness, knowledge and understanding (summarised as understanding)
  • Enabling everyday life


In lab two, the three topics voted to be most important were:

  • Education, awareness, knowledge and understanding (summarised as understanding)
  • Informed decision-making by people with CKD (summarised as decision-making)
  • Being active in own treatment (summarised as active participation)


The word cloud below illustrates all the topic areas that were voted on across both labs.


When we distilled down all the topic areas voted upon we thought research in the following areas related to social care seem important:

  • Enhancing support
  • Enhancing and enabling decision-making by people with CKD
  • Enhancing understanding, knowledge and education
  • Health promotion
  • Service integration
  • Capturing evidence



As a result of the lab we have been able to learn more about what patients and the social care sector want our WKRU research to focus on.  We were able to distil the themes from the day into the following research questions:

  • What support do patients want and how could it best be integrated into routine care (e.g. social prescribing and what is the role of social prescribing)
  • How can we best support patients with decision making?
  • We are already tackling an area of understanding, knowledge and education in pre-dialysis. But what are other groups knowledge, needs and understandings and how can we make better education programmes?
  • How best to integrate health promotion into routine care pathways?
  • What works best and how best to integrate best care into clinical care pathways.


We have presented these questions to the Wales Clinical Renal Network (WCRN link to this site) as part of the pan Wales exercise to identify the key research priorities for the renal health and social care sector. You can read the results of this exercise here: Innovation Lab report. To read more about Innovation Labs and the Innovation Network click here: http://www.cadr.cymru/en/social-care-innovation-lab.htm



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