This PhD is an exciting opportunity to develop and use cutting-edge systems simulation modelling in tackling the complex challenges in health and social care. The focus of this project is on understanding how personalised, technology-facilitated home care can efficiently meet the current and future demands of health and social care for older adults. Systems simulation modelling has lacked a coherent theory for incorporating health-related behaviour—an aspect crucial to addressing this topic. The student undertaking this research will not only contribute to improving practices in personalised, technology-facilitated home care but will also advance the theory and methodology of systems modelling. Their work involves developing hybrid systems models, informed by behavioural theory, and integrating methods of System Dynamics, Discrete-Event Simulation, and Agent-Based Modelling. The work is situated in the Department of Management Science at Strathclyde Business School with support from the Psychological Sciences Department.
The escalating number of older adults receiving home-based care presents and ongoing challenge for the UK Health and Social Care system. Despite efforts to reshape home care delivery, a sustainable and personalise model remains elusive. The prevailing time-and-task commissioning model, favoured for its political security, has led to fragmented services and limited understanding of older adults’ needs. This dominant model emphasizes in-home service provision, neglecting a holistic approach to support independent living and lacks focus on long-term cost measurement or outcomes assessment.
Providers, grappling with complex commissioning processes and strained social care budgets, face instability in the market. Localised innovations, though sporadic, lack consistent efforts for widespread enhancement, with evidence-sharing and scaling of successful strategies remaining scant. The absence of data on impact, implementation costs, efficiency improvements, financial savings, and outcomes for service users further hinders progress.
Home care provision spans diverse interconnected domains, such as health, social care, housing, financing, workforce, and technology. Evaluating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of home care models requires a holistic understanding of the entire health and social care system. Deploying models without insight into potential outcomes and unexpected effects can lead to substantial costs. Addressing the complexity of personalized, technology-facilitated home care demands an innovative approach.
The focus of this project is to comprehend how personalized, technology-facilitated home care can efficiently meet the health and social care demands of older adults in Scotland. The student will pioneer a hybrid simulation approach, integrating health behaviour theories to construct models and simulations. This method, combining System Dynamics, Discrete-Event Simulation, and Agent-Based Modelling, has successfully tackled complex health and social care problems.
In addition to undertaking cutting-edge research, students are also registered for the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Development (PGCert), which is a supplementary qualification that develops a student’s skills, networks, and career prospects.