Legal & General escalates £20m partnership with Edinburgh University in response to Covid-19, recognising critical need for research into social care for older people

The UK has been facing a social care crisis for some time, but a global pandemic that targets the elderly and frail has irreversibly exposed its weakness. The coronavirus pandemic highlights the fragility of the UK’s social care system and underscores that quick action is needed to rethink and redesign care to look after the most vulnerable people effectively.

Today, Legal & General is pleased to announce that the Advanced Care Research Centre’s (ACRC) seven year multi-disciplinary research programme will commence in September this year, with 25 new researchers working with senior academics from across the University of Edinburgh, led by Professor Bruce Guthrie. Helping to increase resilience in the sector, ACRC was established by partners Legal & General and the University of Edinburgh in January 2020.

All research will be in the public domain and for public benefit.

To view the full press release, please click the link below.

The current threat to our later life care system is very real. This work with the University of Edinburgh was in the planning phase and is now moving into the ‘doing phase’. Rather than looking at quick fixes on short-term Covid-19 specific issues, the pressures on the care system will remain after the current pandemic subsides, and a longer-term, system-wide, research-backed approach will be required. Life expectancy has increased, but living longer doesn’t currently mean living well. It’s time to stop thinking solely about how to extend life, and think harder about how to improve the quality of life we already have. We are delighted to be supporting Professor Guthrie and his team in this important work.

Nigel Wilson

CEO of Legal & General

Positive, evidence-based change to the way care is delivered to those in later life was important before this crisis, and will be even more important and urgent afterwards. As a clinical practitioner as well as an academic, I see the immense pressure that NHS and care systems are under because of COVID-19, but we must not lose sight of the longer term goal of ensuring that care in later life is as effective, safe, humane and efficient as possible. The ACRC plans to deliver cutting edge research which will think ahead to support and inform real improvement over three, five and ten years.

The ACRC, enabled by Legal & General’s £20 million funding, will deliver research across a breadth of academic disciplines designed to improve understanding of care in later life and to revolutionise how it is delivered. The ACRC research is underpinned by three cross-cutting areas of activity in stakeholder engagement and public debate, improvements to the data infrastructure, and a uniquely interdisciplinary Academy to train the future academic, policy and practitioner leaders in later life care.

Professor Bruce Guthrie

ACRC Director

For further information

Harriet de Beaufort-Suchlick

PR Manager

Legal & General Capital and LGIM Real Assets

T: +44 (0) 20 3124 4879

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Notes to editors - 

Legal & General Group

Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK’s leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with international businesses in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia. With almost £1.2 trillion in total assets under management at 31 December 2019, we are the UK’s largest investment manager for corporate pension schemes and a UK market leader in pensions de-risking, life insurance, workplace pensions and retirement income. We have also invested over £25 billion in direct investments such as homes, urban regeneration, clean energy and small business finance.

University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is a world leader in informatics (data science, artificial intelligence, robotics, machine learning, natural language processing and related fields), medicine, engineering and social sciences. Recent £661m capital investment by UK and Scottish Governments, through the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, has accelerated Edinburgh’s capacity to deliver trusted data-driven innovation across ten sectors, including health and social care, firmly grounded in interdisciplinary collaboration with industry and the public sector. The ACRC has been influenced by the NCUB GVS report which highlighted the benefits to the economy of business and University partnerships.

ACRC Research

The research will address cross-cutting themes within which output-focused projects which will include:

  • A wide-range of public and stakeholder engagement activities to shape national debate on ageing, health and care, including building an improved understanding of the ageing individual in context;
  • Application of new data science methods to enable targeted interventions in later life, including better analysis and improved data for insight and prediction; and
  • Developing new models of care alongside investable and scalable technologies to support them.
  • Creation of an Academy, which will train a new generation of interdisciplinary leaders in later life care, with an associated entrepreneurial programme supported by Edinburgh Innovations, the University’s commercialisation service.

The Director for the Centre will be Professor Bruce Guthrie, Professor of General Practice and NHS Research Scotland Primary Care Research Champion.

Legal & General in later living

Through Guild Living and Inspired Villages, Legal & General is providing a genuine option for older people who wish to leave their family homes and live in a unique environment as part of a thriving community. This provision has the potential to have a significant economic impact - both on the housing market and health sector.

  • Inspired Villages

Established in August 2017, Inspired Villages is a developer and operator of later living accommodation across the UK.

Inspired Villages was established to tackle the undersupply of age-specific housing – helping to address the spiralling health and social care spend which resulted from a lack of appropriate later living accommodation.

Inspired Villages currently has seven village schemes, and over the next ten years plans to delivering thousands of homes for more than 12,500 residents. An Inspired village is more than just bricks and mortar; it is an opportunity to provide our residents with a more mentally, physically and socially active lifestyle in an environment that supports it.

https://www.inspiredvillages.co.uk/

  • Guild Living

Launched in 2019, Guild Living, Legal & General’s specialist urban later living developer and operator, aims to deliver over 3,000 new homes in the next five years to meet the UK’s longevity and urbanisation needs.

Guild Living is striving to make a real impact on the way we age in UK cities, combining beautiful architecture and interiors with ground breaking academically-accredited wellness programmes and activities, supporting happy and healthy ageing. It currently has three schemes under development in vibrant urban environments, delivering around 800 age-appropriate homes in areas with substantial local need.

Guild Living, has partnered with Bath University to develop a diverse range of research focused on healthy, independent living for older generations and how this can be adopted into the built environment through innovative architecture and design.

https://www.guildliving.co.uk/

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