Personal Assistants are a small but growing part of the social care workforce in England but we know little about them. Why do people decide to work as PAs? What are the rewards and frustrations ofthe job? What backgrounds do PAs have? Do they see their work as a stop-gap between other forms of employment, an interesting job, or a stepping stone to a career in social care?
The truth is, at the present time, we don’t really have much evidence to enable us to answer these or other questions. However, research that’s being carried out at the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London aims to change this. John Woolham, who works there as a Senior Research Fellow, is leading a study that aims to describe the characteristics of the PA workforce – the backgrounds and motivations of PAs, what their role involves, the terms and conditions of their employment, their perceptions and experiences of their job and the links they may have (or not have) with the wider social care, or health, workforce;We want to interview 100 PAs across England – in person or by phone. We can offer a High St Voucher for £20 as a ‘thank you’ for people’s time and trouble. Interviews are confidential.If you employ a Personal Assistant, please pass this information on to them so they can get in touch with John if they’d like to take part. Alternatively, if you work as a Personal Assistant and think this study is worth doing and might be interested in taking part, please email John directly at firstname.lastname@example.org . He can also be reached by phone on 0207 848 8599 – but it’s usually best to email in the first instance because he works from home quite a lot.