Research Ready Care Home Network

Improving the lives and health of older people living in care homes is a major UK government priority. The Enabling Research in Care Homes (ENRICH) initiative and Research Ready Care Home Network aim to help make this happen, and to improve the consistency of support for research outside the NHS.

“By 2020 we would wish to see, more research being conducted in, and disseminated through, care homes, and a majority of care homes signed up to the NIHR ENRICH ‘Research Ready Care Home Network.”

David Cameron, Prime Minister 2015, - Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia 2020

The network brings together care home staff, residents and researchers to facilitate the design and delivery of research. This hopes to improve the quality of life, treatments and care for all residents.

Getting involved can potentially lead to benefits for your residents, staff and your business. For example it can:

  • Provide stimulation as residents take part in new activities or have someone new to talk to.
  • Give back control to residents, allowing them to feel like they are contributing to the future.
  • Stimulate residents to take an increased interest in their own health and wellbeing.
  • Lead to professional development opportunities for staff.
  • Enable care home staff to learn of new developments, which can contribute to the home’s business and marketing plans.
  • Encourage researchers and funders to address issues that are of interest to care homes such as symptom management, or end-of-life care.
  • Improve contact between care homes and other local health and care services.
  • Provide an effective voice for residents, families and staff whose views may have been previously unheard.

In the short term, the Network will provide more opportunities for care homes and residents to become involved in local and national research studies. In the long term, it will help researchers understand the challenges and solutions around increasing research activity in care homes and identify better ways of working with existing care home systems to ease study delivery.

 

“I'm really pleased with our increased accrual (recruitment) to the PrOVIDe study, and I think this is due largely to the structured framework for engaging with care homes that working with the ENRICH project has provided. It's given our network an identity and a toolkit specific to the needs of care homes, and they are willing to help recruit to the study as a result.”

Juniper West, Senior Research Nurse, East Anglia DeNDRoN

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