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Exploring and Understanding the lived experience in CAre homes for older people of Infection risk and transmission during the COVID-19 pandemic: a mixed-methods study to inform what we can learn for future infectious disease outbREaks (UCAIRE)

The UCAIRE study is exploring how care-home residents, staff and families and friends of residents experienced coping with infection-control measures and preventing the spread of COVID-19.  It is a one-year, mixed-methods study comprising an online survey for staff and qualitative interviews with residents, family/friends of residents and care-home staff.  Findings will inform supporting care homes in future outbreaks of highly infectious diseases and those living and working in care homes.

An NIHR School for Social Care Research-funded study, UCAIRE, aims to understand the lived experience of infection transmission in care homes.  Staff working in any role in older people’s care homes in the UK are invited to complete the UCAIRE online survey.

Inclusion criteria for staff participating in the online survey are as follows:

–       Adults aged >18yrs who have worked ≥8 shifts in last four months in the UK

–       Employed in any job role in an older people’s care home (e.g., office, estates, domestic, caring, management)

The survey takes about 10-12 minutes to complete and will be available until 30 November 2021.

Click here to access the online survey

Click here to access the UCAIRE study website (which includes the survey link)

If you work in a care home, we would be grateful if you would pass this along to make all care-home staff aware of the online survey.

If you have colleagues who link with older people’s care homes, we would appreciate you relaying this email to them.

Please contact the Principal Investigator if you have any questions about UCAIRE:

Dr Kathleen Lane, Research Fellow, University of East Anglia (UEA),

The NIHR Programme Development Grants (PDG) social care call seeks research proposals that address the challenges and aim to improve the evidence base for adult social care (including the transition from children’s to adult services). PDGs are available to carry out preparatory work to develop a future Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) research application on adult social care. They can also be obtained to further develop an existing or ongoing programme of research to explore social care perspectives arising from the programme.

Applications to the PDG social care call should be made with the support of an NHS body or other provider of NHS services in England. If an application is successful, a contract will be placed with that organisation for delivery of the research. All funds for the research will be paid to the NHS organisation or other provider of NHS services to administer and distribute to the collaborating organisations.

Deadline for proposals: 24 November 2021

Find out more here.

“We are interested in the experiences and opinions of people in direct care positions, such as Care Worker or Care Support Worker or Care Assistant.  If this is the work you do, we would love to hear from you.  If this does not apply to you, but you know people who work in these roles, we would be grateful if you could make them aware of this questionnaire, and share the link given below with your networks.  The questionnaire does not ask for identifiable details such as place of work or name of employer, and if participants leave personal details these will be kept confidential and not used to identify them at any stage of the study.

The purpose of this study is to learn about the experiences of care home workers in England, with a focus on their work motivations and what connects them to the work.  This questionnaire asks about working conditions (including how the pandemic has affected them), and how workers feel about certain aspects their jobs.  The study’s researchers will also interview some care home workers at a later stage. The aim of the study is to improve understanding of why care home workers do what they do, what keeps them in their jobs, and what makes them leave or consider leaving.  These are issues of great importance with serious, ongoing problems in the sector recruiting and retaining staff, and the findings of the study will shape policy recommendations.  As our societies learn to live with COVID-19, we have to find new ways to organise care for our most vulnerable members,  and to think more creatively about the elements of a sustainable care infrastructure.  The information we gather will be used to develop policy insights and practical guidelines aimed at expanding the capacities, resources and sustainability of the care home workforce.

The link below leads to the questionnaire, which has an initial information and consent page:

If you have any questions about the study, please contact the study’s research team: Dr Duncan Fisher (Researcher):  Professor Mary Daly:”

“We are seeking expressions of interest for care home participation and we have prepared a study outline for interested care homes (see below), which includes a link to our expression of interest form and a dedicated FluCare email address.  We are seeking care homes (residential and/or nursing, registered for people over the age of 65), from London, Leicestershire/Rutland (LLR) and Norfolk. The feasibility study is taking place this flu season with the main study next year, so our priority at the moment is to get care homes interested and signed up as soon as possible. details below:

FluCare is a research study being run by the University of East Anglia and NHS Norfolk & Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group.

What is FluCare?

FluCare is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)-funded project exploring whether offering staff flu vaccination clinics in the care home can improve flu vaccination rates.  The project will take place this flu season and the 2022 flu season.

What is involved?

  • The researchers want to see if offering flu vaccination clinics specifically for staff in the care home, along with financial incentives for homes, can increase uptake.
  • They are looking for care homes to take part in a small-scale study this Autumn and a large trial next year, again in the flu season.
  • Some care homes will receive the flu vaccination clinics and others will not, but all homes will receive £500 for taking part in the study and providing monitoring information.
  • The researchers will also want to interview some staff– staff who give up their time for interviews will also be paid.
  • Within each care home, staff who complete a short online survey will be entered into a £100 voucher prize draw.

What types of care homes can get involved? 

  • The project is looking for residential or nursing care homes for people over the age of 65
  • The care homes need to employ more than 10 staff
  • The care homes need to be located in London, Norfolk or LLR (Leicester/Leicestershire/Rutland).

When will the project start? 

  • This October – see below on how to sign up

Why should your care home get involved?

  • Your care home will receive £500 for participating
  • It will help you to think about your flu vaccination strategy, as you will have sight of early findings
  • It will help to build the evidence base for government on what works to improve flu vaccination, beyond the rather blunt instrument of mandatory vaccination and set out the case for more collaboration/ support for care home staff vaccination

What do I do to take part?

  • Complete a FluCare expression of interest form by following this link

If you have any questions please contact:

NIHR RfSC research is expected to have a high degree of involvement from relevant users of social care and social care practitioners throughout the research.

RfSC welcomes high quality proposals from researchers and practitioners which are focused on:

  • Social care needs and relevant outcomes (which could be quality of life, social or health care related, as appropriate to the study, population etc.)
  • Developing a more robust evidence base for current ways of working
  • Developing and evaluating new ways of delivering social care
  • Secondary data analysis, record linkage and reviews
  • Research methods development
  • Care users’ and carers’ circumstances and needs
  • Those who deliver social care including unpaid carers and the staff and professionals involved in the delivery of social care e.g. social workers.

Applicants considering submitting a Stage 1 application should consider submitting an outline of their proposal for guidance before official submission. This can be done using the pre-submission form. This is non-mandatory and purely aimed at helping potential applicants to engage with the requirements of the call (e.g. eligibility and remit). For other questions, contact

Submission deadline for application is 1pm on 19 January 2022.

For more details please click here 

The workshops will be online and each will take approx. 2 hours. We are able to reimburse you for your time at £55 for each workshop.

In the last six months we have interviewed 18 care home nurses, who have told us a lot about what life has been like for them during COVID, the hard bits and the positive things. In the next stage, we want to involve care home nurses in workshops, to find out how best to support you going forward. What kinds of things will help your well-being? Further details can be found on our THRIVE website.

If you are interested, please contact either Dr Linda Birt (; Telephone: 01603 593298) or Dr Kathleen Lane (; Telephone: 01603 597218) from the University of East Anglia. If phoning either Linda or Kathleen, please leave a message on the answer phone and they will ring you back.

This study is funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing and approved by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee at University of East Anglia.

We will be recruiting for this study until 30th November 2021.

This session will provide information on:

  • details of the Research for Patient Benefit programme
  • views from a successful RfPB applicant
  • the application process and what funders are looking for in a submission
  • the support the NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) can provide in the preparation of your application
  • advice about Patient and Public Involvement (PPI).

Who should attend

This event is aimed at researchers in the NHS, public health and social care, as well as academics from universities across England.

Informal drop-in sessions

If you would like an initial informal chat with an RDS adviser, who will provide initial guidance and information on how the Research Design Service can help with your proposal development to RfPB, we are offering drop-in sessions after the event from 1.00 pm to 3.30 pm. Please indicate on the registration form whether you would like to book a slot.


10.00 am          Welcome and introduction

Prof Fiona Lobban, Associate Director, RDS NW

10.10 am          An introduction to the RfPB programme and top tips for applying

Dr Christina Jones, RfPB panel member

10.30 am          The experience of a successful applicant to RfPB

Dr Peter Taylor, University of Manchester

10.50 am          Questions and answer session with the presenters

11.10 am          Break

11.20 am          How RDS can help you with your mental health research RfPB application

Dr Kenny Finlayson, Adviser, RDS NW

11.40 am          Importance of patient and public involvement in mental health research, including the RDS NW Public Involvement Fund and Public Involvement

Dr Hazel Morbey, Specialist Public Involvement Adviser, RDS NW

Chris Lodge, Service User Researcher, Lancaster University

12.00 noon     Questions and answer session with the presenters

12.20 pm          Summary and final questions

12.30 pm          End of session

Download a PDF of the programme here.


To attend this event, please register here.

This session will be a great opportunity for you to hear about carrying out research in social care, and more specifically about the NIHR RfSC Mental Health Call and what makes a successful application.
You will also hear from:
  • The School for Social Care Research on the Mental Health Research landscape
  • The Research Design Service (RDS) about how we can support you.
Date and time
Wednesday, 8 September 2021


To register for this session click here
This session will be a great opportunity for you to hear about carrying out research in social care, and more specifically about the NIHR RfSC dementia funding call and RfSC dementia portfolio. You will also hear from:
  • The Alzheimer’s Society about research priorities
  • A previously-successful RfSC applicant about their experience
  • The Research Design Service (RDS) about how we can support you.
After the talks, there will be breakout sessions where you will have an opportunity to ask further questions of RDS Advisers as well as network with other researchers.
Date and time

Friday, 27 August 2021


To register for this session click here

The NIHR’s Network is looking for someone who can demonstrate a thorough understanding of the research landscape across a range of settings, including care homes, schools and hospices. They will also have a good understanding of the research process, be an effective facilitator and have highly developed communication and interpersonal skills.”

The post is two years (fixed-term or secondment)

Applications close on Monday 30 August.

For more details or to apply please click here