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The role of
social care in





Supporting Social Care Research in South Central is an event organised by

  • the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Design Service South Central;
  • the NIHR Thames Valley and South Midlands, and Wessex Clinical Research Networks; and
  • the NIHR Oxford and Thames Valley and Wessex Applied Research Collaborations.

“We are hoping to bring together researchers, practitioners, commissioners and users of social care, with an interest in research, in the South Central and Wessex regions, to consider how we can develop and support social care research here.

We would be delighted if you could attend, and would be most grateful if you could circulate this information to any colleagues you feel would be interested in attending.”

The event will take place on Wed, 26 May 2021 09:45 – 13:00.

You can register here

“As part of the NIHR School for Social Care Research’s commitment to developing research capacity in adult social care, we are inviting Stage 1 applications for Developing Research Leaders Awards.

With support from the NIHR Academy, we are seeking high-quality applications from individuals to develop their careers as research leaders in adult social care research in England. Applicants can request funding of up to £50,000.

The Developing Research Leaders Award (DRLA) Scheme aims to address the need to support individuals at a more advanced level in their research careers by providing tailored and targeted support to develop further as the next leaders for adult social care research. This is particularly where individuals would benefit from resources to help them to accelerate their progression.

The deadline for Stage 1 applications is 16.30 on Thursday 3 June 2021. Applicants are asked to submit an Intention to Submit by 16.30 on Thursday 20 May 2021.”

For more details please click here 

“The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) was commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE/I) to develop standards of education and practice which would support the transition of a Registered Nurse who is new to working in the care home sector. For the purpose of this report the focus will be on Care Homes for older residents who require nursing care to be provided by the home.

The development of these standards is timely as the focus and attention being given to Care Homes is greater than it has ever been, demonstrating a policy shift to community based, integrated health and social care across all community care delivery (NHSE 2014; NHSE/I 2019). Reports show there is an increase in the number of people over the age of 65 who are requiring either residential or nursing care (Bennett et al 2018; NHSE/I 2019). The British Geriatric Society (2016) suggest that 75-80% of those living in Care Homes have cognitive impairment with the average care home resident having multiple long-term conditions, functional dependency and frailty.”

If you would like access to this report please click here

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected older people with 90% of deaths from COVID occurring in those aged over 65. It should therefore come as no surprise that BGS members – geriatricians, GPs, nurses, allied health professionals, care home staff and other healthcare professionals working with older people – have been among those most involved in the treatment of people with COVID, both in hospitals and in the community.

BGS members reflected on the practical elements of managing the pandemic, including variable access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing for staff and patients and the confusion caused by constantly changing guidance. Concern about the impact of COVID-19 in care homes was a source of anxiety, and the implication that discharge from hospitals to care homes early in the pandemic without negative COVID tests contributed to outbreaks.

More than three quarters (77%) of respondents stated that they had had a change in their job plan or rota due to the pandemic. This took the form of increased out-of-hours work, cancellation of scheduled clinics and treating all adults as opposed to older adults only. While some volunteered for these changes, others had them imposed and it will be important to ensure that regular rotas are restored as quickly as possible. Concerns about future careers were also expressed with many trainees describing a lack of training opportunities over the past year.”

Read more here

“Applicants will need to make a strong case to the School for the proposed plan for their career development with a clear commitment to establishing a long-term career in adult social care research, including the organisational support they will receive, any training they will undertake as part of their workplan, and how this package will help them take the next steps in their research career or develop their research capacity.

The School will consider awards of up to 32 months in duration. Awards must finish no later than 28 February 2024.

Funding is available for awards of up to £50,000 per applicant.

Applications received by 16.30 on Wednesday 2 June 2021 will be considered by the Capacity-Building Management Team of NIHR SSCR Executive Group.

Applicants are asked to submit an Expression of Interest by 16.30 on Wednesday 12 May 2021.”

AGENET is an annual event held at University of Hertfordshire, bringing together health and social care professionals, older people and carers, voluntary sector and researchers interested in ageing and health,   This year, it will focus on how COVID-19 has affected care homes and their residents.  This event is for anyone that has an interest in the impact COVID-19 has had on care homes, and will be an opportunity to reflect on the challenges care homes have faced, innovative ways they have adapted, and lessons for the future.

We are delighted to welcome guest speaker Professor Adam Gordon from University of Nottingham, who will discuss how he has engaged with care home staff during the pandemic and newly funded studies focused on prevention of COVID-19 outbreaks in care homes.

Dr Melanie Handley from CRIPACC will also present work on “Top Tips for Tricky Times”

The event will be held virtually (via Zoom) on Thursday 18th March, 1.30pm to 3pm. 

Tickets are available now via Eventbrite


“Many older people in care homes report feeling lonely and socially isolated. Loneliness can have a negative impact on health outcomes and can lead to depression and increased confusion and memory loss (cognitive decline).

The internet, and video technologies such as Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom, can connect people to loved ones, or allow new social ties. But older people in care homes may be unfamiliar with the technology.

Many care homes run quizzes as a form of entertainment and mental stimulation. This research looked at virtual quizzes involving several care homes to improve socialisation. It explored whether the quizzes were feasible and beneficial.

This NIHR study is the first study to trial connecting care homes virtually via quiz sessions. Interviews revealed that residents felt more connected with each other, and with other care homes. They re-gained a sense of self and purpose and felt less lonely. Care home staff were eager to continue with the sessions, but they outlined barriers such as lack of staff support or time.

Unlike previous research into virtual socialising, this study included residents with dementia. It found that they benefited and remembered faces and conversations.

Four themes emerged from interviews with staff and residents:

  1. Residents with moderate-advanced dementia remembered faces and conversations but could not recall having seen the technology before. They expressed happiness when remembering conversations with people ‘outside’ of their care home, and answering questions in a ‘game’. They could recall details such as the gender or clothing of people who had spoken.
  2. Residents felt more connected with others. Within the same care home, residents learnt more about each other’s backgrounds and interests, and spoke fondly about their ‘teammates’. Across care homes, residents enjoyed comparing features of their environments.
  3. Residents re-gained a sense of self by sharing their stories and remembering their pasts with people of a similar age. One resident said the sessions were encouraging her to regain an interest in technology, but two expressed some insecurities, worrying that others may not like their image, and that ‘just anyone’ could see. However, the residents acknowledged that everyone on the calls had been friendly, and that they could move away from the screen if they wished.
  4. The virtual quizzes provided relief from loneliness or boredom. Most residents said the video calls helped them to ‘pass the time’ and gave them ‘something to do’. Residents said the quizzes encouraged them to get to know others within the same home more than passive activities, such as watching TV. Across care homes, residents were surprised that there were so many people with similar interests or professions, or who had grown up in the same area as they had.

Staff were keen to run virtual quizzes following the end of the study but said a lack of available staff and support could be a barrier. They saw positive effects on residents and enjoyed the competitive nature of the quiz themselves. They liked being able to get to know staff from other homes, and felt that the quizzes could help care homes connect with each other.”

For more information this study click here


“New research by the Health Foundation shows that the amount of hospital care received by those living in care homes in England rapidly declined in the first three months of the pandemic in 2020 and was substantially lower than in the same period in 2019.

The research, which is due to be peer reviewed, provides the first comprehensive and national analysis of all hospital care provided to care home residents during the first wave of the pandemic.

It appears to substantiate concerns that care home residents (including those in nursing homes and residential care) may have faced barriers to accessing hospital treatment as the NHS rapidly reorganised to free up hospital capacity to care for critically ill COVID-19 patients.”

If you would like to read more click on this link

People with dementia can experience Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD), including anxiety, aggression, calling out and wandering. Antipsychotics are sometimes prescribed to manage BPSD, including in care homes, and there are different views about their use in BPSD. We are conducting a survey study to better understand staff attitudes to the use of antipsychotics in residents with dementia living in care homes, using the ‘Antipsychotics in Dementia Attitude Questionnaire (ADAQ)’.

Are you a care assistant or a nurse working in a residential or nursing home for elderly residents? If so, please can you help us by completing this questionnaire to tell us your own views about using antipsychotics in residents with dementia? You can save the survey part way through and it should take less than 15 minutes to complete all the questions. Once you have completed the survey, could you please pass on the survey link to other relevant staff who might also be interested in helping us? This survey is part of research being completed by Miss Amna Raza for a PhD in Pharmacy at the University of Reading.

This is the link to our survey:

The project is being supervised by Mrs Sundus Jawad, Mr Tim Langran, and Professor Parastou Donyai. A collaboration between the University of Reading and NHS East Berkshire CCG.

“We are team of researchers based at the University of Surrey and University College London are interested in improving sleep in care home residents.  We would like to develop an intervention that is feasible to deliver in care homes and helpful for improving residents’ sleep. However, before we can do this, we need to better understand current sleep practises in care homes. Consequently, we are asking adults aged 18+ who work in care homes in the UK to complete a short survey about this.


This survey will take approximately 5-10 mins to complete and will ask you 12 questions about your experiences with residents’ bedtimes, napping and monitoring residents at night.  The survey is anonymous and no personal details will be collected.  The information we collect will be used to design an intervention aimed at improving sleep in care home residents. We will then apply for funding to test out this intervention in care homes in the UK.”

If you would like to take part, please click on this link