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GUEST BLOG

Welcome to the ENRICH guest blog

Read the real-life experiences of people involved in care home research.

Anyone with a story or advice they'd like to share is encouraged to make contact using the contact us page.

Read about current news and developments for care homes research in the new posts section.

Fawn Harrad-Hyde is a researcher currently working in two roles. At the University of Leicester, she is employed as a LOROS Research Associate in Palliative Care and Frailty. At the Clinical Research Network West Midlands, she leads the ENRICH team.

17th November
2022

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Understanding hospital transfers from care homes by focussing on the decisions made by care home staff

Fawn Harrad-Hyde is a researcher currently working in two roles. At the University of Leicester, she is employed as a LOROS Research Associate in Palliative Care and Frailty. At the Clinical Research Network West Midlands, she leads the ENRICH team.

In this blog I describe a research project that aimed to understand hospital transfers from care homes by focusing on the work and decisions of care home staff.

My name is Rachel Lewis and I am a pharmacist.  I am currently undertaking a PhD research study funded by ARC EM at the University of Leicester focussed on a person-centred approach to  Pharmacist-led medication reviews for older care home residents.

31st October
2022

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Enabling person-centred pharmacist medication reviews for older care home residents.

My name is Rachel Lewis and I am a pharmacist. I am currently undertaking a PhD research study funded by ARC EM at the University of Leicester focussed on a person-centred approach to Pharmacist-led medication reviews for older care home residents.

Pharmacists are now reviewing the medication of older care home residents.  National guidance states that medication reviews should be person-centred, but what does this mean when applied to care home reviews? In this blog I discuss the experience one pharmacist I interviewed shared around a medication review they conducted and what it might mean to undertake a person-centred review.

Brittany Nocivelli is a PhD student at Cardiff University, School of Medicine, working in the Division of Population Medicine and the Centre for Trials Research groups.

17th October
2022

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Engaging care home residents in research (ENGAGE project)

Brittany Nocivelli is a PhD student at Cardiff University, School of Medicine, working in the Division of Population Medicine and the Centre for Trials Research groups.

I previously graduated from Cardiff University with BSc and MSc degrees in Psychology. One of my research interests is in research inclusivity and my PhD project focuses on identifying the
barriers and facilitators to care home resident research participation, and the development of an intervention to support residents in decision-making and advance planning for research, which I will talk about in this blog.

Magda Jordão is a Research Fellow working with NICHE-Leeds (School of Healthcare, University of Leeds), with a particular interest in promoting successful ageing and improving care for older people. Julia Csikar is a Lecturer in Dental Public Health (School of Dentistry, University of Leeds), with a particular interest in oral health inequalities and their impact on disadvantaged people/communities.

10th October
2022

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How to ‘COMMIT’ to mouth care minutes? What helps support mouth care for older people living in care homes

Magda Jordão is a Research Fellow working with NICHE-Leeds (School of Healthcare, University of Leeds), with a particular interest in promoting successful ageing and improving care for older people. Julia Csikar is a Lecturer in Dental Public Health (School of Dentistry, University of Leeds), with a particular interest in oral health inequalities and their impact on disadvantaged people/communities.

Keeping our mouths healthy is important, this is particularly the case as we age. There is a challenge for older people living in care homes as they may need assistance with this aspect of personal care. There are many reasons why mouth care may not receive the time and attention that it should in this context. We know that there is a gap between what should be done and what happens in the real world. So, what helps support older people with mouth care in care homes? And what are the challenges? Is there something missing in the way we think about this issue?  In this blog, we present the preliminary results of the COMMIT study (Caring Optimally: promoting effective Mouth MInuTes in care homes), where we are addressing these questions.

Dr Victoria Shepherd is a Research Fellow (Nurse) at the Centre for Trials Research at Cardiff University

26th September
2022

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Measuring what really matters: the development of a core outcome set for interventions to prevent COVID-19 in care homes

Dr Victoria Shepherd is a Research Fellow (Nurse) at the Centre for Trials Research at Cardiff University

In this blog I discuss the ‘COS COVID PCARE’ study which aimed to reach agreement on the most important outcomes to measure when evaluating different interventions to prevent COVID-19 in care homes. This core outcome set (or ‘COS’) will enable researchers to compare which interventions are most effective at preventing COVID-19, and to ensure that future trials in this area focus on what matters most to care home residents and those who care for them.

Ellice Parkinson is a 2nd year PhD researcher at the University of East Anglia. Ellice’s mixed-methods PhD project aims to better understand drinking in older people. Before undertaking the PhD, Ellice worked in the NHS as a Research Fellow in Neuropsychiatry.

12th September
2022

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Introducing the D-DRINC Study – how do people living with dementia drink in care homes?

Ellice Parkinson is a 2nd year PhD researcher at the University of East Anglia. Ellice’s mixed-methods PhD project aims to better understand drinking in older people. Before undertaking the PhD, Ellice worked in the NHS as a Research Fellow in Neuropsychiatry.

In this blog, I will discuss ‘The D-DRINC study’, which is part of my PhD project. Our systematic review found that older people living in care homes were more commonly dehydrated, than older people living in the community. Researchers have trialled interventions in care home settings, to encourage older people to drink more drinks. However, many care home residents are still dehydrated. The D-DRINC study is an ethnographic study which aims to explore how people living with dementia drink in care homes. The knowledge gained from the D-DRINC study will be used to inform comprehensive, evidence-based drinking interventions, within care home settings.

Georgios has studied Psychology specialising in Health and Social Psychology. Georgios has worked as a support worker in social care and healthcare settings for about a decade, supporting and learning from people with learning disabilities, mental health difficulties, and other groups. Georgios started a full-time PhD in Applied Psychology in February 2021 after being awarded an NIHR School for Social Care Research doctoral scholarship.

6th September
2022

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Care relationships between support staff and adults with a learning disability

Georgios has studied Psychology specialising in Health and Social Psychology. Georgios has worked as a support worker in social care and healthcare settings for about a decade, supporting and learning from people with learning disabilities, mental health difficulties, and other groups. Georgios started a full-time PhD in Applied Psychology in February 2021 after being awarded an NIHR School for Social Care Research doctoral scholarship.

In this blog, I discuss my ongoing study which is currently recruiting participants. The study is part of a PhD project exploring care relationships between support staff and adults and older adults with a learning disability (intellectual disability) in long-term social care residential settings in England. In this study, we are interested in hearing support staff’s thoughts on what makes their relationships with the people they support positive, how positive relationships are established and what impact they have on people’s lives, what factors can facilitate or hinder good care relationships, and other related topics.

Dr Clarissa Giebel, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool & NIHR ARC NWC

23rd August
2022

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What are the unmet mental health needs of paid and unpaid carers?

Dr Clarissa Giebel, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool & NIHR ARC NWC

In this blog I introduce a new study exploring the unmet mental health needs of paid and unpaid carers.

Paid and unpaid carers caring for people with dementia or older adults don’t seem to receive enough support. Most carers had reported unmet needs before the pandemic, but the pandemic seems to have only increased carers’ needs. What we don’t know yet fully is how paid, and unpaid, carers can access mental health support, and how much they need this since COVID-19. What’s more, what are some of the inequalities that carers are facing when trying to access care, if they do at all? We are currently conducting an NIHR-funded study, and are particularly keen to talk to care home and paid home care staff about their experiences.

Dr Guy Peryer is part of the study team Developing resources And minimum data set for Care Homes Adoption [DACHA]. The study is funded by the NIHR HS&DR programme and supported by NIHR Applied Research Collaboration - East of England. Guy’s background is Human Factors, Applied Psychology, and Systems Engineering. He is a Chartered Psychologist, and Chartered Scientist working as a research fellow for the NIHR ARC East of England.

15th August
2022

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Was it a fair test of the complex intervention? Lessons from a systematic review of how contextual factors influence research processes in care homes

Dr Guy Peryer is part of the study team Developing resources And minimum data set for Care Homes Adoption [DACHA]. The study is funded by the NIHR HS&DR programme and supported by NIHR Applied Research Collaboration - East of England. Guy’s background is Human Factors, Applied Psychology, and Systems Engineering. He is a Chartered Psychologist, and Chartered Scientist working as a research fellow for the NIHR ARC East of England.

Care homes are challenging settings to carry out research trials. To identify reliable evidence that an intervention is effective requires the intervention to be delivered as intended across multiple care homes. This is especially difficult because there is so much variety between care home environments and care home organisations.

In the UK between 2012-2020, the National Institute for Health and Care Research awarded over £8.5million to carry out care home research trials. The interventions in these trials showed no effect (neutral findings).

To explore these results further we studied a collection of ‘process evaluations’ that occurred in parallel to the main trials. Process evaluations account for how the intervention was delivered and consider the viewpoints of the people involved, such as staff, residents, and visiting care professionals. By studying a collection of process evaluations, we aimed to identify factors that the research trials had in common that played a part in enabling them to run smoothly, and factors that acted as a barrier to successful completion.

We published our results in an open access paper and produced a summary leaflet to help ensure research trials in care homes have their best chance of being completed successfully. The foldable leaflet is available to download here.

Dr Kellyn Lee is a Chartered Psychologist and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Southampton, School of Health Sciences. She is the founder of WISER Health and Social Care and The Dementia Care Hub (www.dementiacarehub.co.uk)

4th August
2022

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Material Citizenship in Care Homes

Dr Kellyn Lee is a Chartered Psychologist and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Southampton, School of Health Sciences. She is the founder of WISER Health and Social Care and The Dementia Care Hub (www.dementiacarehub.co.uk)

In this blog Kellyn discusses why everyday objects are crucial for reimagining dementia care. She introduces the concept of Material Citizenship and shows some results from its application in care homes in the UK.