Page Menu

Guest Blog

Site Menu

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.

Candace Imison - NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination

12th January
2022

READ BLOG

NIHR – Improving the quality of care in care homes: what does the evidence tell us?

Candace Imison - NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination

In this guest blog Candace Imison, from the NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination, speaks about a recently published collection that brings together NIHR-funded research in care homes and asks how this research could be used to improve the quality of care.

Caroline White is a Research Associate, with a background in Social Work. Jane Wray is a Senior Lecturer in Nursing, and Director of Research. Emma Wolverson is a Senior Lecturer in Ageing and Dementia, and a Clinical Psychologist working in dementia services. Clare Whitfield is a Lecturer in Nursing. All authors are based within the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull.

5th January
2022

READ BLOG

Caring from a Distance: how informal carers stay in touch with care home residents. Lessons from experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Caroline White is a Research Associate, with a background in Social Work. Jane Wray is a Senior Lecturer in Nursing, and Director of Research. Emma Wolverson is a Senior Lecturer in Ageing and Dementia, and a Clinical Psychologist working in dementia services. Clare Whitfield is a Lecturer in Nursing. All authors are based within the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull.

This study explored the experiences of informal carers (family and friends) of staying in touch with care home residents (older people, people with dementia, people with learning disabilities and/or autism, and disabled people), during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study aimed to identify what worked well, as well as difficulties and challenges, and to learn lessons for the future, and for other situations when informal carers might experience difficulties in visiting frequently.

Louise Marsh is a Research Associate and Health and Social Care practitioner. She has over 40 years experience in nursing and social work in the specialism of older people. Louise also established a registered Charity in 2005, the Evergreen Care Trust, supporting older and vulnerable adults with services and interventions through the voluntary and not for profit sector.

15th November
2021

READ BLOG

Following the ENRICH model for Home Care?

Louise Marsh is a Research Associate and Health and Social Care practitioner. She has over 40 years experience in nursing and social work in the specialism of older people. Louise also established a registered Charity in 2005, the Evergreen Care Trust, supporting older and vulnerable adults with services and interventions through the voluntary and not for profit sector.

Health and Social care practitioner Louise Marsh looks at the ENRICH Enabling Research In Care Homes model and suggests that this could provide guidance and inspiration for a potential multi – Clinical Research Network CRN working party looking at establishing a similar research platform for home care providers.

Louise asks the following questions:

  1. How does Social Care research translate in both care home and home care forums?
  2. What are the challenges in embracing Social Care research?
  3. What might it take to authentically, broaden both Health and Social Care research through these sectors?
Charlotte Gilbert is a General Manager at Brendoncare Knightwood, a residential care home in Hampshire.

4th November
2021

READ BLOG

Taking part in research – A General Manager’s Experience

Charlotte Gilbert is a General Manager at Brendoncare Knightwood, a residential care home in Hampshire.

I started my career in care at the age of 16 as a care assistant.  I began working for Brendoncare at the age of 18.  As an organisation they have supported me to work in various different settings such as nursing care, dementia care, residential and domiciliary care. They have encouraged me to progress in my career, securing my current role as a General Manager (I am 30). I am now studying for a level 7 Master’s degree and recently took part in a research project developing a training programme for care home staff. I am a passionate advocate for elderly care with a strong focus on end-of-life care.

In this blog I will provide a brief insight into what working in care is like for me and my experience of taking part in a research project.

Karen Spilsbury is Professor of Nursing and Academic Director for NICHE-Leeds. Her research portfolio targets uncertainties in care homes and older peoples’ care and support; seeking to enhance quality, reduce inequalities and unwarranted variability.  Gail Douglas is Professor of Dental Public Health, a dentist whose work has focused on measuring and improving oral health in particularly vulnerable populations.

26th October
2021

READ BLOG

NEW CARE HOME STUDY – Caring Optimally: promoting effective Mouth MInuTes – The COMMIT Study

Karen Spilsbury is Professor of Nursing and Academic Director for NICHE-Leeds. Her research portfolio targets uncertainties in care homes and older peoples’ care and support; seeking to enhance quality, reduce inequalities and unwarranted variability. Gail Douglas is Professor of Dental Public Health, a dentist whose work has focused on measuring and improving oral health in particularly vulnerable populations.

The COMMIT study is led by Professor Karen Spilsbury and Professor Gail Douglas (University of Leeds), bringing together expertise in oral health and care homes research. In this blog Karen and Gail discuss the importance of mouth care in care homes and introduce their study exploring how best to keep residents’ mouths healthy and how to support care staff to promote effective ‘mouth minutes’.

Rachel Fox – Part-time PhD student at Leeds Beckett University and Project Manager for Royal Voluntary Service developing activity and support groups for people living with dementia

20th October
2021

READ BLOG

Measuring the impact of and contributory factors for effective implementation of the Tovertafel in day centre and residential settings

Rachel Fox – Part-time PhD student at Leeds Beckett University and Project Manager for Royal Voluntary Service developing activity and support groups for people living with dementia

Hi, I’m Rachel Fox, I live in the North East of England and I have worked in dementia care for the almost 10 years now. On leaving University back in 2011, I began working directly with people living with dementia and their carers to provide care and support. I continue to work and am extremely fortunate to be able follow my passion in supporting people with dementia. I’m now a Project Manager developing activity and support groups for people living with dementia across Britain and part-time self-funded PhD student at Leeds Beckett University.

Heather Birtles and Kristina Gray are Assistant Psychologists working at Newcastle Older Adults Mental Health Service and North East and North Cumbria Staff Wellbeing Hub, and have been producing animations during the pandemic as part of Communication And Interaction Training (CAIT).

30th September
2021

READ BLOG

Teaching Care Home Staff Through Animations During The Pandemic.

Heather Birtles and Kristina Gray are Assistant Psychologists working at Newcastle Older Adults Mental Health Service and North East and North Cumbria Staff Wellbeing Hub, and have been producing animations during the pandemic as part of Communication And Interaction Training (CAIT).

A recent literature review (in press) showed that care home staff were experiencing high levels of mental health difficulties following the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the themes frequently discussed was a lack of skills and knowledge. Staff in the Newcastle Older People’s Mental Health Service and the North Cumbria staff wellbeing hub have been working on some animations to offer virtual educational content during the pandemic. This blog post discusses the role of animations in teaching and a description of the animations produced.

Kate Byrnes is a senior research assistant working on the ‘Safe System Transition’ (SafeST) research study at Northumbria University.

30th July
2021

READ BLOG

Incident reporting in care homes: New study open for recruitment across England

Kate Byrnes is a senior research assistant working on the ‘Safe System Transition’ (SafeST) research study at Northumbria University.

The ‘Safe System Transition’ (SafeST) research study at Northumbria University (https://research.northumbria.ac.uk/safest) aims to gain a better understanding of incident reporting in care homes and from this to co-design a systems-level response to safety issues for people transitioning between hospital and care home. Kate is going to explain in this blog the need for the research and how to be involved, if you are interested.

Sue Fortescue was an Information Technology manager in Brussels for over 20 years before retiring to the UK. Her father had vascular dementia, and her mother had Huntington’s Disease and the dementia associated with it. Both have now passed away. In retirement Sue joined the Alzheimer's Society Research Network and now plays an active role in reviewing research proposals and monitoring research projects.

12th July
2021

READ BLOG

Patient and Public Involvement, lay team members and the credibility paradox

Sue Fortescue was an Information Technology manager in Brussels for over 20 years before retiring to the UK. Her father had vascular dementia, and her mother had Huntington’s Disease and the dementia associated with it. Both have now passed away. In retirement Sue joined the Alzheimer's Society Research Network and now plays an active role in reviewing research proposals and monitoring research projects.

In this guest blog I discuss the importance of including lay members on project teams and the value that we can add to projects, given the right conditions. I also outline what can be done by all involved to create those conditions.

Zoe Gray is the Associate Director of Involvement, Participation and Engagement at the NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination (CED); and Tina Coldham is a Public Adviser to NIHR CED. They are both champions of NIHR’s mission to effectively  engage and involve patients, public, carers, service users and communities in all parts of the research journey.

6th July
2021

READ BLOG

Public involvement in social care: reflections on a new report

Zoe Gray is the Associate Director of Involvement, Participation and Engagement at the NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination (CED); and Tina Coldham is a Public Adviser to NIHR CED. They are both champions of NIHR’s mission to effectively engage and involve patients, public, carers, service users and communities in all parts of the research journey.

In this blog Zoe and Tina discuss the publication of an NIHR report highlighting recommendations in social care research. They urge researchers, research commissioners and managers to play a part in improving public involvement in social care research.