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ExCHANGE is a collaboration between organisations in Devon and the South West Peninsula concerned with the care and happiness of care home residents: PenARC; the University of Exeter; the Devon Care Homes Collaborative – a group of over 250 independent care providers committed to improving the lives of those living in their care through a programme of continual review and improvement and the South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN).

“The ExCHANGE project is all about exchanging and mobilising knowledge between researchers and those working, living in and visiting care homes. Our collaboration is made up of researchers, care home providers and family members exploring ways to use research to improve care home practice. We’ve co-designed workshops for care staff about how to use evidence to inform their practice alongside workshops to help researchers make sense of care homes in their work. We want to breakdown long-standing academic hierarchies to get care home stakeholders and researchers working together on an equal footing, with the ultimate aim of enhancing quality of life in care homes.”

To inspire and encourage innovative future collaborations between academics and practitioners take a look at our project list and share as widely as possible.

“Together we can work towards producing critical and timely research to move us closer towards our shared goal of improving the health and wellbeing of those working, living in and visiting care homes.”

For more details click here 

Do you work in a care home for older people?

Researchers at the University of East Anglia are looking for any member of care-home staff (e.g., office, catering, ground/estates, care, manager) to take part in a survey about working during the pandemic.

This is a survey that is being conducted as part of the UCAIRE study, which explores how staff who work in older people’s care homes coped with preventing spread and transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, in order to inform development of guidelines and support in managing future outbreaks of infectious diseases in care homes. The survey initially ran last autumn, and is now running again to gather longitudinal data and look at any changes in the interim.

Those who complete the survey will have the chance to win one of ten £10 Amazon e-vouchers, to be drawn at random when the survey closes.  The survey ends on 15 May 2022.  For more details, please click here

“The study focuses on the impacts of Covid-19 on care homes for older people. Uniquely, the research combines analysis of care home finances with voices from care staff about their experiences, to give a picture of how the sector has been affected financially during covid and the impact of policy interventions.

This independent study is led by experts in the field of health and social care at Warwick Business School and University College London. And it has the support of both UNISON and the National Care Forum as formal partners of the programme.

We have a strong policy focus and have secured additional funding from the University of Warwick to conduct policy impact activities. Policy expertise and networks are being mobilised by our project partner, independent thinktank the Centre for Health and the Public Interest.

We want to understand the perspectives of people working on the frontline during the pandemic. This is a valuable chance to contribute to the findings and inform the recommendations resulting from this important study, which will be shared with those who take decisions about the future of care home services. 

All staff at care homes for older people in the UK can join our 10-minute survey. 10 x £50 shopping vouchers to be won!”

To take part click here


“Margaret Butterworth Care Home Forum is a forum for discussion and learning focused on dementia care in communal settings such as nursing homes, care homes and extra care housing. There will be 3 webinars over the course of 2022. The first webinar on 23 March 2022, from 2.00-4.00 will focus on the theme ‘Visiting in care homes during Covid-19’.

Two speakers will discuss this topic:

Josie Dixon, Assistant Professorial Research Fellow, Care Policy and Evaluation Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science, will discuss the study Visit-id: a study of care home visiting arrangements during Covid-19

Dr Kathleen Lane, PI of UCAIRE study, University of East Anglia, will talk about the study titled “We can’t visit and see what’s going on for her… it’s like having paper-bags over our heads”: experiences of infection-control measures on family and friends of care-home residents during Covid-19

We will have plenty of time for questions and discussions. Once you have registered on Eventbrite, you will receive the Zoom-link a few days before the webinar.”


To register click here


“For this paper, researchers studied blood samples from 202 staff and 286 residents in care homes to investigate their antibody and cellular immune responses following COVID-19 vaccination. Blood sampling was carried out between December 2020 and June 2021.


Antibody responses following dual vaccination in both staff (younger than 65 years) and residents (older than 65 years) with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection were strong and similar across all age groups.

Antibody responses were just over 8 times (8.1) lower in elderly residents who had not had prior natural SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to those with previous infection. In contrast these values were just under 2 and a half times (2.4) lower in care home staff, suggesting that younger age may help to overcome this effect.
This means that care home residents without prior infection had just over 2 and a half times (2.6) lower antibody response than the younger staff.

Cellular immunity is also thought to be important in controlling disease severity. Spike-specific T cell responses were seen to be 52% lower in residents without prior natural infection compared to those who had previously had a natural infection.

If you would like more information on Vivaldi 3 or the preceding studies click here 

Visit-id is a research study about care home visiting policies during COVID-19.

The study team are looking for care home managers (or nominated senior staff members) to complete a short 20-30 minute online qualitative survey and to provide their visiting policy.  If preferred, the survey can be completed over the telephone or zoom call with a researcher or we can send a paper copy.

The study team would also like to undertake follow-up qualitative interviews with care home managers and one or two colleagues in a small number of care homes.  You will be asked whether you are interested in taking part after completing the survey.  Care homes that take part will receive £75 for their activity fund.

You can take part by clicking here 

Or if you would prefer to complete over the telephone or have any questions contact Josie Dixon (

“The seminar enabled three research teams to share their findings from recently completed studies delivered by researchers (@livinginhope @EWolverson @SallyBlonde1 @carolinannwhite @dist_care @HinsliffK @Jayne_NurseProf @SarahCGriffiths @SALTY_LTC).  All three studies, two conducted in the UK (at Hull and DMU) and one based in Atlantic Canada, had one central theme; to understand the experiences of the care home sector during the pandemic and imposed lockdowns or lockouts.”

To access the 5 key messages and 4 overarching recommendations drawn from these studies click here

LTC Covid invite contributors to the LTC Covid International Living Report to present on:

  • Lessons learnt from the experience in their country or region and on the reforms that are being considered to address ongoing challenges
  • Present research findings on COVID-19 and Long-Term Care
  • Cross-national studies on key topics such as workforce pressures, care home visits, vaccination policies in the long-term care sector, etc.

Please email Adelina Comas-Herrera at if you would like to present.

The workshop will be recorded and the video will be shared on

6th December, 9am to 6pm (UK time, BST)

Registration is free

For more details please click here

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),

“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: