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We are seeking senior care home staff to take part in a research study about visiting arrangements for older people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The study is led by researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and is funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR).

You can read more about the study by clicking here

If you choose to take part you will be asked to complete a 20-30 minute online qualitative survey (where you write the answer in your own words) about developing and implementing your care home’s visiting policy. If you prefer, we will complete the survey with you in a telephone or Zoom call or we can send a paper copy.

To take part either click here to be taken directly to the survey, or email one of the research team, who will be happy to answer any questions you have:

Klara Lorenz-Dant (

Josie Dixon ( or 07989 070777) or

Kellyn Lee (

At the end of the survey, we will also ask if you are willing to take part in a follow-up qualitative interview. This is optional. Care homes selected for interview will receive £50 for their activity fund.

We really want to hear about your views and experiences and ensure they are communicated to Government and other stakeholders.

Your information will be entirely confidential; only the research team will see your answers. We will report findings thematically, and no-one taking part will be identified in any report.

We are hugely grateful to you for your participation. Thank you.

Have your say about data collection in care homes 

Can you spare a few minutes to complete a survey on data collection in care homes? Everyone knows that care homes already collect a vast amount of information, but its not clear how much variation there is, in what is collected.  

 Why is this of interest?
Other countries specify a minimum set of data to be collected by care homes. There is growing interest in whether this would be a good thing for the UK to do.  

 This survey is part of a bigger study involving eight universities. The survey is being run from Newcastle University with support from the University of Kent and others. It aims to identify what data are already being collected, and help us to understand how a minimum dataset would impact on workloads in care homes.  

 Please take part to make sure voices from care homes are heard.

In summary:

  • This online survey is for a manager or a member of care staff to complete
  • It should take no longer than 10-15 minutes
  • Only 1 survey response is needed per Care Home 
  • A certificate of participation will be provided


TO TAKE PART: Click this link to access the survey

 When you have completed  the survey, please email  to receive your certificate of participation

If you would like to find out more, there is a study website

Or contact Emily McKean

Or Barbara Hanratty 

Research Associate/Fellow (fixed term)

“The purpose of this role is to implement the UK arm of a cross-national trial involving 5 countries: Norway, Germany, The Netherlands, Turkey and UK. Music Interventions for Dementia and Depression in Elderly Care (MIDDEL) will provide internationally-generalisable results concerning the effects of Music Therapy and Group Recreational Singing in care homes.  See the published protocol for further details.  The role holder will have operational responsibility for delivering MIDDEL in the UK – geographically, this is likely to be in The Midlands and East of England. The role holder will be expected to implement the protocol, conduct the research, be an active member of the research team and be jointly responsible for writing up the study for publication.

Closing Date: Sunday, 11th July 2021

For more information on this post click here 

The AFRI-c study is based at the University of Bristol and will be looking at air filters to reduce respiratory infections (including covid) in care homes around the UK.

The team would “like to invite Care Home managers to join a working group meeting for the AFRI-c study (air filters to reduce respiratory infections) which is taking place on Thursday 29th April. In particular, if there are any managers from Care Homes that specialise in Dementia Care we would like to hear from you.

If you are interested and would like to help support and shape the study further please contact the central email and Claire the Study Coordinator will get back to you.”

NHS England

Keeping care home residents safe

Mais House is a small care home in coastal Bexhill for residents with a military service connection. This case study explores how the homes nursing team maintained a COVID-safe and COVID-free environment for all staff, residents and visiting family members throughout the first wave of the pandemic – despite community rates of COVID-19 staying high within its local area during this time.

Key learnings from a nurse-led COVID-safe and COVID-free care home environment:

·         Building the capacity of the core nursing and support team has been vital to resident outcomes and staff wellbeing.

·         Training and support to develop skills across the nursing and support teams has underpinned the resilience of care in the home, taking pressure off community services and reducing admissions.

·         Leadership and support for the team to deliver the highest standard of care.

To read more click here

 A new guidance document has been published on the South East Clinical Network website on the topic of Dementia and OPMH: Guidance for Primary Care Networks and Care Homes. This document aims to equip members of staff working in care homes and primary care with understanding of dementia and mental health conditions due to the prevalence of both disorders in care home populations.”

To access the document click here


“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

“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

“Most countries have restricted visits to care homes to prevent COVID-19 infections, however, concern is increasing about the negative impact of these restrictions on the health and wellbeing of care home residents and their families.

We carried out a rapid review of evidence to address three questions:

  1. What is the evidence on the impact of visitors in terms of infections in care homes?
    • We found no scientific evidence that visitors to care homes introduced COVID-19 infections, however during the peak of the pandemic most countries did not allow visiting and there are some anecdotal reports attributing infections to visitors before restrictions.
  2. What is the evidence on the impact of closing care homes to visitors on the wellbeing of residents?
    • There is increasing evidence that care home residents experienced greater depression and loneliness and demonstrated more behavioural disturbance during the period that included visitor bans.
  3. What has been the impact of restricting visits on quality of care?
    • There is evidence of substantial care provision by unpaid carers and volunteers in care homes prior to the pandemic, hence visiting restrictions may have resulted in reductions in quality of care or additional tasks for care home staff.


Given that there were already low rates of social interactions among residents and loneliness before the COVID-19 pandemic, the evidence reviewed suggests that visiting restrictions are likely to have exacerbated this further. While there is no scientific evidence identifying visitors as the source of infections this is likely to reflect that most care homes did not allow visitors during the initial peaks of the pandemic. A pilot re-opening homes to visits under strict guidelines did not result in any infections.

Allowing visitors in facilities where there are no COVID-19 cases is important to support resident wellbeing. Safeguards to reduce risk of COVID-19 infection have been described, including visits through windows/glass, outdoor visits, and well-ventilated indoor spaces, screening of visitors, use of masks and other PPE and hand hygiene and cleaning.

In addition, it is important to recognize and support the provision of unpaid care, particularly for people who pre-COVID had a history of regular visiting to provide care (e.g. feeding, grooming, emotional support). They should be classified as essential workers, provided training and PPE, and be allowed to visit regularly and provide care, interacting as closely with residents as staff.”


More more information click here for the LTC Covid website