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“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


“Dear Colleagues,

The PROTECT-CH trial is a national study which will evaluate several different drug treatments to prevent, or reduce the severity of, COVID-19 outbreaks in care home residents.

Although we hope that vaccination will go a long way to preventing further COVID-19 outbreaks in care homes, we don’t yet know how effective vaccines will be in residents.  We also need to have effective treatments that could help reduce the severity of outbreaks if new variants emerge that are not well covered by the vaccine.


We need as many care homes as possible to come forward to support this important work.  To tell you more about the study, we have set up two webinars:

  • One on the 25th February at 4pm (unfortunately this date has passed) 
  • One on the 2nd March at 1pm


These are targeted at care home owners, managers and staff. We would like you to invite you to attend one of these if:

 You have already signed up to support the study

  • You are thinking about signing up to support the study
  • You’d simply like to learn more about the study

A simple flyer is attached.  You can sign up for tickets to attend the webinars at: – both webinars will have similar content.  You only need to sign up to attend one.

We look forward to meeting you at the webinars.”



“The NHS Long Term Plan contained a commitment to roll out the Framework for Enhanced Health in Care Homes (V2) across England between 2020 and 2024.

This document explains what the Enhanced Health in Care Homes (EHCH) programme is, how to make it work in the best way possible for people living in care homes and the people who care for them, and what everyone involved can expect from it. We hope it reassures you that being actively involved in the EHCH programme should not require a significant change to the way you work, instead, you should see increased support into the home from health and care services.”

To access the guide click here 

“Dear ENRICH member

Some of you may be aware of CHAIN, a virtual network of researchers, practitioners, managers and educators working in health and social care, which has been around for more than 20 years and is currently supported by NIHR. CHAIN has a sub-group for members who are interested in Care Homes research, and this email is to let you know about a new CHAIN initiative to stimulate collaboration and increase care home researchers’ readiness to react to research funding opportunities.

The idea came from Sub-Group Co-facilitator Kellyn Lee (University of Southampton), who suggested that having greater advance knowledge of potential collaborators would be a clear advantage as and when research funding opportunities arise. With prior awareness of who is interested in what aspects of care home research, and of their experience and strengths, it would be much more likely that sub-group members could coalesce in a short space of time to produce collaborative bids when calls for research are made.

To do this, CHAIN will be hosting some virtual ‘Care Homes Research Bring & Buy Events’ where prospective care home researchers will run through a short summary of work that they would like to do. (This will be based on a generic NIHR-style stage 1 proposal submission). The events will not only enable potential collaborations to emerge, but by requiring them to explain, present to their peers and answer their questions, they may also help researchers clarify their thinking and hone both research questions and their ability to communicate the value of the work.

A message about this initiative was circulated to relevant CHAIN members just before and after Christmas, and the response has been very enthusiastic. To date 41 researchers have said they would be keen to participate, 13 of whom have indicated that they would wish to present a summary of work they would like to do. We have also had messages of support and offers of input from the NIHR, and NIHR Research Design Service and NIHR ARC Care Home Researchers Network, and NIHR ARC Wessex.

Given the scale of this response, CHAIN plans to deliver a series of ‘Bring & Buy’ sessions on Zoom during the course of February/March, with presentations divided into themed clusters so that participants can elect to engage in the session or sessions that most closely match their own interests and/or aspirations.

The purpose of this message is to let you know that as an ENRICH member you would be most welcome to participate in one or more of these ‘Bring & Buy’ sessions. Because the initiative is being run by CHAIN it will be necessary to join the CHAIN network should you wish to take part, however membership is free. If you wanted to present an outline proposal you would need to complete a proforma and return it to CHAIN by close on Monday 25th January, and be available for a ‘run-through’ Zoom meeting just for those who wish to present a summary of research work that you would like to do. This will take place on the afternoon of Friday 29th January and will involve prospective presenters delivering a short verbal overview of the work they would like to do (maximum 5 minutes). You may, however, prefer to participate in one or more of the sessions, but not to present. In either case please e-mail as soon as possible.”

Two opportunities are currently being advertised:

“Opportunity 1

Expressions of interest are invited from senior social care colleagues who are interested in developing social care research in the region.  This one-year post will enable a senior social care colleague to undertake one session (one half day) per week of dedicated research activity.  You will work closely with other members of the project including, an academic colleague from the University of Lincoln (CRN speciality lead for Health Services Research), a fixed term Research Associate, the CRN East Midlands and relevant stakeholders.

The main focus of the post is to understand the research agenda within social care, identify key research priorities and consider how they can translate into NIHR CRN portfolio research.  The role will facilitate connections between academic partners and relevant stakeholders, leading to the development of a network of stakeholders.

Click here for details on submitting an expression of interest.

Opportunity 2

Applicants are invited for a Research Associate for a period of one year to contribute to the development of the social care research culture and research capacity in the area.

Working closely with colleagues from the University of Lincoln and the CRN, the post holder will contribute to a shift change in the priority given to social care research and the achievement of funded research within the region.  The post holder will develop an understanding of the landscape of social care in Lincolnshire and establish a group of key stakeholders who will contribute to the development of social care research awareness and potential research priorities. In order to improve capacity for driving research developments in agreed priority areas the post holder will network and collaborate with social care providers, academic partners and research forums and organisations within the region.”

For more information click here

If any of our ENRICH homes are interested in finding out more, please contact Mo Ray ( for an informal discussion – this is a wonderful opportunity to help shape social care research in our area.

Public Health England has published a toolkit to “help with the implementation of NICE guidelines for improving the oral health of adults in care homes.

Public Health England and stakeholders have produced a toolkit to support care homes and commissioners to implement the NICE guideline (NG48): Oral health for adults in care homes. The toolkit also contains useful links for care home staff, residents, their families and friends to support good oral health and reduce oral health inequalities.”


For more details and access to this toolkit click here 

The British Society of Gerontology Autumn Symposium Care Homes Research Special Interest group 

Symposium Overview:

“The prevalence of dementia is predicted to increase as our population ages. As the dementia progresses, many older adults with dementia will require advanced care – typically offered from within a residential care setting. Given this is the case for millions of people worldwide, it is important to explore ways in which these settings can support residents’ independence and wellbeing for as long as possible. In this symposium, supporting independence and wellbeing will be explored from two distinct, but related, perspectives.


24 November 12:30pm-2:00pm (UK Time)


Meeting link:

Presentation 1:

Material Citizenship: Functional objects for meaningful lives (Dr Kellyn Lee).

Materiality has become an increasingly important topic in sociological studies of healthcare.  How objects support the identity of people with a dementia in care homes is an emerging area.  Whilst previous research had tended to focus on sentimental or cherished items (such as photographs and keepsakes) often considered for their comforting and ‘homely’ affordances, less attention has been given to functional objects (such as a pair of curling tongs or a vacuum cleaner) as a mechanism to maintain identity and encourage activity.

It is widely believed that older people moving into a care home are encouraged to bring items in from home however, only certain items are encouraged and these often carry caveats. Once in a care home people may often find themselves having to adjust their day-to-day activities to fit the task-orientated routine of care home life.  The lack of personal possessions and access to functional objects can amplify barriers for residents to reach their optimal performance, reduce agency and increase dependency on care home staff.

This session introduces Material Citizenship as a conceptual framework which aims to encourage care home staff to consider the importance of functional objects in care practices.


Presentation 2:

The role of exercise in preventing falls and fractures for long-term care residents with dementia (Dr Caitlin McArthur).

Current evidence for the effectiveness and role of exercise in fall and fracture prevention is mixed. Recent systematic reviews have identified that exercise as a single intervention does not prevent falls in long-term care, but exercise as part of a multifactorial intervention (e.g., medication review, environmental assessment) does. The evidence for exercise as a fracture prevention strategy in long-term care is limited. Most studies to date do not include residents with significant cognitive impairment making the generalizability of the evidence limited to residents with good cognition. Further, few studies have examined the ethical decisions around encouraging independent mobility which may increase the risk for falls and fractures.

This session will provide an in-depth discussion of exercise as a fall and fracture prevention strategy in long-term care, including the evidence about its effectiveness and common barriers to implementing strategies. Content will focus on recent research findings about fall and fracture prevalence, risk factors, prevention, injury minimization, and how dementia contributes to risk.

Speaker Bios:

Dr Kellyn Lee (

Kellyn is a Chartered Psychologist and Research Fellow in Ageing and Dementia, and Co-Director of the Alzheimer’s Society funded Doctoral Training Centre for Dementia Care – University of Southampton, UK.

Kellyn is responsible for the development and management of the Enabling Research in Care Homes (ENRICH) toolkit website and has experience of working on many ageing and dementia research projects. She currently leads on an impact project working with a care organisation to develop Material Citizenship as an online training programme for care home staff.

Dr Caitlin McArthur (

Caitlin is an Assistant Professor in the School of Physiotherapy at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Dr McArthur’s research focuses on improving the effectiveness of and access to rehabilitation for people living with chronic health conditions across the continuum of care, particularly home and long-term care. She is interested in fall and fracture prevention and improving functional mobility.


The session will be moderated by Dr Chad Witcher, Senior Lecturer, School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science, University of Portsmouth ( Chad is the Special Interest Group’s Care Home Sector Engagement Co-Lead. He has an interest in physical activity engagement and promotion within care home settings.

About the Special Interest Group (SIG):

Our SIG aims to strengthen research, policy, and practice in all areas of care homes research, including those related to staff, residents, family members and carers, as well as the home environment, and its links with external organisations. We also aim to develop complementary working relationships with the other SIGs, as well as other groups and organisations that support care homes research.

If you would like to be part of the Care Homes Research SIG, please contact the SIG at

Please also follow us on Twitter @BSGcarehomes

“May 2020 saw the announcement of four new integrated care systems (ICSs), taking the total number to 18 and meaning that half of England’s population is now covered by an ICS.

This virtual conference draws on the learning from existing systems as we approach the deadline to have every part of England covered by an ICS by April 2021, as set out in the NHS long-term plan.

In recent months, systems have moved quickly to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. This has accelerated some aspects of integration and collaboration between local organisations. The event provides insight into how local areas must now make the most of this important opportunity to embed and enhance these changes by creating the right conditions for system working in the Covid-19 recovery and beyond.

Join us to hear from local examples of care models being transformed and collaborative relationships and trust between partner organisations and their leaders strengthened. You will learn about how ICSs are intended to play a central role in the co-ordination and delivery of services, bringing together hospitals, care homes, primary and community care and local government. You’ll also hear about the role of places and neighbourhoods within ICSs, and how these layers of the emerging system architecture fit together.”

The virtual conference takes place over 4 half days from Monday 12th October.  For those unable to join all sessions recordings of the conference will be available on demand until the 25th October.

You can take a look at the full programme for this virtual conference now.

Join us to learn from existing integrated care systems and see how they will play a central role in the co-ordination and delivery of services in the recovery phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

For tickets to this virtual conference click here