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“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

This guidance is for directors of public health, care providers and others who’ll be involved in planning to enable visits to care homes. It sets out:

  • the principles of a local approach to visiting arrangements and dynamic risk assessment
  • guidance for providers establishing their visiting policy
  • guidance for providers taking decisions on visiting for particular residents or groups of residents
  • infection control precautions
  • communicating with relatives and others about the visiting policy and visiting decisions

For access to the update guidance please click here

“This video was co-produced by researchers and patients who took part in the PrAISED research programme at the University of Nottingham. The Promoting Activity, Independence and Stability in Early Dementia (PrAISED) reserch programme aims to help people with mild cognitive impairment or early stage dementia to remain healthier and more independent for longer. This video is part of a specially designed activity and exercise programme, consisting of a combination of exercises, activities of daily living and memory strategies to help improve and maintain physical and mental health.”

To access this video please click on this link

In response to the global COVID-19 outbreak, Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) have been working closely with their members and adapting their work to support millions of people affected by dementia globally, people who are particularly vulnerable during this time.

Due to previous success in member webinars, ADI have taken the opportunity to showcase some inspiring work being done by ADI’s member associations and other organisations, all supporting people living with dementia, their families and carers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For access to these webinars and/or to become a member please click here

The Department of Health and Social Care has issued new guidance to councils and care providers as the Government works to delay the spread of COVID-19 covering residential care, supported living and home care.

Guidance on residential care is available on Public Health England’s website.

The NIHR School for Social Care Research (NIHR SSCR) is seeking to appoint an individual to develop and manage the ENRICH Toolkit website.

The ENRICH toolkit identifies the principles that should guide research in care homes and signposts those involved in research in care homes to detailed sources of information. As well as the toolkit, the ENRICH website includes case studies, news and a blog to showcase research within care homes in the UK.

The ENRICH website is managed by NIHR SSCR. The ENRICH Research Ready Network is supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) and brings together care home staff, residents and researchers to facilitate the design and delivery of research.

This is an hourly-paid appointment for between 5 and 10 hours per week.

NIHR SSCR would be happy for an individual to take on this role as part of their continuing professional development or education, and to discuss how this might be managed with the successful applicant.

Further details are set out in the ENRICH hourly-paid position advert (PDF).

Application is by covering letter and CV to NIHR SSCR by 16.00 on Friday 17 January 2020.