ENRICHEnabling Research in Care Homes
ENRICH supports Masters Student in Nottingham
ENRICH and the Research Ready Care Home Network doesn’t only support researchers, many new Masters and PhD students are looking to the network for help.
Over the past five years there has been a significant increase in research being conducted that involves care homes.
How care is provided, supporting residents, helping providers improve are all key considerations. This research isn’t always being delivered as part of a large multi-million pound grant, often it’s being delivered by young budding academics and professionals and students as part of a Masters or PhD. The ENRICH Programme and local Research Ready Care Home Networks, are working to establish and improve the links between all types of researchers, care homes and residents.
One great and recent example of how ENRICH has been able to help comes from Nottingham. Amanda King is just one of the people the programme has been able to help:
“I am an NHS Occupational Therapist with a background of working in community therapy services for older people and currently, I am studying for a Masters in Research Methods (Health) at the University of Nottingham. As part of this course, I am conducting a research project investigating care homes for older people and access to outdoor mobility, activities and spaces. One of my key aims is to collect twenty survey responses from care home managers about their outdoor access practices.
Initially I contacted 50 care homes by telephone and most staff agreed to receive the link to my survey and project information. I was already aware that recruitment might be difficult, given that the management of care provision is likely to take precedence over requests from unknown researchers and indeed, I only received 5 responses from my initial contact. At this stage, I realised that I might need additional support and I contacted Adam Smith at the Enabling Research in Care Homes Network (EnRICH); a National Institute of Health Research initiative which supports researchers to access care homes who are ‘research ready’. Adam advised me to speak to Claire Litherland, who is in the process of recruiting care homes for the network in the East Midlands. Through their joint support and liaison with care homes on my behalf, I have very nearly met my recruitment target.
I have recently been offered a PhD studentship with Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) (East Midlands) and obtaining support from EnRICH will be a key element of my recruitment strategy. I would like to say a big thank you to Adam and Claire for helping me to achieve my objectives and also to the care home staff that have generously spared time to participate in my research so far.”
If you need support from your local network, or if you work in a care home and want to connect with researchers, researching ways to help and improve care, contact us.