Innovation to enhance health in care homes: rapid evidence synthesis

Hanratty B, Craig D, Brittain K, Spilsbury K, Vines J, Wilson P
Record ID 32016000941
Authors' objectives: Health and social care services are facing new and complex demands from an ageing population. The Department of Health has acknowledged this, and selected 37 different areas in England (vanguard sites) to take a lead on new ways of working to meet changing patient needs. Six of these vanguard sites have been funded to look at how to improve health in care homes. Others are investigating bringing primary and hospital care together, community providers that include multiple specialties, and urgent and emergency care. At all the vanguard sites, there will be an emphasis on how services can work together, responding to local needs, and preventing rather than treating illness. In order that the vanguard programme can build on what is already known, NIHR has invited researchers to bid to produce summaries of the research evidence. This proposal is for a research summary that focuses exclusively on care homes. Delivering high quality care for older people in care homes is important, as residents are some of the most complex, potentially vulnerable patients in the NHS. But bringing services together to produce the best outcomes for residents is difficult in this setting. The funding of care homes, resident care and visiting services are a mixture of public and private. A single resident may receive care from many different organisations, all with different priorities and ways of working. Communication between the different services that provide care for residents is not always good. High staff turnover in care homes does not make it easy for homes to build relationships with health and social care organisations. One third of care home nurses leave their jobs every year, and it is not a popular career choice for nurses or support staff. Many homes are using technology to help with resident care, or communicate with the health service, but which aspects of technology are good for residents' health and wellbeing is not clear. The aim of the proposed work is to identify and pull together existing evidence on new ways of working to promote health in care homes. The vanguard programme has identified eight factors that they believe to be important for success. We have selected four of these eight factors, because they matter most to care homes the use of technology, workforce, communication and engagement between care homes and external bodies, and how any changes in care can be evaluated. In each of these four areas, we will look at a range of different issues, including how technology can improve communication between care homes and other organisations, flexible use of the workforce in care homes, the best ways for care homes, communities and other health services to communicate and work together, and how the quality of care received by residents can be assessed. We propose to conduct rapid evidence assessments. This is a specific research technique to review and critically summarise research evidence in a short timescale. Established methods will be used to search for published and online research. Two researchers will select material to be included in the review, pull out the relevant findings, identify any shortcomings of the research, and produce summaries. We will work with the care home vanguard leads, so that we produce summaries of the research that are useful and in a format that is easy to access. We will also be helped by an advisory group with a range of different expertise, including public & patient involvement.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2019
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England
MeSH Terms
  • Aged
  • Nursing Homes
  • Health Care Quality, Access, and Evaluation
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Homes for the Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
Organisation Name: NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research programme
Contact Address: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK
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Copyright: Queen's Printer and Controller of HMSO
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.