Handovers in care homes for older people – their type, timing and usefulness. Findings from a scoping review


There is a considerable body of literature on the importance of
effective shift handovers in hospitals and other health-care settings
but less is known about the transfer of information between staff
starting and completing stints of paid work in care homes. In the first
of two articles considering this under-explored topic, we report
findings from a scoping review examining what is known about
shift-to-shift handovers in care homes for older people and their
equivalents. It is based on systematic searches of electronic databases
of English-language journals on ageing and internet searches for
material published between January 2005 and October 2016.

Guidance from
the regulatory body for health and social care in England, the Care
Quality Commission, highlights the importance of handovers in care homes
but the degree to which they are embedded into care home routines
appears to be variable, influenced by factors such as workplace culture,
shift patterns and the extent to which they involve all those on duty
or just those with professional qualifications. Staffing shortages and
whether or not members of staff are paid for their time attending
handovers appear to be further constraints on their use. We conclude
that there is considerable scope for further research in this field to
identify and develop good practice.

Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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