Relationship between care home staffing and quality of care: a mixed methods approach

Abstract

Staffing is the largest operating cost in care homes
and quality of care provided within care homes is contingent on its
workforce. In recent years, quality of care in the sector has come under
increasing scrutiny, and practice and policy concerns have been raised
about staffing levels, recruitment and retention. Beyond broad
recognition that ‘staff influence quality’, little is known about the UK
care home workforce and its relationship to quality of care. The aim of
this study is to provide evidence on the relationship between
deployment of the care home workforce (and its skill mix) and: quality
of care; outcomes for residents, relatives and staff; and the use of NHS
resources. This aim will be achieved by addressing the following
objectives; specifically, to: 

1. describe variations in the
characteristics of the care home nursing and support workforce 

2.
identify the dependency and needs of residents and relatives in care
homes and its impact on care home staffing 

3. examine how different
care home staffing models (including new roles) may impact on quality of
care, resident outcomes and the use of NHS resources  

4. explain how
the care home workforce (numbers, skill mix and stability) can best meet
the dependency and needs of residents  

5. explore and understand the
contributions of the nursing and support workforce (including
innovations in nursing and support roles) in care homes to enhance
quality of care  

6. translate methods used for modelling the
relationships between staffing and quality to provide a platform for
sector-wide implementation    

Links to project documentation

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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