Research is underway to improve safety for older people when they’re transferred between hospitals and care homes – researchers need your help

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the challenges faced when arranging transfers into or out of hospital, for people living in care homes. Making transfers safer has been a focus for researchers at the GM PSTRC. Researchers are looking for members of the public in Salford and Manchester to take part in a 45-60 minute interview […]

Research is underway to improve safety for older people when they’re transferred between hospitals and care homes – researchers need your help — GM PSTRC

Transition to Care Home Nursing

The Queen’s Nursing Institute

Transition to Care Home Nursing is an information resource for nurses working in a care home setting. The resource, written by Queen’s Nurse Sharon Aldridge-Bent, is structured into ten chapters on subjects including the fundamentals of nursing care, safe working and regulation, adults at risk, dementia care, building relationships with family, and career development. The resource is intended for registered nurses who have responsibility for nursing within the care home environment, as well as educators, students, and unregistered carers. As with its other Transition resources, the QNI recommends that Transition to Care Home Nursing is used with the support of an experienced mentor.

DOWNLOADS

Source: Transition to Care Home Nursing – The Queen’s Nursing Institute

Health is made at Home: Hospitals are for Repairs

This new book by former NHS supremo, Lord Nigel Crisp, is all about creating health in the home, the workplace, the school, the community and wider society. Creating the conditions for people to be healthy and helping them to be so.

https://www.housinglin.org.uk/Topics/type/Health-is-made-at-Home-Hospitals-are-for-Repairs/

Click here to purchase a copy (opens new window)

Rights Made Real reports showcase importance of human rights in care homes in Scotland

The Rights Made Real in Care Homes was established in 2019, with the Life Changes Trust investment of £135,000 to support seven projects across Scotland to promote the inclusion and participation of care home residents with dementia in a meaningful way.

Each of the seven projects, which took place within care home settings across Scotland, demonstrated how human rights can be embedded in practice across all aspects of care home life and support whilst showcasing real examples of creativity, innovation and dedication in upholding and respecting human rights.

This report, entitled ‘Recognising, respecting and responding: promoting human rights for residents of care homes in Scotland’. Commissioned by Life Changes Trust, the report brings together a collection of stories from across the project sites with the aim of informing and supporting rights-based practice in all care home support.

More information about the Rights Made Real project and this report can be found on the Life Changes Trust website: https://www.lifechangestrust.org.uk/rights-made-real-care-homes-evidence-and-learning

Source: Rights Made Real reports showcase importance of human rights in care homes in Scotland – Scottish Care

COVID‐19 and care homes in England: What happened and why?

Mary Daly

First published: 28 August 2020 https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12645

Abstract

In the context of very high mortality and infection rates, this article examines the policy response to COVID‐19 in care homes for older people in the UK, with particular focus on England in the first 10 weeks of the pandemic. The timing and content of the policy response as well as different possible explanations for what happened are considered. Undertaking a forensic analysis of policy in regard to the overall plan, monitoring and protection as well as funding and resources, the first part lays bare the slow, late and inadequate response to the risk and reality of COVID‐19 in care homes as against that in the National Health Service (NHS). A two‐pronged, multidimensional explanation is offered: structural, sectoral specificities; political and socio‐cultural factors. Amongst the relevant structural factors are the institutionalised separation from the health system, the complex system of provision and policy for adult social care, widespread market dependence. There is also the fact that logistical difficulties were exacerbated by years of austerity and resource cutting and a weak regulatory tradition of the care home sector. The effects of a series of political and cultural factors are also highlighted. As well as little mobilisation of the sector and low public commitment to and knowledge of social care, there is a pattern of Conservative government trying to divest the state of responsibilities in social care. This would support an interpretation in terms of policy avoidance as well as a possible political calculation by government that its policies towards the care sector and care homes would be less important and politically damaging than those for the NHS.

Read in full HERE

Ageing in extra-care housing: preparation, persistence and self-management at the boundary between the third and fourth age

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 July 2019

Eleanor K. Johnson, Ailsa Cameron, Liz Lloyd, Simon Evans, Robin Darton, Randall Smith, Teresa Atkinson and Jeremy Porteus


Abstract

Extra-care housing (ECH) has been hailed as a potential solution to some of the problems associated with traditional forms of social care, since it allows older people to live independently, while also having access to care and support if required. However, little longitudinal research has focused on the experiences of residents living in ECH, particularly in recent years. This paper reports on a longitudinal study of four ECH schemes in the United Kingdom. Older residents living in ECH were interviewed four times over a two-year period to examine how changes in their care needs were encountered and negotiated by care workers, managers and residents themselves. This paper focuses on how residents managed their own changing care needs within the context of ECH. Drawing upon theories of the third and fourth age, the paper makes two arguments. First, that transitions across the boundary between the third and fourth age are not always straightforward or irreversible and, moreover, can sometimes be resisted, planned-for and managed by older people. Second, that operational practices within ECH schemes can function to facilitate or impede residents’ attempts to manage this boundary.

Read the article in full HERE

The education of children living in children’s homes

Background

This study covers:

  • the full range of school-aged children living in children’s homes, including those attending primary schools, secondary schools and further education and skills (FES) providers
  • a wide range of educational provision types, including state-funded, independent, mainstream and special education provisions
  • the period between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019

Main findings

The majority of children living in children’s homes attended educational provision that is eligible for Ofsted inspection.

Of the children who attended educational provision eligible for Ofsted inspection, more than half were in special education.

Children living in children’s homes were 20 times more likely to be in special education than all children nationally.

Children living in children’s homes were less likely to attend good or outstanding education provisions.

Nationally, for those attending state-funded educational provision, around three quarters of children living in children’s homes had an education, health and care (EHC) plan or were receiving special educational needs (SEN) support.

Children living in children’s homes were 18 times more likely to be attending a pupil referral unit (PRU) than all pupils attending state-funded provision nationally.

Children living in children’s homes were less likely to be attending good or outstanding FES providers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-education-of-children-living-in-childrens-homes/the-education-of-children-living-in-childrens-homes

Shining a light on care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK 2020

Forum Member, Annie Stevenson

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults Publication date: 30 November 2020 HTML

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the link between age discrimination and the injustices that have taken place in our care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic in this country. It seeks to show how destructive age discrimination is to those who live in our care homes and attempts to shake up our attitudes to older people, as the pandemic continues. It is hoped that shifts in attitude would lead to a societal revolution in care and support for older people as the pandemic shows us how the current system is breaking down.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a personal insight into the plight of the care home sector during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. The writer has worked in the field of social care and older people’s services for many years and felt compelled to share her learning and observations. This led to venturing more deeply into understanding why those who live, work and visit care homes have been so neglected and “cast into the shadows” in the face of such desperate danger. Whilst tracking the media narrative during the first wave, she attempts to apply her knowledge, in particular gained from working for Help the Aged (now Age UK) as a policy manager for Quality Care, but also draws on experiences as a social worker, commissioner and care provider from the 1980’s to the present. By “shining a light” on care homes, revealing that the darker practices that have taken place contravene the Human Rights Act 1998, it is hoped that the recognition of age discrimination will happen at every level and become better known in its application. The paper observes how deeply rooted it is in us all.

Findings

Having highlighted some shocking examples of bad practice from the authorities relating to care homes, the article concludes that Government policy on care homes from March to July 2020 was discriminatory and questions how far lessons have been learned. The legislation is in place in the form of the Human Rights Act 1998 to protect older people in care homes but is not being widely implemented at regional policy level. Government rhetoric remains far from reality Instead of redressing the gap and admitting mistakes, there is evidence at a high level of continued denial and the projection of blame on to the care homes themselves.

Originality/value

The author’s professional background includes meeting the founder of the Gray Panthers, Maggie Kuhn, in the United States in the 1988. This was a defining moment that gave her an original insight into age discrimination and influenced her entire career. It eventually led to her working in national policy for one of the most influential charities for older people at the turn of the millennium, Help the Aged. Here, she co-founded the My Home Life Programme (promoting quality of life in care homes). The paper offers a unique insight into why it is so challenging to achieve quality of life for older people needing care and should be of interest to policymakers, clinical commissioning groups, local authorities, older people’s care providers and carer and user organisations.

pdf (268 KB)

Watch “Donna’s Story” on YouTube

A Forum reader wrote in on viewing this video:

Why are people involved in care homes such as Older People, Managers and staff not having a place at the table and a Voice? They know what is happening, what they want and need for people in their care, We want people who are actually doing the job speaking out. Everyone seems to be an expert in care homes, assessing, monitoring, what should happen and the majority of these people have never worked in or managed a care home, this only happens in this sector- why? Change starts with actively respecting and valuing the work and listening to the people actively involved as their Voice matters