An introduction to care home research

Published on 31 May 2022

We commissioned ENRICH (Enabling Research in Care Homes) Scotland to produce a resource, titled Care home research: introduction for care home staff. It has been written for care home staff to develop their understanding of what is involved in research in care homes.

It follows a workshop held in September 2021, hosted by Iriss and ENRICH Scotland, which provided a space to share experiences, and explore issues about care home research with an audience of practitioners, academics, and researchers.

The new guide aims to increase understanding among staff – domestic, care, ancillary, administration, catering, and estate teams – of what research is, how it is carried out in care homes, and how to access and understand care home research.

Speaking about the launch of the guide, author Maria Drummond, Senior Clinical Studies Officer, ENRICH Scotland said:

“Improving the lives and health of people living in care homes is a major priority, but care home residents are generally underrepresented in research studies. Enabling Research in Care Homes (ENRICH) aims to change this by strengthening support for research outside the NHS, and the launch of this new guide is a major step towards better understanding of research.”

The guide is comprised of six sections. Individually, they cover:

  • The various activities involved in research, including planning, designing, data collection, analysis, and sharing findings
  • The benefits, challenges, and practicalities of care home research
  • Interviews with researchers and care home staff members, providing details of their experience with care home research
  • The importance of the involvement of people with lived experience of research, both residents and staff
  • How care home staff can get involved in research

Maria Drummond added:

“We’re extremely grateful for the support provided by Iriss in putting this resource together. In research, as well as the general provision of care, collaboration is key, and we look forward to strengthening our relationship with the organisation, and with care homes across the country.”

On the partnership with ENRICH Scotland, Ellen Daly, Project Manager at Iriss said:

“We were delighted to commission and work with ENRICH Scotland to create this guide. Building on our successful collaborative workshop in September 2021, this new resource will help all staff across the sector increase their knowledge of how research is carried out in care homes, and improve their confidence in accessing and understanding care home research.”