A new research project has been launched to understand the impact of COVID-19 in older people’s care homes and the workforce.
The National Care Forum (NCF) is involved in the research project and is working with Warwick Business School at the University of Warwick and University College London. The project has received public funding from the Economic and Social Research Council.
The study is exploring the following areas in particular:
- How people’s work in older people’s care homes has changed during the pandemic.
- How well supported the older people’s care home workforce felt during the pandemic.
- How well supported older people’s care homes felt during the pandemic.
David Rowland, the direct of the independent thinktank, the Centre for Health and the Public Interest, said, ‘The financial pressures felt by the care home sector have been exacerbated during COVID-19. First, we saw falling occupancy levels and increasing costs. More recently, new challenges such as rising inflation emerged. It is important for policymakers and local authorities to understand and respond to these in a timely manner. With this research, we are analysing the financial risk borne by the sector as well as studying how these affect staff on the frontlines through a survey and in-depth interviews.’
NCF said it is very important that the perspectives and experiences of those working in and managing older people’s care homes are captured and said the voice of those on the frontline is essential in understanding the different ways in which COVID-19 has impacted on you all.
The findings will be shared with NCF members and there will be an opportunity to discuss the findings with the researchers. NCF and the researchers will use the findings to help decision-makers, policy makers and commissioners, both nationally and locally, understand how COVID-19 has affected older people’s care homes and the experience of working in them, to understand what funding and support is needed by older people’s care homes and their staff.
Prof Marianna Fotaki (Primary Investigator, University of Warwick), said, ‘We have brought together a team with diverse expertise including of finance, policy and inter-disciplinary social research. We also partnered up with the Centre for Health and the Public Interest, providers’ membership organisation the National Care Forum and the trade union UNISON to maximise the relevance, accuracy and impact of our research.’
The researchers have created a short survey to gather information. The ask of NCF members running older people’s care homes is to circulate this survey amongst your staff in your older people’s care homes and tell them:
- It is aimed at all staff working in the care home, regardless of role.
- The survey will take about 10 minutes.
- Anyone taking part will not have to provide their name or the name of their workplace in the survey.
- The deadline for completion is Friday 10th December 2021.
Taking part in the research to explore the impact of COVID-19 is of course completely voluntary – as an incentive, ten people who answer the survey will win a £50 shopping voucher.
Visit the Warwick Business School website to access the survey.
If you have any questions and to find out more, please contact Dr Didem Derya Ozdemir Kaya (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr Aaron Gain (email@example.com).
In other news, care leaders are calling on the Government to award and fund a £1,000 winter bonus for social care workers in England.