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ARCs response to COVID-19 Care Homes Research

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The cross-ARC care home network was created to bring together a network of health and care professionals, researchers and members of the public who are interested in applied health research in care homes. It currently has a mailing list of 61 members.

 In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked colleagues from across the 15 ARCs to complete a six-minute survey about planned or current projects that involve Care Homes and COVID-19.

Ten of the fifteen ARCs responded and nine reported COVID 19 specific care home projects. There was minimal duplication involving primary research and implementation work. In summary, they address:

  • The impact of COVID 19 on how the NHS and Care Homes work together;
  • Managing difficult conversations and decisions
  • Impact of Covid-19 on care home staff mental health
  • Developing new evidence-based resources and ways of working to respond to care home staff questions related to COVID 19
  • Strategies to reduce infection rates between residents. 

Three of the projects are currently underway, one is awaiting the funding outcome and the five that are being planned, aim to start within the next four months. The timescales of the projects are relatively short and responsive, ranging from 1 month to 18 months.

Four of the projects involve more than one ARC working together.  When asked if input from other ARCs would be required, only those already in a collaboration indicated that they would require this.  Interestingly, only three of the projects were able to involve care homes in the development of the study. 

By collating this information, we aim to help strengthen collaboration, reduce duplication and create synergy across the ARC care home network.  We will repeat the 6-minute survey to keep an up to date picture of the emerging research and publish regular updates.  Thank you to those of you who completed it.

As funding is confirmed and protocols are available we will provide more detail about specific projects and contact details.

If you would like to join the mailing list, share a information about COVID-19 focused Care Home research, or would like to be involved in care home research please email: ARCoffice@cpft.nhs.uk

Updated 24 April 2020