Health and wellbeing in care homes

What can we learn from existing longitudinal studies?

Project Lead: Professor Barbara Hanratty
Project Team: Professor Fiona Matthews, Dr Robert Barker, Dr Sheena Ramsay, Professor Richard Morris
Care home residents are some of the most complex patients in general practice, with high needs for health and social care support. Yet information on the health of UK care home residents is difficult to find.  Access to routine health service data on individual residents takes time, money and research skills. A high proportion of care home residents are left out of information provided by GP practices for financial payments (Quality of Outcomes Framework). People in care homes do take part in research, but many studies exclude residents, either at the start, or at the point when they move into a home. This study will begin to fill an important gap in our understanding of the health of care home residents and provide insights into how well they can take care of their own daily needs. We will pay particular attention to how this has changed in recent years. Information on care home residents who took part in surveys that follow people over a number of years, will be collected and pooled into a single dataset. Statistical analyses will describe the health of care home residents, and how their ability to look after themselves has changed over time. The findings will be useful for general practitioners and nurses who provide front line medical care for care homes. This study will also be of interest to people who plan and commission services, as they look for the least costly ways of meeting the care needs of residents.