Two Leeds homes to study care and career improvements

Leeds is to be the test bed for a new research programme aiming to improve the quality of life of nursing home residents.

Academics from the University of Leeds will consult with people living and working in nursing homes to identify areas where research evidence could lead to improvements to the quality of life and standard of care for residents, as well as improve quality of work for staff.

The programme of work will address clinical topics such as nutrition and hydration, pressure care, falls, dental care, and administrative topics such as work environment and staffing). The project will also test strategies for successful translation and implementation of evidence-based innovations in nursing homes.

The project will initially consult with Pennington Court and Seacroft Grange care homes in Leeds, but it is hoped that it will be expanded across Leeds in the future.

The project is a partnership between Leeds Care Association and the University of Leeds. Leeds University professor Karen Spilsbury said: “Living in a nursing home can provide a supportive atmosphere for older people, but it can also be unsettling when people have moved from lifelong homes. We want to hear from residents and staff what works well in care homes and what could be improved.” 

Professor Spilsbury is pictured right, with the mayor of Leeds (centre) and fellow professor Jan Hamers.

The new partnership is based on a successful model running in the Netherlands for 20 years, led by the University of Maastricht.

Peter Hodkinson, managing director at Westward Care which manages Pennington Court, said: “By applying an action research model which has already been trialled in the Netherlands we are confident that our findings and experiences will provide nationally significant insights for the UK care sector into the increasingly complex needs of clients who receive Health & Social Care services. We look forward to sharing our learning and innovations with the wider sector as we proceed.”

Graeme Lee, chief executive officer at Springfield Healthcare which manages Seacroft Grange, said: “We have an exciting opportunity to shape perceptions of the next generation of health and social care professionals so that social care is considered a worthwhile, rewarding and important career.

“As care becomes more acute, research is vital to support the delivery of that care to client groups that would, in previous years, have received care in a hospital environment.”  

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