On October 17th the new CHARM (Care Home Action Researcher-in-residence Model) study held the first of five study days for those involved. The study is being led by Tracey Williamson and co-ordinated day-to-day by Isabelle Latham (Senior Research Fellow) and Faith Frost (Research Associate). The partners include senior leads and other staff working in four care homes from four varied care home provider organisations: Sanctuary Care, Care UK, Hallmark Care Homes and Assured Healthcare Solutions Ltd. The aim of the study is to evaluate our approach to developing a climate of research awareness and undertaking in care home settings, which traditionally have not fully embraced research and evidence based practice.
The plan is for each care home team to identify topics of importance and design two small studies to undertake with training and support from the research team. Unlike past approaches to developing care home culture around research, our study requires considerable involvement from residents and family carers as co-researchers and Faith’s role is to focus on their engagement in the study. The study received £91K funding from the Alzheimer’s Society and the Dunhill Medical Trust and will end in September 2020.
We will hold five study days rotating around the care homes and covering topics needed to equip everyone to be co-researchers. On the first day, we used activities to help everyone get to know each other, share hopes and anxieties, agree ways of working, explore our methodology, and start to consider evidence-based practice. We will be using an Action Research approach that involves cycles of planning, acting, observing and reflecting so that practice is changed within the study not just at its end. Part of the study will concentrate on sharing the learning across the four care home groups and everyone explored ways of doing this beyond traditional dissemination activities. We are making sure we take lots of photos in readiness and we agreed a project logo at the meeting which is shown below.