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University of York: Supporting Nursing in Care Homes

In the UK, approximately half a million older people live in nursing and care homes. The sector now provides more beds than NHS hospitals, for a predominantly older population, with increasingly complex healthcare needs. Ensuring older people can access ‘good’ nursing care in care homes is crucial.

In 2013, the RCN Foundation funded over £18k to the University of York to carry out a research and consultation project focusing on the theme of patient care and professional development for nursing staff in care and nursing homes. The research found that whilst the care home nurse’s role is broad and multi-faceted, little is known about the characteristics of the care home registered nursing workforce, their employment or career trajectories and ambitions. Continuing professional development needs are recognised but there are challenges for care home nurses in being able to access learning opportunities and there are concerns of fewer opportunities than their NHS colleagues. There is a need for a whole-system approach, to promote partnership working between providers, to understand the full patient journey, including the nurses’ contribution in care homes. Ensuring the future preparation, recruitment, retention and development of nurses in the sector is of pressing public and policy concern.

If you would like to see the final report from this project, you can find it here.