How should healthcare services to care homes be configured – results from the Optimal Study

Adam Gordon is Clinical Associate Professor in Medicine of Older People at the University of Nottingham. He tweets @adamgordon1978 Claire Goodman is Professor of Health Care Research at the University of Hertfordshire.  She tweets @HDEMCOP Here they describe findings from the Optimal Study, funded by the National Institute of Health Research and delivered by a collaboration of researchers from the Universities of Hertfordshire, Nottingham, Surrey, City University London, University College London, Kings College London and Brunel University.

The UK care home sector, with 425,000 beds, is just over three times the size of the acute hospital sector.  It is home to some of the oldest and most vulnerable members of UK society.  The average resident is over 85, has multiple health conditions, cognitive impairment and physical dependency.  Providing care to such older adults is recognised to be complex and challenging. Continue reading

What does good look like when thinking about care homes?

Claire Goodman is Professor of Health Care Research at University of Hertfordshire. Claire has a district nursing background and is a NIHR Senior Investigator. Her research focuses on the health and social care needs of the oldest old, including those affected by dementia and living in long term care. She leads the DEMCOM study, an evaluation of Dementia Friendly Communities – @DEMCOMstudy @HDEMCOP

We have new neighbours. They moved three miles to improve their children’s chances of going to their preferred secondary school. If they had stayed put they would have been assured of getting a good state education. We are surrounded by Ofsted rated ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ schools. The issue was that whilst it probably did not matter if their daughter went to a girls only or co-educational school, for their son, a boys only school, with a big focus on sport, would have been a problem. People in my local area know a lot about the schools, they know what the head is like, who the good teachers are, what extra-curricular activities are available and if it’s struggling with its budget. Continue reading