A major study is to examine the relationship between the care home workforce and the quality of care provided.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) will set out how much staffing levels need to increase by in order to improve quality as well as the costs associated with achieving better quality and outcomes.

The research will identify variations in care home nursing and support staff and look at the needs of residents and relatives and their impact on staffing levels.

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It will examine how different staffing models (including new roles) impact on the quality of care, resident outcomes and the use of NHS resources, and explain how the workforce (including numbers, skill mix and stability) can best meet residents’ needs.

Researchers will also explore the contributions of nursing and support workforce staff (including innovations in roles) to enhancing the quality of care. The research will be carried out through case studies at six care homes.

Evidence gathered will inform policy and organisational level decisions about staffing deployment.

The findings will be relevant for residents and relatives, care providers, commissioners, inspectors and policy makers.

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The author Lee Peart

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