COVID-19: Burden and impact in care homes - a mixed methods study

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Institute of Health Informatics

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a substantial risk to elderly and vulnerable care home residents and COVID-19 can spread rapidly in care homes.
We have national, daily data on people with COVID-19 and deaths, but there is no similar data for care homes. This makes it difficult to know the scale of the problem, and plan how to keep care home residents safe. We also want to understand the impact of COVID-19 on care home staff and residents.

Researchers from University College London (UCL) will measure the number of cases of COVID-19 in care homes, using data from Four Seasons Healthcare, a large care home chain. FSHC remove residents' names and addresses before sending the dataset to UCL, protecting resident's confidentiality.
Since we cannot visit care homes during the pandemic, we will hold virtual (online) discussion meetings with care home stakeholders (staff, residents, relatives, General Practice teams) every 6-8 weeks, to learn rapid lessons about managing COVID-19 in care homes and identify pragmatic solutions.
Our findings will be shared with FHSC, GPs and Public Health England, patients and the public, and support the national response to COVID-19. Patients and the public will be involved in all stages of the research.

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