Following epidemiological work on the transmission of COVID-19 in Norfolk care homes[1], we are conducting an exploratory study to extend our awareness of how care-home staff cope with infection-control mitigation measures. The aim is to identify any additional issues facing care-home (CH) workers and managers in delivering the safest possible care to their residents during the COVID-19 crisis and the challenges these may pose. Methods are an online survey to provide broad insights, followed by key informant interviews to explore lived experiences in depth. The study is ongoing until the end of January 2021. To date, we have 232 survey participants, representing a range of ages, gender, geographical location and occupational roles within care homes. Twelve interviews are completed/in process. Preliminary analysis (using the Framework method) suggests considerable variance in how CH staff are supported by training and/or information and the communication within the setting. Particular challenges emerged around personal protective equipment (PPE). Enablers included: effective communication strategy; a good team spirit; openness to learning within the CH. Barriers included: lack of awareness and preparation for COVID-19 compared with previous infectious outbreaks; lack of social and personal support in facing highly distressing situations; caring for residents living with dementia. These have provided valuable insights into our understandings of the practicalities and challenges around CH transmission mitigation measures for limiting the spread of COVID-19.
[1]Brainard J. et al. (2020). Introduction to and spread of COVID-like illness in care homes in Norfolk, UK. J Public Health. doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdaa218
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2021
EventBritish Society of Gerontology 50th Annual Conference: Ageing Past Present and Future: Innovation and Change - Hosted online by Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Jul 20219 Jul 2021


ConferenceBritish Society of Gerontology 50th Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • care home
  • COVID-19
  • qualitative
  • survey
  • infection-control measures

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