Many care home managers have been contacted by Public Health England, Office of National Statistics and MORI regarding a survey.

The following is communications explaining the purpose of the survey:

Since mid-May the national Whole Care Home testing programme has been rolled out across England.

These results will tell PHE the number of care home staff and residents who have been infected with COVID-19. But what we really need to know is the proportion of people who have been infected, and the proportion who are infected without symptoms. We also need to know how this varies by age group, gender, ethnicity, region, care home size and organisational factors.

Estimating the proportion of people who are infected requires accurate data on the number of staff and residents in each care home. This information is not currently held anywhere in a central database, so we want to collect it in this survey.

How is this survey different from other surveys?

We realise that care homes are being asked to provide a wide range of data through different reporting systems. For example, capacity tracker is collecting information on bed occupancy, staff availability and PPE supplies which is essential for business continuity planning and the immediate delivery of care. But this information does not really help us to understand why some care homes have outbreaks and others don’t.

Through this survey we aim to collect a “snapshot” of how care homes are preventing infection during the pandemic. We also want to find out about patterns of contact between staff and different types of residents. We will use this to build models to understand how infection spreads in care homes, and to explore the types of control measures that are most effective at preventing outbreaks.

How will this information help to protect staff and residents from COVID-19?

The data we collect and models we develop will help us to work out why some care homes have outbreaks and others do not, so we can prevent outbreaks in the future. Most importantly, it will help policymakers work out how frequently care home staff and residents need should be tested in the future.

How will it be used and shared with the sector?

  • We are keen to work with individuals with experience of working in the care home sector to interpret our results
  • Findings will be shared as a short report with all care homes
  • Summary findings will be shared with CQC but the report will not identify individual care homes

Information about the survey

  • All care home managers in England are being asked to complete this survey.
  • Before the survey was launched it was piloted in a small number of care homes.
  • The data collected within this survey is not intended to duplicate data requests via other data mechanisms – the information we are seeking to gather is not held anywhere else.

We realise that care home staff are under significant time pressure and really appreciate your participation in this one-off survey.