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Learning by Experience and Supporting the Care Home Sector during the COVID-19 pandemic

The National Care Forum and the University of Leeds have been working with care home colleagues and NHS staff to understand their experiences of caring for older people with COVID-19 in the first few months of the pandemic.We have now launched our findings and the link to the report can be found at the bottom of this page.

Funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust, this project looks in detail at the clinical presentation and illness trajectory of COVID-19 in older people, what had worked well, or what more was needed, for providing the best care and treatment and lessons learnt for supporting older people in care homes. The practical ideas and actions suggested will help us all to find better ways to manage the virus to inform our future response in subsequent waves.

The research was initiated by the NCF who were very keen to learn as quickly as possible from the early days of the pandemic and to share this learning to support the sector and to present helpful strategies to manage the care and support of older people in care homes during subsequent waves of COVID-19 outbreaks.

There are some very important messages for the sector as we prepare for the winter months ahead, including the importance of supporting our workforce’s wellbeing and mental health, ensuring we continue to provide good care in relation to COVID-19, so the people we care for can continue to thrive, as well as, survive, championing the expertise and skill of our workforce and expanding our use of digital technology to improve care and support

Equally, there are some key messages for the Government and key stakeholders within this research including taking lessons from the impact of hospital discharge into care homes without clarity on COVID status and having clear shared protocols for discharge, resolving the ongoing testing and PPE supply uncertainties; working in genuine partnership with the sector and putting the individual needs of older people at the heart of policymaking.

Feedback is welcome – within the report there is reference to an online survey to enable comments on resonance, relevance and gaps:

Any queries, just email: or