Relationship between care home staffing and quality of care: a mixed methods approach

Nurse holding patient's hands


Business School members of the research team: 

Funded by: The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Project number 15/144/29.

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Project overview 

In the UK, 405,000 older people live in 18,000 independently owned care homes (5,153 nursing and 12,525 residential homes). People are entering care homes older, sicker, frailer and have needs that require specialist help, such as dementia. Residents in residential homes today would probably have been cared for in nursing homes 5-10 years ago. These increased demands on care homes will continue as health and social care systems adapt to having less money from government. Staffing is the largest expense in most care homes and quality depends on the staff working in the home. So, to provide high quality we need to understand how to make best use of the staff employed in those homes. In recent years quality of care and staffing in the care homes has often been criticised by professionals, people who live in homes and their relatives, and the policy makers making decisions about how much society can afford to pay for this part of the care system. Beyond recognising that 'staff influence quality', we don't know much about the people who work in care homes and how they affect quality; including how people living in care homes experience care and how much quality costs.  

The aim of this study is to explore and explain the relationship between use of the care home workforce (and the mix of care home staff) and how this affects quality of care; outcomes for residents, relatives and staff; and how money is used to pay for care and its impact on quality.  

Find out more on the School of Healthcare project page

Contact: Professor Karen Spilsbury (