A new report from the AHSN Network is shining a light on ways we can do more to improve safety for residents of care homes.

The publication showcases over 30 examples of projects delivered by England’s 15 Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs) and the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) which host them. They include case studies in medicines safety, dementia, monitoring and screening, and workforce development.

Professor Martin J. Vernon, NHS National Clinical Director for Older People and Person-Centred Integrated Care, wrote the foreword to the report. He said:

“Care homes are a crucial part of our national health and care system infrastructure and the safety and wellbeing of residents, who are among those with the greatest care needs, is no less important than in any other setting.

“The breadth, depth and quality of information in this report creates a valuable resource to anyone invested in improving care quality and safety for care home residents across the country.”

Approximately 410,000 people live in care homes in the UK, according to a Government study in 2017, and around 5,500 different providers operate 11,300 care homes leading to considerable scope for variation in their training and improvement practices.

AHSN Network Patient Safety Director Dr Cheryl Crocker, said:

“Many residents have complex healthcare needs, reflecting multiple long-term conditions, significant disability and advanced frailty. All these factors make caring for residents an incredibly difficult job for care homes and their staff.

“Given this operating landscape, there are some fantastic examples of care, safety and quality improvement in care homes. The aim of this summary is to share good practice supported by the AHSN Network, and we are actively encouraging readers to get in touch with those who have shared their work for this report and discuss how we can have even greater impact on patient safety and improvement in care homes.”

Download ‘Improving safety in care homes’ here.