The analysis for our consultation on care-related quality of life in care homes is ongoing at the moment. We will share a summary soon.
The feedback report for the first consultation events (Feb-June 2021) can be accessed here:
Why is consultation necessary?
Consultation with experts will be carried out throughout the DACHA project. The consultation events aim to ensure that the resources produced by the research team are thoroughly discussed by experts before a prototype of a Minimum Data Set (MDS) is created.
In the UK, there is currently no uniform version of an MDS that is mandated by the state, which is the case in North America. From the North American examples, we know that an MDS is a set of questions that are filled in by care home staff about care home residents. With an MDS, care home staff routinely answer the same standardised questions about residents at regular intervals, or when the resident’s health status changes. Given the right infrastructure, any information on MDS can be automatically shared with hospitals, GPs, ambulatory services, community nurses, family members etc. and can create better links between health and social care professionals for the benefit of the resident.
Consultation events will inform the planning of different work packages (mini-projects) that form DACHA. The DACHA study is made up of five work packages. With the help of the discussions with experts at these events, the DACHA team will develop an agreement on the essentials of a minimum data set, which will be put into action as a pilot project during the final work package. Based on the collaboration between consultation group representatives and DACHA researchers, some recommendations will be produced for organisations who deal with and rely on the information captured in care homes. These recommendations will cover, for example, how care homes can use the minimum data set, what tools and equipment are needed and where to find further advice?
Timeline and Content of Events
Across England, up to 50 experts – commissioners of health and social care, primary care professionals, directors of care quality, care home staff and managers, geriatricians, old age psychiatrists, and researchers with the knowledge of minimum data sets – were invited to join a national expert group for the first concultation events in 2021. The opinions and suggestions coming from these experts are of great relevance because they are the potential users if an MDS system were to be put in place in the UK. The experts were divided into various groups based on their professional roles and experiences (each group with 8 representatives). To adapt to the Covid-19 situation, each representative joined their discipline-specific online event during the first consultation, and were asked about their use and needs of the most/least useful data from care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The second series of consultation will also be held online in 2022, this time in the form of two surveys about capturing quality of life data in care homes. The Quality of Life section is an integral part of the DACHA Minimum Data Set (MDS), and based on evidence-based work, the DACHA team has identified care-related quality of life instruments that can be the most applicable in a UK care home setting. In Round 1, a smaller number of participants (from each stakeholder group as before) will rank the most important attributes to have in a quality of life measure; in Round 2, a wider range of participants will rank the shortlisted quality of life instruments that are likely to be included in the DACHA MDS. Findings will then feed into Work Package 5, whose aim is to test the MDS prototype in 60 care homes across three ICS (Integrated Care System) sites.
In the final consultation event, the study findings will be presented and followed by group discussions about the implications and recommendations. The final consultation event is likely to be held in-person in a London venue in 2023, bringing together consultees from the previous consultation events.
- Local authority and CCG officials
- Researchers, old age psychiatrists, geriatricians
- Government officials
- Data analysts and data researchers
- Primary health care professionals
- Care home staff who use electronic records in care homes
- Care home staff who use paper-based records in care homes
- Senior operational and care home managers
- Resident relatives and carers