At the 2018 Care Home Conference & Exhibition, Scottish Care launched our latest research report entitled ‘Care homes: then, now and the uncertain future’.

We undertook this research because it is Scottish Care’s belief that care home services have a fundamentally important strategic role to play in creating a person-centred, rights based pathway of care and support fit for Scotland’s citizens in the 21st century.

But we know that the historical and recent development of care home services has shaped the sector in particular ways, both positively and negatively.  It has led to a popular understanding of care homes that is often at odds with the reality of life and work in these services, especially as these services continue to change and develop to meet the needs and wishes of individuals and communities.

This research therefore sought to track the development of care homes in order to paint a descriptive picture of the reality of modern care homes, from the perspective of care home providers, managers and front-line nurses and carers.

The findings highlight the reality that care homes have changed beyond recognition from their origins in the ‘workhouses’ of the 18th century  – but public perception hasn’t necessarily evolved at the same rate.  Myths still abound about care homes being places of neglect, inactivity and ‘last resort’ – either as a care option or a career option.

The report therefore outlines various areas of work that need progressed urgently to ensure that the future of care homes is a more positive and sustainable one:

  • Care homes understood and treated as a key component in integrated service provision
  • Work undertaken on understanding resident needs
  • The transformation of workforce support
  • Development of proportionate and flexible scrutiny underpinned by a robust resourcing model
  • The need for greater public awareness and understanding of care homes

We are clear that the publication of this research needs to be the start of a process, not the end of it.  Scottish Care is committed to ensuring that this report gets to every individual and organisation, nationally and locally, who needs to understand what the care home reality is, in all its glory and all its challenges.  And for that information sharing to lead to a more engaged and informed dialogue.

Please read the report and share your feedback with us.

We look forward to working with all providers and stakeholders to ensure that future of care homes is one grounded in information and knowledge rather than emotions and stereotypes.

If there are any individuals or organisations who you think would benefit from receiving a copy of the report in your local area, please email becca.gatherum@scottishcare.org

Thank you to all individuals and organisations who participated in the research through attendance at focus groups and completion of Scottish Care surveys.

You can read the report here.

We have also created an accompanying animation, with the help of Rosie McIntosh at Third Sector Lab.  You can view the short animation below: