Welcome to your Care Home Learning Network

This website can only be accessed by members who register and these names are then transferred into the dedicated website. This is a website dedicated to supporting you in practice by:

  • Providing you with up to date information e.g. websites, documentation, resources
  • Some training opportunities
  • Opportunities to discuss issues and dilemmas with other like-minded people working in Care Homes
  • Provide you with a website where you can problem-solve with others
  • Meetings in your local area where you can address topics that you would like to know more about
  • Developing student placements
  • Helping you to develop ideas that you wish to implement in your Care Home to enhance care for your residents.

Register and find out how the Network can support you .............

The History of the The Care Home Learning Network

A dynamic 4-year project was set up in 2003 to develop a 'Care Home Learning Network' (inclusive of both Nursing and Residential). It is supported by local Trust's, social services, local charities, the University of the West of England, Bristol and Learning Skills Council (TOPPS). The main aim of the project is to develop meaningful and sustainable partnership working between Care Homes, Trusts and The University of the West of England.

Background to the Project

'Partnership working has become a central feature of our Social Welfare Policy' (Dowling et al 2004 p309).

  • NSF for Older people (DH 2001) set out the Government 's Programme to develop a range of services to be delivered in partnership with all Health and social care sectors
  • Health and Social Care Act 2001 placed great emphasis on integrated working between health and social care professionals
  • Funded Nursing Care (DH 2001) has potential 'added value' in terms of prevention; treatment and rehabilitation for residents by building on relationships between care home staff and PCT's.

Increases in the number of older people over 85 years and over with an equivalent rise in the need for nursing and social care are well documented by the Royal Commission on Long Term Care 1999 and the Audit Commission 2000. Changes in care provision have resulted in increased reliance on community services, fewer hospital beds and reduced length of hospital stay (DH 2000). Within one Health Authority alone, two-thirds of public funded admissions to care homes, were people directly discharged from hospital (Janzon et al 2000).

Therefore in response to Government Agendas' (DH 2000) the Independent Sector is now an essential component of the integral health and social care provision for older people. The emphasis by policy makers being on 'interdependence rather than independence'. This has raised opportunities for new ways of cross-sector working to support the needs of the independent sector care homes in their continuing care provision. Chambers & Tyrer (2002) indicated the need for greater education and training in care homes through interagency working in particular for diabetes, dementia care and other medical conditions (Bartlett & Burnip 1999). However often care home staff, remain isolated with limited contact with any other health and social care sector and largely excluded from mainstream care systems by different employment conditions.

So, there appears to be 2 main agendas here partnership working across the sectors and access to education and training.

New Partnership with Care Learning (Skills for Care)

From January 2008 The Care Home Learning Network has joined forces with the Learning Exchange Network (Care Learning) to provide additional learning opportunities for care service providers. The Learning Exchange website can be accessed at: www.carelearning.org.uk