The ENRICH Cymru network is co-hosted by the Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research, and the Wales School for Social Care Research.  

The aim of ENRICH Cymru is to improve the lives of residents and staff in Care Homes across Wales by developing and facilitating a network of ‘research ready’ Care Homes. The network will promote the exchange of research ideas and knowledge, and foster the co-creation of research relevant to the current issues in the Care Home sector. Care Homes and Researchers across Wales will be invited to join the network to provide more opportunities for new and innovative research projects to be carried out.

ENRICH Cymru considers Care home managers and staff as the experts in research. Staff often identify areas for improvement, try out a different way of working and change practice. Essentially this is the foundation of research. Therefore research is much improved when care home staff are involved in setting questions, deciding how to collect information and making choices about what is important information to circulate from the results of the study.

It is important to note that there is a place in the network for all interested Care Homes to join, whether you just want to be kept up to date with the latest developments in research or if you are ready to assist in delivering research in your home. Please visit the Care Home Staff section below for more details. 

Please contact: stephanie.watts@swansea.ac.uk for more information about the network and to discuss becoming a part of ENRICH Cymru. 

Telephone: 01792 602034

Care Home Research in Wales

Care Home Staff

For Care Home Staff

This page is for staff working in Care Homes across Wales wishing to take part in research.

There are many different types of research which may be available for your particular Care Home. Participating in research can range from distributing leaflets about research to residents to helping conduct studies. The aim of supporting research is to help improve the quality of life for residents and other people living with dementia or other illnesses in Care Homes.

Most of the benefits of taking part in research will relate to each specific study in which you decide to take part in. However in general, benefits can include:

  • Research may lead to better links with community services and other local Care Home networks
  • New developments in providing care may reach your Care Home that are useful to everyday practice
  • Research may assist in promoting your Care Home and lets residents and their families know your Care Home is actively involved in providing evidence-based practice.
  • Research may contribute towards staff continuous professional development and Nurse’s re-validation.

Benefits of joining ENRICH Cymru include:

Joining the ENRICH Cymru network:

If a home wishes to join the ENRICH network, an ENRICH team member will contact the home manager to provide more information about the network, answer questions and to check that the home meets the network’s requirements. Ask your your National Research Coordinator about ways to get involved:

Stephanie Watts  01792 603024 or stephanie.watts@swansea.ac.uk


Current research opportunities 

A searchable database for current research opportunities is in development. Please check back regularly for updates and follow @EnrichCymru on twitter for the latest opportunities. 

Care Home Research In Wales 

Click here to find out about the PAAD study, investigating the use of probiotics in a Care Home setting. 

Resources for Care Home Staff 

Click here to learn more about involving residents who may lack capacity and what to do if capacity changes during the course of a research study. Courtesy of Vicky Sheperd at Cardiff University: ShepherdVL1@cardiff.ac.uk 

Research In Action 

Click here to read about the experiences of Care Home Staff taking part in research around ‘Creative Conversations’: an arts-in-health approach to communication, a partnership between Bangor University, Flintshire Social Services, and Dementia Positive, that aimed to develop a care staff development programme using the arts to improve interactions between care staff and residents living with dementia. 


Support in carrying out research in Care Homes

Carrying out research in Care Homes is a vital process in ageing research, as this population is at-risk of being isolated from opportunities to be involved. 

With an ageing population only set to increase in coming years, Care Homes play a vital role in supporting and caring for older people, and are an essential partner in the delivery of research yet Care Homes are often excluded.

ENRICH Cymru will organise the joining up of Care Home staff, residents and researchers to facilitate the delivery of research to improve the lives of staff and residents in Care Homes across Wales.

The aim of ENRICH Cymru is to improve the lives of residents and staff in Care Homes across Wales by developing and facilitating a network of ‘research ready’ Care Homes promoting the exchange of research ideas and knowledge, and foster the co-creation of research relevant to the current issues in the Care Home sector. Care Homes and Researchers across Wales will be invited to join the network to provide more opportunities for new and innovative research projects to be carried out.

The network will be able to provide:

  • Advice and support on overcoming the challenges in delivering research in Care Homes
  • Support with identification of Care Homes and residents to support studies
  • Receive regular updates about the latest developments in Care Home Research and Development
  • ENRICH Cymru aims to increase the amount of research conducted in Care Homes, and improve access to research for residents and staff

Why work with Care Homes?

There are five key reasons why carrying out research in Care Homes is vital:

  • Improves quality of life

People in Care Homes and their families want to be involved in research to improve quality of life and quality of care. Collaboration with Care Homes can provide opportunities to work with residents who are at a particular stage in their illness.

  • The environment and population in Care Homes

Many people with neurodegenerative disorders and health issues live in Care Homes. This community can be easy to access and supportive of research.

  • Improving access to research

Care Home residents are under-represented in clinical research, opening access to these studies can improve recruitment.

  • Provides evidence and guides best practice

Because residents are under-represented in research, there are some areas where the evidence to support best practice is weak. This lack of evidence provides opportunities to develop new research.

  • Raises the standards

Research evidence is instrumental in helping raise the standards of care in Care Homes. For example one study provided training and support for Care Home staff and as a result it reduced neuroleptic use in residents with dementia by 50% without worsening behavioural symptoms.

Please visit http://enrich.nihr.ac.uk/pages/research-community for useful resources when designing and carrying out research in Care Homes. 

Lessons in carrying out Care Home Research - from a Researcher's perspective

Cardiff University 

Researchers at Cardiff University explored stakeholders’ views about the ethical and practical challenges associated with recruiting care home residents into research studies. Important lessons and considerations to take into account are detailed from this study, using interviews with care home residents, their relatives, and general practitioners, and focus groups with care home staff.

Interviews focused on the issues of older adults consenting to research in care homes, including advanced consent, in general and through reference to a particular study on the use of probiotics to prevent Antibiotic Associated Diarrhoea.

Data were analysed using a thematic approach incorporating themes that had been identified in advance, and themes derived from the data. Researchers discussed evidence for themes, and reached consensus on the final themes. Click here for the full paper. 

Swanaea University

Caitlin Reid, BSc in Psychology from the University of Reading and an MSc in Psychiatry from Cardiff University, started a PhD at the Centre for Innovative Ageing in July 2016. The research ‘Understanding and Improving the Mental Well-being of Older Adults in Residential Care’ is funded by the Healthcare Management Trust and supervised by Dr Charles Musselwhite and Dr Michael Coffey.

Click here to read about Caitlin's experience carrying out research in Care Homes and some lessons learned along the way. 

Bangor University 

Dr Carys Jones holds a PhD in Health Economics from Bangor University. After completing her PhD on quality of life measurement for family carers of people with dementia, Carys has remained at the Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation (CHEME) and has worked on several projects aligned to her primary research interests of dementia and aging. Click here to read about Carys's experience in planning research in Care Homes and some lessons learned along the way. 


Check back here reguarly to this page for more case studies with Researchers in the fiels, with take-home messages. Follow @EnrichCymru on twitter for regular updates. 


New Developments

ENRICH Cymru and My Home Life Cymru have been hosted by Swansea University since the summer of 2017 and prior to this, Suzy Webster led My Home Life Cymru from Age Cymru. This join collaboration fits together perfectly, with Suzy enacting My Home Life Cymru’s vision to ‘create a world where all care homes for older people are great places to live, die, visit and work.’ http://myhomelife.org.uk/



So far, ENRICH Cymru and My Home Life Cymru have joined forces to co-host a seminar for Care Home staff and researchers alike to focus on how End of Life Care in Care Homes can be improved. A total of 60 people attended the day, comprising of a mixture of Care Home staff including Managers, Deputy Managers and Carers, as well as health board representatives such as Consultant Psychiatrists and Dementia Care Trainers, Research staff and members of the third sector including the Paul Sartori Hospice At Home Foundation:

Sophie Thomas, Paul Sartoti Foundation

‘This was an enormously useful day for me; there are few opportunities to meet people from care homes – let alone the numbers and range of homes that attended this meeting.’

Discussion and vote

As part of the conference, a discussion session was led by Alisha Newman, Research Associate working for the Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Centre and the Wales Cancer Research Centre. The aim being to answer the question: What are the top three challenges to providing good quality end of life care for people living in care homes?

Seven groups were convened, ensuring a mix of participant backgrounds so that a range of views drove the discussions. A facilitator was appointed to each group to ensure that all participants had opportunity to contribute to the discussion and the identified challenges were documented.

Each participant brought with them a pre-prepared list of what they believed to be the top three challenges to providing good quality EOLC for people living in care homes. These were used to drive the group debates.

Through discussion each group agreed their top three challenges and wrote them on a flip chart. After a whole room discussion on the contents of the flip charts, delegates were asked to review the top challenges identified by all seven groups and to cast their final vote for their top three. In total 63 votes were cast.

After the event, the challenges were reviewed and duplicates and similar themes were combined to make a final short list of the key challenges to delivering good quality EOL care in Welsh care homes. Final report pending.


Engagement in the event:

Twitter Impressions on the day: 5676

Twitter Impressions in the following days about feeding back on the seminar: 505

Please email stephanie.watts@swansea.ac.uk for a copy of the interim evaluation report. The event was co-funded by the Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research and the Wales School for Social Care Research.





Resources & Links

Please follow the links below to access other networks and organisations across Wales and the rest of the UK


The leading UK Care Home review website with 18,505 Care Homes, 16 million+ visits per year & 76,473 Care Home reviews

Care Inspectorate Wales 

National body that registers, inspects and takes action to improve the quality and safety of services for the well-being of older people in Wales.

ENRICH (Enabling Reseach in Care Homes) - UK 

The UK-wide website for ENRICH in England and Scotland with a full range of resources for Care Home staff and the Research community 

Health and Care Research Wales

A Welsh Government funded body, supporting and developing excellent research which has a positive impact on the health, wellbeing and prosperity of the people in Wales. 

Join Dementia Research 

People with dementia or memory problems, their carers and anyone who is interested can sign up.  You can also sign up for someone else, providing that you have their consent. 
Registering is the first step in becoming involved in supporting vital research studies across the nation.

My Home Life 

A UK-wide initiative that promotes quality of life and delivers positive change in care homes for older people

Prime Centre Wales

A research centre focusing on primary and emergency care, funded by Health and Care Research Wales in order to develop and coordinate research proposals and support researchers. It is an all-Wales centre co-led by Cardiff University, Bangor University, University of South Wales, and Swansea University.

The Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research 

A world class research centre addressing key internationally important questions in ageing and dementia.  The Centre integrates multi-disciplinary activity and develops areas of expertise from biological, through psycho-social and environmental, to social policy in ageing and dementia.

The Wales School for Social Care Research 

The School will benefit social care practitioners and the social care sector in assisting them in taking forward their research and evidence based practice aspirations, and benefit research providers in supporting them engage with the social care sector in the delivery of research that makes a sustained and tangible difference. 







ENRICH Cymru is funded and supported by: