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First Herts care home manager to join Eastern ENRICH network urges others to “Get stuck into research!”

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A care home in Cheshunt has become the first in Hertfordshire to join a network being run by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) which helps homes carry out research to find new ways to care for people.

Rosie Monger, Registered Nurse and Home Manager at the Kingfisher Nursing Home (part of Westgate Healthcare Group), was first told about the ENRICH (Enabling Research in Care Homes) network by a local research nurse visiting the home she looks after. Joining ENRICH means the home will receive funding and support to carry out research, which can include, for example, surveys which staff and residents might fill out, or testing new medications and care processes.

Having found out more from the local NIHR team, Rosie spoke to everyone at the Kingfisher Nursing Home to see what they thought about joining ENRICH. She said:

“I had a chat with the team, the residents and their families to see what they thought of the idea and it was all really positive.

“Being able to give something back to the wider community has been a big incentive for me and my team here, along with the learning development opportunities it will provide. The residents are also keen to have the chance to be pioneers, being part of research to help people in residential care in the future.

“It’s really exciting to be part of research to improve care and be able to say “Look, what we’ve been a part of!”

Rosie, who has been a registered nurse for three years, feels there needs to be more research to improve care for the residents she looks after and others in care homes across the country:

“I feel we can’t get any better without reviewing what we already do and without having new ideas so, for me, research is a really, really positive thing. This is particularly important in social care where there hasn’t been much research before.”

Rosie is also keen to encourage other care home staff to get involved in research:

 “I look forward to helping our student nurses see that this is an avenue they could take, either by becoming a research nurse or, if you choose to nurse in any environment, always get stuck into research!”

The NIHR is the research partner of the NHS and social care, and is driving forward the growth of research in community settings, including care homes. Ruth Hudson, ENRICH Lead for the region’s NIHR Clinical Research Network, said:

“We’re excited to be working with Rosie and the team at the Kingfisher Nursing Home, and look forward to helping them deliver research to directly help people in care homes to live better. The more research we’re able to support in care homes, the easier it will be to help improve care for residents, as well as working conditions for staff, so we hope as many as possible will join the scheme.”

For more information about ENRICH visit the NIHR’s website at enrich.nihr.ac.uk.