Conversations with Care Homes is a new video series from My Home Life England, hosted by City, University of London.

By Mr Shamim Quadir(Senior Communications Officer), Published (Updated )

A new video series entitled 'Conversations with Care Homes’ is giving care homes across England a voice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Launched by My Home Life England, an initiative and social movement which promotes quality of life and best practice in care homes, hosted by City, University of London, the YouTube series shares real stories from care home managers on the front line, alongside ideas for practice and positive change.

Over the past fourteen years, over 2,000 care home managers have been through the My Home Life Leadership Support programme, during which specialist facilitators provide managers with evidence-based techniques and practice informed resources to enhance their professional development and support their personal wellbeing.

My Home Life England are offering vital emotional support to care home managers, directly hearing some of the challenges they are facing in light of COVID-19; a situation previously unprecedented within social care.

A sample of the conversations with care home managers described:

  • the challenges posed by a lack in PPE, particularly in homes with confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • the difficulties in enforcing social distancing measures in homes with residents living with dementia or other cognitive impairments
  • the struggles to obtain enough food for residents from local supermarkets when supplies are low
  • innovative usage of technology by homes to keep residents connected to their loved ones and local community, for example virtual attendance at Sunday church services
  • stories of huge generosity, including homes sharing limited PPE resources with those currently facing COVID-19 outbreaks and selfless managers leaving behind their families and moving into the home to limit the risk of infection

An image of the extraordinarily complex role of the care home manager has also emerged. These individuals must stay abreast of the latest information and guidance, answer concerns from staff, residents and relatives, deal with absences, anxieties, grief and bereavement, whilst maintaining morale and a sense of optimism.

These insights have been edited into videos by My Home Life England and shared publicly. The Conversations with Care Home Series was created first and foremost to provide strength, solidarity and signposting to the care home sector at this challenging time, but the videos also serve the simultaneous purpose of shining a light on the current situation within care homes.

In addition to the video series, My Home Life England have also produced a more detailed digest of the issues and challenges that care homes are facing. Furthermore, My Home Life England issued a statement on Thursday 16 April 2020, welcoming the new proposed measures outlined by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care at the daily coronavirus briefing the previous day, which included a commitment to testing staff and residents and ensuring that all homes have adequate PPE.

Tom Owen, Director of My Home Life England, said:

"Care home managers are hugely resilient individuals who dedicate themselves to their care of often very fragile residents who they love and care for deeply. However, many are facing completely unprecedented situations and so we hope our Conversations with Care Home Series provides some strength and practical support. This pandemic has also highlighted the long overdue need for a re-evaluation of the role of care, and we hope it will finally mark a turning point in society’s view of care homes."

Further information

Watch the 'Conversations with Care Homes' video series

Visit the My Home Life website.