- Professor Julienne Meyer (Principal Investigator)
Research by City, University of London has inspired an international social movement for quality improvement of residential care across the United Kingdom and Europe, culminating in the formation of My Home Life.
My Home Life is a knowledge translation initiative researching, developing and sharing best practice for the management of care homes and wellbeing of older patients.
The research, led by Professor Julienne Meyer, Emeritus Professor in the School of Health Sciences, identified key factors known to enhance quality of life for older people and demonstrates the progressive power of joined up dialogue, shared vision and an iterative approach to healthcare management.
What did we explore and how?
Professor Meyer’s research highlighted the importance of positive relationships between residents, relatives and staff in delivering person-centred care and the need for external agents to work in better partnership with care homes to enable quality of life for residents.
Through dialogue with stakeholder groups, the research showed the importance of collaboration between the NHS and care home managers to agree shared aims and for all NHS and care home staff to have an understanding of and access to expertise in dementia.
Benefits and influence of this research
The research highlighted the benefits of care homes developing best practice together, focusing on relationships, being appreciative and having caring conversations.
Nearly 1,000 care home and domiciliary care managers, deputies and nurse practitioners have participated in the My Home Life Leadership Support Programme (LSP) in England in the last five years, influencing the quality of life of 21,175 people receiving care. My Home Life has delivered 89 presentations to a total of 5,754 practitioners – potentially directly influencing the lives of up to 140,000 older people.
Translating the research into changes in practice has informed two international consensus studies on measuring quality of life in care homes. This included international research to develop a consensus on quality of life indicators in Europe, as well as the WE-THRIVE global research initiative to develop comparable common data elements.
Professor Meyer was also co-investigator for a realist evaluation that identified key features of effective working between the NHS and care homes. This demonstrated that financial incentives, sanctions and structured approaches to assessment are unlikely to sufficiently achieve change if they do not lead to NHS and care home staff working together to identify, plan and implement appropriate protocols for care.
Furthermore, Professor Meyer was an invited partner in the Proactive Healthcare for Older People in Care Homes (PEACH) study, sharing the lessons from a quality improvement collaborative designed to improve health and wellbeing for older residents in a cost-effective way.
My Home Life has been endorsed on multiple occasions by Paul Burstow MP, former Minister for Care Services in a debate about the relationships between care homes and their residents.