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Visit-id: a study of care home visiting arrangements during Covid-19

Project status
Josie Dixon
Institution web page
Host institution
Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (CPEC), London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Team members
Josie Dixon (CPEC, LSE), Klara Lorenz-Dant (CPEC, LSE), Edmund Stubbs (CPEC, LSE), Karen Harrison-Dening (independent researcher/ expert), Manna Mostigham (LSE), Lea Weidmann (CPEC, LSE), Margaret Dangoor (CPEC, LSE), Kellyn Lee (CPEC, LSE), Sarah Russell (independent researcher/ expert), Daniel Casson (Care England), Martin Knapp (CPEC, LSE).
Funding information (if funded)
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Policy Research Programme (PRP) - Recovery, Renewal, Reset: Research to inform policy responses to COVID-19 in the health and social care systems. Grant number: NIHR202482
Project Summary

Visit-id: a study of care home visiting arrangements during Covid-19 is being conducted by a team from the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (CPEC), London School of Economics and Political Science, led by Josie Dixon with Klara Lorenz-Dant, Edmund Stubbs, Manna Mostingham, Lea Weidmann, Kellyn Lee, Margaret Dangoor and Martin Knapp, in collaboration with Karen Harrison-Dening, independent researcher/ expert and Daniel Casson and his colleagues at Care England, with further support to the study’s experts-by-experience from Sarah Russell, independent researcher/ expert.

It is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Policy Research Programme as part of its Recovery, Renewal, Reset: Research to inform policy responses to COVID-19 in the health and social care systems funding call. It will run from January 2021 – July 2022 and is supported by a steering group involving senior representatives from Dementia UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Healthwatch, Carers UK, HC-One, Care England, Jewish Care, Freemantle Trust, Glasgow Royal Infirmary/University of Glasgow and Sheffield CCG and by a reference group of four experts-by-experience.

The study will examine how care homes in England have developed and implemented their visiting policies during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the factors that shape this. In particular, the study will identify range and diversity across care homes in:

  • how visiting policies were developed
  • how Government guidance on care home visiting has been interpreted and implemented
  • how scope in Government guidance for policies to take account of individual residents’ needs has been reflected in visiting policies
  • the use of other support (e.g. non-Government guidance, practical tools, professional assistance) to develop and implement policies, and the role of local authority, or other local advice and requirements
  • how the views and perspectives of residents, families and others have been taken into account when developing policies
  • how policies have been communicated to residents, families and others
  • experiences of implementing visiting policies, including views on the workability of policies
  • the acceptability of policies to residents, families and staff; and any equity or other impacts.

Throughout, the researchers will identify the varied opportunities and challenges facing care homes in developing and implementing their policies, and identify aspects that have worked well and less well. Importantly, they will also identify the characteristics and circumstances of care homes, and other contextual factors, that have helped to shape care homes’ different approaches and experiences.


Stage 1: Up to 150 care home managers (or a nominated senior member of staff) will complete an online questionnaire with ten questions inviting brief narrative answers (approximately 20-30 minutes to complete). We will also ask respondents to supply us with their written visiting policy, where they have one. Where relevant, questions about developing visiting policies will be directed to central care home organisation managers.

Stage 2: In-depth interviews with 40 care home managers or senior staff in care home organisations to further explore issues emerging from the survey.

Stage 3: In the final stage of the project we will speak to around 30 family carers of people living in care homes (recruited separately) to learn about their experiences and views of care home visiting policies.

Outputs / Expected Outputs

To share our findings, we will produce a range of policy briefings, academic journal papers, blogs and webinars.


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Visit-id: a study of care home visiting arrangements during Covid-19