UCAIRE’s research aims

To explore how residents in older people’s care homes, family/friends, and staff experienced coping with preventing spread and transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in order to inform development of guidelines and support in managing future outbreaks of infectious diseases in care homes and in providing support to those living, visiting and working in care homes.

Recent UCAIRE Events

Online workshops offering feedback to help tailor draft guidance on infection-control measures in future outbreaks of highly infectious diseases in older people’s care homes were held in late July and early August.

Thank you very much to those who took part in our online workshops – one for care-home staff and another for family and friends of care-home residents. Your input and feedback were valuable and informative. Special thanks to the individuals who, although unable to attend, took the time to send us their informed comments.

The feedback we received is much appreciated and will play a key role in shaping UCAIRE’s final guidance.


Research Design and Outputs

UCAIRE is a mixed-methods study with three main objectives:

1. Undertake an online survey of care-home staff to identify broad concepts and specific issues or concerns associated with transmission and spread of COVID-19 to and within care homes.

UCAIRE ran a second online survey for care-home staff in spring 2022. We are now analysing results to compare staff experiences of infection-control measures during the pandemic in autumn 2021 with their experiences in spring 2022. Thank you to staff who took part in the online surveys.

2. Undertake semi-structured interviews with care-home residents, family/friends and care-home staff to understand their experiences of coping with preventing infection-transmission and risk during the pandemic.

3. Using a mixed-methods approach, integrate findings from the quantitative and qualitative arms of the study in order to gain comprehensive understandings from which results and overall guidelines can be developed.

Guidelines will be tailored for specific end-users; care-home staff, residents, family/friends of residents.

Current Activities

We are now analysing our data, which include the voices of care-home residents, and will write our final report and produce our main outputs. These will include summaries of findings tailored for each of our participant groups: care-home staff; family and friends of residents; and care-home residents.


“We can’t visit and see what going on for her… it’s like having paper-bags over our heads” Experiences of infection-control measures on family and friends of care-home residents during COVID-19

Download the Presentation

Care-home staff experiences of infection-control measures during COVID-19

Download the Presentation

Our Team

Principal Investigator: Dr Kathleen Lane (HSC)

UEA Co-applicants: Dr Julii Brainard (MED), Dr Diane Bunn (HSC), Dr Anne Killett (HSC)

External Co-applicants: Professor Sarah O’Brien (Newcastle); Suzanne Mumford (Care UK); Julie Houghton (PPI).

Researcher: Laura Watts (HSC).

Advisory Group: Sharon Dunn and Emma Smith (North Norfolk PCN); Christen McDonnell (Leaf Care Services);

Care-home resident; Barbara Cowell (PPI/Carer); Professor Paul Hunter (UEA); Rhodri Williams (Alzheimer’s Society).

Please contact Kathleen if you have any questions or comments about the UCAIRE study.


National Institute for Health Research - School for Social Care Research (NIHR SSCR). UCAIRE is grateful to have received a costed extension by our funder. The study now ends on 31 October 2022.