The evaluation of the ‘Connecting Residents in Scotland’s Care Homes’ (CRSCH) programme was undertaken by a team of researchers from the University of Stirling between December 2021 and July 2022 and was commissioned by the Scottish Government Technology Enabled Care programme in conjunction with the Digital Health and Care Innovation Centre (DHI).
Part of the wider ‘Connecting Scotland’ programme, the Connecting Residents in Scotland’s Care Homes Programme was launched in November 2020 by the Scottish Government with the goal of equipping all Care Homes within Scotland with digital devices, as well as the necessary training for staff. The project aimed to support social connectedness for residents, to help address the negative impact on resident wellbeing caused by lockdowns and restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The evaluation adopted a range of research methods to engage with all relevant stakeholders, including residents, care staff, managers, family and friends of residents, and policymakers. The evaluation goals were to identify:
- how far the programme is meeting its objectives
- the issues influencing its effectiveness
- the individual and organisational factors that will influence its continued scale up and sustainability over the longer term.
The evaluation adopted the NASSS framework (Greenhalgh et al 2017) to ensure an approach that encompasses individual and organisations factors impacting the success of the programme as well the influence of the wider policy and practice context.
The CRSCH project was found to have a significant and positive impact on the lives of care home residents, promoting social connectedness during the pandemic and providing opportunities for activity and entertainment. Benefits from the programme were also felt by staff who appreciated the benefits for residents and gained new knowledge and skills. There was clear evidence that the impact of the project is being sustained and that the tablet computers provided by CRSCH are being used in many new ways. The CRSCH programme has stimulated further digital adoption within care homes that is supporting and enabling staff and residents to engage with digital technology in new and creative ways with positive impact.
The evaluation concluded with the following recommendations:
- Recognise the wider use case for the CRSCH programme.
- CRSCH can adopt a more personalised, flexible, and person-centred approach to technology.
- Create a community of practice to support and sustain communication and knowledge exchange around the programme.
- Identify, support and develop the role of Activity/Wellbeing coordinators.
- Develop training in person-centred adoption of technology across care home staff.
- Understand the specific technology needs of care homes in deprived areas.
Executive Summary and Final Report
A link to the Executive Summary and Final Report on the Stirling University website is provided below, alongside a downloadable version of the documents:
An overview of the aim, methods, key findings and recommendations of the CRSCH evaluation
Examples of good practice, illustrated through quotes from an Activities Coordinator, a team of Wellbeing Coordinators and a Director
Recommendations to help improve the adoption and daily use of iPads in a care home