Enhanced health in care homes

The NHS is committed to supporting people who live and work in and around care homes. People living in care homes should expect the same level of support as if they were living in their own home – but this can only be achieved through collaborative working between health, social care, voluntary, community, and social enterprise (VCSE) sector and care home partners.

The NHS Long Term Plan committed to rolling out the Enhanced health in care homes (EHCH) model across England by 2024. This was achieved ahead of schedule in 2020. This model moves away from traditional reactive models of care delivery towards proactive care that is centred on the needs of individual residents, their families and care home staff. Such care can only be achieved through a whole-system, collaborative approach.

Requirements for the delivery of EHCHs by primary care networks (PCNs) are included in the 2023/24 Network DES with corresponding requirements for community health services and other NHS providers in the NHS Standard Contract. Every care home:

  • is aligned to a primary care network (PCN)
  • has a named clinical lead (who is responsible for overseeing implementation of the framework)
  • has a weekly ‘home round’ supported by the care home multidisciplinary team (MDT)
  • has established protocols between the PCN, care home and system partners for information sharing, shared care planning, use of shared care records and clear clinical governance.

Every person living in a care home, within 7 working days of admission or re-admission:

  • has participated in a comprehensive personalised assessment of need undertaken by the MDT
  • has participated in the development of their personalised care and support plan (PCSP) with a member of the MDT
  • care home residents should be identified and prioritised by their PCN as people who would benefit from a structured medication review (SMR)

The Enhanced health in care homes framework has been updated to support the delivery of the standards described in these contracts. It sets out practical guidance and best practice for integrated care boards (ICBs), primary care networks (PCNs) and health and social care providers, as they work collaboratively to go further in enhancing the care for people who live in care homes. The framework reflects new ways of partnership working since the COVID-19 pandemic including the use of digital technology to improve integrated working and information sharing across health and social care teams such as NHSmail.

This programme is supported by our work to ensure that Urgent Community Response is accessible to people living in a care home.

Multidisciplinary teams’ role in enhancing the health of care home residents

This animation shows how multidisciplinary teams can work together to improve the health of residents, and work with them to plan their proactive and personalised care.

This animation brings together professionals from a health and social care setting in a multidisciplinary team, highlighting the various roles they play, and how, together, they help ensure that residents receive the additional care they need.

All care homes should be connected to the Enhanced Health in Care Homes Service, including those who support working age adults, not just older people.


Case studies