Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Public Policy|Southampton

Older People's Shoes

Project Lead: Professor Tony Arthur, Professor of Nursing Science, University of East Anglia

About the Project

We set out to design a training course for HCAs to improve the relational care of older people in acute hospitals. We produced Older People’s Shoes, an innovative and interactive training programme designed to get HCAs to consider ways to get to know older people and understand the challenges that older patients face. A ‘train-the-trainer’ model was used to allow the intervention to be viable beyond the testing sites.


What we did

To understand what training is currently given to HCAs, we conducted a telephone survey of acute NHS hospitals in England. To establish what older people, HCAs and other staff who work with HCAs believe should be included in HCA training, we undertook group interviews with older people and individual interviews with HCAs and other staff. To see whether or not we could formally test this new training for HCAs, we conducted a pilot cluster-randomised trial in 12 wards from three acute hospitals.


What we found

We found existing training to be highly variable, and focused on new rather than existing staff, with relational care not given a high priority. From the trial we concluded that a larger study to examine whether we could observe changes in patient outcomes would be challenging but possible. Older People’s Shoes was well received by participants. This was particularly the case for the health care assistants whose training needs are often overlooked or restricted to mandatory requirements where the focus is almost exclusively on safety.


Professor Antony Arthur
Staff Profile

Tony Arthur joined the School of Nursing Sciences, University of East Anglia in January 2013. Prior to this appointment he was Senior Lecturer in Elder Care in the Division of Nursing at the University of Nottingham. He has a background in general nursing, qualifying at the Middlesex Hospital, London in September 1984. He has a first degree in Sociology from the Polytechnic of East London, a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Leicester, and an MSc in Medical Statistics from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Further Reading

The full report of the CHAT Study which designed and pilot-tested Older People’s Shoes can be found here
The published protocol of our feasibility cluster randomised control trial can be found here
Some of our findings can be found in a paper from the study here

Privacy Settings