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Caring relations at the margins of neurological care home life: the role of 'hotel service' staff in brain injury rehabilitation

Latchem-Hastings, Julie ORCID: 2021. Caring relations at the margins of neurological care home life: the role of 'hotel service' staff in brain injury rehabilitation. Journal of Long-Term Care , pp. 12-23. 10.31389/jltc.49

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Context: Domestic staff in hospitals and aged long-term care have been shown to perform a range of caring roles alongside their cleaning work. Objective: This paper explores the roles these people and other ‘hotel service staff’ (catering, domestic, maintenance, finance and administrative) play in the rehabilitation of people with brain injuries residing in long-term care settings. Methods: This research draws on in-depth ethnographic data collected in 2014–15 over five months at two neurological long-term care settings in the UK; including interviews and observations of day-to-day happenings in the lives of around 60 brain injured residents and the work of 16 hotel service staff. The data was subject to a situational analysis – underpinned by grounded theory and discourse analysis. Findings: Hotel service staff contribute to and compliment the rehabilitation of patients’ cognitive skills, communication and physical functioning, and provide opportunities for occupation and interaction. The therapeutic accomplishments achieved by involving patients in mundane tasks of everyday life (e.g., gardening, managing money, sharing food), fit with the aims of more ‘formalized’ rehabilitation – to restore patients’ abilities to carry out ‘activities of daily living’. Limitations: This study has been unable to fully explicate how hotel service staff have, or gain, the skills to interact so positively with brain injured residents. The study was confined to two sites and may not be reflective of practice elsewhere. Implications: The study findings highlight how the work and interactions of hotel service staff contribute not only to care but to the rehabilitation of people with severe brain injuries. This has implications for service design as well as health and social care education.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Centre for Trials Research (CNTRR)
Additional Information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported International License (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)
Publisher: LSE Press
ISSN: 2516-9122
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 December 2020
Date of Acceptance: 3 December 2020
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 02:27

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