Very little is known about the practice, experiences and skills of care home managers and the challenges they face. Yet they are responsible for everything that happens in their homes, overseeing all activities within the home. They make sure the quality of the service and care provided meets the required standards. They carry out their role with care homes regularly in the public eye, often as a result of scandals and inquiries. This scoping review has tried to remedy the absence of material about care home managers for adults in England by drawing together a range of primary research studies, secondary analysis of published data, policy documents and other evidence. It identifies and summarises the evidence available since 2000 to explore who care home managers are; their practice, experiences and skills, and the supervision and support they receive from their own managers or home owners; challenges they face in practice; and gaps in the evidence base.
The evidence found mainly related to care homes for older people which may, in part, be a reflection of the level of provision for this group. This review suggests that there remain many unanswered questions about care home managers. They are an often overlooked group when it comes to research, although many are involved in research about other aspects of life or work in care homes, including studies with a focus on care home residents or members of care home staff. The manager of the home is often a hidden or ‘shadowy’ figure, although there is frequent allusion to their impact on the culture of care.