Barriers to care home research have always existed, but have been thrown into sharp relief by the COVID-19 pandemic. Existing infrastructure failed to deliver the research, or outcomes, which care home residents deserved and we need to look, again, at how these barriers can be taken down. Barriers can be categorised as procedural (encountered before research starts), system (encountered during research) or resident-specific. To tackle these, research regulatory bodies need to adopt a standardised approach to how care home research is developed and designed, reviewed and regulated, and how such approaches can enable recruitment of as wide a range of residents and their representatives as possible, including those without the mental capacity to consent for research. Establishment of local, inter-disciplinary collaborations between universities, general practices, health and social care providers and care homes is another priority. This should be based on pre-existing models such as the 'Living lab' model developed in The Netherlands and now being implemented in the UK and Austria. These changes are critical to develop a sustainable research model. If well designed this will deliver better outcomes for residents and align with the individual and organisational priorities of those who care for them.
Keywords: Care homes; barriers; facilitators; older people; research infrastructure.