Timeshare beds : a pluralistic evaluation of rota bed systems in continuing care hospitals
This thesis reports the results of a pluralistic evaluation of rota bed systems providing respite care to carers of the dependent elderly. Using a multi-method triangulated design the study examines: the sources and determinants of carers' stresses and rewards; the subjective views of the main stakeholder groups as to the benefits and problems of the rota bed system; the rota bed experience as indicated by the environment and regime of care and the activity levels of rota bed users at two contrasting continuing care hospital wards. Using data from a national sample survey of members of the Association of Carers, convincing empirical support is provided for the transactional approach to the understanding of carer stress. In addition the results extend the conceptualisation of caring to include sources of satisfaction. The benefits and problems of the rota bed system are explicated and, on the basis of these suggestions are made as to how both respite care and related services to carers might be improved. Within the context of recent policy initiatives consideration is given to the nature of professional responses to carers and their dependants with particular reference to the role of the nursing profession.