COVID-19 resources

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An essay collection: building for renewal: kickstarting the C19 housing recovery


This paper sets out twenty separate views from individual experts and a wide range of organisations as to how to use the primacy of place to direct a return to housing growth and, with it, renewal. Each separate essay should be read and understood in its own light as offering deep understanding and practical solutions to unlocking some of the many complex problems which the COVID-19 response currently poses to housing. The document is divided into four principal parts: Part A – the role of housing in promoting opportunity and prosperity for all; Part B – the role of investment in place in leading renewal; Part C – the role of housing in supporting the most vulnerable and engaging with society; Part D – the role of planning in creating successful and sustainable communities.

Last updated on hub: 05 January 2021

An inquiry into the lived experience of Covid-19 in the home care sector in Ireland: the experiences of home care provider organisations

Home and Community Care Ireland

This exploratory research into the health, social and economic impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the eighteen home care provider organisations who responded to a survey sheds light on how those on the forefront of home care coped during one of the largest viral outbreaks in modern history. A questionnaire consisting of ten open-ended questions was developed following a rapid literature review and internal consultations. These questions were categorised under five subheadings: management, service provision, relationships, health and wellbeing, and the future. Key findings include: The most significant problem was workforce shortage – specifically, two thirds of organisations indicated low staffing levels due to a lack of childcare brought about by the closure of schools and creches; almost every third organisation noted a decrease in home care services, ranging from 20-30 per cent, mostly due to clients cocooning and self-isolating; another issue that featured strongly across all responses was related to uncertainty surrounding the pandemic – stress, fear, worry and even panic; almost every other organisation identified Protective Personal Equipment (PPS) to be a significant cause for concern – supply and distribution was a considerably more prevalent issue than the actual cost of PPE; to ensure the smooth running of business at a very chaotic time, all the providers implemented a range of novel policies and procedures – this rapid development of new ways of delivering service safely took place on several interrelated levels; the crisis exposed any structural shortcomings within the home care sector, but equally it brought about a sense of togetherness, cooperation and mutual support within the sector – and beyond it.

Last updated on hub: 09 November 2020

An introduction to DBS checks in the social care sector

Skills for Care

This webinar – delivered by DBS – aims to improve confidence and understanding of using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) eligibility toolkit, the COVID-19 barred list fast track and free of charge checks and making a barring referral.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Analysis of the relationship between pre-existing health conditions, ethnicity and COVID-19

Public Health England

This report looks at COVID-19 diagnoses (cases), deaths involving COVID-19 and survival following diagnosis in England during the first wave of the pandemic, focusing on pre-existing health conditions and ethnicity. It analyses these components separately, in order to gain a better understanding of the potential explanations for high death rates among some ethnic groups. This helps to identify whether high mortality in some ethnic groups is due to increased likelihood of being diagnosed with COVID-19, reduced survival following diagnosis, or both. The report shows that, in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in England, among people with a similar history of previous hospital admission mentioning pre-existing health conditions, there were ethnic differences in the numbers of cases and deaths involving COVID-19. In addition, ethnic inequalities in survival following diagnosis of COVID-19 were not explained by differences in such patterns of admission with pre-existing health conditions between ethnic groups. This conclusion is consistent with other studies reviewed in this document.

Last updated on hub: 11 January 2021

Annex A: COVID-19 vaccine and health inequalities: considerations for prioritisation and implementation

Department of Health and Social Care

The purpose of this paper is to consider the impact on and implications for health inequalities in the prioritisation of COVID-19 vaccines when they are introduced in the context of initial supply constraints. This paper expands on the considerations informing the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) interim advice on priority groups for COVID-19 vaccine, which is intended to support the government in planning the vaccine programme, and it offers further considerations for its implementation. The conceptual framework adopted is one based on consideration of scientific evidence, ethics and deliverability, with a focus on the ethical principles of maximising benefit and minimising harm, promoting transparency and fairness, and mitigating inequalities in health. While age has the absolute highest risk of poor COVID-19 outcomes, many factors are associated with an increased relative risk (such as belonging to a BAME group and being male). These are mediated by a complex web of factors which are not straightforward to disentangle and can be potentially misleading, and if misinterpreted when translated to policy, can be damaging to populations and widen health inequalities. al conditions, and health and social care worker status (thus providing NHS resilience). While prioritisation alone cannot address all inequalities in health that are rooted in social determinants, planning and implementation should as a minimum not worsen health inequalities, and present a unique opportunity to mitigate them.

Last updated on hub: 07 December 2020

Are some ethnic groups more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others?

Institute for Fiscal Studies

This report brings together evidence on the unequal health and economic impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK's minority ethnic groups. It presents information on risk factors for each of the largest minority groups in England and Wales: white other, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, black African and black Caribbean. The analysis focuses on risk factors in terms of both infection risk and economic vulnerability. The analysis shows the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis are not uniform across ethnic groups, and that understanding why these differences exist is crucial for thinking about the role policy can play in addressing inequalities. The report looks at the risk factors of demographics, geography - the location where people live, occupation, and the risk of underlying health conditions. The analysis also shows that many ethnic minorities are also more economically vulnerable to the current crisis than are white ethnic groups, with more men from minority groups likely to be affected by the shutdown.

Last updated on hub: 05 May 2020

As if expendable: the UK government’s failure to protect older people in care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic

Amnesty International UK

This report examines the impact of decisions, policies, and decision-making processes at the national and local level on the human rights of older people in care homes in England in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is based on interviews with 18 relatives of older people who either died in care homes or are currently living in care homes in different parts of England; nine owners, managers and staff of care homes in different parts of the country; eight staff and volunteers working in non-profit organisations advocating on behalf of care home residents and staff; three members of parliament and local authorities, and four legal and medical professionals. Among the government’ failures, the report highlights discharge of patients from hospitals into care homes; denial of access to hospitals and other medical services; misuse of ‘do not attempt resuscitation’ (DNAR) forms; inadequate access to testing; insufficient PPE and poor PPE guidance; poor, late and contradictory guidance; and failure to respond to gaps in staffing. The report also discusses the suspension of visits and failure of oversight, including the failure to wear PPE, challenges of remote communications and the devastating impact of prolonged isolation. The report argues that the UK government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic violated the human rights of older people in care homes in England and that remedial action must be taken without delay to ensure that mistakes are not repeated. It calls for a full independent public inquiry to consider the overall pandemic preparations and response in adult social care and care homes, including a full investigation into actions taken to ensure a comprehensive and timely cross-government response for social care and a review of the adequacy of the funding made available to support adult social care services and care homes in responding to the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 05 October 2020

Assessing the vulnerability of care-workers in England to modern slavery risks during the COVID-19 pandemic

University of Nottingham

This report sets out findings of a research project to identify the key risk factors that may increase modern slavery risk in the care sector as a result of COVID-19. Whilst the pandemic is ongoing, and the situation continues to develop, it is likely that the extent of modern slavery risk will only be fully revealed in retrospect. The report draws on the analysis of primary interviews with key stakeholders and a review of the guidance and safeguarding documentation of organisations representing care procurers and providers. identified risks can be grouped into the following categories: pre-recruitment financial risk – increased recruitment activity and rise in use of migrant labour, with risk of work-visa debt; post-recruitment financial risk – wages being withheld, especially with regard to sick pay and travel time, delays in payment through retrospective reconciliation, and increasing reliance on “pay-per-minute”; pre-recruitment operational risk – flexible employment practices in response to workforce availability, including waiving of full DBS checks, media perception of care homes discouraging potential staff, leading to labour shortages, and reliance on unregulated temporary staffing agencies; and post-recruitment operational risk – decreasing quality of working conditions, pressure for staff to live ‘locked in’ on-site, audit limitations, isolation of home carers, increased risk for BAME staff, obscured signs of exploitation and unacknowledged home care workload increases. There have, however, been some unprecedented positive impacts from COVID19, which have the potential to mitigate modern slavery risk. These include: (1) increased inter-organisational co-operation; (2) increased community-orientated care approach; (3) perceived increase in the societal value of social care.

Last updated on hub: 10 September 2020

Asymptomatic carriage rates and case fatality of SARS-CoV-2 infection in residents and staff in Irish nursing homes

Age and Ageing

Background: SARS-CoV-2 has disproportionately affected nursing homes (NH). In Ireland, the first NH case COVID-19 occurred on 16 March 2020. A national point-prevalence testing programme of all NH residents and staff took place (18 April 2020 to 5 May 2020). Aims: to examine characteristics of NHs across three Irish Community Health Organisations, proportions with COVID-19 outbreaks, staff and resident infection rates symptom profile and resident case fatality. Methods: in total, 45 NHs surveyed, requesting details on occupancy, size, COVID-19 outbreak, outbreak timing, total symptomatic/asymptomatic cases and outcomes for residents from 29 February 2020 to 22 May 2020. Results: surveys were returned from 62.2% (28/45) of NHs (2,043 residents, 2,303 beds). Three-quarters (21/28) had COVID-19 outbreaks (1,741 residents, 1,972 beds). Median time from first COVID-19 case in Ireland to first case in these NHs was 27.0 days. Resident incidence was 43.9% (764/1,741)—40.8% (710/1,741) laboratory confirmed, with 27.2% (193/710) asymptomatic and 3.1% (54/1,741) clinically suspected. Resident case fatality was 27.6% (211/764) for combined laboratory-confirmed/clinically suspected COVID-19. Similar proportions of residents in NHs with ‘early-stage’ (<28 days) versus ‘later-stage’ outbreaks developed COVID-19. Lower proportions of residents in ‘early’ outbreak NHs had recovered compared with those with ‘late’ outbreaks (37.4 versus 61.7%; χ2 = 56.9, P < 0.001). Of 395 NH staff across 12 sites with confirmed COVID-19, 24.7% (99/398) were asymptomatic. There was a significant correlation between the proportion of staff with symptomatic COVID-19 and resident numbers with confirmed/suspected COVID-19 (Spearman’s rho = 0.81, P < 0.001). Conclusion: this study demonstrates the significant impact of COVID-19 on the NH sector. Systematic point-prevalence testing is necessary to reduce risk of transmission from asymptomatic carriers and manage outbreaks in this setting.

Last updated on hub: 07 December 2020

Attracting workers

Skills for Care

Social distancing means some traditional face to face activities to reach candidates, such as recruitment fairs and open days, are not currently possible. Employers are seeking different ways to attract people to their workforce. This webinar provides practical suggestions to help care providers explore linking with the local community to reach potential candidates and receive support with recruitment activities.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020