COVID-19 resources

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The COVID-19 long-term care situation in England

International Long-term Care Policy Network

This report provides an overview of the impact of COVID-19 so far on people who use and provide long-term care in England and of the policy and practice measures adopted to mitigate its impact. The report finds that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been severe in England and has affected disproportionally people who use and provide long-term care. Since the beginning of the pandemic and until the 6th November, 15,659 people had died in the care home and their deaths were linked to COVID-19 in the death register. An estimate of the deaths of care home residents (including those who died in hospital) suggests that, until the 13th November, 20.799 care home residents died whose deaths were attributed to COVID-19. An estimate of excess deaths in care homes suggests that 22,948 more people died until the 30th October, compared to the previous 5 years. This would represent around 5% all care home residents. With the initial response almost entirely focused on the NHS, too little consideration was given to the fragmented social care system, which was already in a fragile state prior to the pandemic, and into which many people were being discharged from hospital. Since the first wave, there has been improvement in terms of availability of guidance, access to Personal Protection Equipment and testing. In the second wave, care providers continue to face challenges with testing capacity (and speed), visiting policies and the financial implications of the additional costs of the pandemic and decreases in revenue. The pandemic has laid bare long-standing problems in the long-term care system in England, such as the fragmentation of responsibilities, funding and workforce pressures, as well as the unequal relationship between the health and social care systems and the invisibility of groups such as working age adults with disabilities and unpaid carers in social care planning.

Last updated on hub: 24 November 2020

The COVID‐19 pandemic and its impact on children in domestic violence refuges

Child Abuse Review

This short report, reports the findings of a a web‐based survey of domestic violence refuges in Norway (N = 46) distributed on 8 April 2020 with the aim of obtaining an overview of the impact of the COVID‐19 crisis and the virus control measures implemented on 13 March 2020 on victims of domestic violence and abuse. During lockdown in Norway, all daycare centres and schools were closed immediately, as were many small businesses, including restaurants and shops. Moreover, all gatherings, such as sporting events and concerts, were banned. These and numerous other restrictions in Norway during the spring of 2020 represented the most extreme measures enforced by the Norwegian government since the Second World War. Many of the restrictions have significantly impacted the lives of children and adolescents, especially the closing of daycare centres, schools and arenas in which many children spend their leisure time, such as football fields, swimming pools and art centres. Three key themes identified in the survey responses were: concern for children living with domestic violence outside of the refuge; concern for children and adolescents living at the refuge; and services that are flexible and accustomed to crisis situation. While at time of writing, the lockdown had been lifted in Norway, the authors report that the lives of children and adolescents remain very much affected by the pandemic, and there is reason to believe that the last few months have seen an increase in violence against children.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and long-term care: what can we learn from the first wave about how to protect care homes?

Eurohealth

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated pre-existing problems in the long-term care sector. Based on examples collected from the COVID-19 Health System Response Monitor (HSRM) and the International Long-term care Policy Network (LTCcovid), this article aims to take stock of what countries have done to support care homes in response to COVID-19. By learning from the measures taken during the first wave, governments and the sector itself have an opportunity to put the sector on a stronger footing from which to strengthen long-term care systems.

Last updated on hub: 15 January 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic and the struggle to tackle gender-based violence

Journal of Adult Protection

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to look at the policies for the protection of women during pandemics while taking gender and feminist interests into crucial consideration. In perilous times like this, where many humans are living in fear and struggling to survive a world filled with diverse traumatizing events such as wars, universal pandemic, man-induced tragedies, natural destruction, overwhelming stress and stress-related illnesses abound. Currently, Covid-19 pandemic is rampaging in different areas of the world. Design/methodology/approach: Studies have reviewed the major reasons of the violence against women during lockdown. A qualitative review of the literature is performed and analyzed. As there have been compulsory lockdowns in different parts of the world, Turkey included, the lockdown is ideal for preventing the spread of Covid-19. Findings: There are issues this Covid-19 pandemic has caused, and one major issue is the stigma and trauma women face around the world, even in their homes. Domestic violence is a serious concern. It is, therefore, paramount for the government to intervene on this issue by declaring domestic violence as “essential services” and must set modalities in place for instant reliefs to women in such distress. It is even further envisaged that the term lockdowns have a diverse number of interpretations. One such prevailing argument is that humans are enslaved to their general imaginations, may continue in the pathways set aside by gender stereotypes or the same lockdowns, can be used as a means to set aside patriarchal notions and pursue a violence-free existence. Originality/value: This research will increase the awareness in terms of preventing gender-based violence and try to address how this pandemic makes it worse for women. In addition, there are many studies focused on family violence and Covid-19 while few focus on gender.

Last updated on hub: 09 December 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic, financial inequality and mental health

Mental Health Foundation

This briefing looks at the links between financial inequality, employment and mental health; and reviews what official figures say about the financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. It draws on evidence from the “Coronavirus: Mental Health in the Pandemic” research, a UK-wide, long-term study of how the pandemic is affecting people’s mental health, highlighting people’s emotional responses to the pandemic, the key social drivers of distress, coping mechanisms and suicidal thoughts. The research is led by the Mental Health Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, Swansea University, the University of Strathclyde and Queen’s University Belfast. The study shows that the burden of mental distress is borne disproportionately by those with less economic security. The report concludes with recommendations to UK central and national governments to protect vulnerable people’s economic security and support them in dealing with the resulting stress.

Last updated on hub: 29 May 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic: a pandemic of lockdown loneliness and the role of digital technology

Journal of Medical Internet Research

The focus of this perspective is on lockdown loneliness, which this study defines as loneliness resulting from social disconnection as a result of enforced social distancing and lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study also explores the role of digital technology in tackling lockdown loneliness amid the pandemic. In this regard, this study highlights and discusses a number of the key relevant issues: a description of lockdown loneliness, the burden of lockdown loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic, characteristics of people who are more likely to be affected by lockdown loneliness, factors that could increase the risk of loneliness, lockdown loneliness as an important public health issue, tackling loneliness during the pandemic, digital technology tools for social connection and networking during the pandemic, assessment of digital technology tools from the end users’ perspectives, and access to and use of digital technology for tackling lockdown loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study suggests that the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people who are more prone to lockdown loneliness are provided with access to digital technology so that they can connect socially with their loved ones and others; this could reduce loneliness resulting from social distancing and lockdowns during the COVID-19 crisis. Nonetheless, some key issues such as access to and knowledge of digital technology tools must be considered. In addition, the involvement of all key stakeholders (family and friends, social care providers, and clinicians and health allied professionals) should be ensured.

Last updated on hub: 07 December 2020

The COVID-19 rehabilitation pandemic

Age and Ageing

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the response to the pandemic are combining to produce a tidal wave of need for rehabilitation. Rehabilitation will be needed for survivors of COVID-19, many of whom are older, with underlying health problems. In addition, rehabilitation will be needed for those who have become deconditioned as a result of movement restrictions, social isolation, and inability to access healthcare for pre-existing or new non-COVID-19 illnesses. Delivering rehabilitation in the same way as before the pandemic will not be practical, nor will this approach meet the likely scale of need for rehabilitation. This commentary reviews the likely rehabilitation needs of older people both with and without COVID-19 and discusses how strategies to deliver effective rehabilitation at scale can be designed and implemented in a world living with COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 17 September 2020

The crisis of COVID-19 and UK women’s charities: survey responses and findings

Women's Resource Centre

Findings of a survey of women’s organisations to describe and explain their needs and the challenges they are facing amidst the coronavirus outbreak. The survey respondents represented 122 women’s VCOs from across the UK – 34 of the respondents represented Black and minoritised women led organisations. The report indicates that the coronavirus pandemic presents great challenges for the UK women’s sector in both the long-term and short term, with top priorities including: supporting service users; adapting to new ways of working and new systems; ensuring staff wellbeing; and ensuring organisational survival and sustainability. Whilst the top priorities for Black and minoritised women led organisations are aligned with those of the women’s sector generally; their needs and those of their services users against the four categories are significantly more pressing and urgent. The report contains a set of recommendation for UK Governments, funders and Women’s Resource Centre, including making an unrestricted emergency fund available to sustain the Black and minoritised women led organisations and making funding available for the short and long-term mental health impacts of the COVID-19 crisis upon women.

Last updated on hub: 21 July 2020

The demographics and economics of direct care staff highlight their vulnerabilities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

Journal of Aging and Social Policy

An estimated 3.5 million direct care staff working in facilities and people’s homes play a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic. They allow vulnerable care recipients to stay at home and they provide necessary help in facilities. Direct care staff, on average, have decades of experience, often have certifications and licenses, and many have at least some college education to help them perform the myriad of responsibilities to properly care for care recipients. Yet, they are at heightened health and financial risks. They often receive low wages, limited benefits, and have few financial resources to fall back on when they get sick themselves and can no longer work. Furthermore, most direct care staff are parents with children in the house and almost one-fourth are single parents. If they fall ill, both they and their families are put into physical and financial risk.

Last updated on hub: 31 August 2020

The doctor will Zoom you now: getting the most out of the virtual health and care experience: insight report

National Voices

Findings of a rapid, qualitative research study designed to understand the patient experience of remote and virtual consultations. The study engaged 49 people using an online platform, with 20 additional one to one telephone interviews. Participants were also invited to attend an online workshop on the final day of the study. All participants had experienced a remote consultation during the lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report suggests that remote consultations and the use of technology offer some great opportunities to make significant improvements to general practice, hospital outpatient and mental health appointments, but making the most of this opportunity means understanding the patient experience. For many people, remote consultations can offer a convenient option for speaking to their health care professional. They appreciate quicker and more efficient access, not having to travel, less time taken out of their day and an ability to fit the appointment in around their lives. Most people felt they received adequate care and more people than not said they would be happy with consultations being held remotely in future. However, there is no one size that fits all solution. Key to a successful shift to remote consultations will be understanding which approach is the right one based on individual need and circumstance. The report argues that a blended offer, including text, phone, video, email and in-person would provide the best solution and an opportunity to improve the quality of care. By focusing on the needs of people receiving care and using a combination of communication tools a more equal space for health care providers and patients to interact can be created.

Last updated on hub: 30 July 2020