COVID-19 resources

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Briefing on protecting vulnerable people during the COVID-19 outbreak: report

Local Government Association

This briefing offers information to help councils to support and protect people who are vulnerable as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. It includes information supporting those who are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 and work that is taking place, led largely by councils and the voluntary and community sector (VCS), to protect other vulnerable groups. These include people facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, those already accessing care and support services, homeless people and rough sleepers, and those experiencing a reduction in usual services. Sections cover: an overview of the system for supporting vulnerable people; identifying vulnerable groups; types of support needs, such as housing and accommodation, food, medicine and mental wellbeing; and key considerations for councils in coordinating local support. The briefing will also help the NHS, community and voluntary sector and other partner agencies to understand the role of local government in supporting vulnerable people. It will be updated as and when necessary to keep up with the changing situation.

Last updated on hub: 09 April 2020

Briefing: improving the nation’s health: the future of the public health system in England

The Health Foundation

In light of the impact of the pandemic and the government’s decision to abolish Public Health England (PHE), this briefing explores what needs to be put in place to make progress on the government’s commitments to improve the nation’s health. It begins by looking at the role government can play in improving the nation’s health before examining how England might transition to a new public health system and what the main priorities for any new system should be. The paper argues that the new system needs the right strategy, structures and resources: the strategy for creating an effective new public health system should include a cross-government commitment to level up health outcomes and enable people to live longer in good health; the structures needed include an independent body to report to parliament on the nation’s health, a national function supporting the public health system, and strengthened local and regional infrastructure; the resources needed include, as a minimum, £1bn to restore public health funding to its 2015 levels and a further £2.5bn needed to level up public health across the country. Government should also commit to ensuring that public health funding keeps pace NHS with funding increases in future. The transition to a new public health system needs to be managed carefully, to ensure that the reorganisation does not disrupt the pandemic response or lead to a weaker system in future.

Last updated on hub: 08 December 2020

Briefing: the financial impact of COVID-19 on disabled people and their carers

Joseph Rowntree Foundation

This briefing explains why extending the £20 uplift to legacy benefits is the right thing to do. The £20-a-week uplift to Universal Credit has been a lifeline for millions of people during the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout this pandemic, people receiving legacy benefit recipients have been excluded from the uplift despite the fact that most people on legacy benefits are disabled, sick or carers. The paper explains: how disabled people's financial circumstances have become even more precarious during the COVID-19 pandemic; the rising costs disabled people face; the reduction in their incomes and the heightened challenges they face in the labour market; and the impact that extending the lifeline would have for people on legacy benefits.

Last updated on hub: 06 January 2021

Build back fairer: the COVID-19 Marmot review. The pandemic, socioeconomic and health inequalities in England

The aim of this report is three-fold: to examine inequalities in COVID-19 mortality, focusing on mortality among members of BAME groups and among certain occupations, alongside continued attention to the socioeconomic gradient in health; to show the effects that the pandemic, and the societal response to contain the pandemic, have had on social and economic inequalities, their effects on mental and physical health, and their likely effects on health inequalities in the future; and to make recommendations on what needs to be done. The report sets out the proposition that England’s comparatively poor management of the pandemic is of a piece with England’s health improvement falling behind that of other rich countries in the decade since 2010. It offers four likely reasons why: the quality of governance and political culture which did not give priority to the conditions for good health; continuing increases in inequalities in economic and social conditions, including a rise in poverty among families with children; a policy of austerity and consequent cuts to funding of public services; and a poor state of the nation’s health that would increase the lethality of COVID-19. The high mortality rate of members of Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups can be attributed to living in more deprived areas, working in high-risk occupations, living in overcrowded conditions. Structural racism means that some ethnic groups are more likely to be exposed to adverse social and economic conditions. The report argues that the pandemic must be taken as an opportunity to build a fairer society, acknowledging that economic growth is a limited measure of societal success. It suggests that to build back fairer there needs to be a commitment at two levels. First is the commitment to social justice and putting equity of health and wellbeing at the heart of all policy-making, nationally, regionally and locally. The second level is to take the specific actions needed, as laid out in this report, to create healthier lives for all.

Last updated on hub: 15 December 2020

Build back fairer: the COVID-19 Marmot review. The pandemic, socioeconomic and health inequalities in England. Executive summary

The aim of this report is three-fold: to examine inequalities in COVID-19 mortality, focusing on mortality among members of BAME groups and among certain occupations, alongside continued attention to the socioeconomic gradient in health; to show the effects that the pandemic, and the societal response to contain the pandemic, have had on social and economic inequalities, their effects on mental and physical health, and their likely effects on health inequalities in the future; and to make recommendations on what needs to be done. The report sets out the proposition that England’s comparatively poor management of the pandemic is of a piece with England’s health improvement falling behind that of other rich countries in the decade since 2010. It offers four likely reasons why: the quality of governance and political culture which did not give priority to the conditions for good health; continuing increases in inequalities in economic and social conditions, including a rise in poverty among families with children; a policy of austerity and consequent cuts to funding of public services; and a poor state of the nation’s health that would increase the lethality of COVID-19. The high mortality rate of members of Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups can be attributed to living in more deprived areas, working in high-risk occupations, living in overcrowded conditions. Structural racism means that some ethnic groups are more likely to be exposed to adverse social and economic conditions. The report argues that the pandemic must be taken as an opportunity to build a fairer society, acknowledging that economic growth is a limited measure of societal success. It suggests that to build back fairer there needs to be a commitment at two levels. First is the commitment to social justice and putting equity of health and wellbeing at the heart of all policy-making, nationally, regionally and locally. The second level is to take the specific actions needed, as laid out in this report, to create healthier lives for all.

Last updated on hub: 15 December 2020

Building a country that works for all children post COVID-19

The Association of Directors of Children's Services

This discussion paper looks at the impacts of Covid-19 on children and their families. Its purpose is three-fold: to put children, young people and their lived experiences of the pandemic front and centre in national recovery planning; to articulate what is needed to restore the public support services they rely on; and to capture the positives and gains made during a very complex national, and indeed, global emergency. The paper reveals that the directors of children’s services in England share concerns about increased exposure of children to ‘hidden harms’ such as domestic violence and the impact of social distancing on children and young people’s development and on their mental and emotional health and wellbeing. The vulnerability of specific cohorts, including care leavers, young carers, children and young people in conflict with the law and families with no recourse to public funds, has been heightened during this period. Covid-19 has disrupted professionals’ relationships with children and families and weakened the sustainability of both the voluntary and charitable sector and the early years and childcare sector. Both families and the workforce have shown great levels of resilience, flexibility and creativity. The paper calls for a rapid review of the response to the first phase of the pandemic to improve preparedness for future waves and spikes of infection, arguing that the experiences of practitioners and of children and families must be part of this process. It also suggests that the recovery phase offers the government an opportunity to further its ‘levelling up’ agenda, and the initiation of an ambitious, world leading health inequalities strategy, making wellbeing rather than straightforward economic performance the central goal of policy.

Last updated on hub: 20 July 2020

Building a resilient system: reflections and insights from health and care leaders

Carnall Farrar

This report draws on the thoughts and experiences of 38 key leaders across health and social care to develop a concept of a “resilient system”. This encapsulates new ways of collaborating at all levels to deliver person-centred, place-based care that builds on the lessons of the pandemic. Leaders shared their reflections from the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic and their insights on how they are shifting their approach, both to their work and to their leadership style. A three-part roundtable series was also held to address top themes and guiding principles. System resilience is an active, integrated approach to responding to crises, including surges in demand, without losing core functions. Resilient systems are able to shift service delivery and flex the workforce as needed to respond to rapid change. Resilient systems will deliver a balance between doing things once across the system and ensuring local flexibility. The report discusses the key ingredients of system resilience, including: person-centred, place-based care; empowered and engaged workforce; shared assets – estates, data and finance; and an evolving leadership approach.

Last updated on hub: 03 December 2020

Building common purpose: learning on engagement and communications in integrated care systems

NHS Confederation

Led by a working group of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) and other NHS and local authority communications leaders, this document has drawn on the insights of system leaders and senior communicators working throughout health and care during the Covid-19 pandemic. As with other areas of health and care, the pandemic has helped to remove divides between communicators working in different organisations. There is now an opportunity to build on this in 2021 with every area of the country set to be part of an integrated care system. The document identifies five success factors that are required for high-performing engagement and communications at system level. These are: embed a strategic approach to engagement and communications; adopt systematic approaches to continuous relationship building; develop a shared vision and narrative and make it real; embed open, transparent and two-way engagement approaches; and develop engagement and communications leadership, capacity and expertise. The central message from this work is that engagement and communications is a key enabler of partnership and system working. It can play a crucial role in supporting integrated care systems, and the partners that make them up, to achieve stronger relationships, more open and transparent ways of working, greater trust, more engaged staff and, ultimately, better outcomes for the public.

Last updated on hub: 16 December 2020

Building long-term care staff capacity during COVID-19 through just-in-time learning: evaluation of a modified ECHO model

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

Objectives: The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic significantly challenged the capacity of long-term care (LTC) homes in Canada resulting in new, pressing priorities for leaders and healthcare providers (HCPs) in the care and safety of LTC residents. This study aimed to determine whether Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) Care of the Elderly Long-Term Care (COE-LTC): COVID-19, a virtual education program, was effective at delivering just-in-time learning and best practices to support LTC teams and residents during the pandemic. Design: Mixed methods evaluation. Setting and Participants: Interprofessional HCPs working in LTC homes or deployed to work in LTC homes primarily in Ontario, Canada, who participated in 12 weekly, 60-minute sessions. Methods: Quantitative and qualitative surveys assessing reach, satisfaction, self-efficacy, practice change, impact on resident care and knowledge sharing. Results: Of the 252 registrants for ECHO COE-LTC: COVID-19, 160 (63.4%) attended at least one weekly session. Nurses and nurse practitioners represented the largest proportion of HCPs (43.8%). Overall, both confidence and comfort level working with residents who were at risk, confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19 increased after participating in the ECHO sessions (effect sizes≥0.7, Wilcoxon signed rank p<.001). Participants also reported impact on intent to change behavior, resident care and knowledge sharing. Conclusions and Implications: The results demonstrate that ECHO COE-LTC: COVID 19 effectively delivered time sensitive information and best practices to support LTC teams and residents. It may be a critical platform during this pandemic and in future crises to deliver just-in-time learning during periods of constantly changing information.

Last updated on hub: 07 December 2020

Building rapport and establishing meaningful relationships using technology in social work

Social Care Institute for Excellence

For social workers and social care practitioners to support understanding on how to build rapport and establish relationships with the people you care for using technology.

Last updated on hub: 19 October 2020