COVID-19 resources

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The cost of separation: the impact of visiting restrictions on families of care home residents during Covid-19

Creative Covid Care

This report explores the extent to which families of care home residents are experiencing significant mental distress as a result of visiting restrictions. This rapid six-month study took place between May and October 2020 using mixed methods study design: an online survey – completed by 444 family carers; 36 in-depth interviews with family carers of older care home residents; 19 semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders; and Five café style interviews – involving groups of staff from four care homes. Lockdown or social distancing has affected the mental health of many citizens. However, the mental health scores for family carers with relatives in care homes are significantly poorer than those of the general public: 76% of family carers in our survey had a GHQ score of 12 points or more – with 12 marking the threshold for ‘clinical mental distress’; family carers had an average GHQ score of 18.16 (in contrast to GHQ scores of 12.7 for the general public during the pandemic) – the GHQ scale runs from 0-36. We also know from our survey, that women scored significantly higher than men, and partners of relatives in care homes more highly than children of relatives. The survey also reveals that carer’s mental health has declined since visiting restrictions came in: 74% agree or strongly agree that they are preoccupied by thoughts of their relative’s wellbeing – 32% and 42% respectively; 66% were ‘more stressed’ since COVID-19 visiting restrictions were introduced (30% said ‘about the same’); 63% were losing sleep over worry ‘rather more’ or ‘much more’ – 36% and 27% respectively; and 58% were ‘rather more’ or ‘much more’ unhappy and depressed than usual – 21% and 37% respectively.

Last updated on hub: 02 March 2021

The courage to be kind: reflecting on the role of kindness in the healthcare response to COVID-19

Carnegie UK Trust

Findings from reflective conversations of a cluster of doctors in leadership programmes on the experience and new ways of working as a result of the pandemic. The five participants in the project were able to reflect on the COVID response from roles within Scottish Government, local health board management, hospital medicine, emergency department and general practice. This report presents a thematic analysis of what was heard across these reflective conversations. It is structured chronologically and, in doing so, it tells a story of people’s experiences of change across the NHS through three distinct phases: lockdown (April-May), lifting lockdown (June-July), and remobilising (August-September). Each phase is broken down into key themes, with the voice of participants woven between. The report finishes with a discussion that summarises what has been learnt about kindness and relationships in the first six months of COVID, and considers what this might mean for the future. Although they reflected shifting dynamics, pressures and emotions, the three phases of conversations present a clear focus on what is important, and an indication of what should be valued and prioritised in health and social care renewal, in order to build a system that looks after the wellbeing of patients and staff: a meaningful conversation about staff wellbeing – too often the individual can be overlooked in conversations about the system; sustaining a common purpose – the clear focus on COVID-19 demanded and enabled a more relational approach and, more widely, kindness became a feature of interactions among staff and leadership; shifting the emphasis on targets – the experience of COVID-19 may open up a much wider conversation about how best to fit targets to a system in a way that delivers the best for both patients and staff.

Last updated on hub: 10 December 2020

The Covid-19 catastrophe, authoritarianism, and refusing to get used to it

Community Development Journal

Editorial. Introduces the articles in the current issue. Makes the observation that public health efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus are accelerating many trends already underway, including the digitization of life in forms such as telemedicine, remote working, and online teaching. Comments about Sue Kenny’s invited Reflections piece ‘Covid-19 and community development’ published in this issue of the Community Development Journal, where Sue lists a number of urgent political actions that can be taken right now, actions that can be regarded as part of a politics of refusal to get used to it. First amongst these is to ‘join the chorus of those alerting the world to the threats and dangers of authoritarianism’. The editorial also suggests that that ‘we can point to the thousands of small scale initiatives that pre-figure very different ways of organising society’. The editorial suggests that these could form the basis of a ‘kit-bag of exemplars that demonstrate the value of how to organise using such principles as social and ecological justice, collaboration and deliberative democracy

Last updated on hub: 09 November 2020

The COVID-19 crisis silver lining: interprofessional education to guide future innovation

Journal of Interprofessional Care

Globally, the advent and rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus has created significant disruption to health professions education and practice, and consequently interprofessional education, leading to a model of learning and practicing where much is unknown. Key questions for this ongoing evolution emerge for the global context leading to reflections on future directions for the interprofessional education field and its role in shaping future practice models. Health professions programs around the world have made a dramatic shift to virtual learning platforms in response to closures of academic institutions and restrictions imposed on learners accessing practice settings. Telemedicine, slow to become established in many countries to date, has also revolutionized practice in the current environment. Within the state of disruption and rapid change is the awareness of a silver lining that provides an opportunity for future growth. Key topics explored in this commentary include reflection on the application of existing competency frameworks, consideration of typology of team structures, reconsideration of theoretical underpinnings, revisiting of core dimensions of education, adaptation of interprofessional education activities, and the role in the future pandemic planning. As an international community of educators and researchers, the authors consider current observations relevant to interprofessional education and practice contexts and suggest a response from scholarship voices across the globe. The current pandemic offers a unique opportunity for educators, practitioners, and researchers to retain what has served interprofessional education and practice well in the past, break from what has not worked as well, and begin to imagine the new.

Last updated on hub: 01 November 2020

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

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