COVID-19 resources

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The practical steps local authorities are taking to support local social care providers

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

This summary sets out some of the measures that local authorities have put in place to support care home and home care providers, ensure their stability and safeguard care and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. It focuses on the financial support and practical support being offered to social care providers.

Last updated on hub: 29 May 2020

The predictable crisis: why Covid-19 has hit Scotland’s care homes so hard

Common Weal

This paper considers how government in Scotland has managed the Covid-19 crisis, using what has happened at Home Farm Care Home on Skye to illustrate the issues but also, potentially, to point to the way forwards. It argues that much of the Covid-19 disaster in care homes was quite predictable and, as such, represents a failure by both care home providers and the public authorities. It then looks at these failures within the broader context of the development of the care home sector in the last 27 years, with a particular focus on how this has provided for the health of older people. It concludes with some recommendations, both for immediate action and for more fundamental reform of the sector and the role of public authorities within it. Key points include: based on quality ratings at the outset of the crisis more than one quarter of Scotland's care homes (those rated adequate or below) could have been expected to be unable properly to protect older people in the event of a pandemic; the Care Inspectorate, which has few enforcement powers, was incapable of brining care homes up to the standard required by the Covid crisis; the result is that six out of ten care homes in Scotland have had a case of Covid and about 45 per cent still have a current case (as of Monday 18 May); for the first eight weeks of the crisis the Scottish Government was adamant that the providers (and not the Scottish Government) were responsible for protecting care home residents – this effectively represented the privatisation of the responsibility for older people in care during the crisis and restricted adequate access to medical treatment; the repeated updating of guidelines created a confusing impact.

Last updated on hub: 21 October 2020

The Prince’s Trust Tesco Youth Index 2021

Prince's Trust

The Youth Index, conducted by YouGov, gauges young people’s happiness and confidence levels across a range of areas, from their working life to their physical and mental health. This year’s report, which surveyed 2,180 16 to 25-year olds across the UK, suggests that the pandemic has taken a devastating toll on young people’s mental health. More young people are feeling anxious than ever in the 12-year history of the Index and more than half of young people (56 per cent) "always" or "often" feel anxious, rising to 64 per cent for NEET young people. Since the pandemic began one in five young people (21 per cent) have experienced suicidal thoughts, rising to 28 per cent of NEETs; ten per cent have self-harmed, increasing to 14 per cent of NEETs; and one in five (22 per cent) have experienced panic attacks, compared to 28 per cent of NEETs. Young people are among the hardest hit by the economic impact of the pandemic. As competition for training and job opportunities increases, fears for future work are having a significant impact on their wellbeing. The research also indicates that while the pandemic has taken its toll on young people’s mental health and wellbeing, many are also more motivated than ever to make a positive change for their future – three-quarters of young people (74 per cent) agree that “my generation can change our future for the better”.

Last updated on hub: 27 January 2021

The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence

Lancet

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak has seen many countries ask people who have potentially come into contact with the infection to isolate themselves at home or in a dedicated quarantine facility. Decisions on how to apply quarantine should be based on the best available evidence. This review looks at the psychological impact of quarantine using three electronic databases. Of 3166 papers found, 24 are included. Most reviewed studies reported negative psychological effects including post-traumatic stress symptoms, confusion, and anger. Stressors included longer quarantine duration, infection fears, frustration, boredom, inadequate supplies, inadequate information, financial loss, and stigma. Some researchers have suggested long-lasting effects. In situations where quarantine is deemed necessary, officials should quarantine individuals for no longer than required, provide clear rationale for quarantine and information about protocols, and ensure sufficient supplies are provided. Appeals to altruism by reminding the public about the benefits of quarantine to wider society can be favourable.

Last updated on hub: 27 April 2020

The rapid learning initiative into the transmission of COVID-19 into and within care homes in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland. Department of Health

This report provides the findings of the Rapid Learning Initiative with regards to the transmission of Covid-19 into and within care homes during the first surge of the pandemic, and makes recommendations on the way forward prior to further potential surges of infection. It details the findings of each of the four sub-groups, which considered: the experience of residents, families and staff; symptom monitoring, interventions and testing; infection prevention and control; and physical distancing, reduced footfall and restricted visiting. The initiative identified three overarching structures and processes that will need to be established to support the delivery of outcomes and bring about a learning system that works across Heath and Social Care (HSCNI), including the independent sector and Trusts: at strategic level, the collaborative partnerships established for the purposes of the Initiative should continue and develop further to support future development of Strategy and Policy; a regional learning system should be developed and include key quality indicators for Care Homes (led by frontline staff) using real-time data that can for continuous improvement; and a quality improvement learning system should include building the capability and capacity within Care Home staff to use continuous improvement methodologies to implement operational improvement as a system.

Last updated on hub: 07 September 2020

The return to school for disabled children after lockdown

Disabled Children’s Partnership

Findings from an online poll of parent carers of disabled children and young people exploring how the full re-opening of schools had gone for their disabled children; and whether other support such as therapies and social care had been reinstated post lockdown. More than 3,400 parents completed the poll. The survey shows that the return to school has gone well for many disabled children. However, there are groups of children who have been let down. Many children with tracheostomies/those who need aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) had been unable to return to school. Some children with conditions that increase anxiety also had particular challenges. Parents reported delays in assessments for Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), which may have been a result of the relaxation of the statutory requirements over the spring and summer. Some families requested part-time timetables to help ease their children back into school routines while others have been told by the school that they can only attend part-time – there were concerns from some of these families about the amount of support they were getting with home learning. There were challenges with the wider services and support that SEND children need in order to learn – mental health support, therapy, health and social care, transition and social activities, transport. Many children/families lost services during lockdown and had not yet had them restored. The report calls on the government, local authorities and the health service to ensure the right support is in place, including where appropriate medical support, therapies and mental health services, to enable children to successfully return to school; and to ensure that where children are not in school they and their families are able to continue learning at home.

Last updated on hub: 09 December 2020

The road to renewal: five priorities for health and care

King's Fund

This piece sets out five priorities to help guide the approach to renewal across health and care in the context of COVID-19. It argues that the pandemic is the biggest challenge the health and care system has faced in living memory and that there is now an imperative to build on the lessons from this experience to bring about positive change, well beyond this crisis. The five priorities set out in the piece provide a framework to help guide the approach to renewal across health and care. They include: a step change on inequalities and population health; lasting reform for social care, including dealing with the funding pressures, and ensuring long term investment and better pay, conditions and training for the social care workforce; putting the workforce centre stage; embedding and accelerating digital change in the wake of recent progress; and reshaping the relationship between communities and public services, including safeguarding the role of voluntary and community organisations as long-term partners in promoting health and wellbeing.

Last updated on hub: 22 July 2020

The role of coping, wellbeing and work-related quality of life of UK health and social care workers during COVID-19

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared a global pandemic in early 2020. Due to the rapid spread of the virus and limited availability of effective treatments, health and social care systems worldwide quickly became overwhelmed. Such stressful circumstances are likely to have negative impacts on health and social care workers’ wellbeing. The current study examined the relationship between coping strategies and wellbeing and quality of working life in nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, social care workers and social workers who worked in health and social care in the UK during its first wave of COVID-19. Data were collected using an anonymous online survey (N = 3425), and regression analyses were used to examine the associations of coping strategies and demographic characteristics with staff wellbeing and quality of working life. The results showed that positive coping strategies, particularly active coping and help-seeking, were associated with higher wellbeing and better quality of working life. Negative coping strategies, such as avoidance, were risk factors for low wellbeing and worse quality of working life. The results point to the importance of organizational and management support during stressful times, which could include psycho-education and training about active coping and might take the form of workshops designed to equip staff with better coping skills.

Last updated on hub: 11 February 2021

The role of social work in the field of education during COVID-19

International Social Work

The COVID-19 crisis has meant the suppression of face-to-face educational activity in most countries. Faced with this situation, social workers must guarantee the educational community their support, through telematic media, to ensure the social protection of all students, especially the most vulnerable.

Last updated on hub: 19 November 2020

The role of social workers in a pandemic and its aftermath: learning from COVID-19: BASW professional social work practice guidance

British Association of Social Workers England

Practice guidance that outlines the professional role and responsibilities of social workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The document includes sections about: the overarching human rights and safeguarding role of social workers; ethics and emergency legal powers; professional responsibilities and use of expertise throughout all phases of the pandemic; social workers in local emergency strategy and delivery partnerships; social workers roles and responsibilities at different ‘phases’ of the pandemic; and how to support social workers. The document references two supporting resources by Professor Lena Dominelli, University of Stirling: Guidelines for social workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and Social work during a health pandemic. [Published 28 May 2020, version 1]

Last updated on hub: 15 June 2020

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