COVID-19 resources

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Mental health support for young people: a reading list

House of Commons Library

This reading list provides links to relevant reports and research on supporting children and young people with mental health issues. It also includes links to sources of further information and advice. It complements the Commons Library briefing paper Support for children and young people’s mental health (CBP 7196) which provides information on government policies on children and young people’s mental health in England. It comprises three sections: policy documents and reports; Coronavirus; case studies, surveys and reviews.

Last updated on hub: 05 January 2021

Memory service assessments: a new way of working

NHS England

This document outlines best practice in delivering safe, person-centred care through a blended model of memory assessment and dementia diagnosis. The COVID-19 pandemic inevitably led to changes in the way Memory Assessment Services (MAS) operate. MAS have had to adapt to provide a safe service during the pandemic, embracing alternative approaches to assessing patients. This includes using telephone and video consultations and providing virtual occupational therapy and neuropsychological testing. This has occurred alongside changing thresholds for investigations like brain scans. Feedback from people living with dementia and their carers was sought on the topic of virtual assessment and digital diagnosis and is reflected throughout this report. The first version of this guidance was published in May 2020. Since then, practice has evolved significantly. This has included revising the terminology. Virtual assessment and digital diagnosis has been adopted and is now used to refer to assessment and diagnosis taking place by telephone or video call. The document covers: general principles; appointment modality; components of diagnostic pathway; managing waiting lists; inclusivity and accessibility; peri-diagnostic and post-diagnostic support; and advance care planning.

Last updated on hub: 04 January 2021

Improving installation: how a new standard is transforming group living systems

Housing LIN

This viewpoint describes the support given to housing managers at the sheltered and extra care schemes that use grouped living systems and measures taken to improve standards for grouped living systems so they could digitally adapt to the new world of social distancing and remote working under Covid-19. All of a sudden, many site managers had to supervise their schemes from home or look after multiple developments and they wanted to know if they could log in and change the programming on their equipment virtually. Other managers were self-isolating and needed assurance that their system would dial the mobile of a colleague in their absence. The document also highlights how the new BS 8604-1:2019 – a social alarms standard for the design, installation and maintenance of specialised grouped living environments – has become a game changer.

Last updated on hub: 04 January 2021

Safeguarding children in a pandemic: pandemonium with possibility?

Child Abuse Review

This paper explores some of the clinical situations in which safeguarding challenges have presented themselves during the pandemic. It then explores some of the opportunities that the reconfiguration of services has presented for those working in child health.

Last updated on hub: 04 January 2021

Perspectives from the front line: the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on BME communities

NHS Confederation

This report distils the findings of a research study into the underlying factors affecting the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on black and minority ethnic (BME) communities. It is based on interviews with BME NHS leaders, clinicians, community organisations and service users, and a survey of over 100 members of the NHS Confederation’s BME Leadership Network. Topics covered include: inequalities and health; institutional racism; racial discrimination on the front line; communication; and the Black Lives Matter movement. Overwhelmingly, participants point to long-standing inequalities and institutional racism as root causes. Interviewees were united in the view that despite the wealth of data collected by the national bodies and numerous reviews on the relationship between health, inequalities and BME communities, the NHS and government had not taken sufficient action to address the underlying issues. To redress this, it will be crucial to treat long-term structural health inequities and institutional racism as critical factors when planning services and emergency responses. To break down barriers to accessing healthcare, the government should take immediate steps to review the potential for hostile environment policies to be a vehicle for promoting institutional racism. BME health and care professionals were reported to be more likely to take on high-risk roles, including working on COVID-19 wards, due to fear that contracts may not be renewed or shifts reduced – this was compounded by a bullying culture which meant that BME employees were less likely to raise concerns or share their experiences. The report argues that the health service should look to adopt a new model of leadership that welcomes and values innovators with roots in BME communities and a track record of anti-racism. Integrated care systems should lead the development of governance and human resources functions that facilitate diverse leadership in line with commitments in the NHS People Plan.

Last updated on hub: 04 January 2021

Care homes, their communities, and resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic: interim findings from a qualitative study


Background From late February 2020, English care homes rapidly adapted their practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to accommodating new guidelines and policies, staff had to adjust to rapid reconfiguration of services external to the home that they would normally depend upon for support. This study examined the complex interdependencies of support as staff responded to COVID-19. The aim was to inform more effective responses to the ongoing pandemic, and to improve understanding of how to work with care home staff and organisations after the pandemic has passed. Methods Ten managers of registered care homes in the East Midlands of England were interviewed by videoconference or phone about their experiences of the crisis from a structured organisational perspective. Analysis used an adapted organisational framework analysis approach with a focus on social ties and interdependencies between organisations and individuals. Results Three key groups of interdependencies were identified: care processes and practice; resources; and governance. Care home staff had to deliver care in innovative ways, making high stakes decisions in circumstances defined by: fluid ties to organisations outside the care home; multiple, sometimes conflicting, sources of expertise and information; and a sense of deprioritisation by authorities. Organisational responses to the pandemic by central government resulted in resource constraints and additional work, and sometimes impaired the ability of staff and managers to make decisions. Local communities, including businesses, third-sector organisations and individuals, were key in helping care homes overcome challenges. Care homes, rather than competing, were found to work together to provide mutual support. Resilience in the system was a consequence of dedicated and resourceful staff using existing local networks, or forging new ones, to overcome barriers to care. Conclusions This study identified how interdependency between care home organisations, the surrounding community, and key statutory and non-statutory organisations beyond their locality, shaped decision making and care delivery during the pandemic. Recognising these interdependencies, and the expertise shown by care home managers and staff as they navigate them, is key to providing effective healthcare in care homes as the pandemic progresses, and as the sector recovers afterwards.

Last updated on hub: 04 January 2021

System thinking at Hastings community hub

Good Governance Institute

As part of a broader review of the impact of COVID-19 on life in Britain, Jane Hartnell, Managing Director of Hastings Borough Council, reflects on the significant role local authorities have in meeting the needs of their communities during the crisis. Local authorities were asked to establish community hubs, which would mobilise to complement and support those more at risk in the short term – and when the government support was not sufficient – and provide similar support to others who needed help. The members of the Hastings community hub created a local system, offering: a designated and promoted telephone helpline/triage service; a volunteer-led service offering practical support; an information service disseminating key messages with an internet TV offer (‘the isolation station’); a telephone befriending and checking in service; a system of emergency support to those with food shortages; and a local relief fund with emergency funding for community groups. In addition, a series of thematic subgroups meet regularly, bringing together a wider range of organisations to develop a systems-based approach, analyse trends and issues and anticipate further interventions, focusing on mental health; food; children, families and young people; referrals; information and communication.

Last updated on hub: 04 January 2021

North Ayrshire: a case study on kindness

Carnegie UK Trust

In 2018, the Carnegie UK Trust was invited to work in partnership with North Ayrshire Council, to explore what it would mean to embed kindness across a local authority, and what that might achieve. This report tells the story of that two-year journey. While there has been growing recognition of the importance of kindness and relationships in recent years, the question of how to embed this into organisational values and behaviours – the practical application of kindness – has received less attention. This ‘case study on kindness’ begins by revisiting our starting ambition to reframe the relationship between local government and communities, and rehearses the activities and achievements along the way, including North Ayrshire’s response to Covid-19. However, it also recognises that the journey is not yet complete: and so, the report finishes by reflecting on challenges and learning, particularly over the last 6 months. It finishes with five priorities for sustaining and developing kindness, which may be relevant and urgent not just for North Ayrshire, but for local government everywhere. These are: create a shared narrative; put power in people’s hands; build on models of partnership; give permission to act; reassess ‘value’ and ‘performance’.

Last updated on hub: 04 January 2021

COVID-19 and Communities Listening Project: a shared response

Carnall Farrar

This report considers how organisations and communities across the UK adapted and responded to the emergency phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. It draws on over 80 conversations with people from 16 communities across the UK, focussing on how organisations and communities are adapting to meet the needs of the people around them, and the evolving relationships between the public sector, the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, and communities. The report reflects on what has been learnt during this time and outlines hopes and opportunities for ways of working, identifying how the public sector and communities can develop sustainable ways of working together to respond to the needs of local people. Key learning from the listening project is summarised through the lens of the seven steps: put wellbeing at the centre – through more genuine and mutually beneficial partnership working; give people permission to take control – through enabling person-centred, not service-centred, responses; help people to help each other – through recognising people and communities are the ‘first resort’ for community wellbeing; support people to participate fully – through more investment in local and hyperlocal responses; move upstream – by ensuring that long-term planning is built into structures and processes; build in radical kindness – through removing the barriers to relational service delivery; tell an authentic story of change – by creating a shared vision and focus for the future.

Last updated on hub: 04 January 2021

Pooling together: how community hubs have responded to the COVID-19 emergency

Carnegie UK Trust

Case studies illustrating how communities and public services responded to the Covid-19 crisis, focusing on the role played by community hubs. These were an important, instant emergency response. They were a collaboration between volunteers and the public sector, reached into communities, and built positive relationships between service providers and citizens. Some of the key findings from the descriptive studies include: the community hubs were new structures but based on existing relationships and values; they were flexible and responsive; a key strength of the hubs was the partnerships between the local authorities, the voluntary sector and communities; the value of volunteering and volunteers became apparent – the hubs have become the foundation of increased volunteering, with an enhanced volunteer scheme and database in Lancaster and Renfrewshire, respectively; the hubs have facilitated an approach where the public sector brings its skills and resources into play alongside supporting the community to do what it does well, such as connecting and reaching out to people who don’t readily access public services, like libraries or health improvement.

Last updated on hub: 04 January 2021

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