COVID-19 resources

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in care homes: statistics to 8 July 2020

Department of Health and Social Care

Latest figures on coronavirus testing for social care staff, their household members and residents of care homes. As of 8 July, there had been an estimated 741,021 tests on workers in the UK in social care settings and their symptomatic household members for COVID-19 through Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) testing routes. There have been an estimated 352,946 tests on care home residents for COVID-19 through DHSC testing routes in the UK. An estimated 100,900 care home residents in England had been tested for COVID-19 through PHE testing routes.

Last updated on hub: 21 July 2020

Covid-19 adult social care provision: stories of promise

Think Local Act Personal

Information and examples of emerging practice during the Coronavirus pandemic. This collection charts the multitude of creative responses that have evolved to support people with adult care and support in communities across England as a result of the pandemic. Each example is collated under a different theme that relates to provider, council or community activity such as commissioning, asset-based approaches or digital solutions. Themes include: keeping people connected; digital innovation; information and advice; markets and commissioning; self-directed support; and workforce.

Last updated on hub: 20 July 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

Exposed, silenced, attacked: failures to protect health and essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Amnesty International UK

This report makes concrete recommendations for what governments across the world need to do to comply with their human rights obligations and adequately protect the rights of health and essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the context of their occupational health and safety, health and essential workers face shortages and difficulties accessing PPE in several countries; they also experience challenges around remuneration and compensation, high workloads and associated anxiety and stress; in several countries, instead of being supported, they are facing reprisals from the state and from their employers for speaking out about their working conditions or for criticising the authorities’ response; they are subjected to social stigma and acts of violence from members of society because of the jobs they perform. The report makes a comprehensive set of recommendations to ensure health and essential workers are adequately protected during the COVID-19 pandemic. It calls on governments to ensure that employers provide all health and essential workers with adequate PPE to protect themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic, in line with international standards; recognise COVID-19 as an occupational disease; listen to and address essential workers’ safety concerns in an appropriate manner; investigate any attacks or acts of violence against health and essential workers; carry out comprehensive, effective and independent reviews regarding states’ and other actors’ preparedness for and responses to the pandemic, and provide effective and accessible remedies where there is evidence government agencies did not adequately protect human rights; and collect and publish data by occupation in order to ensure effective protection in the future.

Last updated on hub: 20 July 2020

Workforce guidance for mental health, learning disabilities and autism, and specialised commissioning services during the coronavirus pandemic

NHS England

This document provides mental health, learning disabilities and autism, and specialised commissioning workforce guidance and considerations to ensure safety in the workplace is maintained during the COVID-19 outbreak. It is intended to support the local contingency planning for a range of resource-constrained scenarios and covers general principles; ways in which staff work; releasing time to care; training and CPD; and safer staffing models.

Last updated on hub: 20 July 2020

Living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK: 2020

Institute for Fiscal Studies

This report examines how living standards – most commonly measured by households’ incomes – were changing in the UK up to approximately the eve of the current COVID-19 crisis, using the latest official household income data covering years up to 2018–19. In particular, the report focuses on how this differed for different groups, and what this meant for poverty and inequality. It provides a comprehensive account of household income before the pandemic, including for groups who have subsequently had their economic lives disrupted. The report finds that the COVID-19 crisis hit at a time when income growth had already been extremely disappointing for some years, with the main culprit for the latest reduction in real income growth being a rise in inflation from 2016; overall relative poverty was 22% in 2018−19, and it has fluctuated little since the early 2000s – relative child poverty has increased by 3 percentage points, which represents the most sustained rise in relative child poverty since the early 1990s; absolute poverty was 20% in 2018−19 – virtually unchanged over the last two years; workers whose livelihoods look most at risk during the COVID-19 crisis already tended to have relatively low incomes, and were relatively likely to be in poverty, prior to the onset of the crisis; in 2018−19, only 12% of non-pensioners lived in households with no one in paid work, down by a third from 18% in 1994–95 – this progress is highly likely to be undermined by the COVID-19 pandemic; despite temporary increases in benefits announced in response to the pandemic, the benefits system in 2020 provides less support to out-of-work households than in 2011.

Last updated on hub: 20 July 2020

The mental health emergency: how has the coronavirus pandemic impacted our mental health?

MIND

Sets out findings of a survey to understand the experiences of people with pre-existing mental health problems during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the challenges that they are facing, the coping strategies that they are using, and the support they would like to receive. The report highlights how pre-existing inequalities have been worsened by the pandemic with some groups being more likely to report that their mental health has declined, including women, people with disabilities, those living in social housing, people with eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, or personality disorders, and frontline workers. Whilst the research did not find a significant difference in the overall rate of decline in mental health for people from BAME communities in comparison to White people, they did report that their mental health got worse. Key learnings set out in this report include: more than half of adults and over two thirds of young people said that their mental health has gotten worse during the period of lockdown restrictions, from early April to mid-May; restrictions on seeing people, being able to go outside and worries about the health of family and friends are the key factors driving poor mental health; feelings of loneliness have made nearly two thirds of people’s mental health worse during the past month; many people do not feel entitled to seek help, and have difficulty accessing it when they do; a quarter of adults and young people who tried to access support were unable to do so - not feeling comfortable using phone/video call technology has been one of the main barriers to accessing support.

Last updated on hub: 20 July 2020

Safeguarding: remote and blended learning: challenges and approaches

Education and Training Inspectorate

This paper identifies the key safeguarding challenges faced by schools and educational and training organisations during the period of educational closures due to COVID-19 and how these have been approached across all phases of education and training. Challenges include: the impact of the absence of day-to-day contact with more vulnerable children and young people; the reported increase in domestic abuse cases during COVID-19; a need to have updated policies reflecting a change to e-learning practices; concerns regarding the use of online remote learning platforms or communication methods; the high numbers of apprentices who have lost their jobs or been furloughed; most European Social Fund (ESF) projects lacking the IT infrastructure for remote learning and on-line support for their participants. The paper sets out a range of examples from each phase detailing how specific organisations have responded and the approaches they have put in place.

Last updated on hub: 20 July 2020

Coronavirus: a ban on evictions and help for rough sleepers

House of Commons Library

This briefing paper explains measures the Government has put in place during the coronavirus outbreak to assist households to retain their homes and to enable local authorities to tackle the specific challenges faced by rough sleepers. As an extension of the moratorium on repossession actions has been granted in England and Wales, confirmation that possession action will start again from 24 August has led commentators to call for more action to prevent a spike in evictions. Furthermore, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has updated the statutory Homelessness code of guidance for local authorities, advising local authorities to account for the impact of Covid-19 on vulnerability when assessing those in priority need for accommodation. However, concerns remain about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on rough sleepers and other people experiencing homelessness. [Updated 23 August 2020]

Last updated on hub: 20 July 2020

Liverpool City Council: sustaining intergenerational initiatives

Liverpool City Council

Practice example about how the Inter-generational Sustainable Skills Exchange funded by Liverpool City Council has continued to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. The service brings together socially isolated older adults and allow them to teach their life skills to parents and children in their community. Also covers some of the key challenges and learning points to date.

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020