COVID-19 resources

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When to release the lockdown: a wellbeing framework for analysing costs and benefits

London School of Economics and Political Science

In choosing when to end the lockdown, policy-makers have to balance the impact of the decision upon incomes, unemployment, mental health, public confidence and many other factors, as well as upon the number of deaths from the coronavirus (COVID-19). To facilitate the decision, it is helpful to forecast each factor using a single metric. The report analyses the impact of many factors such as incomes, unemployment, mental health, air quality and death rates with a view to understanding when the costs of continuing the lockdown exceed the benefits. These factors are brought together using a common currency of their impact on individuals’ wellbeing resulting from each date of ending the lockdown. This new metric makes it possible to compare the impact of each factor in a way that is relevant to all public policy decisions.

Last updated on hub: 30 April 2020

When we work together: learning the lessons - interim report

Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping

This interim report of the Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping examines the learning to date from the emergency response which supported people sleeping rough during the Covid-19 pandemic. The report is based on more than 100 evidence submissions from local authorities, from people with lived experience of homelessness and of sleeping rough, as well as from and health, housing and homelessness organisations. This report calls on the Government to learn from the success of the Covid-19 response and continue the increased investment in homelessness services to avoid a post pandemic surge in rough sleeping. In total the report makes 22 recommendations around increased funding for homeless services, changes to the welfare system, partnership working across agencies involved in supporting those rough sleeping or at risk of homelessness, the increased involvement of health services in solutions for people experiencing homelessness and a tailored approach for women, young people and those with no recourse to public funds.

Last updated on hub: 02 August 2021

Where has vulnerability gone?

Qualitative Social Work

During Covid-19, health care workers have been vulnerable to death, and at the same time, in response to their vulnerability, heroic. Heroism is one of the most ubiquitous narratives during this pandemic. In this article, I am interested in the juncture between vulnerability and heroism, the discursive privileging of a hero and the implications of this for social workers in health and social care. I use the writings of Judith Butler to ask, where has vulnerability gone? I argue that it is not that vulnerability is erased or suppressed, or comes second in the public imaginary, but rather, vulnerability is reconstituted as heroic and becomes unrecognisable. Vulnerability is an under-examined concept in social work and an analysis of its cultural representation during the outbreak of Covid-19, can contribute to our knowledge about how vulnerability operates in health and social care, as well as how vulnerability conditions the cultural spaces we operate within. Can new insights, provoked by the cultural responses to this pandemic, lead to a reorientation for social work politics and the politics of vulnerability?

Last updated on hub: 17 March 2021

Which way next? How local area coordination can help us beyond this crisis towards a better future for all

Local Area Coordination Network

This paper outlines the local area coordination approach and shares reflections on its impact during COVID-19 pandemic. It explores how the approach has adapted to meet new challenges by: supporting people and families to achieve their vision of a good life, to use their gifts and make their contribution; helping communities to be self-supporting and to flourish; and supporting systems transformation, building bridges and strengthening relationships between citizens, communities and services. The paper argues that the current COVID-19 crisis highlights much of the theory and logic that underpins the local area coordination approach – it fosters hyper local neighbourliness and trusting relationships between communities and local service infrastructure, which in turn enable community-led groups to use their natural capacity to respond quickly and effectively during the crisis. The paper also explores how local area coordination can support multilevel recovery, renewal and rebuilding efforts by nurturing and sustaining the surge of community action. It concludes by outlining how the approach can and should be a key piece of the new puzzle. It brings to life visions of more equitable, cooperative localities where people help people first with services in place as an essential, well-resourced and supportive backup to a functional society.

Last updated on hub: 08 July 2020

Whose social care is it anyway? From permanent lockdown to an equal life

In Control

Initial findings from the ‘Whose social care is it anyway’ inquiry, exploring what social care should do and how. The inquiry is led by people who draw on social care to lead their lives or who support loved ones to do so. In this first stage of our inquiry, we heard from over 500 people – through a survey and online sessions we asked people to tell us about their experiences, the extent to which they experience Social Care Future’s vision in their life at the moment. The majority of people we heard from who draw on social care told us that their lives are restricted. Then we asked them what they think needs to change and their ideas for social care in the future that would mean living life the way they want to. From what people told us, we have pulled out five key changes that could bring about Social Care Future’s vision. They are: 1. communities where everyone belongs; 2. living in the place we call home; 3. leading the lives we want to live; 4. more resources, better used; 5. sharing power as equals.

Last updated on hub: 01 June 2021

Why is COVID-19 more deadly to nursing home residents?

Oxford University Press

Article published in QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, written by Zhaohui Su, Dean McDonnell, and Yue Li. COVID-19 is deadly to older adults, with research showing that being older and having underlying chronic diseases are significant risk factors for COVID-19 related deaths. However, though similarities exist between both nursing home residents and older community-dwelling people, nursing home residents are substantially more vulnerable to COVID-19. A closer review of both demographic groups provides clarity concerning the difference within the context of COVID-19. Therefore, to address the research gap, drawing insights from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model, this article aims to examine similarities and differences in COVID-19 risk factors experienced by nursing home residents and community-dwelling older people. [Note this is a corrected proof of the article]

Last updated on hub: 28 January 2021

Wider impacts of COVID-19 on physical activity, deconditioning and falls in older adults

Public Health England

This report looks at how the wider impacts of COVID-19 have affected older people (65 years and over), with a focus upon deconditioning and falls. Estimates of these impacts on physical activity levels and rates of falls in older people are provided. The report also summarises recommendations aimed at mitigating these impacts and to improve older adult mental and physical health. The technical appendix provides detailed information on the methods that have been used in the study. Key findings were: 32% of older people were inactive (did either no activity or less than 30 minutes of moderate activity per week) between March to May 2020 – this has increased from 27% in the corresponding period in 2019; average duration of strength and balance activity decreased from 126 to 77 minutes per week in March to May 2020 compared to the corresponding period in 2019; inequalities in physical activity have persisted, older people in the most deprived group were more likely to be inactive than those in the least deprived group in both 2019 and 2020; older people experienced a considerable reduction in strength and balance activity between March to May 2020, with the greatest change in the 70 to 74 age group with a 45% (males) and 49% (females) decrease observed in activity. Without mitigation, modelling predicts that: 110,000 more older people (an increase of 3.9%) are projected to have at least one fall per year as a result of reduced strength and balance activity during the pandemic; for each year that the lower levels of strength and balance activity observed during the pandemic persist, there is projected to be an additional cost to the health and social care system as a result of the change in predicted related falls of £211 million (incurred over a 2 and half year period).

Last updated on hub: 16 August 2021

Will someone knock on my door? COVID-19 and social work education

Qualitative Social Work

Guided by a person-in-environment framework and aspirations to advance social justice, the social work profession is concerned with intervening at the individual and society level. In this essay, the author reflects on individualism-collectivism, loneliness, and community belonging in the context of her lived experiences and the COVID-19 outbreak. She maintains that the micro-macro fragmentation is problematic to social work's quest for social justice. Social work must examine the place of ‘community practice' in its professional curriculum to equip students with tools to fully comprehend the changing and increasingly complex social workers' role.

Last updated on hub: 16 March 2021

Winter discharges: designated settings

Department of Health and Social Care

This letter sets out: an overview of the requirement for designated care settings for people discharged from hospital who have a COVID-19 positive status; and an instruction for local authorities to commence identifying and notifying the Care Quality Commission (CQC) of sufficient local designated accommodation and to work with CQC to assure their compliance with the infection prevention control (IPC) protocol. [First published 21 October 2020. Updated 13 November 2020, Added the letter 'Designated settings requirements: FAQs']

Last updated on hub: 22 October 2020

Winter is coming: age and early psychological concomitants of the Covid-19 pandemic in England

Journal of Public Mental Health

Purpose: This paper aims to demonstrate early psychological concomitants of the Covid-19 pandemic in England on a sample of younger and older people. Design/methodology/approach: A cross-sectional quantitative questionnaire (n = 1608) was conducted on the Prolific website. Participants completed the PERMA Scale (Flourishing), the four Office of National Statistics (ONS4) Well-being Questions, the Clinical Outcomes Measure in Routine Evaluation (CORE-10) and the short University of California Los Angeles Brief Loneliness Scale. Findings: Data were gathered on March 18, 2020, near the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. This study looks at the effects of the developing pandemic on younger participants (18 to 25 years, n = 391) and older participants (60 to 80 years, n = 104). Flourishing levels for older participants were significantly higher (M = 107.96) than for younger participants (M = 97.80). Younger participants scored significantly higher on the ONS4 for anxiety and lower than the older participants for happiness, life satisfaction and having a worthwhile life. Levels of psychological distress (CORE-10) were also significantly lower for older participants (M = 9.06) than for younger participants (M = 14.61). Finally, younger participants scored significantly higher on the Brief UCLA Loneliness Scale (M = 6.05) than older participants (M = 4.64). Research limitations/implications: From these findings, the Covid-19 pandemic was having a significantly greater effect on younger people in England, less than one week before the UK went into “lockdown”. Scores for both the Younger and Older groups on all the study measures were worse than normative comparisons. The study had no specific measure of Covid-19 anxiety, but nor was one available at the time of the survey. Practical implications: This study suggests that younger people (18 to 25) may be a more vulnerable group during the Covid-19 pandemic than many may have realized. Social implications: As a recent British Psychological Society report concluded, there is a lot of untapped wisdom amongst older groups in society. Originality/value: This is one of the earliest studies to look at psychological distress before England went into “lockdown.”

Last updated on hub: 21 November 2020

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