COVID-19 resources

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Health and social care workers’ quality of working life and coping while working during the Covid-19 pandemic: analysis of positive coping and work-related quality of life as resilience and protective factors impacting on wellbeing

Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute

In early 2020, COVID-19 was designated as a pandemic. Despite our experience of pandemics (e.g., SARS), there is limited research about how health and social care staff cope with the challenges of caring for patients while potentially putting their own health at risk. The current study examined the impact of providing health and social care during COVID-19 on nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, social care workers and social workers. An online survey using validated scales and open-ended questions was used to collect data from the UK health and social care staff in May-July 2020. It received 3,290 responses, mostly from social care workers and social workers. A multiple regression analysis showed that individuals using positive coping strategies, particularly active coping, emotional support, relaxation and exercise, had higher wellbeing scores. Lower wellbeing scores were associated with disengagement and substance use as coping strategies. Better quality of working life was associated with active coping, emotional support, work family segmentation and relaxation. Participants using disengagement and family work segmentation had lower quality of working life. Positive coping strategies seem to be playing a significant role in health and social care workers’ wellbeing and quality of working life and interventions may be needed to support those who are struggling to cope.

Last updated on hub: 12 January 2021

The role of the Leeds Neighbourhood Networks during the COVID-19 pandemic

Centre for Ageing Better

The Leeds Neighbourhood Networks (LNN) support older people to remain living independently and to participate in their communities through a range of activities and services that are provided at a neighbourhood level in 37 areas of the city. This report explores how the LNNs have responded to the needs of older people, and others, in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic; and considered the wider implications of the crisis for their work. Some common themes about the role of the LNN during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic have emerged through the qualitative interviews and subsequent analysis. These include: the ability of the LNNs to respond to need in the community, quickly and flexibility; the embeddedness of LNNs within the wider pandemic response at a city and neighbourhood level; the COVID-19 pandemic has presented the LNN with a combination of challenges and opportunities that seem likely to shape their work in the short, medium and longer term; greater visibility and awareness of the LNNs and their work. The ability of the LNNs to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in the ways described was underpinned by a number of inter-related enabling factors under three broad categories that sit outside of the geographic, economic and demographic contexts in which the individual NNs operate: i) resources, ii) strategy and leadership, and iii) mission, vision and values.

Last updated on hub: 12 January 2021

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on child welfare: schools

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

This briefing uses insight from NSPCC Childline counselling sessions and message boards to highlight children and young people’s experiences of being away from and returning to school during the coronavirus pandemic. Key themes include: learning during lockdown; attending school during lockdown; transitioning back to school; COVID secure measures in school; being sent home to self-isolate; bullying; and support and safety. During the first lockdown children and young people contacted Childline to talk about how they missed being in school, missed seeing their friends and teachers, struggled with being out of their normal routine and were worried about getting behind with their school work. As children returned to school, some young people talked about their challenges with the transition and the new COVID control measures. Some young people said that they see school as a safe and supportive place but were finding it difficult because they didn’t have the same support as they’d had before lockdown.

Last updated on hub: 11 January 2021

The UK response to Covid-19: use of scientific advice: first report of session 2019–21

House of Commons

An analysis of the way the Government has received, and applied, scientific evidence and advice during the first period of the coronavirus pandemic up to autumn 2020. The report distils the evidence from scientists and policy makers given at a number of oral evidence sessions contemporaneous with rapidly evolving policy decisions, and from written submissions from leading experts. It considers the nature and function of official scientific advisory structures; the transparency of scientific advice; and the use of data in informing the UK's Covid-19 response. The principal conclusions and recommendations of the report are: the Government has been serious about taking scientific advice; the length of the pandemic has placed exceptional demands on the people contributing their expertise and on the structures, which were designed for shorter term emergencies; in the early stages of the pandemic a more explicit evaluation by public health authorities of the operational practices in other countries – such as test, trace and isolate measures in certain Asian countries – should have been made; although the scientific analysis that informs government decisions is now much more transparent, the evaluation of other factors that the government takes into account to determine policy – such as impacts on livelihoods and educational progress – is markedly less visible; it has been important and reassuring for the public to see and hear directly from senior scientists and that should continue; fragmentation of data across different public bodies needs to be resolved to allow the most effective response to the pandemic; The role of scientific advice in shaping the choice of operational targets has not always been clear.

Last updated on hub: 11 January 2021

Respond, adapt, recover: stories of how tech is delivering on the frontline

techUK

This report explores how the UK responded in the immediate wake of the COVID-19 pandemic’s first peak and lockdown, how businesses and people adapted to a new normal, and with vaccine roll-out underway, what steps must be taken for the economy and society to recover – demonstrating the role of technology in achieving this. The report highlights some of the organisations that have taken on the challenges presented to the UK during of the pandemic, the role of technology in finding solutions, and the lessons learnt so far that will provide a framework for what comes next. It shows that a number of companies doing innovative work: in scaling up health and social care response, in offering solutions to our new ways of working, in bringing communities together in a time of isolation, and using data to help us react to and overcome this pandemic. Although the ways each sector has responded vary, a common thread is the enhancement of technological innovation. The acceleration of digital solutions demanded by the pandemic have been compared to ‘healthcare’s online banking moment’. Community work, such Age UK’s free online IT courses, has meant some digitally-excluded individuals have been able to learn new skills and socialise while respecting social distancing rules. Working from home has become the new normal, with some companies potentially changing the way businesses operate in the long-term. While the pre-existing digital infrastructures have succeeded in positively contributing to the adaption and response to the pandemic, it is clear that this is the first step towards an even more digital future.

Last updated on hub: 11 January 2021

Better housing is crucial for our health and the COVID-19 recovery

The Health Foundation

This long read sets out the links between housing and health and explores the inequalities in housing across different groups and types of tenures. It then considers the impact of COVID-19 on housing so far, future risks and possible ways forward. Going into the COVID-19 pandemic, one in three households (32% or 7.6 million) in England had at least one major housing problem relating to overcrowding, affordability or poor-quality housing. Housing problems like these can affect health outcomes – including physical health directly from poor quality homes, and mental health from affordability or insecure housing. While fewer homes are classed as non-decent compared with 10 years ago, overcrowding and affordability problems have increased in recent years. The pandemic has highlighted the health implications of housing. Poor housing conditions such as overcrowding and high density are associated with greater spread of COVID-19, and people have had to spend more time in homes that are overcrowded, damp or unsafe. The economic fallout from the pandemic may lead to an increase in evictions. These housing problems have multiple causes: a focus on increasing supply to the detriment of other objectives; sustained reductions in housing benefits; and a private rented model which does not meet the needs of tenants. A combination of greater investment in social housing, more secure private tenancies, and reversing reductions in housing benefit support – such as the cuts to Local Housing Allowance (LHA) – will be needed to improve the contribution of housing to health.

Last updated on hub: 11 January 2021

Effects of the pandemic on the Housing First Pilots and service users: findings from weekly calls during the lockdown period: final report

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

This report provides evidence on the experience of delivering the Housing First Pilots during the Covid-19 pandemic. Housing First is an intervention which supports homeless people with multiple and complex needs to access and maintain independent housing. The report sets out reflections from Housing First Pilot staff and from service users about the challenges involved in adapting service delivery and the key lessons learnt. The findings are based on interviews conducted over a 12 week period of lockdown and subsequent easing of restrictions. The interviews covered a range of themes to help improve understanding of how the lockdown and social distancing impacted on service delivery, service users and staff experiences, and on the ability to access external support services. Throughout the 12-weeks of consultations with Pilot staff, several key issues were identified as significant challenges faced by all Pilots, including: continuing to provide a high quality of service to service users whilst under lockdown – including keeping in touch with service users who struggle to engage and where there are barriers to engagement; keeping service users and staff safe whilst still delivering support; communication within support teams, and between support and strategic teams; disruption to service users’ routines and formal/informal support networks; service user access to mental health support and medical treatment; emotional needs of staff during lockdown, owing to a mix of professional and domestic stressors; disruption to supply of, and access to, suitable housing (including issues with supplying furnishings and white goods).

Last updated on hub: 11 January 2021

Analysis of the relationship between pre-existing health conditions, ethnicity and COVID-19

Public Health England

This report looks at COVID-19 diagnoses (cases), deaths involving COVID-19 and survival following diagnosis in England during the first wave of the pandemic, focusing on pre-existing health conditions and ethnicity. It analyses these components separately, in order to gain a better understanding of the potential explanations for high death rates among some ethnic groups. This helps to identify whether high mortality in some ethnic groups is due to increased likelihood of being diagnosed with COVID-19, reduced survival following diagnosis, or both. The report shows that, in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in England, among people with a similar history of previous hospital admission mentioning pre-existing health conditions, there were ethnic differences in the numbers of cases and deaths involving COVID-19. In addition, ethnic inequalities in survival following diagnosis of COVID-19 were not explained by differences in such patterns of admission with pre-existing health conditions between ethnic groups. This conclusion is consistent with other studies reviewed in this document.

Last updated on hub: 11 January 2021

Staff movement: a risk management framework: briefing for adult care home providers

Care Provider Alliance

This briefing outlines a risk management approach that care homes can use to manage restrictions on staff movements. The briefing relates to CQC registered care homes with or without nursing in England. The Government is introducing legislation that will require care home providers to restrict all but essential movement of staff between settings in order to reduce transmission of COVID-19 – with a particular focus on care home staff. At the same time, care homes are facing staff shortages due to sickness and the ongoing high vacancy rates. A risk management framework can enable care homes to have a discussion with other agencies, such as their regulator or commissioner, about care home staff movement. This framework can assist services to manage the situation and provide operational tools that – over time – can drive down the number of staff movements and hence reduce the transmission of the virus. Many providers have already been pursuing such actions without an overall structure to work within. The briefing highlights the key factors which will affect staff movement over the coming months and which need to be considered within the risk management framework; actions for initial assessment; and how care homes should work with notifiable agencies, including the Care Quality Commission, local authorities and CCG commissioners, to agree contingency arrangements in advance of situations arising.

Last updated on hub: 11 January 2021

Dementia and Covid-19: national action plan to continue to support recovery for people with dementia and their carers

Scottish Government

This plan explains how the Scottish Government is working, and plans to work, with others to strengthen community resilience, support people with dementia and their families to continue to get the right care, treatment and support at the right time as we live with, and come through and recover from, the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan: recognises the huge impact of the pandemic on people with dementia, their families and carers and the wider community; recognises that people living with dementia and their carers often feel alone, vulnerable and anxious about COVID-19; recognises the particular worries families have about what the future holds for their loved ones with dementia; uses what has been learned from the experiences people with dementia and their families have shared about how to respond to their needs during the pandemic; sets out how the government plans to help people with dementia and those that love and care for them to live well with dementia across the whole journey of the illness – and how it plans to reduce the risk of dementia; sets out the actions the government has done so far and actions it continues to do to respond to the pandemic and the things we will keep on doing; reinforces the government shared human-rights based and person-centred approach to supporting people with dementia and their families and carers.

Last updated on hub: 11 January 2021