COVID-19 resources

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A COVID-19 guide for social workers supporting an adult with learning disabilities/autism

Social Care Institute for Excellence

A guide to help social workers and occupational therapists supporting autistic adults and adults with learning disabilities through the COVID-19 crisis.

Last updated on hub: 17 April 2020

A critical juncture for public services: lessons from COVID-19

House of Lords

The COVID-19 pandemic represented an unprecedented challenge to the United Kingdom’s public services. This report describes how service providers responded, discusses lessons to be learned from the pandemic and recommends a number of principles to transform public service delivery. Many public service providers developed remarkable innovations to meet the challenge of COVID-19. Decisions which before the pandemic took months were made in minutes. Good personal and organisational relationships broke down longstanding barriers between the statutory and voluntary sectors. New ways to deliver services flourished. Digital technology was used more widely, and more successfully, than ever before. But the Committee also heard that the United Kingdom’s public services had entered the COVID-19 pandemic with low levels of resilience. The virus further disadvantaged many who were already left behind. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people suffered disproportionately, the result of historical underfunding of preventative health services. Disadvantaged children fared worse during the pandemic, too; the educational attainment gap between the poorest children and their counterparts grew wider. The overall public health response was at times hampered by over-centralised, poorly coordinated and poorly communicated policies that were designed and delivered by central Government, even though local-level providers were often better equipped. This report makes recommendations for how public services can hold on to the advances that they achieved during the pandemic, setting out several principles, which include: focusing on preventative services to reduce inequalities; better collaboration between central government and local services; recognising charities, community groups, volunteers and the private sector as key public service providers; greater data sharing, access to digital technology and integration; and user involvement in the design and delivery of public services.

Last updated on hub: 16 November 2020

A framework for aging-friendly services and supports in the age of COVID-19

Journal of Aging and Social Policy

COVID-19 has revealed gaps in services and supports for older adults, even as needs for health and social services have dramatically increased and may produce a cascade of disability after the pandemic subsides. This essay discusses the perfect storm of individual and environmental risk factors, including deconditioning, reductions in formal and informal care support, and social isolation. This paper also evaluates opportunities that have arisen for strengthening person-centered services and supports for older adults, through in-home acute and primary medical care, aggressive use of video telehealth and social interaction, and implementation of volunteer or paid intergenerational service.

Last updated on hub: 31 August 2020

A free, global, online learning resource - COVID-19: adapting child protection case management

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

At the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, concerns were emerging from around the world as to how measures such as social distancing and lockdown were impacting the ability of those working to protect children. In particular, these challenges were affecting the timely and effective child protection case management for individual children at risk. In response, a taskforce of international child protection and child rights agencies highlighted the importance of a collective response to these concerns whilst also seeking a way to rapidly reach thousands of front-line practitioners with information on adapting the process of child protection case management in response to the changing situation. To this end, the taskforce commissioned a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) – an interactive, online learning resource – to be made available free of charge on the FutureLearn platform to thousands of practitioners and policy makers across the world.

Last updated on hub: 06 October 2020

A green social work perspective on social work during the time of COVID‐19

International Journal of Social Welfare

COVID‐19 has challenged social workers to engage with health pandemics and provide essential services in conditions of uncertainty and high risk. They have safeguarded children, older adults and diverse adults in ‘at risk’ groups under tough conditions mediated by digital technologies, adhered to government injunctions, maintained social and physical distancing under lockdown and worked from home remotely. Social workers and social care workers have risen to the challenges, providing services with inadequate personal protective equipment and limited supervision and support. This article highlights the degraded physical environments, socio‐economic and political contexts that intensify precariousness and constraints that neoliberalism imposed on professional capacity before and during this health pandemic. It provides guidelines to protect practitioners and service users. It concludes that practitioners ought to understand zoonotic diseases, environmental concerns, acquire disaster expertise and training, widen their practice portfolio and value their contributions to this pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 10 December 2020

A mindfulness mobile app for traumatized COVID-19 healthcare workers and recovered patients: a response to “the use of digital applications and COVID-19”

Community Mental Health Journal

A response to Alexopoulos et al. (2020) regarding their recommendation to repurpose the previously developed, refined, and tested mindfulness- and acceptance-based mobile app intervention for military veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. The author welcomes the opportunity to expand the target population of our mobile app intervention to include to COVID-19 healthcare providers and patients who recovered from the disease.

Last updated on hub: 27 August 2020

A minimum income standard for the United Kingdom in 2020

Joseph Rowntree Foundation

This update of the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) presents new research in which parents identified what families with children need now to meet material needs and participate in society. It shows that in order to reach a minimum socially acceptable living standard in 2020, a single person needs to earn £19,200 a year, and a couple with two children each need to earn £18,700. The report considers how temporary increases in Universal Credit and tax credits in response to COVID-19 are helping low-income families. The results show the extent to which these increases, combined with a higher National Living Wage, can help these households move closer to a minimum, providing them with opportunities to build a better life. The report finds that for working families, the results are encouraging; for those out of work, they represent an improvement for some families, but even those who benefit must still live with well below what members of the public consider an acceptable minimum. It concludes by arguing that while the COVID-19 crisis has had damaging effects on the incomes and well-being of many households, it has also led the Government to introduce a system for helping people hit by low income at a more adequate level than previously. This demonstration of what more adequate support looks like sets an example for the future, creating a case for not returning to the previous levels.

Last updated on hub: 15 July 2020

A national Covid-19 resilience programme: improving the health and wellbeing of older people during the pandemic

This report makes the case for a National Covid-19 Resilience Programme to support older people in preparing themselves for the continuation of the pandemic and to keep them healthy over the winter. With the pandemic showing no sign of abating, it is important to ensure that older people are able to feel more control over their lives, and that they receive clearer guidance about how best to protect themselves physiologically. Covid-19 disease severity rises with age and is also associated with comorbidities, such as obesity, diabetes and coronary vascular disease, that can accompany chronological age. Home confinement in older people may cause (i) cardiorespiratory and metabolic deconditioning, (ii) insulin resistance, (iii) muscle loss and (iv) increased fat mass. In addition, social isolation may be worsened. In the absence of vaccines and treatments, physical activity (with tailored exercise or physical activity goals) represents the single most impactful way in which older people can reduce the risk of developing severe Covid-19, improve recovery, and limit deconditioning and frailty from home confinement. The report argues that a resilience programme should: encourage appropriate exercise and physical activity; support optimal nutrition; enhance mental health and wellbeing; support behaviour change to embed these behaviours. This programme might be supported by a digital platform and by national broadcasters, e.g. regular televised activity classes.

Last updated on hub: 10 November 2020

A new deal for prevention

Reform

This Reformer Thoughts brings together experts from the scientific research community and the health care sector to discuss the benefits of a preventative approach to public health and the obstacles that stand in the way of its realisation. Conversations around preventative health have come to the fore during the COVID-19 pandemic. A spotlight has been placed on health inequalities and discussions on tackling the social determinants of ill health driven forward. Contents include: prioritising prevention and patient care during the COVID-19 crisis; prevention research – creating a healthier population and reducing health inequalities; we cannot become the victims of our success on HIV testing; how can screening programmes support the prevention and elimination of disease; cancer care, inequalities and prevention; how a world leading deal is helping prevent thousands of deaths from Hepatitis C.

Last updated on hub: 13 January 2021

A new relationship between the NHS, people and communities learning from COVID-19

NHS Confederation

This report considers how the NHS can cultivate a new relationship with people, patients and communities following the pandemic. As the health and care system tackles the next phase of the pandemic, its leaders are keen to build stronger relationships with the communities they serve. The report explores how they can cultivate a new relationship and foster trust, describing how to build a new ‘health and care deal’ with communities; reflecting on patients’ perspectives and insight; examining how services communicate; emphasising the importance of supporting carers and the social care sector; and looking at the role of voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. The report argues that in the longer term, the NHS will need to extend the social contract, or ‘deal’, with the public to maintain the idea of shared responsibility. By establishing a shared responsibility for health, the health and care sector can open up essential conversations about prevention and the protection of individuals’ own health that are key to the health service’s survival over the next decade. But to introduce these ideas, there must be willingness from both the NHS and people, patients and communities to engage in this conversation. In the shorter term, with winter looming and stretching targets to restore services, the NHS and partners will need to work with communities more closely than ever before to meet local need, restore services inclusively and manage expectations.

Last updated on hub: 05 October 2020