COVID-19 resources

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How mental health charities are responding to Covid-19

Centre for Mental Health

This short report summarises the activities and key concerns of a group of seventeen national mental health organisations that have been working together to respond to the Covid-19 crisis in England since March 2020. Evidence collated by the charities shows that the crisis has put extra pressure on people’s mental health. Surveys and research evidence all point to an increase in mental health problems that is likely to continue for some time. Mental health charities that provide helplines or offer direct support to people and communities all report increasing demand for help. Many have had to adapt their services very quickly and find ways of meeting additional demand with reduced resources. Charities are reporting a range of concerns about the impact of the pandemic on the public’s mental health; on the lives of people living with a mental health problem; and on mental health services. Mental health inequalities that existed prior to the pandemic have been magnified as a result of the virus and the lockdown. These include both the risk factors for poor mental health and the unequal life chances faced by people living with a mental health problem.

Last updated on hub: 08 October 2020

Rapid evidence review: inequalities in relation to COVID-19 and their effects on London

Greater London Authority

This report provides the outcomes of a rapid evidence review to document and understand the impact of COVID-19 (in terms of both health and the broader impacts on existing social and economic inequalities) on those with protected characteristics as well as those living in poorer, or more precarious, socioeconomic circumstances, paying particular attention to its effect in London. It highlights the disproportionate effect of Covid-19 in relation to disability, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic position, age and other factors, including homelessness and being in prison. This is both in terms of risk of COVID-19 infection, complications and mortality, and in terms of the negative economic, social and psychological consequences of Government policies to mitigate the health impacts of the pandemic. The research analysed existing data from local and national sources to assess the impact of the pandemic on people with characteristics protected by law. It reveals that, across the country: Black people are at almost twice the risk of death from Covid-19 than White people; men are disproportionately more likely to die from Covid-19, but women have experienced disproportionate economic, social and psychological impacts; death rates are three times higher for men in lower-paid, manual roles, such as construction and personal care, than in those in management, business and desk-based jobs; the pandemic has negatively impacted disabled Londoners who reported increased difficulties performing practical tasks such as shopping for groceries, as well as accessing up-to-date health information about the virus; almost four in five LGBTQ+ people said that their mental health had been negatively impacted by the coronavirus lockdown. The report also found that voluntary and community sector organisations play a crucial role in reaching those disproportionately impacted and marginalised groups, including disabled people.

Last updated on hub: 08 October 2020

LESS COVID-19: Learning by Experience and Supporting the Care Home Sector during the COVID-19 pandemic: key lessons learnt, so far, by frontline care home and NHS staff

National Care Forum

This report sets out findings of a research study to capture the experiences of frontline care home and NHS staff caring for older people with COVID-19 and to share the lessons learnt about the presentation, trajectories, and management of the infection with care homes that have and have not yet experienced the virus. The research comprised two phases: interviews with frontline care home and NHS staff in June and July (n=35); and consultation with senior operational and quality managers in care homes in September (n=11). The findings are presented under the following themes: clinical presentation – COVID-19 does not always present as a cough and fever in older people; unpredictable illness trajectory; managing symptoms and providing supportive care; recovery and rehabilitation – promoting physical, cognitive and emotional well-being post-virus; end of life care; infection prevention and control; and promoting partnership through cross sector working and support. The research highlights the value of ongoing reflective learning and the importance of sharing collective expertise in care and in practice. However, it also reveals systemic issues associated with underfunding, limited integration across health and social care and a lack of wider recognition and value of the contribution of the care home sector and (importantly) its staff. The report concludes with a call to action, stressing the importance of sharing collective expertise, expanding the use of digital technology, and formally recognising and supporting care home staff. It also calls on the Government to ensure policy making, guidance, effective resourcing (including PPE), and plans for action are created in equal partnership with the care sector; to invest in the care sector to enable better reward and recognition of the care workforce; and to improve the testing capacity for social care to cover all care settings, including day services.

Last updated on hub: 08 October 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): information for families looking after someone with dementia

Dementia UK

Brings together advice and guidance for carers of people with dementia during the Covid-19 pandemic. Topics covered include: the ongoing challenges for people with dementia during coronavirus; questions and answers relating to the implications of coronavirus in specific settings; advice for people with dementia around face coverings; and care homes and the coronavirus outbreak.

Last updated on hub: 08 October 2020

Recommendations for safe visiting in care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic

Dementia UK

This flowchart describes the steps residential care providers need to take to ensure safe visiting during the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 08 October 2020

All Wales COVID-19 workforce risk assessment tool

Welsh Government

This risk assessment tool has been developed to help people working in the NHS and Social Care in Wales to see if they are at higher risk of developing more serious symptoms if they come into contact with the COVID-19 virus. It is aimed at everyone working or volunteering in health and social care in Wales. The tool asks a number of questions designed to identify whether employees/volunteers are at a higher risk from COVID-19. It asks some questions about age, health, weight and ethnicity which may increase your risk of serious illness following an infection with COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 08 October 2020

A catalyst for change: what COVID-19 has taught us about the future of local government

Nesta

This paper draws together insights from the experiences of local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland during the first six months of the COVID-19 crisis, providing an overview of their response, and of the changes needed to meet the demands of the pandemic. It discusses the upcoming challenges that could hamper the efforts of councils to embed and build upon these positive changes and set a positive vision for the future of local government in the aftermath of this crisis. This vision illustrates what local government could look like in ten years if it is able to preserve and build upon the progress made during the pandemic. The paper identifies several trends that are of particular significance to local government over the coming years: remote working will be retained by a large proportion of staff, including frontline staff; digital tools will enable a large proportion of council-run services to be delivered remotely; increased and enhanced public participation and engagement will lead to improved decision-making and better outcomes for communities; sharing power with local communities across design, delivery and ownership of services and assets will enhance their quality and produce wider benefits to communities in the form of empowerment, resilience and cohesion; greater and new types of collaboration between councils, statutory partners, the third and private sectors and communities will achieve better outcomes for their people and places; and greater devolution from central government will provide local areas with longer-term funding commitments and greater flexibility to design policy for their local context. This guide is part of the New Operating Models Handbook, a set of learning products which explore the new operating models emerging in local government, supporting innovation and asset-based practice.

Last updated on hub: 07 October 2020

‘The faintest stirring of hope became possible’: pandemic postscript

Ethics and Social Welfare

Editorial. While it is still too early to predict what will come, it is already possible to identify some of the values embedded in the pre-COVID19 social and economic life, to examine how they stand up to the epidemic and to start setting the ethical foundations for a post-COVID19 Social Work. The values discussed in the editorial include: free market hegemony, reducing the role of the state, weakening public service, social rights erosion, the faintest hope, what would it take to learn and emerge from this pandemic a better society.

Last updated on hub: 06 October 2020

What we need now. What matters to people for health and care, during COVID-19 and beyond: new National Voices I Statements 2020. What has to happen now: National Voices’ recommendations to health and care leaders and professionals

National Voices

This report summarises how National Voices engaged with people who have ongoing health and care needs during the first phase of the pandemic and how this engagement led to a set of ‘I’ statements that describe what people who use health and care services now expect these services to look and feel like. The statements derive from the analysis of submissions to an online platform, OurCOVIDVoices, which allowed people to share their stories, including details about the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on their physical and mental health in general, as well as their broad concerns about money, housing and accessing food. The statements will be useful to those leading the system, as well as those designing and delivering health and care services. The statements are: 1. I am listened to and what I say is acted on; 2. I make decisions that are respected, and I have rights that are protected; 3. I am given information that is relevant to me in a way I understand; 4. I am supported to understand risks and uncertainties in my life; 5. I know how to talk to the person or team in charge of my care when I need to; 6. I know what to expect and that I am safe when I have treatment and care; 7. I am supported and kept informed while I wait for treatment and care; 8. I am not forgotten. The document identifies some concrete actions that those in charge of health and care services could take to address the needs expressed in these statements.

Last updated on hub: 06 October 2020

What we know now: what people with health and care needs experienced during the first wave of COVID-19

National Voices

This rapid review report outlines what people with health and care needs are experiencing as a result of the pandemic, what they feel truly effective and just treatment should look like, and how services should be designed and delivered. The report presents an analysis of the findings of surveys carried out during April-July 2020 by and on behalf of 11 health and care charities in England, which collectively reached at least 66,600 individuals with long-term health and care needs. The thematic analysis showed that the most widespread issues affecting individuals with long-term health and care needs during COVID-19 are: wellbeing – all 11 data groups showed clearly negative impacts on wellbeing, including increased anxiety and loneliness; access to medication – nine showed clearly negative impacts and two showed possible impacts; all groups reported some problems getting medicines, including essential medications such as insulin and anti-psychotics; getting food – nine showed clearly negative impacts and one showed possible negative impacts, including trouble getting food and going hungry; access to healthcare – nine showed clearly negative impacts, including cancelled appointments necessary to manage health conditions. The report makes key recommendations which include: do everything possible to avoid shutting down the health and care services that people with long-term health conditions rely on; listen to people and understand their experiences of shielding, lockdown and service shutdown better, to minimise risks and protect from harm that we did not know about before; in the event of further national advice to keep those vulnerable to COVID-19 safe, provide much better information and support for vulnerable and shielded individuals and their families; keep charities, and the people with health and care needs they work with, at the centre of future planning and responses.

Last updated on hub: 06 October 2020