COVID-19 resources

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Resources to help digital enabling

National Care Forum

A series of simple practical resources – 15 crib sheets – to help care providers make the best use of digital technology for their residents and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. The crib sheets are designed to be printed and laminated by care settings for multiple use, but they may be just as useful to help anyone in their own home, as well as carers and families and friends. The sheets are grouped into three themes, covering basic skills, connectivity and wellbeing and resilience.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

Beating the Virus

Beyond Words

A short wordless story to help people understand what to do if they have Coronavirus and how to keep themselves and those who they care about safe. The story also shows how to safely help others who may be self-isolating. Supplementary text at the end of the story gives information on where people can seek help if they are unwell and signposts to other useful resources.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

Child safety, protection, and safeguarding in the time of COVID-19 in Great Britain: proposing a conceptual framework

Child Abuse and Neglect

Background: Great Britain has the highest coronavirus death rate in Europe. While the pandemic clearly poses a risk to the lives and wellbeing of vulnerable groups, necessary public health measures taken to delay or limit the spread of the virus have led to distinctive challenges for prevention, family support, court processes, placement and alternative care. The pandemic has also come about at a time when statutory changes to partnerships have led to a reduction in the importance of educational professional representation in the new formulation in England and Wales. Objectives: This discussion paper proposes a novel and pragmatic conceptual framework during this challenging time. Participants: This study consulted with 8 education professionals and 4 field-based student social workers. Setting: Bodies responsible for safeguarding have been working quickly to develop new approaches to fulfilling their responsibilities, for example through online home visits and case conferences. However, some communities have been highlighted as experiencing particular challenges because of the pandemic and its impacts. Protection of vulnerable children is increasingly dependent on individualised - and often pathologising - practice with a lack of emphasis on the importance of the social. Holistic consideration of the child is side-lined. Results: The framework comprises two phases: pandemic and aspirational. Conclusion: The framework illuminates the importance of interconnected sectors and multi-agency working, the need for resilient and adaptable support systems, and the need to promote the importance of children’s rights and voices to be heard above the noise of the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 08 October 2020

Achieving safe, effective, and compassionate quarantine or isolation of older adults with dementia in nursing homes

American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Nursing homes are facing the rapid spread of COVID-19 among residents and staff and are at the centre of the public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As policy changes and interventions designed to support nursing homes are put into place, there are barriers to implementing a fundamental, highly effective element of infection control, namely the isolation of suspected or confirmed cases. Many nursing home residents have dementia, associated with impairments in memory, language, insight, and judgment that impact their ability to understand and appreciate the necessity of isolation and to voluntarily comply with isolation procedures. While there is a clear ethical and legal basis for the involuntary confinement of people with dementia, the potential for unintended harm with these interventions is high, and there is little guidance for nursing homes on how to isolate safely, while maintaining the human dignity and personhood of the individual with dementia. This commentary discusses strategies for effective, safe, and compassionate isolation care planning, and present a case vignette of a person with dementia who is placed in quarantine on a dementia unit.

Last updated on hub: 08 October 2020

COVID-19 and youth living in poverty: the ethical considerations of moving from in-person interviews to a Photovoice using remote methods

Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work

COVID-19 hit and instantaneously research using in-person methods were paused. As feminist and critical social work scholars and researchers, the authors began to consider the implications of pausing their ongoing project exploring the provisioning and resilience of youth living in low-income, lone mother households. Reflexively, the authors wondered how the youth, families, and issues they were connected to would be impacted by the pandemic. They were pulled into both ethical and methodological questions. While the procedural ethics of maintaining safety were clear, what became less clear were the relational ethics. What was brought into question were their own social positions and roles and responsibilities in their relationships with young people. For both ethical and methodological reasons, the original research scope was expanded from in-person interviews to include a photovoice to be executed using online, remote methods. This article, discusses those ethical and methodological tensions. The first part, discusses the relational ethics that propelled the authors to commit to expanding their work, while in the second part, discusses the move to combining photovoice and remote methods.

Last updated on hub: 08 October 2020

Combating heightened social isolation of nursing home elders: the telephone outreach in the COVID-19 outbreak program

American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Objective: Social isolation and loneliness - common concerns in older adults - are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To address social isolation in nursing home residents, the Yale School of Medicine Geriatrics Student Interest Group initiated a Telephone Outreach in the COVID-19 Outbreak (TOCO) Program that implements weekly phone calls with student volunteers. Methods: Local nursing homes were contacted; recreation directors identified appropriate and interested elderly residents. Student volunteers were paired with elderly residents and provided phone call instructions. Results: Three nursing homes opted to participate in the program. Thirty elderly residents were paired with student volunteers. Initial reports from recreation directors and student volunteers were positive: elderly residents look forward to weekly phone calls and express gratitude for social connectedness. Conclusions: The TOCO program achieved initial success and promotes the social wellbeing of nursing home residents. The authors hope to continue this program beyond the COVID-19 pandemic in order to address this persistent need in a notably vulnerable patient population.

Last updated on hub: 08 October 2020

COVID-19 series: briefing on children’s social care providers, September 2020

Ofsted

Findings from assurance visits to children’s homes under the social care common inspection framework (SCCIF) made between 1 and 11 September. This analysis covers visits to 70 homes, which were selected according to risk. Overall, the assurance visits found that most children’s homes had been managing the challenges of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic well. They had put suitable measures in place to ensure that children were safe and they remained aware of the possible impacts on children’s emotional well-being. However, homes that were not managing well before the pandemic continued to struggle. Of the visits analysed, nine identified serious and widespread concerns. Key findings include: inspectors were generally confident that children were safe and well cared for; homes reported an increase in anxiety and frustration in children around COVID19; staff worked hard to make homes fun and provided activities to support learning; staff helped children to maintain relationships with friends and families through messaging and video technology and worked with partners to ensure that specialist services continued; there was some evidence of less oversight in many homes, but much more evidence of strong leaders managing the challenges of the pandemic well.

Last updated on hub: 08 October 2020

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