COVID-19 resources

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Social connection, loneliness and lockdown

Research In Practice: Dartington

Katy Shorten gives a comprehensive overview of loneliness and key messages from the literature for social care. The blog covers: identifying loneliness; the importance of social networks and activities; the role of technology; partnership working with organisations that support people and communities; building relationships; and being person-centred. The blog signposts to key evidence and resources.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

COVID 19: safe and rapid recruitment

Skills for Care

Brings together guidance to support safe and rapid recruitment of social care staff during the COVID-19 pandemic and signposts to relevant resources. In these unprecedented times, it is important that the safety and wellbeing of people using care services remains a priority. The guiding principles set out in the guidance are intended to address the additional workforce recruitment challenges that employers of all sizes face. They cover: value-based recruitment; recruiting from the local community; robust employment checks; training, sustaining and retaining; and distance recruitment and virtual interviewing.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Home care for patients with COVID-19 presenting with mild symptoms and management of their contacts: interim guidance

World Health Organization

This rapid advice is intended to guide public health and infection prevention and control professionals, health care managers and health care workers when addressing issues related to home care for patients with suspected COVID-19 who present with mild symptoms and when managing their contacts. The guidance is based on evidence about COVID-19 and the feasibility of implementing infection prevention and control measures at home.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

COVID-19: essential training

Skills for Care

The impact of COVID-19 has created an extremely challenging time for the social care workforce. This resource highlights the training that remains a priority during this period to ensure there is a skilled and competent workforce. The essential training, which does not comprise all the training that is usually undertaken, is available as three individual packages of learning: rapid induction programme (aimed at new staff), refresher training (aimed at existing staff) and a volunteer programme. This approach is supported by the Care Quality Commission. A list of endorsed learning providers have received grant funding to support care providers with the cost of this essential training during this period. The page signposts to relevant information and guidance, including training content and to contact details of endorsed learning providers.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Covid-19: understanding inequalities in mental health during the pandemic

Centre for Mental Health

This briefing paper explores the mental health inequalities that are associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. It finds that the virus and the lockdown are putting greater pressure on groups and communities whose mental health was already poorer and more precarious. These include people living with mental health problems, whose access to services has been interrupted; people who live with both mental health problems and long term physical conditions that put them at greater risk of the virus; older adults who are both susceptible to the virus themselves and much more likely than others to lose partners and peers; women and children exposed to trauma and violence at home during lockdown; and people from the ethnic groups where the prevalence of COVID-19 has been highest and outcomes have been the worst, notably people from Black British, Black African, Bangladeshi and Pakistani backgrounds. The paper calls on the Government to take urgent action to address race inequality in mental health, including the urgent need for funding for organisations working in communities that have been affected most deeply by the pandemic. It calls for action to ensure people with mental health problems have access to food and medicine as well as continued financial safety-nets for those at greatest risk from the virus. And it calls for longer term action, including to build on the positive steps that have already been taken to prevent homelessness and improve the benefits system.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Life after lockdown: tackling loneliness among those left behind

British Red Cross

This report draws on findings from a collection of national-level polling, interviews and evaluations from British Red Cross services during COVID-19 to shed a light on how to refocus efforts on tackling loneliness and supporting those most affected by the crisis. Key findings include: there has been a significant increase in the number of people feeling lonely – since lockdown 41 per cent of UK adults report feeling lonelier; more than a quarter of UK adults agree that they worry something will happen to them and no one will notice; a third of UK adults haven’t had a meaningful conversation in the last week; some communities have been at greater risk of loneliness than others – people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, parents with young children, young people, those living with long term physical and mental health conditions, people on lower incomes and those with limited access to digital technology and the internet; COVID-19 has also meant a loss in social support for refugees and people seeking asylum. To meet the challenges ahead and ensure no one is left behind and feels alone, the report makes a number of recommendations: prioritise those most vulnerable to loneliness; secure sustained funding for tackling loneliness; continue to roll out social prescribing and ensure it delivers for loneliness; work collaboratively across sectors and specialisms, and with people with lived experience of loneliness.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Coronavirus and the social impacts on older people in Great Britain: 3 April to 10 May 2020

The Office for National Statistics

Indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey on the social impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on older people in Great Britain. The data shows that among older people (aged 60 years and over) who were worried about the effect the coronavirus (COVID-19) was having on their lives, their main concerns were being unable to make plans in general, personal travel plans such as holidays and their own wellbeing. Of those who said their wellbeing had been affected by the coronavirus, the most common ways older people said it had been affected were being worried about the future, feeling stressed or anxious and being bored. Staying in touch with family and friends remotely was the main way those aged 60 years and over said they were coping whilst staying at home, followed by gardening, reading and exercise, with those aged in their 60s and 70s equally as likely as younger age groups to say that exercise was helping them to cope. People aged in their 60s and 70s were more likely to have checked on neighbours who might need help three or more times and they were equally as likely to have gone shopping or done other tasks for neighbours at least one or two times as those aged under 60 years. People aged in their 60s were the least optimistic about how long it will take for life to return to normal, with a higher proportion saying it will take more than a year or that life will never return to normal, than those aged under 60 years and those aged 70 years and over.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Coronavirus and the social impacts on young people in Great Britain: 3 April to 10 May 2020

The Office for National Statistics

Indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on young people in Great Britain. The data shows that among young people (aged 16 to 29 years) who were worried about the effect the coronavirus (COVID-19) was having on their lives, their main concerns were the effects on schools or universities, their wellbeing, work, and household finances. Young people who reported that their wellbeing was being affected were much more likely than either those aged 30 to 59 years or those aged 60 years and over to report being bored and lonely; they were also much more likely to say the lockdown was making their mental health worse (42 per cent). Young people were generally more optimistic than the older age groups about how long they expected the effect of the pandemic to last, and over half of them reported they expect their lives to return to normal within six months.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Supply management: opportunities for a new landscape in children’s commissioning post crisis

Institute of Public Care

This paper considers how the commissioning of children's social care and the historic interfaces with independent providers can be transformed and redesigned to survive the aftermath of the COVID-19 challenges. Evidence from before the Coronavirus crisis indicated a need to re-examine how children’s services markets are commissioned – the dichotomy of severely financially challenged local authority children’s services budgets contrasting sharply with the apparently high profitability and returns of larger providers is a strategic dissonance. The additional impact of the pandemic will further stress councils' budgets. The paper argues that there is an opportunity to re-think the way in which the sector works together to meet the needs of children in care and to redesign the commercial interfaces to produce a more balanced and sustainable state – the twin forecasts of further increases in demand allied to funding constraints should be seen as the catalyst for these changes. The paper outlines what redesigning commissioning may entails and the actions needed with respect to supply and demand analysis and forecasting; strategy and policy; commissioner-provider relations; and commissioning partnerships. There is experience and evidence available as to how the challenge of redesigning commissioning children’s services can be addressed – and the paper includes three examples of innovative projects.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Coronavirus: support for household finances

House of Commons Library

This briefing paper outlines the measures introduced by the Government, and other authorities, to support household finances during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It covers: support for workers; support in the welfare and benefit system; support with the cost of living, including in relation to households’ ability to access food and food banks; and support for the charities and voluntary organisations.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020