COVID-19 resources

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National Care Forum infection, prevention and control (IPC) compliance assessment tool

National Care Forum

This compliance assessment is a simple tool which has been developed using the most recent information on infection prevention and control (IPC) from the CQC and others. It will help care providers know how well they are doing, identify areas in which they need to improve and bring the guidance together into one place. This completion of an assessment using this tool will also provide the evidence that they need to satisfy the CQC requirements and will help ensure services are prepared and in a strong position to manage any ‘second wave’ of COVID-19, or indeed, other yet unknown pressures. There are 8 sections to the tool covering the management of visitors, social distancing, admissions, PPE, testing, premises, staffing and policy. Each section contains a description of what is important to consider and examples of evidence that could be seen as good practice.

Last updated on hub: 28 September 2020

Emerging evidence: coronavirus and children and young people's mental health: issue 3

Evidence Based Practice Unit

A rapid review of the evidence on the key mental health challenges for children and young people during the Covid-19 pandemic, and how parents, carers, and professionals can help them to manage and minimise these challenges. It is the third of a series of reviews and captures research identified between 25th May and 14th June 2020. Key mental health challenges for children and young people during the pandemic include: mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression have markedly increased; feelings of panic, stress, fear and fatigue amid uncertainty and a lack of control among young people are also widespread; disruption to young people’s ‘sense of control’ and ‘sense of meaning’ has contributed to growing stress and anxiety; concerns about returning to schools and colleges are also common; family dynamics, learning and education, financial stressors, social isolation and loneliness are all stressors contributing to poor mental health during the pandemic. For some, the pandemic has had positive mental health impacts due to a sense of support and potentially reduced stressors, such as social pressures at school.

Last updated on hub: 28 September 2020

Emerging evidence: coronavirus and children and young people's mental health: issue 2

Evidence Based Practice Unit

A rapid review of the evidence on the key mental health challenges for children and young people during the Covid-19 pandemic, and how parents, carers, and professionals can help them to manage and minimise these challenges. It is the second of a series of reviews and captures research published between 5th May 2020 and 24th May 2020. The evidence suggests that the nature and duration of the pandemic and lockdown measures are having significant impacts on children and young people’s mental health, contributing to the onset as well as exacerbation of worry, fear, anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress. Children with pre-existing mental health and neurodevelopmental conditions and children from minority ethnic groups are at greater risk of mental health problems during the pandemic. Several social and economic factors (e.g. poverty, separation from parents and carers, domestic violence) make some young people more vulnerable to the mental health challenges of the pandemic. Researchers are emphasising the importance of monitoring the impact of the pandemic on children and young people’s mental health. As stresses and conflicting responsibilities increase, those supporting children and young people should also prioritise their own self-care in order to support the mental health and wellbeing of their families.

Last updated on hub: 28 September 2020

Emerging evidence: coronavirus and children and young people's mental health: issue 1

Evidence Based Practice Unit

A rapid review of the evidence on the key mental health challenges for children and young people during the Covid-19 pandemic, and how parents, carers, and professionals can help them to manage and minimise these challenges. It is the first of a series of reviews and covers evidence found from 1st January 2020 to 4th May 2020. The review finds that the key mental health challenges for children and young people during the pandemic include: the pandemic can influence many different aspects of mental health and may have longer-term consequences; higher than usual levels of stress, anxiety, depressive symptoms and fear have been found in children and young people; mental health challenges during the pandemic have been attributed to several events or conditions including school closures, increased time away from peers, health concerns, and media over-exposure. Support for children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing may include: promoting healthy habits such as sleeping well and daily exercise, recreating routines at home, and having clear and honest conversations about their child’s worries; small, daily acts can help promote health and emotional wellbeing in the home; teachers play a vital role in care and advocacy of positive mental health. In terms of support for those with mental health conditions, the most effective support will be adaptable and responsive to the evolving stages of the pandemic, and will involve a collaborative network which includes families, education, social care and health.

Last updated on hub: 28 September 2020

COVID-19 checklist for choosing a care home: 5 questions for residents, families, friends and carers to ask

National Care Forum

This short guide helps think about what individuals need to know and the questions they might ask when thinking about a choice of home during COVID-19. The pandemic means that care homes have had to learn to do things differently while continuing to provide high quality care. The questions focus on the quality of the home; the extent to which residents are able to maintain contacts with friends and family in a safe way; the testing programme; the use of personal protective equipment; and the health and hygiene measures that are in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 24 September 2020

Social Work 2020 under Covid-19

This is a free online magazine which was produced during the Covid-19 crisis, edited by an editorial collective, about issues that are of interest to those who use social work or social care services, those who provide them and those who undertake teaching or research around them. It ran for five editions until 14 July 2020.

Last updated on hub: 24 September 2020

Lessons and legacy from the COVID-19 pandemic in health and care: AHSN Network Digital and AI Reset report

The AHSN Network

This report presents the findings from a short research study to understand how technology has been an enabler in reducing the care burden, helping to cope with the COVID-19 crisis, and to identify what should be sustained in the ‘new normal’ longer-term. The findings highlight the importance of: treating health as the greatest national asset to nurture and protect; giving equal weighting to social care as to the NHS to accelerate the move towards health and social care integration; addressing the ongoing chronic disease ‘epidemic’ and minimising the impact of future viral pandemics; mobilising people more effectively to solve problems through more flexible roles; ensuring a robust data infrastructure and data operability/standards to facilitate data sharing; moving towards less centralised control and empowering people, communities and NHS and social care staff to serve local needs; reconfiguring patient pathways to integrate NHS and social care around patient/citizen needs, with digital and data technologies utilised as enablers; promoting access to digital technologies and ensuring digital, information and health literacy at all levels within society to minimise digital exclusion and ensure health inequalities do not get worse.

Last updated on hub: 24 September 2020

Homes, health and COVID-19: how poor-quality homes have contributed to the pandemic

Centre for Ageing Better

This report summarises what existing research tells us about the role and impact of poor-quality housing on health, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 23.5 million homes in England, 18% are in a ‘non-decent’ condition. The report offers an insight into the current context of poor housing, identifies the key pathways in which poor-quality housing can impact health and considers the implications of the coronavirus in this relationship. The final section of the report reviews various housing interventions that have been found to improve health and prevent ill-health. The review found that poor-quality housing has a profound impact on health and the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and amplified housing-related health inequalities. Groups in the population who are more likely to live in poor housing are often the same groups who are vulnerable to COVID-19 and other health conditions, including older people, people with existing health conditions, those with lower incomes and people from ethnic minority groups. Living in a cold, damp home and overcrowded housing, which is more common among ethnic minority groups, pose a significant health risk. One of the major causes of death, injury and decline among older adults is falls in the home, often a result of inadequate adaptation and maintenance. In addition, the quality of the built environment is associated with mental and physical health outcomes. The evidence suggests that interventions to improve housing quality, both in and outside of the home can be a highly cost-effective means of improving health outcomes. Every £1 spent on improving warmth in homes occupied by ‘vulnerable’ households can result in £4 of health benefits, while £1 spent on home improvement services to reduce falls is estimated to lead to savings of £7.50 to the health and care sector.

Last updated on hub: 24 September 2020

React, respond, renew: responding to the workforce challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and looking to the future

Local Government Association

This paper provides a summary of how COVID-19 initially affected local government from a workforce perspective, including the social care sector. It argues that there is a critical need to ensure a meaningful ’parity of esteem’ between the 1.5 million social care workforce and their counterparts in the NHS. The report sets the scene for the workforce having to respond, within an extremely short timescale, to a completely new way of working. It provides a narrative to the shared experience of working through the pandemic in 2020. The report flags the challenges and considerations for returning to a physical workplace; outlines the psychological impact of COVID-19; captures the issues councils might want to explore in considering renewal and provide links for various tips and guides; touches on recruitment and retention challenges, how COVID-19 might change what we mean by 'leadership', and sets out how equality, diversity and inclusion will run throughout these issues; and captures the issues and questions that councils might be asking themselves or might want to ask themselves, following this challenging period of time.

Last updated on hub: 24 September 2020

Managing the wellbeing of social care staff during the COVID-19 pandemic: employers' guide

Local Government Association

This guide helps employers and managers to think about the wellbeing of their staff and fulfil their duty of care for their employees, which carries on no matter where staff are based. Employers have a responsibility to provide the necessary working conditions and support to staff to reduce stress at work, and this is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic when staff are working under excessive pressures. The guide covers: wellbeing tips for employers; supporting employees’ learning; thinking about the workplace; building managers’ resilience; social care workers facing stigma; and managing bereavement in care work. The document signposts to additional resources and guidance.

Last updated on hub: 24 September 2020