COVID-19 resources

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Verification of Expected Death (VOED) with clinical remote support: guidance for adult social care workers: consultation version

Skills for Care

This guidance is primarily for adult social care providers in residential and community settings, outlining the process and procedures for verifying an expected death with remote clinical support. It is designed to support decision making within local systems and explains how to prepare to verify an expected death with remote support. The Coronavirus Act 2020 and recent government guidance makes special arrangements for verifying an expected death with clinical remote support in a community setting, such as care homes, supported living accommodation or when a person receives care in their own home. The guide covers: what providers and managers need to think about beforehand to inform decision making about verifying expected death with clinical remote support and who to involve; information to support decision making of whether care staff will verify a person’s death with remote support; the process of verifying an expected death with remote support; what to consider after the process, care of the deceased and the family and the importance of employee wellbeing and support for those involved, including sources of support.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

Helping adult day centres to ‘unlock lockdown’. Part 2: reflecting about what has happened, our ‘journey’ during closure and the future of our service

King's College London

This tool prompts adult day centre managers and coordinators to reflect on what has happened during COVID-19 lockdown, the process of moving forwards and any learning that will be helpful for the future. There is strong evidence that day centres are valued by the people who attend and that they improve their quality of life. They help people to stay living at home and provide family members with help in their caring role. They play an important part in preventing loneliness and social isolation. They can also be part of the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The reflective points suggested in this tool may help mangers and coordinators think about the reasons for making this effort to restarting the recovery journey. Part 1 of this guidance covers some of the practicalities of re-opening, focusing on infection control, communications, supporting service users, carers, staff and volunteers, and planning.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

COVID-19 and support in the community: social care, carers, and peer support

Rethink Mental Illness

This briefing is about the different types of support people living with mental illness – outside of clinical support – are receiving or are struggling to access during the pandemic. Some of these forms of support are dependent on statutory services, while others are reliant on the support they need from their loved ones, or the support they provide each other. The paper covers three key topics under this umbrella: social care, carers and peer support. Based on findings from a survey of over 1,400 people, it reveals that in many cases it is carers who have picked up the additional burden that the pandemic has placed on their loved ones and from the difficulties people severely affected by mental illness had faced in accessing other forms of support. The findings also reinforce the importance of social care and peer support to people severely affected by mental illness, in many cases by their absence during the pandemic. Overall, the data seems to suggest that there is a need to expand social care and the benefits to peer support to more people severely affected by mental illness in the longer term, and to double down in the efforts to support their carers. The briefing calls for a greater focus on improving the scrutiny, transparency and accountability of the system during and after the pandemic and on expanding the number of people severely affected by mental illness who benefit from these forms of support in future.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

Severe mental illness and Covid-19: service support and digital solutions

Rethink Mental Illness

This briefing shares insights on service support for people with mental illness and digital solutions during the pandemic, drawing on online research with service users, as well as information from services. The paper sets out some of the challenges people severely affected by mental illness have faced during the pandemic and poses questions and suggestions on how they could be addressed, and how services can adapt to this new environment. It shows that service users are struggling with the delivery of remote services, or have seen a drop off in the level of support they have received. A concerning number have received no support at all. The briefing makes a series of recommendations on change to delivery of services and digital solutions: policy solutions for digitally excluded people are urgently required and should be a priority for NHS England and the government; as lockdown restrictions are lifted, digital and telephone consultations should continue to be provided, but only as an enhancement of options for service users who prefer this method; service users must be involved in designing and delivering mental health services during and post-pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

The impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures on the physical health of people living with severe mental illness

Rethink Mental Illness

This briefing looks at the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the physical health of people living with severe mental illness (SMI), based on the responses to a survey of 1,434 people. The briefing highlights key findings and outlines concerns about the implications of lockdown restrictions on people with severe mental illness, who already die on average 15 to 20 years earlier than the general population. Over half of respondents have been exercising less and eating less healthily during lockdown and said they were eating less healthily than usual. Respondents reported that they were smoking (16%) and drinking (23%) more than usual and a small proportion also said they were using more illicit drugs (3%) – these were likely used as coping strategies or to alleviate boredom. The paper recommends reinstating physical health checks for people with SMI and relevant system targets; co-producing targeted communications with people severe mental illness; gathering lessons from the implementation of the Community Mental Health Framework; addressing the needs of those with SMI in the government emerging obesity strategy linked to COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

CQC publishes data on deaths of people with a learning disability

Care Quality Commission

Data on the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on people with a learning disability, some of whom may also be autistic, and how the number of deaths during this period compares to the number of deaths last year. This data shows that between 10 April and 15 May this year, 386 people with a learning disability, some of whom may also be autistic, died who were receiving care from services which provide support for people with a learning disability and/or autism. This is a 134% increase in the number of death notifications this year, compared to the same period last year. [Published 2 June 2020. Updated 5 June 2020]

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

Emerging evidence on COVID-19’s impact on mental health and health inequalities

The Health Foundation

Considers how mental health is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and examines the drivers of worsening mental health during the crisis, including social isolation, job and financial losses, housing insecurity and quality, working in a front-line service, loss of coping mechanisms, and reduced access to mental health services. The article argues that the unequal impacts of the pandemic may lead to a widening of pre-existing health inequalities, as well as affecting people who have not previously experienced poor mental health.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

CQC publishes data on deaths in care settings broken down by ethnicity

Care Quality Commission

Data on the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on different ethnic groups in care settings. This data – which includes death notifications in adult social care settings from 10 April -15 May 2020 (and the equivalent period in 2019) – indicates a disproportionate number of deaths among people from BME groups. The data shows that while the vast majority of all reported deaths from adult social care settings were White people the proportion of deaths in all adult social care services due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 was higher for Black (49%) and Asian (42%) people compared to White people (41%) and people from mixed or multiple ethnic groups (41%).

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

Impact on delivering children’s services during lockdown

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

Dannie Adcock-Habib, a children’s services practitioner, talks about the pressures of lockdown and the long-term impact on children's wellbeing, including looking out for concerning signs of abuse and neglect; how to work with multiple agencies to meet different children and families’ needs and distributing resources for parents and carers; potential child protection issues that may emerge as we transition back to pre-lockdown life; how children are being supported to understand current issues in a child-friendly way; and next steps for delivering services virtually, such as group work programmes.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

How is COVID-19 affecting children and young people in BAME communities?

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Looks at the reasons why Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in the UK are overrepresented in cases of coronavirus and examines the deeper discussions and debates that are taking place on how the pandemic is affecting BAME communities. Despite the fact that younger people are a low risk group for the virus itself, BAME children and young people, specifically, are experiencing the pandemic differently from their peers—as a consequence of the disproportionate social, economic, and psychological impacts on their communities.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020