COVID-19 resources

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A perfect storm: the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on domestic abuse survivors and the services supporting them

Women’s Aid

This report presents findings from the first phase of a research project exploring the impact of Covid-19 on experiences of domestic abuse for adult and child survivors and the specialist domestic services supporting them. It draws on the analysis of data from existing service directories, a thematic analysis of trends, and initial and follow-up surveys of providers and survivors. Findings suggest that whilst the Covid-19 pandemic did not cause domestic abuse, it created a perfect storm of challenges for survivors and the services supporting them. The lockdown measures gave perpetrators a tool that they quickly learnt to use for coercion, manipulation and to induce fear. This in turn exposed survivors to worsening domestic abuse, whilst restricting their access to support. At the same time, the pandemic created challenges for the specialist domestic abuse support sector in providing life-saving support, including lost income, staff shortages and additional costs of remote working. The report argues that to address this perfect storm domestic abuse must be seen as a priority at the highest level within all work across government; businesses and communities need to play a critical role in raising awareness of abuse and signposting survivors to specialist support; the government must create a long-term sustainable funding solution for all support services; and the government must address the recommendations outlined by sector experts looking at the impact of Covid-19 on the experiences of Black and minoritised women, migrant women, Deaf and disabled women and other marginalised groups.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

A rapid systematic review of measures to protect older people in long term care facilities from COVID-19


The global COVID-19 pandemic produced large-scale health and economic complications. Older people and those with comorbidities are particularly vulnerable to this virus, with nursing homes and long term care facilities experiencing significant morbidity and mortality associated with COVID-19 outbreaks. The aim of this rapid systematic review was to investigate measures implemented in long term care facilities to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and their effect on morbidity and mortality of residents, staff, and visitors. Databases (including MedRXiv pre-published repository) were systematically searched to identify studies reporting assessment of interventions to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in nursing homes among residents, staff, or visitors. Outcome measures include facility characteristics, morbidity data, case fatalities, and transmission rates. Due to study quality and heterogeneity, no meta-analysis was conducted. The search yielded 1414 articles, with 38 studies included. Reported interventions include mass testing, use of personal protective equipment, symptom screening, visitor restrictions, hand hygiene and droplet/contact precautions, and resident cohorting. Prevalence rates ranged from 1.2-85.4% in residents and 0.6-62.6% in staff. Mortality rates ranged from 5.3-55.3% in residents. Novel evidence in this review details the impact of facility size, availability of staff and practices of operating between multiple facilities, and for-profit status of facilities as factors contributing to the size and number of COVID-19 outbreaks. No causative relationships can be determined; however, this review provides evidence of interventions that reduce transmission of COVID-19 in long term care facilities.

Last updated on hub: 17 November 2020

A rapid, multi-agency response to enhance care provider staff wellbeing and resilience during and post-lockdown

Research In Practice: Dartington

Isle of Wight’s Principle Social Worker, Simon Homes, discusses the rapid, cross-island response he and a new multi-disciplinary team implemented during the early stages of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, to increase care and support staff wellbeing and resilience when working during the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 22 October 2020

A reflection on the impact of COVID-19 on primary care in the United Kingdom

Journal of Interprofessional Care

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented both challenges and opportunities for those working in health and social care in the United Kingdom (UK). With much focus on secondary and acute care at this time, there has been less communication and understanding about the impact on primary care. This discussion paper is based on the experience of one of the authors working as a general practitioner/family doctor during the pandemic and rapid changes are described during this time (April 2020). Two important themes emerged from this experience focusing on the importance of supporting one another and new roles and ways of working. It can be argued that the challenges presented by COVID-19 have expedited positive and potentially sustainable change in UK primary care that has been needed for some time. The authors discuss the implications for future working and make a series of recommendations for primary care relating to the importance of supporting the workforce, remote consultations and communication, regular team meetings, and development of integrated care. It is suggested that many of the challenges highlighted can be addressed by placing a greater emphasis on the use of interprofessional education (IPE) to underpin and support effective collaborative working.

Last updated on hub: 01 November 2020

A role for lived experience mental health leadership in the age of Covid-19

Journal of Mental Health

Editorial. In 2020 an invisible assassin has swept across the world, creating chaos, confusion and uncertainty. Covid 19 has taken many people’s health, some people’s lives and the lives of loved ones. It has destroyed livelihoods and put the financial futures of billions at risk. At a time when there is a global mental health crisis, the lived experience community has answers that are highly appropriate to the trauma-induced situation we’re all facing. The editorial considers the role for lived experience mental health leadership in the age of Covid-19.

Last updated on hub: 20 June 2020

A snapshot of poverty in Winter 2020

Bevan Foundation

Presents data gathered by YouGov through a national online survey in early December, highlighting the economic impact of the pandemic and how it has affected people across Welsh society. Nearly a quarter of Welsh households, 328,000 households, have seen their incomes fall since the start of the pandemic. At the same time households have seen a number of key living costs increase including 41% seeing an increase in the cost of heating, electric and/ or water and 38% seeing an increase in the cost of food. Whilst the economic impact of the pandemic has hit people across Welsh society, it is the poorest households who have been most greatly impacted, with many forced to cut back on essentials or forced to borrow money. Many are fearful that they will have to continue to do so over the next three months. The data shows that there is broad public support for the Welsh Government to take greater action to invest in both short term and long term solutions to poverty. Among the measures that there is popular support from the public for are provision of emergency support for struggling families (74% in favour) funding for young people aged 16-18 who want to continue in education or training (67%) investment to close the attainment gap (67%) and the construction of more social homes (63%) in favour, additional support with Council Tax (56%) and a cap on social rents (55%).

Last updated on hub: 26 January 2021

A Spending Review for wellbeing

The Health Foundation

This policy briefing sets out evidence-based priorities for how the Spending Review can improve the nation’s mental health and tackle mental health inequalities, focusing on how areas of public spending outside of NHS revenue funding (already agreed) can be used to greatest effect. Mental ill health has an economic and social cost of £119 billion a year, as measured in health spending, output losses and human capital. The coronavirus pandemic, and the necessary steps the Government has taken to save lives, will have profound and lasting effects on the public’s mental health. The briefing estimates that at least half a million more people will experience a mental health difficulty this year as a result, making a Spending Review for wellbeing essential for the future health of the nation. The briefing sets out six key proposals for improving mental health in England, including committing to a cross-government approach to better mental health; investing urgently in local authority public health services; expanding access to evidence-based parenting interventions; committing to a fair and sustainable long-term social care settlement; earmarking capital funding for the NHS to update its mental health estate; and funding specialist counselling for parents who have been bereaved by still birth or baby loss.

Last updated on hub: 03 August 2020

A structured tool for communication and care planning in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

Residents in long-term care settings are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 infections and, compared to younger adults, are at higher risk of poor outcomes and death. Given the poor prognosis of resuscitation outcomes for COVID-19 in general, the specter of COVID-19 in long-term care residents should prompt revisiting goals of care. Visitor restriction policies enacted to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to long-term care residents requires advance care planning discussions to be conducted remotely. A structured approach can help guide discussions regarding the diagnosis, expected course, and care of individuals with COVID-19 in long-term care settings. Information should be shared in a transparent and comprehensive manner to allay the increased anxiety that families may feel during this time. To achieve this, this paper proposes an evidence-based COVID-19 Communication and Care Planning Tool that allows for an informed consent process and shared decision making between the clinician, resident, and their family.

Last updated on hub: 24 August 2020

A study of universal SARS-CoV-2 RNA testing of residents and staff in a large group of care homes in South London

Corrected proof first published 5 September 2020. Background: Care homes have experienced a high number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)–related deaths among residents since the onset of the pandemic. However, up to May 2020, there has been a lack of information about the extent of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among residents and staff in care homes and limited testing in this setting. Methods: Combined nose and throat swab testing for SARS-CoV-2 RNA was carried out in 2455 residents and staff across 37 care homes in the London Borough of Bromley across a 3-week period. Results were reported within 24 hours of sample delivery, and data were collected on the presence or absence of symptoms. Results: Overall, the point prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection was 6.5%, with a higher rate in residents (9.0%) than in staff (4.7%). A key finding was the high proportion of asymptomatic infection detected in staff (69%) and residents (51%), with evidence of underdetection of symptoms by care home staff. Conclusions: The high proportion of asymptomatic infection combined with underdetection of symptoms by care home staff indicates that offering a test to all residents and staff in care homes with rapid reporting of results would assist accurate identification of infected individuals, facilitating prompt infection prevention and control action. Citation: Marossy, A. et al. (2020). A Study of Universal Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 RNA Testing Among Residents and Staff in a Large Group of Care Homes in South London. The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Last updated on hub: 13 November 2020

A telling experience: understanding the impact of Covid-19 on people who access care and support: a rapid evidence review with recommendations

Think Local Act Personal

A review of the evidence exploring the impact of the Care Act Easements (CAE) and/or Covid-19 on the lives of people who accessed care and support, and unpaid carers. The evidence reviewed pointed to the general confusion and anxiety of the early pandemic upon the general public and specifically upon those who accessed care and support, focusing on: loneliness and isolation; financial pressures; practical issues around food shopping; increase in health anxiety; and changes to the streetscape. The research also revealed more specific findings related to those who accessed care and support and their unpaid or family carers, including: an overarching challenge around communications; concerns around Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); cancellations of respite and day services; and some examples of changes to care packages. The review also identifies areas of good practice and learning which might be drawn upon to help build a legacy for future care and support, including: support to shape future communications and advice around a potential second Covid-19 wave; building on aspects of flexible and agile working, particularly in terms of digital models of provision; supported living and extra care providers such as Shared Lives; potential of personalisation reaffirmed as the cornerstone of future delivery; pockets of good practice around co-production to build upon for future learning; innovation and good practice in commissioning to build a new a vision for mental health support and more widely across health and social care; potential of the informal networks of Mutual Aid groups and neighbourhood support and of national networks to share information, good practice and learning at a sector leadership level.

Last updated on hub: 13 October 2020