COVID-19 resources

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Social Care Sector: Covid-19 Support Taskforce: full recommendations - including all Advisory Group recommendations

Department of Health and Social Care

This document presents the full recommendations of the Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce and the eight advisory groups. In response to COVID-19, the taskforce was commissioned, beginning its work on 15 June 2020 and completing its work at the end of August 2020, to provide advice and recommendations to government and the social care sector. Eight advisory groups were established to explore specific areas of care, namely: black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities; carers; good practice, guidance and innovation; mental health and wellbeing; older people and people living with dementia; people with learning disabilities and autistic people; self-directed support; and workforce. In addition to the specific themes of the advisory groups, the recommendations cover the key themes in the overall management of COVID-19 and social care, including personal protective equipment (PPE), testing, flu vaccine, workforce and carers, training, funding, evidence and guidance, communication, clinical support, movement of people between care and health settings, inspection and regulation, capacity, expertise and information, use of data and digital, and national, regional and local structures; the Care Home Support Plan; the Adult Social Care Action Plan; managing community outbreaks and the response of social care; key themes emerging from the taskforce advisory groups; and planning for the next phase of the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce: BAME Communities Advisory: report and recommendations

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the BAME Communities Advisory Group (AG), established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. It includes a summary literature review and selections of findings from consultations that the AG has drawn upon to make its recommendations. Part 2, is an appendix, containing the other material that informed the work of the AG. The methodology for developing the recommendations in this report comprised: a rapid literature review (UK Civil Service, 2014) to scope overall thematic issues and appraise existing research on the employment experiences of BAME professionals; an online survey of BAME professionals and service users and carers; two virtual consultations on Zoom of BAME service users and carers and professionals, using the focus group method; and key informant interviews of leaders of social care organisations and faith groups. The report make ten recommendations, including that that people with lived experience should be at the forefront of developing social care policy and guidance that affects BAME communities; and that there should be parity between staff working in the NHS and social care in research, the design, development and delivery of programmes that support BAME staff through this and future pandemics

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Carers Advisory Group submission to the ASC Sector COVID19 Taskforce: how can we prepare and support carers better?

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the Carers Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. The evidence (Annex) is drawn from the experience of thousands of unpaid carers, supporting family and friends who are disabled, chronically ill or older; the experience from organisations, local authorities, NHS commissioners, providers of services and researchers; and evidence from employers and their staff networks on support needed for employers and employees to remain in work. The taskforce proposals on advice, connecting, supporting, capacity and sustainability include: overarching recommendations; action that needs to be taken for any local lockdowns or future spikes/waves; immediate and urgent actions – to be taken pre-September 2020; action required for the first phase of winter – up to October 2020; and action required for the second phase of winter – up to March 2021. The overarching recommendation is that Government and leaders should recognise carers early in briefings and communications. The absence of carers when health and care workers were mentioned in news briefings made them feel overlooked, undervalued and confused about what they could access.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Social Care Sector Covid-19 Support Taskforce: Guidance, Good Practice and Innovation Advisory Group: final report on recommendations

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the Guidance, Good Practice and Innovation Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. The recommendations cover: guidance – social care responsibilities in local outbreaks of COVID 19, accessibility and accuracy of social care guidance, guidance coproduction and stakeholder groups, discharge from hospital to care settings, visiting friends and carers, use of guidance, use of PPE; good practice – COVID 19 commissioning guidance, accessing on-line resources, mutual aid and volunteering, primary care support, support for homeless people, maintaining wellbeing; and innovation – Social Care Innovation Network, scale and embed technology-enabled care models, global innovation, self-funders and unpaid carers.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Report of the Department of Health and Social Care C19 Task Force: Mental Health and Wellbeing Advisory Group

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. The Advisory Group has considered the context of and the priority action required for stability and continuity in the social care sector, in order to respond to the mental health and wellbeing needs of people and communities, to ensure that services can continue to navigate and deal with the effects of Covid-19 and plan for winter 2020/21. The report recommends that all service users known to mental health services must have the opportunity to review, with their care manager, their care plan, to ensure that these plans include provision for ongoing support; that all statutory services must be required to ensure they remain in regular contact with service users, that risk is managed with them and any commissioned providers throughout the pandemic and beyond; a clear and targeted focus on prevention that recognises and responds to the structural and intersectional determinants of mental illness and inequalities in mental health outcomes, particularly for BAME people and communities, is required of all services; and that the essential role of adult social care in the meeting the needs of people with mental health challenges and their carers and in promoting population mental health and wellbeing, must be explicitly recognised by the NHS and its leadership at national and local levels.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Draft final report: national advisory group: People with Learning Disabilities and Autistic People

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the People with Learning Disabilities and Autistic People Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. The report calls for an end to the ethos of doing things for or to people, and instead embedding the practice of coproduction into all COVID-19 planning both locally and nationally. The Advisory Group’s highest priority recommendations are that government should commit to accessible guidance and communications for people with learning disabilities and autistic people, and their families, being issued with or very soon after all future COVID-19 guidance; restore, maintain and adapt the support for individuals and families already assessed as having eligible needs; urgently identify and provide the level of resources needed for councils or CCGs to financially stabilise provider organisations at risk of collapse; reduce isolation and loneliness for people with learning disabilities, autistic people and their families, through expanding the reach of NHS and other volunteering programmes, and COVID-19 hubs, to people with learning disabilities and autistic people, and investing in a national awareness campaign encouraging and enabling communities and mutual aid groups to be more inclusive and supportive; and reach individuals and families who don’t receive social care support or organise their own, but who are isolated or in crisis.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Report of the Social Care Taskforce's Older People and People Affected by Dementia Advisory Group

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the Older People and People Affected by Dementia Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. The recommendations cover the following areas: restoring and sustaining contact with visitors in care homes; restoring care services and assessments; reinstating and sustaining community-based services and support; restoring and sustaining access to health care; ensuring effective safeguarding; and planning for and managing outbreaks. The report calls for all care settings and providers to have sufficient PPE; regular and ongoing testing of care staff and care recipients; the testing regime to be reliable and timely in its operation and resultant data to be shared with relevant NHS bodies and professionals, as well as providers; the flu vaccination programme to be unparalleled in its scope and ambition, and reach out to all social care staff and recipients in all settings, and informal carers too, supported by mass marketing; the financial resilience of care providers to be kept under constant review, with plans in place and regularly updated by CQC, central and local Government, to mitigate any significant market failure; total and available care capacity should be published weekly; and the ongoing challenges in data sharing and data governance between health and social care settings must be resolved by September 2020.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Adult Social Care COVID-19 Taskforce: Self Directed Support (SDS) Advisory Group report

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the Self Directed Support (SDS) Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. The Advisory Group looked specifically at what was needed to ensure that people who self direct their care and/or support (for themselves or a family member) are able to maintain their wellbeing, safety and independence during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report aligns its recommendations to seven ‘I’ statements, covering: 1. Rights – there needs to be specific guidance/ training on human rights in relation to Covid-19 with proactive safeguarding in place where needed; 2. Trust – implementation of existing Government guidance needs to be robustly monitored with statutory organisations being held to account if this doesn’t translate into people’s experiences; 3. Information – information needs to be available at a local level that is joined up across different agencies and developed with people who self-direct their support; 4. Practical Support – the offer of practical support should result from a coordinated effort and not be left to chance; 5. Connection – there needs to be coordinated and concerted activity to ensure people have opportunities for connection; 6. Balance – there needs to be coordinated and concerted activity to ensure people are contacted in a supportive way, on a regular basis should they wish, to check how they are doing; 7. Choice - where services are closed there should be alternatives offered or the ability to choose to use that element of PB/PHB in a different way.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Social Care Taskforce: Workforce Advisory Group: report and recommendations

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the Workforce Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. Two consistent themes have run throughout the work of the Advisory Group: the low priority given to planning and resource allocation for the workforce who support individual employers; and the importance of coherent and timely guidance which meets the needs of the workforce and their employers in their respective environments. The recommendations have been grouped as “top priority”, “highly important” and “important”. The top priorities cover: pay and recognition of the workforce; maintain the safety and wellbeing of our workforce; fully-fund measures to minimise staff movement and self-isolation; supporting workers’ mental and physical health; and maximise uptake of seasonal influenza vaccination.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Public health and human rights: ‘valuable people at risk’

National Mental Capacity Forum

This webinar explores what it means to get the balance right between protecting public health and respecting the human rights of vulnerable people in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020