COVID-19 resources

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Rapid review of the evidence on impacts of visiting policies in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic

International Long-term Care Policy Network

This is a pre-print article (not yet peer-reviewed). The researchers carried out a rapid review of evidence to address three questions: What is the evidence on the impact of visitors in terms of infections in care homes? What is the evidence on the impact of closing care homes to visitors on the wellbeing of residents? and What has been the impact of restricting visits on quality of care? Findings: the review found no scientific evidence that visitors to care homes introduced COVID-19 infections, however during the peak of the pandemic most countries did not allow visiting and there are some anecdotal reports attributing infections to visitors before restrictions. The review also found that there is increasing evidence that care home residents experienced greater depression and loneliness and demonstrated more behavioural disturbance during the period that included visitor bans. In addition, there is evidence of substantial care provision by unpaid carers and volunteers in care homes prior to the pandemic, hence visiting restrictions may have resulted in reductions in quality of care or additional tasks for care home staff. Conclusions: Given that there were already low rates of social interactions among residents and loneliness before the COVID-19 pandemic, the evidence reviewed suggests that visiting restrictions are likely to have exacerbated this further. While there is no scientific evidence identifying visitors as the source of infections this is likely to reflect that most care homes did not allow visitors during the initial peaks of the pandemic. A pilot re-opening homes to visits under strict guidelines did not result in any infections. Allowing visitors in facilities where there are no COVID-19 cases is important to support resident wellbeing. Safeguards to reduce risk of COVID-19 infection have been described, including visits through windows/glass, outdoor visits, and well-ventilated indoor spaces, screening of visitors, use of masks and other PPE and hand hygiene and cleaning. In addition, it is important to recognize and support the provision of unpaid care, particularly for people who pre-COVID had a history of regular visiting to provide care (e.g. feeding, grooming, emotional support). They should be classified as essential workers, provided training and PPE, and be allowed to visit regularly and provide care, interacting as closely with residents as staff.

Last updated on hub: 02 November 2020

Coronavirus information point for children's care and protection

Centre for Excellence for Children's Care and Protection

This resource brings together and signposts to guidance and information relating to Covid-19 and children's social care, covering residential care, kinship care, adoption, and foster care.

Last updated on hub: 02 November 2020

Sexual violence and COVID-19: all silent on the home front

Journal of Gender-Based Violence

In this article, we reflect on the framing of violence against women in mainstream media in the UK, and some policy documents and guidance, in the first four weeks of the COVID-19 induced lockdown. In so doing, we consider the implications associated with the frequent failure to acknowledge sexual violence as a unique, and discrete, element of violence against women. Amid a context of overshadowing and absence, we also raise for debate (and recognition) the likely challenges associated with moving specialist voluntary sector sexual violence organisations into workers’ homes, to enable service provision to continue. In developing our arguments, we draw on conversations with voluntary sector sexual violence practitioners in England and existing literature that highlights the importance of the boundary between home and the job, when working with the ‘taint’ of sexual offences. Such a boundary rapidly recedes when sexual violence services, and their functions, are moved into workers’ living spaces. We set out some of the likely impacts of this changed work context and argue that projections for the resources required to manage COVID-19 in the longer term, must not forget about the needs of frontline voluntary sector workers.

Last updated on hub: 01 November 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

Age-friendly student senior connection: students’ experience in an interprofessional pilot program to combat loneliness and isolation among older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic

Journal of Interprofessional Care

Loneliness and isolation are concerning consequences of social distancing and other stay-at-home orders for older adults globally, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. To combat loneliness and isolation among older adults residing in California, the Keck School of Medicine collaborated with other health profession schools at the University of Southern California (USC) to create the Age-Friendly Student Senior Connection (AFSSC). A total of 115 interprofessional graduate students were linked with older adults. Students engaged in 30 to 60 minute phone calls with older adults 2 to 5 times per week for 6 weeks. Student preparation included asynchronous video and web-based learning, weekly synchronous de-briefing sessions with a participating faculty member via Zoom, phone, and e-mail support from faculty, and information about resources for older adults. Faculty held weekly meetings throughout the pilot and developed new resources to respond to older adult needs, as reported by students. A total of 102 students completed pre-program and post-program surveys. Preliminary results show statistically significant changes in the reported benefits and outcomes from students participating in the program.

Last updated on hub: 01 November 2020

Exploring the challenges faced by frontline workers in health and social care amid the COVID-19 pandemic: experiences of frontline workers in the English Midlands region, UK

Journal of Interprofessional Care

The first cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) were reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Globally millions of people have been diagnosed with the virus whilst thousands have died. As the virus kept spreading health and social care frontline workers (HSCFW) were faced with difficulties when discharging their duties. This paper was set out to explore the challenges faced by different frontline workers in health and social care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research utilized an explorative qualitative approach. A total of forty (N = 40) in-depth one-to-one semi-structured interviews were undertaken with HSCFW who included support workers (n = 15), nurses (n = 15), and managers (N = 10). Health and social care workers were drawn from domiciliary care and care homes (with and without nursing services). All the interviews were done online. The data were thematically analyzed, and the emergent themes were supported by quotes from the interviews held with participants. Following data analysis the research study found that lack of pandemic preparedness, shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), anxiety and fear amongst professionals, challenges in enforcing social distancing, challenges in fulfilling social shielding responsibility, anxiety and fear amongst residents and service users, delay in testing, evolving PPE guidance and shortage of staff were challenges faced by frontline health and social care workers during COVID-19 pandemic. The results of the current study point to a need for adequate pandemic preparedness within the health and social care sector to protect both frontline workers and the individuals they look after.

Last updated on hub: 01 November 2020

The good enough facilitator: exploring online interprofessional therapeutic facilitation in times of COVID-19

Journal of Interprofessional Care

In the time of COVID-19, universities have been forced to engage with online learning more than ever before. The facilitator is a key player in the orchestration of online learning and as such, this paper seeks to present a radical reworking of the Garrison and Archer Community of Inquiry model that emphasizes the importance of a therapeutic presence in online interprofessional facilitation. Drawn from a strand of inductive empirical qualitative research based on 15 years’ experience of online interprofessional education, this paper employs a therapeutic lens to propose the good enough facilitator as a theoretical construct that emphasizes the importance of the facilitator understanding when to intervene and when to retreat within the online space. Online interprofessional asynchronous discussion groups are explored to illustrate the value of the good enough facilitator in online learning.

Last updated on hub: 01 November 2020

Doing interprofessional research in the COVID-19 era: a discussion paper

Journal of Interprofessional Care

The COVID-19 pandemic, and ensuing physical distancing measures, poses challenges for researchers in the field of interprofessional care. Pandemic management has highlighted the centrality of interprofessional working to effective healthcare delivery during crises. It is essential to find ways to maintain interprofessional research that has commenced, while also designing research to capture important learning from pandemic management and response. However, it also creates opportunities for new research projects and novel research designs. This discussion paper explores ways of adapting existing research methodologies and outlines potential avenues for new research. Specifically, considerations to bear in mind when designing interprofessional research during the pandemic include research ethics and integrity, research design, data collection methods, research opportunities, implications and limitations. Interprofessional research can continue to make a valuable contribution in informing global responses to COVID-19 and in planning for future global health crises. We call for, insofar as possible, for interprofessional research to continue to be developed during this time.

Last updated on hub: 01 November 2020

The COVID-19 crisis silver lining: interprofessional education to guide future innovation

Journal of Interprofessional Care

Globally, the advent and rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus has created significant disruption to health professions education and practice, and consequently interprofessional education, leading to a model of learning and practicing where much is unknown. Key questions for this ongoing evolution emerge for the global context leading to reflections on future directions for the interprofessional education field and its role in shaping future practice models. Health professions programs around the world have made a dramatic shift to virtual learning platforms in response to closures of academic institutions and restrictions imposed on learners accessing practice settings. Telemedicine, slow to become established in many countries to date, has also revolutionized practice in the current environment. Within the state of disruption and rapid change is the awareness of a silver lining that provides an opportunity for future growth. Key topics explored in this commentary include reflection on the application of existing competency frameworks, consideration of typology of team structures, reconsideration of theoretical underpinnings, revisiting of core dimensions of education, adaptation of interprofessional education activities, and the role in the future pandemic planning. As an international community of educators and researchers, the authors consider current observations relevant to interprofessional education and practice contexts and suggest a response from scholarship voices across the globe. The current pandemic offers a unique opportunity for educators, practitioners, and researchers to retain what has served interprofessional education and practice well in the past, break from what has not worked as well, and begin to imagine the new.

Last updated on hub: 01 November 2020

Social work and the future in a post-Covid 19 world: a foresight lens and a call to action for the profession

Journal of Technology in Human Services

What is the future of the social work profession? This paper explores what being more future facing might look like for social workers/educators and introduces foresight as a useful and urgently needed framework for the profession. Contemporary realities like Covid-19 and uprisings associated with long-standing racial violence bring added relevance to the need to apply new ways of thinking, use new practical techniques, and strengthen a collective ability to see beyond the current cannon of ideas and approaches. These additions to the social work toolbox are much needed in a world full of inequity, change and turbulence. Utilization of a foresight lens has the opportunity to amplify and deepen the sociological and moral imagination, as well as the strategic effectiveness of the profession of social work now and in the years ahead. The paper ends with a call to action to amplify and evolve social work strengths to join the interdisciplinary community of those using forecasting methods to build a better future.

Last updated on hub: 29 October 2020