COVID-19 resources

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Supporting children and young people with SEND as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening

Department for Education

Risk assessment guidance for settings managing children and young people with an education, health and care (EHC) plan or complex needs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including special schools, specialist colleges, local authorities and any other settings managing children and young people with SEND. [Updated 24 July 2020]

Last updated on hub: 28 July 2020

Adult social care: shaping a better future: nine statements to help shape adult social care reform

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

This paper sets out nine statements which are intended to help shape the future of adult social care in a radical, person-centred and transformative way. As a result of Covid-19, a number of challenges have emerged and been brought to light– they offer an opportunity to rethink, redesign and reorientate care. The document argues that what is required now is a total reset; a wholesale reimaging of adult social care, built around the following statements: we need a public conversation about adult social care reform; locally integrated care, built around the individual, should be the norm; we need a complete review of how care markets operate; we must address existing and historical inequalities; housing is central to care and to our lives; we need a workforce strategy; we must prioritise access to technological and digital solutions; we need a cross-government strategy; we need to manage the transition. The paper calls for a two-year funding settlement in 2020 that ensures the short-term sustainability and continuity of care; creates the space to undertake the national conversation that will ultimately shape a new person-centred vision for adult social care, secure new deal for those that work in social care and family carers; and help properly transition to the new models of care that emerge as a result.

Last updated on hub: 27 July 2020

Preventing and managing COVID-19 across long-term care services: policy brief

World Health Organization

This briefing provides policy objectives and key action points to prevent and manage COVID-19 across long-term care settings. The brief builds on currently available evidence on the measures taken to prevent, prepare for and respond to the pandemic across long-term care services including care providers. COVID-19 has affected older people disproportionately, especially those living in long-term care facilities. In many countries, evidence shows that more than 40% of COVID-19 related deaths have been linked to long-term care facilities, with figures being as high as 80% in some high-income countries. Concerted action is needed to mitigate the impact across all aspects of long-term care, including home- and community-based care, given that most users and providers of care are those who are vulnerable to severe COVID-19. Specifically, the paper argues that the following policy objectives should be pursued to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 across long-term care: include long-term care in all phases of the national response to the pandemic; mobilise adequate funding; ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of the impact of COVID-19 on long-term care; secure staff and resources, including adequate health workforce and health products; ensure the continuum and continuity of essential services for people receiving long-term care; ensure that infection prevention and control standards are implemented and adhered to in all long-term care settings; prioritise testing, contact tracing and monitoring of the spread of COVID-19 among people receiving and providing long-term care services; provide support for family and voluntary caregivers; prioritise the psychosocial well-being of people receiving and providing long-term care services; ensure a smooth transition to the recovery phase; and initiate steps for the transformation and integration of health and long-term care systems.

Last updated on hub: 27 July 2020

The impact of Covid-19 on the health and care voluntary sector

National Voices

Findings of a survey of forty health and care charities on the impact of the coronavirus emergency on their services and their income. By providing a listening ear when people need it most, signposting and advocating for the right support, delivering accurate and trusted information and advice about the virus itself or connecting to people who are experiencing similar challenges, the voluntary sector is on the frontline of combatting COVID-19. The analysis shows that 77% of respondents reported a slight or significant increase in demand for their services; 28% of respondents predicted at least a 40% drop in their fundraising income over the next 12 months; respondents estimated an approximate 30% reduction in activities during COVID-19. Key workstreams that have reduced include research programmes, core support services, cancellation or postponement of fundraising events, postponement of NHS service improvement programmes, halting of support worker training and the cessation of peer support groups. 45% of respondents had furloughed staff or were about to – of those who intended to furlough staff or had already done so, approximately 50% of staff were on furlough. From the analysis of the data, a number of key messages emerge, including: the health and care voluntary sector is central to combatting the virus and supporting those facing unique challenges during the pandemic; the sector has innovated and adapted quickly in order to maintain their services and meet increased demand but it is particularly hard hit by COVID-19; while current Government support fails to meet its unique needs, a strong and diverse health and care charity sector is needed in order to build back better from COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 27 July 2020

Child suicide rates during the COVID-19 pandemic in England: real-time surveillance

National Child Mortality Database (NCMD)

This briefing describes the findings from a real-time surveillance system (which was set up to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic) relating to child death by suicide in England during lockdown. The report identifies likely suicides between 1 January 2020 and 17 May 2020, and compared rates before and during lockdown (a comparison was also made with deaths occurring at a similar time in 2019). In 2020, during the 82 days before lockdown, there were 26 likely child suicides and a further 25 in the first 56 days of lockdown. In 12 of the 25 post-lockdown deaths, factors related to Covid-19 or lockdown were thought to have contributed to the deaths. While there is a concerning signal that child suicide deaths may have increased during the first 56 days of lockdown, the risk remains low and numbers are too small to reach definitive conclusions. Amongst the likely suicide deaths reported after lockdown, restriction to education and other activities, disruption to care and support services, tensions at home and isolation appeared to be contributing factors. Although the finding of increased risk is unconfirmed statistically, clinicians and services should be aware of the possible increase and the need for vigilance and support.

Last updated on hub: 27 July 2020

Tips on visiting care home residents as lockdown eases

Brings together guidance and advice on how the public can visit care home residents as the COVID-19 lockdown measures ease. The resource covers: government guidelines to care home visits for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland; how care homes enable visitors; what to do before visiting a care home; what to expect from the first visit after lockdown; and visiting a relative living with dementia in a care home.

Last updated on hub: 27 July 2020

COVID-19: Insights and experiences from the sector

SCIE has created webinars, podcasts, blogs and Q&As to hear insights and experiences from people within the social care sector.

Last updated on hub: 27 July 2020

The Corona crisis and the erosion of ‘the social’ – giving a decisive voice to the social professions

European Journal of Social Work

The Covid-19 crisis hit the world at a time when neoliberal politics had systematically eroded social solidarity with their emphasis on unrestrained individualism. The collective measures necessary to contain the pandemic infringe people’s autonomy severely, and thereby expose the contradictory polarisation between individual liberty and the ‘common good’ which has arisen. ‘Social distancing’ has long become an accompanying feature of globalisation and the crisis threatens to deepen social, economic and political divisions and to herald a retreat to more divisive measures. The professional experience social work and social pedagogy have in dealing with the underlying contradictions and their specific knowledge on how to constitute social solidarity in conditions of justice and equality are now more than ever relevant in the post-crisis reconstruction. Their core message is that personal autonomy can only be achieved in the context of fair structural conditions, and these professions have a vital role in promoting the constructive realignment of both spheres.

Last updated on hub: 23 July 2020

COVID-19 and social protection in Europe and Central Asia

World Health Organization

The COVID-19 epidemic is a health and a socioeconomic crisis without precedent. Governments across the WHO European Region and Central Asia have introduced a variety of policy responses to mitigate the consequences of the containment measures on well-being and the economy, employment and incomes, and on families and children who are not able to access social and health services. This discussion paper considers some of the key social protection interventions, including health protection, unemployment, family and child support, and measures against social exclusion and housing insecurity. Where comprehensive social protection systems and policies are already well established, they protect people from risks during normal circumstances, but are also better equipped to respond when emergencies hit and mitigate against social and health inequalities. The crisis is a moment of opportunity to accelerate long-postponed reforms in well-developed welfare states and to work towards the establishment of national social protection floors in countries whose social protection systems are still fragmented to ensure universal access to health and income security for all.

Last updated on hub: 23 July 2020

Remote mental health interventions for young people: a rapid review of the evidence

Youth Access

Summarises current evidence of the impact and implementation of remote interventions to support young people’s mental health. Remote interventions include any form of support that is not delivered in person (e.g. telephone or video calls, online chat messaging or forums, text messages or emails). The review focuses on remote support that is delivered by a counsellor, or other practitioner and does not cover app-based or computerised interventions. Very few robust evaluations of remote support were identified; however, those included in this review suggest it can lead to improvements in young people’s mental health and wellbeing. There were examples of how these interventions can allow services to work flexibly and adapt their ways of communication to fit the needs of the young person. However, the findings suggest that using remote interventions as a replacement for face-to-face support (as was necessary during the Covid-19 pandemic) is problematic. Remote interventions were typically described as ‘brief’ and practitioners often did not have time to identify action plans or goals. The report suggests that training around the strengths of remote support, and the experiences of young people may be helpful. This should also be included in undergraduate and entry level training for mental health practitioners.

Last updated on hub: 23 July 2020