COVID-19 resources

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How Coronavirus has affected people with learning disabilities and autistic people: easy read

Department of Health and Social Care

This report comes from the Social Care Taskforce National Advisory Group: People with Learning Disabilities and Autistic People. The group gives the Government advice about services for people with learning disabilities or autistic people. The report explains how Coronavirus is affecting people with learning disabilities and autistic people; and what the Government should do to keep people safe. This includes new ways of working; accessible information; continuing to support people; helping lonely people and those who are often are left out.

Last updated on hub: 19 October 2020



This website is for families or close friends having problems visiting a loved one who is autistic and/or has learning disabilities. Visits are being limited or stopped because of COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 19 October 2020

Lockdown loneliness and anxiety across the generations

The Nuffield Trust

An examination of the impact of lockdown on emotional wellbeing and mental health, by age group, finding that young people tended to fare worse.

Last updated on hub: 19 October 2020

Mental health in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic: cross-sectional analyses from a community cohort study

BMJ Open

Objectives Previous pandemics have resulted in significant consequences for mental health. Here, we report the mental health sequelae of the COVID-19 pandemic in a UK cohort and examine modifiable and non-modifiable explanatory factors associated with mental health outcomes. We focus on the first wave of data collection, which examined short-term consequences for mental health, as reported during the first 4–6 weeks of social distancing measures being introduced. Design Cross-sectional online survey. Setting Community cohort study. Participants N=3097 adults aged ≥18 years were recruited through a mainstream and social media campaign between 3 April 2020 and 30 April 2020. The cohort was predominantly female (n=2618); mean age 44 years; 10% (n=296) from minority ethnic groups; 50% (n=1559) described themselves as key workers and 20% (n=649) identified as having clinical risk factors putting them at increased risk of COVID-19. Main outcome measures Depression, anxiety and stress scores. Results Mean scores for depression (Embedded Image =7.69, SD=6.0), stress (Embedded Image =6.48, SD=3.3) and anxiety (Embedded Image = 6.48, SD=3.3) significantly exceeded population norms (all p<0.0001). Analysis of non-modifiable factors hypothesised to be associated with mental health outcomes indicated that being younger, female and in a recognised COVID-19 risk group were associated with increased stress, anxiety and depression, with the final multivariable models accounting for 7%–14% of variance. When adding modifiable factors, significant independent effects emerged for positive mood, perceived loneliness and worry about getting COVID-19 for all outcomes, with the final multivariable models accounting for 54%–57% of total variance. Conclusions Increased psychological morbidity was evident in this UK sample and found to be more common in younger people, women and in individuals who identified as being in recognised COVID-19 risk groups. Public health and mental health interventions able to ameliorate perceptions of risk of COVID-19, worry about COVID-19 loneliness and boost positive mood may be effective.

Last updated on hub: 15 October 2020

Our recovery plan for unpaid carers

Carers UK

This document sets out a framework for ensuring the need of carers and the people they care for are fully considered in any recovery plans in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic – whether they are by Government, the NHS, local authorities, organisations providing services to carers, businesses or employers. It focuses on the recognition of carers, equality and diversity; carers and their finances; health, wellbeing and prevention; carer identification; carers assessments as a prevention tool; services, care support and the NHS; food and hunger; investment in digital and tech; employment; and how to better support carers in the medium term.

Last updated on hub: 15 October 2020

Stories of shielding: life in the pandemic for those with health and care needs

National Voices

Brings together the voices and stories of people with long-term health conditions during COVID-19. The report is based on the submissions to the digital platform Our COVID Voices, which was created for people with health and care needs to share their experiences. The platform received 70 unfiltered views and stories from people at great risk of all the effects of the pandemic, including anxiety, uncertainty and changes to their care. But it goes much deeper, into their relationships, their jobs and dealing with the everyday aspects of life in the pandemic. This document collates quotes from these stories to provide an overview of the real-life experiences of individuals shielding.

Last updated on hub: 15 October 2020

Care experienced children and young people’s mental health: ESSS Outline

The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services

Evidence summary that provides an overview of recent evidence relating to care experienced children and young people’s mental health and the support available to them. The review explores the evidence on the reasons for poor mental health, including trauma, stigma and instability; the consequences of poor mental health for care experienced children; and the approaches used to support them, including assessment, support and interventions. The report finds that while there are a range of policies and services aimed at supporting the emotional wellbeing of care experienced children, priorities and approaches are not always consistent, and it is unclear which interventions and programmes work or are successful in or transferable from other countries. Support services do not consistently recognise the impact of the trauma and abuse that care experienced children and young people have often experienced; there is a lack of a proactive and preventative approach; there are barriers to accessing support; and children and young people often perceive care as something that is done to them, not with them. The report contains a brief overview on how the Covid-19 pandemic and approaches to dealing with it have affected care experienced young people.

Last updated on hub: 15 October 2020

Disability inclusive Covid-19 response

House of Commons Library

This briefing offers an overview of key aspects relating to efforts to include people with disabilities in the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Focusing on England, it provides information on the Equality Act 2010, the wearing of face coverings, access to education and health services, employment support and social care during the coronavirus outbreak.

Last updated on hub: 15 October 2020

The experience of older people instructed to shield or self-isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic

English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

19 pandemic A vital weapon in the fight against COVID-19 has been the shielding of clinically extremely vulnerable individuals at high risk, and instructions to clinically vulnerable people at moderate risk to stay at home and avoid face-to-face contact as far as possible. The consequences of this advice for mental health and well-being are not well understood. The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing COVID-19 Substudy provided an opportunity to evaluate impact on mental health, quality of life, social connectedness, worries, and health-related behaviour in more than 5,800 older men and women (mean age 70 years). We found that although most individuals instructed by the NHS or their GPs to isolate and avoid face-to-face contact stayed at home as far as possible (defined as high risk), only 60% were strictly isolating. The high risk participants experienced higher levels of depression, anxiety, and loneliness, and reduced quality of life compared with others, and this was particularly marked among those who were isolating. Poor mental health was not related to reductions in social contacts, but there were higher levels of worry about obtaining food and other essentials. Physical activity was reduced and sleep impaired among high risk participants. The advice to people at risk may have saved lives and reduced infection, but it has come at a cost. If future outbreaks of COVID-19 require the reintroduction of shielding and avoidance of face-to-face contact, efforts should be made to allay concerns and encourage health promoting behaviour so as to avoid further impairment of the quality of life and mental health.

Last updated on hub: 15 October 2020

The experience of older people with multimorbidity during the COVID-19 pandemic

English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

The risk of severe COVID-19 disease is known to be higher in older individuals with multiple long-term health conditions (multimorbidity). In this briefing, we report the latest findings from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing COVID-19 Substudy on the experiences of older people with multimorbidity during the pandemic. Not all people with multimorbidity would be classified as clinically vulnerable. We found that 35% of older individuals with multimorbidity were instructed by the NHS or their GP to shield (staying at home at all times and avoiding any face-to-face contact) on account of their vulnerability, and the majority were largely compliant with this advice. Relative to study members without multimorbidity, respondents with multimorbidity were more likely to report poor sleep quality, eating less, and being worried about not having enough food and other essentials. Unhealthy behaviours (sitting time, physical inactivity etc), poor mental health, and loneliness deteriorated considerably during the lockdown and in the two months following the lockdown. Access to medications among people with multimorbidity was not a problem, however, a fifth of individuals with multimorbidity did not have access to community health, social care services and support from other health professionals (e.g., dentist, podiatrist). When considering policies which advise people to shield or self-isolate because of their COVID-19 risk, it is important for policymakers to acknowledge that older people with multiple long-term health conditions are at higher risk of experiencing greater mental distress and worry, of engaging in unhealthy behaviours and are less likely to access health services when needed; all these factors together could potentially influence disease progression.

Last updated on hub: 15 October 2020