COVID-19 resources

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The mental health emergency: how has the coronavirus pandemic impacted our mental health?

MIND

Sets out findings of a survey to understand the experiences of people with pre-existing mental health problems during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the challenges that they are facing, the coping strategies that they are using, and the support they would like to receive. The report highlights how pre-existing inequalities have been worsened by the pandemic with some groups being more likely to report that their mental health has declined, including women, people with disabilities, those living in social housing, people with eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, or personality disorders, and frontline workers. Whilst the research did not find a significant difference in the overall rate of decline in mental health for people from BAME communities in comparison to White people, they did report that their mental health got worse. Key learnings set out in this report include: more than half of adults and over two thirds of young people said that their mental health has gotten worse during the period of lockdown restrictions, from early April to mid-May; restrictions on seeing people, being able to go outside and worries about the health of family and friends are the key factors driving poor mental health; feelings of loneliness have made nearly two thirds of people’s mental health worse during the past month; many people do not feel entitled to seek help, and have difficulty accessing it when they do; a quarter of adults and young people who tried to access support were unable to do so - not feeling comfortable using phone/video call technology has been one of the main barriers to accessing support.

Last updated on hub: 20 July 2020

Safeguarding: remote and blended learning: challenges and approaches

Education and Training Inspectorate

This paper identifies the key safeguarding challenges faced by schools and educational and training organisations during the period of educational closures due to COVID-19 and how these have been approached across all phases of education and training. Challenges include: the impact of the absence of day-to-day contact with more vulnerable children and young people; the reported increase in domestic abuse cases during COVID-19; a need to have updated policies reflecting a change to e-learning practices; concerns regarding the use of online remote learning platforms or communication methods; the high numbers of apprentices who have lost their jobs or been furloughed; most European Social Fund (ESF) projects lacking the IT infrastructure for remote learning and on-line support for their participants. The paper sets out a range of examples from each phase detailing how specific organisations have responded and the approaches they have put in place.

Last updated on hub: 20 July 2020

Coronavirus: a ban on evictions and help for rough sleepers

House of Commons Library

This briefing paper explains measures the Government has put in place during the coronavirus outbreak to assist households to retain their homes and to enable local authorities to tackle the specific challenges faced by rough sleepers. As an extension of the moratorium on repossession actions has been granted in England and Wales, confirmation that possession action will start again from 24 August has led commentators to call for more action to prevent a spike in evictions. Furthermore, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has updated the statutory Homelessness code of guidance for local authorities, advising local authorities to account for the impact of Covid-19 on vulnerability when assessing those in priority need for accommodation. However, concerns remain about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on rough sleepers and other people experiencing homelessness. [Updated 23 August 2020]

Last updated on hub: 20 July 2020

Globalisation and social work education in the Republic of Ireland: towards informed transnational social work for transnational problems such as COVID-19

International Social Work

Critically informed commentary is employed to examine globalisation and social work education in the Republic of Ireland. This is extended in analysis by a tripartite conceptual framework. The emphasis is on preparing practitioners for transnational practice, in response to global social interdependencies and transnational social problems such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The concern is that social work education risks being outpaced by changes imposed through intensifying globalisation. The article is timely and opportune as advances towards universalism and global interconnectedness in social work are underway. To date, the need to promote better global awareness, within Irish social work curricula, remains.

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020

News from our societies – IFSW: COVID-19: the struggle, success and expansion of social work – reflections on the profession’s global response, 5 months on

International Social Work

This opinion piece has been written to start a conversation about the changes in delivery of social services brought about by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. It draws on countless verbal conversations and more than 80 written reports received by the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) as the social work response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has unfolded. The author suggests change in the delivery of social services normally takes years. There are exceptions, where political direction coincides with the aspirations of the communities and social services workforce, but these are rare. The journey over the last five months is something new: a change at global level caused by a pandemic, where social workers have been and continue to be at the forefront advocating and leading change in nearly every country.

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020

Social work’s role during and after the pandemic: keeping vigilant and hopeful on human rights

International Social Work

Editorial for this issue. COVID-19 has taken the world by storm, capturing attention and action in unprecedented ways. It has highlighted global inequalities and the political disjunctures between popularism and public health advice. The editorial suggests that social workers around the world are having to enter this storm to serve their communities and that ethical dilemmas abound as systems struggle to cope and access to resources tightens. Introduces the articles in this issue, where one paper provide insight into context of COVID-19 for social work (Truell, R.) and another considers globalisation and social work education (Flynn, S.).

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020

Liverpool City Council: sustaining intergenerational initiatives

Liverpool City Council

Practice example about how the Inter-generational Sustainable Skills Exchange funded by Liverpool City Council has continued to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. The service brings together socially isolated older adults and allow them to teach their life skills to parents and children in their community. Also covers some of the key challenges and learning points to date.

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020

Time to be radical? The view from system leaders on the future of ‘system by default’

NHS Confederation

Summarises the results of a poll of system leaders to assess which direction of travel integrated care systems (ICSs) would like to see, as they begin to look beyond the emergency response to COVID-19 and towards a coherent future vision for system by default. In total, 40 responded to the poll, representing approximately half of all STP and ICS leaders and chairs nationwide. Findings indicate that since the outbreak of the pandemic there has been a growing appetite among system leaders for significant strengthening of system working, with an increasing number favouring a move away from the current ‘voluntary partnerships’ approach in favour of more formalised working arrangements. The vast majority of leaders agreed that ICSs should be driven from place-based working, with only a limited number of strategic issues dealt with at system level. Almost two thirds (63 per cent) were supportive of some form of statutory integration between health care and social care, but 17 per cent disagreed and 20 per cent of respondents were undecided. While leaders view joint working between the NHS and local government as central to the work of ICSs, it would seem that more discussion is needed about putting this on a statutory basis.

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020

Preparing for a challenging winter 2020/21

Academy of Medical Sciences

This report considers a worst-case scenario for winter 2020/21 – a likely mix of COVID-19, bad seasonal influenza and cold weather; what this would mean for deaths, NHS capacity and social care; and the actions that would enable the health and social care system to better cope in the face of new winter pressures resulting from the pandemic. The need for health and social care undergoes large seasonal fluctuations, peaking in the winter, with the NHS and social care systems typically operating at maximal capacity in the winter months. The report identifies four additional challenges that have great potential to exacerbate winter 2020/21 pressures on the health and social care system, by increasing demand on usual care as well as limiting surge capacity: a large resurgence of COVID-19 nationally, with local or regional epidemics; disruption of the health and social care systems due to reconfigurations to respond to and reduce transmission of COVID-19; a backlog of non-COVID-19 care; and a possible influenza epidemic that will add pressure. The paper argues that there is a need for urgent preparation to mitigate the risks of a particularly challenging winter 2020/21, including: minimising community SARS-CoV-2 transmission and impact; organising health and social care settings to maximise infection control and ensure that COVID-19 and routine care can take place in parallel; improving public health surveillance for COVID-19, influenza and other winter diseases; and minimising influenza transmission and impact, including by maximising the uptake of influenza vaccination by health and social care workers. Includes a ‘Peoples perspective’ report in appendix, written by patients and carers, that calls for the actions to be developed through engagement with patients, carers and the public to ensure services, guidelines and communications work for people, rather than focusing plans on individual medical conditions.

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020

Rebuilding the NHS: resetting outpatient services for the 21st century in the context of COVID-19

Royal College of Physicians

In this document, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) set out principles and recommendations for resetting outpatient services in the context of the ongoing pandemic. The paper recommends that services should make sure that all relevant organisations, patients and carers are involved in the coproduction and implementation of reset plans; further the integration of primary, secondary, social and community care; systematically consider the impact of their reset plans on inequality; work towards a system in which patient records are available to everyone involved in decision making and provision of care; design new clinical processes to maximise the benefit of new technology to patients, carers and clinicians; and make sure that everyone involved has access to the education, training and support they need to adapt to and use new systems. The paper argues that payment must incentivise the reduction of inequality, greater integration and the increased use of technology and calls for the introduction of a blended payment model for the outpatient system, combining a fixed payment based on the likely needs of the population with a payment based on outcomes, including patient-reported quality of communication and experience.

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020