COVID-19 resources

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An avoidable crisis: the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities

Labour Party

A report of a review into how people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds have been impacted by Covid-19. The pandemic is having a disproportionate and devastating impact on ethnic minority communities. Not only are Black, Asian and minority ethnic people dying at a disproportionate rate, they are also overexposed to the virus and more likely to suffer the economic consequences. The report argues that, despite repeated warnings, the Government has failed to take sufficient action. Covid-19 has thrived on inequalities that have long scarred British society. Black, Asian and minority ethnic people are more likely to work in frontline or shutdown sectors which have been overexposed to Covid-19, more likely to have co-morbidities which increase the risk of serious illness and more likely to face barriers to accessing healthcare. Black, Asian and minority ethnic people have also been subject to disgraceful racism as some have sought to blame different communities for the spread of the virus. The virus has exposed the devastating impact of structural racism. The report makes both immediate and long-term recommendations to protect those most at risk and tackle structural inequalities in several key areas including the machinery of government, health, employment and in the education system.

Last updated on hub: 28 October 2020

Remote hearings in the family justice system: reflections and experiences. Follow-up consultation (September 2020)

Nuffield Family Justice Observatory

This report provides an overview of the findings of a follow up consultation on remote hearings in the family courts, undertaken between 10 and 30 September 2020. 1,306 respondents completed a survey, several organisations submitted additional information, and focus groups and interviews were undertaken with parents. Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the introduction of social distancing measures, the family courts in England and Wales rapidly adapted to using telephone and video hearings. Key findings include: most professionals who responded to the survey felt that things were working more smoothly but parents, other family members and organisations supporting parents were less positive about remote hearings – just under half said they had not understood what had happened during the hearing; professionals had concerns about whether proceedings were perceived as fair by parties in all cases and shared concerns about the difficulties of being sufficiently empathetic, supportive, and attuned to lay parties when conducting hearings remotely; there continue to be many technical problems encountered in most forms of remote hearing – most problems related to connectivity and common issues identified included difficulty in hearing people, difficulty seeing people, and difficulty identifying who is speaking.

Last updated on hub: 28 October 2020

Remote hearings in the family justice system: reflections and experiences. Online survey results (part of the follow-up consultation September 2020)

Nuffield Family Justice Observatory

Results of an online survey of views and experiences of remote hearings in the family court in England and Wales since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the introduction of social distancing measures. 1, 306 people (90% professionals and 10% parents or other relatives) responded to the survey, which was conducted between 10 and 30 September 2020. The survey forms part of a wider rapid consultation that incorporates information from other organisations, and the results of focus groups and interviews undertaken with parents. The graphs presented in this document are organised by: all respondents; professionals; parents and other relatives.

Last updated on hub: 28 October 2020

Voices from the frontlines: social workers confront the Covid-19 pandemic

Social Work: A journal of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

This commentary looks at what social workers are doing, how they are coping with their own risks, and how social work as a profession is anticipating the needs of communities who will be left particularly vulnerable as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Key messages include: direct service practitioners are bearing witness to the struggles of the most vulnerable and isolated in our society; social workers are making moment-by-moment decisions about how to exercise the core ethical principles of the profession; social service organizations are affected by the pandemic in surprising and often contradictory ways – on one hand, social service institutions are taxed with demand and, on the other hand, some are lacking referrals and sitting empty, waiting out the calm before the storm; although the societal inequities this crisis is exposing are not new, the pandemic is shining a sharper light on them.

Last updated on hub: 28 October 2020

Virtual geriatric clinics and the COVID-19 catalyst: a rapid review

Age and Ageing

Background: During the current COVID-19 health crisis virtual geriatric clinics have become increasingly utilised to complete outpatient consultations, although concerns exist about feasibility of such virtual consultations for older people. The aim of this rapid review is to describe the satisfaction, clinic productivity, clinical benefit, and costs associated with the virtual geriatric clinic model of care. Methods: A rapid review of PubMed, MEDLINE and CINAHL databases was conducted up to April 2020. Two independent reviewers extracted the information. Four subdomains were focused on: satisfaction with the virtual geriatric clinic, clinic productivity, clinical benefit to patients, costs and any challenges associated with the virtual clinic process. Results: Nine studies with 975 patients met our inclusion criteria. All were observational studies. Seven studies reported patients were satisfied with the virtual geriatric clinic model of care. Productivity outcomes included reports of cost-effectiveness, savings on transport, and improved waiting list metrics. Clinical benefits included successful polypharmacy reviews, and reductions in acute hospitalisation rates. Varying challenges were reported for both clinicians and patients in eight of the nine studies. Hearing impairments and difficulty with technology added to anxieties experienced by patients. Physicians missed the added value of a thorough physical examination and had concerns about confidentiality. Conclusion: Virtual geriatric clinics demonstrate evidence of productivity, benefit to patients, cost effectiveness and patient satisfaction with the treatment provided. In the current suboptimal pandemic climate, virtual geriatric clinics may allow geriatricians to continue to provide an outpatient service, despite the encountered inherent challenges.

Last updated on hub: 28 October 2020

Research with older people in a world with COVID-19: identification of current and future priorities, challenges and opportunities

Age and Ageing

Older people are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a profound impact on research as well as clinical service delivery. This commentary identifies key challenges and opportunities in continuing to conduct research with and for older people, both during and after the current pandemic. It shares opinions from responders to an international survey, a range of academic authors and opinions from specialist societies. Priorities in COVID-19 research include its specific presentation in older people, consequences for physical, cognitive and psychological health, treatments and vaccines, rehabilitation, supporting care homes more effectively, the impact of social distancing, lockdown policies and system reconfiguration to provide best health and social care for older people. COVID-19 research needs to be inclusive, particularly involving older people living with frailty, cognitive impairment or multimorbidity, and those living in care homes. Non-COVID-19 related research for older people remains of critical importance and must not be neglected in the rush to study the pandemic. Profound changes are required in the way that we design and deliver research for older people in a world where movement and face-to-face contact are restricted, but we also highlight new opportunities such as the ability to collaborate more widely and to design and deliver research efficiently at scale and speed.

Last updated on hub: 28 October 2020

Kinship care: state of the nation 2020

Grandparents Plus

This is a brief summary of the findings of the annual survey of kinship carers across the UK to help better understand what life is like for them. In total 561 people responded to the survey from England, Scotland and Wales. The survey paints a mixed picture of kinship care. Clearly kinship care has the potential to offer children who cannot live with their parents the opportunity of a permanent, loving home with committed carers who are often known to them. This prevents children coming into local authority care. However, becoming a kinship carer is life changing, and carers have to make difficult decisions and sacrifices. Being a kinship carer is often isolating and can leave people feeling judged and stigmatised – 82% of kinship carers miss something about their previous, pre-kinship care lives. The children have often had difficult early life experiences and their behaviours can be challenging. Kinship carers often have to manage contact between the children and their parents and the relationships they have with the parents can be complicated and challenging – 71% of kinship carers feel people don’t understand what kinship care is. Added to this, the current health crisis due to Covid-19 is magnifying their difficulties – 70% found the last few months through the COVID-19 pandemic difficult or very difficult. Unfortunately, despite the dedication of the carers and the challenges they face, the vast majority feel unsupported by their local authorities – only 18% believed they were given the overall support they needed from their local authorities to raise the children in their care. The current strain on kinship carers and the chronic lack of support is leaving some questioning whether they can continue in the role. However, if adequate support is provided to kinship families, it will increase the likelihood that many children who would otherwise be in the care system would instead be raised by kinship carers who would provide them with a permanent loving family home.

Last updated on hub: 27 October 2020

Advocacy Covid-19 and beyond

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

This paper provides background about advocacy and outlines six sets of actions which leaders, commissioners, and managers in local authorities can take to better use the potential of advocacy during the Covid-19 pandemic and into the future. Covid-19 has impacted people’s wellbeing and made it harder for people to get essential support. Independent advocacy plays a critical role in addressing this and supporting people’s human rights. The actions for local authority leaders, commissioners, and managers cover: championing human rights; promoting access to advocacy services; making advocacy a critical friend; supporting anti-discriminatory design and practice; measuring what matters and learning from what is happening; and commissioning better advocacy for the future.

Last updated on hub: 27 October 2020

A child-centred recovery

Local Government Association

This document outlines ambitions for a child-centred post-Covid recovery, drawing together every aspect of policy and service delivery to create the places people want to live in and plan for the future. It outlines the immediate challenges as a result of the pandemic and what we need to do to tackle them; consider how councils and the Government can implement more child-centred approaches to policy and decision-making, to make sure that children are at the heart; and looks at the challenges we face in the longer-term to deliver the great places to grow up that children need and deserve. The report identifies three immediate priorities: a cross-Whitehall strategy that puts children and young people at the heart of recovery; investment in local safety nets and the universal and early help services, including mental health and wellbeing services, that children, young people and their families will need to support them through the short and long-term impacts of the pandemic; dedicated action to prevent the attainment gap from widening, including immediate work to stabilise the early years sector and support children and young people to attend school or to continue learning from home where required. The report argues that a child-centred recovery is about far more than services directly responsible for children and young people. Children deserve to grow up in good quality, stable homes, in safe areas offering positive long-term opportunities, with good access to the services they need.

Last updated on hub: 27 October 2020

Coronavirus: impact on young people with mental health needs. Survey 3: autumn 2020 – return to school

YoungMinds

Findings of a survey with 2,011 young people with a history of mental health problems, investigating the mental health impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The findings show that many young people with mental health problems are struggling to cope as they return to secondary school, after months of living through the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has put a huge strain on many young people who were already struggling with their mental health, because of traumatic experiences, social isolation, a loss of routine and a breakdown in formal and informal support. The survey highlighted positives for mental health in the initial return to school, such as seeing friends, having a routine, and seeing their teachers. However, many said that the rapid return to academic pressure, after six months away, was having a negative impact. The findings show: 69% of respondents described their mental health as poor now that they are back at school – this has risen from 58% who described their mental health as poor before returning to school; 40% of respondents said that there was no school counsellor available to support students in their school; only 27% had had a one-to-one conversation with a teacher or another member of staff in which they were asked about their wellbeing, by the time they completed the survey; almost a quarter of respondents (23%) said that there was less mental health support in their school than before the pandemic, while only 9% agreed that there was more mental health support.

Last updated on hub: 27 October 2020

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