COVID-19 resources

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Ensuring equity for people living with disabilities in the age of COVID-19

Disability and Society

People with disabilities are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. They may also suffer from lack of accessible emergency preparedness plans, communication and healthcare. Protective measures for people with disabilities should be endorsed and prioritized at a community level to adjust for social distancing. Repositories of local resources for emergency outreach in this time are also crucial. Telemedicine offers an innovative and safe way for health providers to care for people with disabilities to access many critical services without placing themselves or their caregivers at increased risk of contracting COVID-19. Communication strategies for critical information about resources for people with disabilities should be accessible. United States hospitals and government agencies should make allocation guideline proposals accessible to people with disabilities and incorporate bias training.

Last updated on hub: 16 November 2020

Ensuring equity for people living with disabilities in the age of COVID-19

Disability and Society

People with disabilities are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. They may also suffer from lack of accessible emergency preparedness plans, communication and healthcare. Protective measures for people with disabilities should be endorsed and prioritized at a community level to adjust for social distancing. Repositories of local resources for emergency outreach in this time are also crucial. Telemedicine offers an innovative and safe way for health providers to care for people with disabilities to access many critical services without placing themselves or their caregivers at increased risk of contracting COVID-19. Communication strategies for critical information about resources for people with disabilities should be accessible. United States hospitals and government agencies should make allocation guideline proposals accessible to people with disabilities and incorporate bias training.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

Essential long-term care workers commonly hold second jobs and double or triple duty caregiving roles

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Objectives: Long‐term care (LTC) facilities are particularly dangerous places for the spread of Covid‐19 given that they house vulnerable, high‐risk populations. Transmission‐based precautions to protect residents, employees, and families alike must account for potential risks posed by LTC workers’ second jobs and unpaid care work. This observational study describes the prevalence of their (1) second jobs and (2) unpaid care work for dependent children and/or adult relatives (double‐ and triple‐duty caregiving) overall and by occupational group (registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, or certified nursing assistants). Design: A descriptive, secondary analysis of data collected as part of the final wave of the Work, Family and Health Study. Setting: Thirty nursing home facilities located throughout the northeastern United States. Participants: A subset of 958 essential, facility‐based LTC workers involved in direct patient care. Measurements: This paper presents information on LTC workers’ demographic characteristics, health, features of their LTC occupation, additional paid work, wages, and double‐ or triple‐duty caregiving roles. Results: The majority of LTC workers were certified nursing assistants, followed by licensed practical nurses and registered nurses. Overall, over 70% of these workers agreed or strongly agreed with the following statement: “When you are sick, you still feel obligated to come into work.” One‐sixth had a second job, where they worked an average of 20 hours per week, and over 60% held double‐ or triple‐duty caregiving roles. Additional paid work and unpaid care work characteristics did not significantly differ by occupational group, although the prevalence of second jobs was highest and accompanying work hours were longest among certified nursing assistants. Conclusion: LTC workers commonly hold second jobs along with double‐ and triple‐duty caregiving roles. To slow the spread of Covid‐19, both the paid and unpaid activities of these employees warrant consideration in the identification of appropriate clinical, policy, and informal supports.

Last updated on hub: 30 April 2020

Essential training

Skills for Care

This webinar covers essential training and guidance, training for regulated professionals and funding available and how to access it. It identifies training that remains a priority to ensure there is a skilled and competent workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, and which is supported by the CQC. The webinar also highlights the funding available, and the endorsed training providers, to support adult social care providers with staff training needs during the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

ESSS Outline: Covid-19, social isolation and loneliness

This summary provides an overview of recent evidence relating to: Covid-19, social isolation and loneliness. A search for academic research and grey literature identified a range of literature discussing isolation and loneliness, including the mental and physical effects they have, particularly around older people. Literature also suggests interventions that can help mitigate the health and mental health impact of loneliness. However, it found the quality of evidence for the majority of interventions is generally weak. Searches identified material relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown in the UK, as well as studies from isolated, confined and extreme environments, and from other pandemics around the world.

Last updated on hub: 11 May 2020

Estimating poverty impacts of coronavirus: microsimulation estimates

Institute for Public Policy Research

As a result of the pandemic, economic forecasters are expecting a huge surge in unemployment across the UK. And, as with other recessions, some workers may find they are working reduced hours. These economic shocks will have a profound impact on people’s livelihoods in the UK as incomes drop, even with the benefit system providing some income replacement in some cases. This analysis uses a microsimulation approach to estimate potential poverty impacts from these changes in the economy, focusing on the last quarter of 2020 when unemployment is expected to peak and the Job Retention Scheme is due to end. The research finds it highly plausible that over 1 million more people will be under the pre-Covid poverty line compared to a situation where the pandemic had not occurred, including 200,000 children, at the end of the year. The analysis suggests that the government will need to go further to prevent increases in child poverty – and much further in order to stem the rise in adult poverty – as a result of the crisis.

Last updated on hub: 25 January 2021

Ethical challenges for social workers during Covid-19: a global perspective

International Federation of Social Workers

This report summarises the findings of an international study of the ethical challenges faced by social workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, undertaken during 6th-18th May 2020. 607 responses from 54 countries were received via an online survey, additional interviews and local surveys. Six key themes relating to social workers’ ethical challenges and responses were identified: creating and maintaining trusting, honest and empathic relationships via phone or internet with due regard to privacy and confidentiality, or in person with protective equipment; prioritising service user needs and demands, which are greater and different due to the pandemic, when resources are stretched or unavailable and full assessments often impossible; balancing service user rights, needs and risks against personal risk to social workers and others, in order to provide services as well as possible; deciding whether to follow national and organisational policies, procedures or guidance (existing or new) or to use professional discretion in circumstances where the policies seem inappropriate, confused or lacking; acknowledging and handling emotions, fatigue and the need for selfcare, when working in unsafe and stressful circumstances; and using the lessons learned from working during the pandemic to rethink social work in the future. The study concludes that Covid-19 and measures to control and prevent its spread have restricted the services and responsibilities usually carried out by social workers, while generating new needs and demands. Social workers have both struggled and worked creatively to meet needs in risky and uncertain situations, and to respect people’s rights to privacy and involvement in important decisions about their lives.

Last updated on hub: 23 September 2020

Ethical decision-making in the face of Covid-19

International Federation of Social Workers

The coronavirus (COVID 19) crisis is challenging social workers as they continue to carry out their professional roles. In the context of a shortage of resources and a lack of safety equipment, social workers are having to make difficult decisions about in-person contacts with their clients. This document highlights ethical principles from the International Federation of Social Workers and provides a series of questions to guide social workers through resolving the dilemma of balancing public health directives and guidelines and ethical obligations to clients.

Last updated on hub: 11 May 2020

Ethical framework for adult social care in COVID-19: extended essay

University of Oxford

Essay published by the Journal of Medical Ethics, authored by Charlotte Bryony Elves and Jonathan Herring, University of Oxford. In March 2020, the Government produced a document entitled “Responding to COVID-19: The Ethical Framework for Adult Social Care” (‘The Ethical Framework’). This article, summarises the key features of the proposed ethical framework and subject it to critical analysis. This article highlights three primary issues. First, the emphasis placed on autonomy as the primary ethical principle. The authors argue if ever there was a context in which autonomy should dominate the ethical analysis, this is not it. Second, the authors examine the interface between ethics and law which is largely overlooked in the document. Finally, the authors explore the surprising lack of attention paid to the concept of responsibility and communal obligations within the framework.

Last updated on hub: 12 August 2020

Ethnic inequalities in Covid-19 are playing out again – how can we stop them?

Institute for Public Policy Research

This long read by IPPR and Runnymede Trust looks at how Covid-19 is set to continue to hit minority ethnic communities hardest as we enter the second wave. It proposes measures to help control the pandemic and mitigate immediate ethnic inequalities. including increasing access to treatment.

Last updated on hub: 26 October 2020