COVID-19 resources

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Abuse, self-harm and suicidal ideation in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic

British Journal of Psychiatry

This study explored patterns of abuse, self-harm and thoughts of suicide/self-harm in the UK during the first month of the COVID-19 pandemic using data from the COVID-19 Social Study (n=44 775), a non-probability sample weighted to population proportions. The reported frequency of abuse, self-harm and thoughts of suicide/self-harm was higher among women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups and people experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage, unemployment, disability, chronic physical illnesses, mental disorders and COVID-19 diagnosis. Psychiatric medications were the most common type of support being used, but fewer than half of those affected were accessing formal or informal support.

Last updated on hub: 25 October 2020

The scope of mental health research during the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath

British Journal of Psychiatry

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on population mental health are unknown. We need to understand the scale of any such impact in different sections of the population, who is most affected and how best to mitigate, prevent and treat any excess morbidity. We propose a coordinated and interdisciplinary mental health science response.

Last updated on hub: 25 October 2020

Webinar recording: Sharing voices in response to COVID-19

Social Care Institute for Excellence

This webinar was chaired by Baroness Ilora Finlay and the technical host was Prof Wayne Martin. It was about sharing voices in response to COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 22 October 2020

Reducing the impact of Coronavirus on Poverty in Wales

A snapshot of the impact of Covid-19 on poverty in Wales up to the end of August. On the eve of the pandemic 700,000 people, nearly a quarter of the population, were already living in poverty. The pandemic has hit many of these families hard and swept others who were surviving just above the poverty threshold into poverty. The report draws on official data published by both the Welsh and UK Governments, alongside quantitative and qualitative data gathered from a range of stakeholders who are working with people in poverty. To complement this research a virtual roundtable was held with 14 people who have either been directly working on the front line in response to Covid-19 or who represent people and organisations undertaking such work. The report highlights some of the risk factors around work, social security and living costs that urgently need addressing to reduce the tightening grip of poverty. It identifies actions that the Welsh Government and Welsh local authorities should take immediately to help lift people out of poverty, rather than focusing on longer term solutions that should shape wider efforts to rebuild the economy and society.

Last updated on hub: 22 October 2020

A rapid, multi-agency response to enhance care provider staff wellbeing and resilience during and post-lockdown

Research In Practice: Dartington

Isle of Wight’s Principle Social Worker, Simon Homes, discusses the rapid, cross-island response he and a new multi-disciplinary team implemented during the early stages of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, to increase care and support staff wellbeing and resilience when working during the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 22 October 2020

Winter discharges: designated settings

Department of Health and Social Care

This letter sets out: an overview of the requirement for designated care settings for people discharged from hospital who have a COVID-19 positive status; and an instruction for local authorities to commence identifying and notifying the Care Quality Commission (CQC) of sufficient local designated accommodation and to work with CQC to assure their compliance with the infection prevention control (IPC) protocol. [First published 21 October 2020. Updated 13 November 2020, Added the letter 'Designated settings requirements: FAQs']

Last updated on hub: 22 October 2020

Connecting services, transforming lives: the benefits of technology-enabled care services

Public Policy Projects

This report explores how technology-enabled care services (TECS) can be used for the benefit of patients, carers and the health and care sector, and makes recommendations about how the UK can be at the forefront of use of TECS, particularly in an era of Covid-19. Section 1 establishes the types of TECS, including telehealth, telecare, telemedicine, and assistive technologies. TECS operate at a range of levels, from reactively responding to users’ needs through to predictive technologies which can identify an incident before it occurs. Section 2 explores how TECS are currently used in the UK, including the citizens’ appetite for such technology. It also quantifies the market potential of TECS and the Government’s policy towards these interventions. Section 3 categorises TECS into five types of service provision: teleconsultation, teletriage, telemonitoring, reminder technology and assistive technologies, and explains how each can be used. Section 4 highlights the benefits of embracing TECS, including improved patient experiences, better health outcomes, improved staff/carer experiences and lower cost of care. Section 5 explores TECS in the devolved nations. Section 6 looks at TECS internationally. Section 7 considers TECS in the era of Covid-19, and how the rapid adoption of some TECS as a result of the pandemic should be embedded into routine service offerings in the future. Section 8 highlights the barriers to uptake of TECS in the UK. Section 9 sets out what needs to be done to achieve the potential of TECS and makes recommendations, including calling for Government support to enable all health and care providers to achieve a minimum technology standard.

Last updated on hub: 22 October 2020

Exploring the strength of community: how to promote wellbeing for all citizens: a discussion paper from the Centre for Welfare Reform

Centre for Welfare Reform

This discussion paper explores ways to maintain and consolidate the strength of community – as it emerged and gained traction during the coronavirus pandemic – as a long-term alternative to the broken and inefficient welfare systems we currently have in place. The Covid-19 outbreak in the UK in February 2020 triggered an accelerated movement of community resilience – the like of which has not been seen since World War 2. The paper explores the changes – some subtle and some more radical – which could help to shape a fair, equal and better society: changes to government policy; changes to systems and structures; radical change (an upside-down picture of society and the devolution of power to communities). The paper argues that there is an opportunity to make changes to a system which is no longer fit for purpose and to use resources in a far more efficient way by strengthening communities and placing power and resources into their hands. Rather than going directly to the corporate provider marketplace for solutions, there is a real opportunity for third sector and community-based organisations to offer local, creative and deeply rooted solutions by working directly alongside communities where they are based; and where strong relationships and connections exist.

Last updated on hub: 21 October 2020

Caring behind closed doors: six months on: the continued impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on unpaid carers

Carers UK

Findings of the second wave of an online survey of carers, carried out in September 2020, to explore the impact the pandemic is having on carers' lives and their worries for the future. A total of 5,904 carers and former carers responded to the survey. This included 5,583 current carers and 321 former carers. The findings show that while in April 2020 70% of carers were providing more care as a consequence of the crisis, six months later this has increased further; 81% of carers reported that they were providing more care since the start of the outbreak for one or more reasons. Eight out of ten carers said the needs of the person they care for have increased since the pandemic; two thirds have not been able to take any breaks from their caring role during the crisis; almost two thirds say that their mental health has worsened; and three quarters of carers are feeling exhausted and worn out from caring during the pandemic. The report concludes with a series of short, medium and longer-term recommendations for UK and National Government.

Last updated on hub: 21 October 2020

The predictable crisis: why Covid-19 has hit Scotland’s care homes so hard

Common Weal

This paper considers how government in Scotland has managed the Covid-19 crisis, using what has happened at Home Farm Care Home on Skye to illustrate the issues but also, potentially, to point to the way forwards. It argues that much of the Covid-19 disaster in care homes was quite predictable and, as such, represents a failure by both care home providers and the public authorities. It then looks at these failures within the broader context of the development of the care home sector in the last 27 years, with a particular focus on how this has provided for the health of older people. It concludes with some recommendations, both for immediate action and for more fundamental reform of the sector and the role of public authorities within it. Key points include: based on quality ratings at the outset of the crisis more than one quarter of Scotland's care homes (those rated adequate or below) could have been expected to be unable properly to protect older people in the event of a pandemic; the Care Inspectorate, which has few enforcement powers, was incapable of brining care homes up to the standard required by the Covid crisis; the result is that six out of ten care homes in Scotland have had a case of Covid and about 45 per cent still have a current case (as of Monday 18 May); for the first eight weeks of the crisis the Scottish Government was adamant that the providers (and not the Scottish Government) were responsible for protecting care home residents – this effectively represented the privatisation of the responsibility for older people in care during the crisis and restricted adequate access to medical treatment; the repeated updating of guidelines created a confusing impact.

Last updated on hub: 21 October 2020

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