COVID-19 resources

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Health and social care workers’ quality of working life and coping while working during the COVID-19 pandemic 7th May – 3rd July 2020: findings from a UK survey

Ulster University

Findings from a UK wide survey that measured aspects around quality of working life, wellbeing and coping of the health and social care workforce during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report reveals that overall, COVID-19 has amplified some of the strengths of the UK health and social care workforce. There are the considerable commonalities of human service work but also differences. These apply particularly to the location of work; being on the frontline means different things if a person is working on a hospital unit or in a care home, generally with people who are very ill or at some risk of death. Commonalities among the workforce are their stated altruistic concerns for service users and patients; the very reason why most people work in health and social care. The survey highlighted some differences between groups in terms of their coping mechanisms that may be of interest to HR and employers more generally. For example, while not all younger staff are keen on exercise, it showed that younger staff and men reported this was important to their wellbeing; and while IT proved so valuable in terms of communications and support, it is critical that all workers are IT literate and not further disadvantaged by limits of access or capability. The findings suggest that emotional and psychological support for staff was important in helping reduce the risks of negative work effects during the pandemic. For employers this means enabling this to be part of workplace culture since it is unlikely to manifest itself during a pandemic or crisis if not already existing. Other findings throw a light on the redeployment of staff, which one in ten of our respondents overall had experienced, and the importance of taking care of those who took on extra work when their colleagues were redeployed or on sick leave and the possible risk of burnout or exhaustion.

Last updated on hub: 24 November 2020

Health and social care workers’ quality of working life and coping while working during the Covid-19 pandemic: analysis of positive coping and work-related quality of life as resilience and protective factors impacting on wellbeing

Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute

In early 2020, COVID-19 was designated as a pandemic. Despite our experience of pandemics (e.g., SARS), there is limited research about how health and social care staff cope with the challenges of caring for patients while potentially putting their own health at risk. The current study examined the impact of providing health and social care during COVID-19 on nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, social care workers and social workers. An online survey using validated scales and open-ended questions was used to collect data from the UK health and social care staff in May-July 2020. It received 3,290 responses, mostly from social care workers and social workers. A multiple regression analysis showed that individuals using positive coping strategies, particularly active coping, emotional support, relaxation and exercise, had higher wellbeing scores. Lower wellbeing scores were associated with disengagement and substance use as coping strategies. Better quality of working life was associated with active coping, emotional support, work family segmentation and relaxation. Participants using disengagement and family work segmentation had lower quality of working life. Positive coping strategies seem to be playing a significant role in health and social care workers’ wellbeing and quality of working life and interventions may be needed to support those who are struggling to cope.

Last updated on hub: 12 January 2021

Health as the new wealth: the NHS’s role in economic and social recovery

NHS Confederation

This report looks beyond the immediate health response to COVID-19 to understand where and how the NHS is actively supporting the nation’s critical economic and social recovery. While the role of health in economic development has traditionally been peripheral at best, one consequence of COVID-19 is that it will likely form a more important and explicit part of national and local rebuilding. In many ways, health can be seen as the ‘new wealth’. The report outlines a five-point plan for every system to build on to maximise their local impact and influence and showcases innovative practice which is supporting lasting local change. The five-point plan identifies steps that the NHS can take in every local economy, which include: developing an anchor network across all health and care bodies within the system footprint; making an explicit commitment to fill existing health and care vacancies with local people; embedding health and care within national and local regeneration planning; proposing a Civic Restoration Strategy, focused on improving the vibrancy of communities; and convening industry leaders to source potential new local supply chains. The report also makes recommendations for national government and systems to support this work.

Last updated on hub: 30 September 2020

Health-care workers’ knowledge and management skills of psychosocial and mental health needs and priorities of individuals with COVID-19

Mental Health and Social Inclusion

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to identify the knowledge and management skills of health-care workers regarding psychosocial and mental health priorities and needs of individuals with COVID-19. Design/methodology/approach: This is a cross-sectional descriptive study. The data collected conveniently from 101 health-care workers in Jordan directly managing care of individuals with COVID-19. Findings: Health-care workers have moderate-to-high level of knowledge and management skills of psychological distress related to COVID-19; means ranged from 50%–70% agreement and confidence. In general, health-care workers were able to identify mental and psychosocial health needs and priorities at a moderate level. Health-care workers knowledge had a positive and significant correlation with age (r = 0.24, p = 0.012) and years of experience (r = 0.28, p = 0.004), and a significant difference was found in their management between those who are trained on psychological first aids and those who are not (t = −3.11, p = 0.003). Practical implications: There is a need to train health-care workers to integrate psychosocial and mental health care to manage care psychological distress related to COVID-19. Originality/value: This study is emphasizing the need for mental health psychosocial support training and in integration. Health-care workers providing care to individuals with COVID-19 are not aware of mental health priorities and needs of their patients. This paper contributes to the body of knowledge adding more understanding about competencies of health-care workers providing care and their preparedness to manage care individuals with COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 19 November 2020

Hear us: the experiences of refugee and asylum-seeking women during the pandemic

Sisters Not Strangers

Findings of a survey of over 100 asylum-seeking women from England and Wales to hear how they are surviving during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was completed by women seeking and refused asylum, as well as those with leave to remain. The responses were supplemented by a survey of 24 staff and volunteers who have been supporting asylum-seeking women since the outbreak. The report reveals that three quarters of the women surveyed went hungry, including mothers who struggled to feed their children. A third of women were at high risk from coronavirus, reporting a serious health condition such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes; yet, self-isolation was impossible for the 21% of women who were forced to sleep in the same room as a non-family member. Frequent handwashing was a serious challenge for the 32% of women who struggled to afford soap and other hygiene products. Barriers to accessing NHS mental healthcare and a lack of IT equipment increased isolation, with a quarter of women saying that their mental health was “much worse than before”. The report argues that the pandemic is exposing deep structural inequalities along existing fault-lines of gender, race, citizenship and class, and calls for a grant of leave to remain to be given to all those with insecure immigration status, to ensure the safety of those seeking asylum, to protect public health, and to enable British society to rebuild more equally.

Last updated on hub: 13 August 2020

Heart-warming stories that are spreading positivity during lockdown

Oomph! Wellness

Oomph! are keen to support care homes across the UK with stimulating, fresh and varied content to ensure that residents are engaged during this time when they might be feeling disconnected from their friends, families and the outside world.

Last updated on hub: 09 June 2020

Helping adult day centres to ‘unlock lockdown’. Part 1: planning practically for re-opening

King's College London

This document covers some of the practicalities of re-opening adult day centres as COVID-19 control measures are eased. It draws on guidance related to the pandemic, on broader guidance relating to social care, and relevant advice and action points for regulated settings (such as early years day care and care homes), some of which is also relevant to adult day centres. There is strong evidence that attending a day centre brings quality of life and so, despite risks, enabling people to have the choice of going to a day centre is something worthwhile. The document covers: infection control; communications; supporting service users, carers, staff and volunteers, and centre managers and coordinators; final things that managers and coordinators are likely to want to consider doing before re-opening; practical scenario planning tool. Part 2 of these guidance prompts reflection on what has happened during lockdown, what else centre managers and coordinators may wish to think about, the process of moving forwards and any learning that will be helpful for the future. Individual sections can be completed according to the stage you are in.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

Helping adult day centres to ‘unlock lockdown’. Part 2: reflecting about what has happened, our ‘journey’ during closure and the future of our service

King's College London

This tool prompts adult day centre managers and coordinators to reflect on what has happened during COVID-19 lockdown, the process of moving forwards and any learning that will be helpful for the future. There is strong evidence that day centres are valued by the people who attend and that they improve their quality of life. They help people to stay living at home and provide family members with help in their caring role. They play an important part in preventing loneliness and social isolation. They can also be part of the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The reflective points suggested in this tool may help mangers and coordinators think about the reasons for making this effort to restarting the recovery journey. Part 1 of this guidance covers some of the practicalities of re-opening, focusing on infection control, communications, supporting service users, carers, staff and volunteers, and planning.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

Helping couples in the shadow of COVID‐19

Family Process

The pandemic caused by the SARS‐CoV‐2 virus (coronavirus) and the associated illness, COVID‐19, has caused a level of worldwide upheaval unlike any most people now living have seen in their lifetimes. This crisis affects people in their most important, committed, and intimate relationships. Although this crisis has damaged the health and well‐being of individuals, crushed economies, and led to an extensive period of uncertainty about the future, there may also be positive outcomes in the motivation people have to protect their relationships. This paper focuses on strategies that therapists and relationship educators can use to help couples preserve and protect their relationships during such a time. This paper describes four foundations of safety that allow relationships to thrive: physical, emotional, commitment, and community. This paper then highlight three keys from our body of work that can help guide individuals and couples in protecting their relationships on a day‐to‐day and moment‐to‐moment basis: (1) decide, don’t slide; (2) make it safe to connect; (3) do your part.

Last updated on hub: 14 October 2020

Helping families stay connected: good practice examples

The Relatives & Residents Association

As visits to care homes are restricted to try and prevent the spread of Coronavirus, staying in touch with family and friends by other means becomes all the more important. Some care homes have risen to this challenge. The Relatives & Residents Association share some examples of care staff supporting older people in care to keep in touch with their families.

Last updated on hub: 27 May 2020