COVID-19 resources

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From crisis to coordination: challenges and opportunities for integrated care posed by the COVID-19 pandemic

International Journal of Integrated Care

Editorial. Suggests that our response to the COVID-19 pandemic is hampered by the lack of essential data and knowledge. Any thorough analysis of the policies and their consequences will not be possible for some time to come. Suggests that the only thing we can say with certainty is that COVID-19 has demonstrated the shortcomings of our health and social systems, shortcomings exacerbated by political inertia in addressing complex societal challenges through population-based approaches. The article also points to three persistent and well-known challenges which now need addressing. These include that, responses to COVID-19 have largely NOT been integrated, leading to adverse outcomes; responses continue to demonstrate inequalities in care and outcomes to vulnerable populations; and the need to build evidence for an integrated and coordinated response, and to inform and drive policy and practice. The editorial concludes that COVID-19 has accentuated the stark reality that, despite the efforts of the past 20 years, there remains a continued failure to embrace integrated care systems. It has also demonstrated how quickly systems, organisations and individuals can change, if they must.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

COVID‐19 in the geriatric population

International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Objectives: The global COVID‐19 pandemic has caused rapid and monumental changes around the world. Older people, who already experience higher rates of social isolation and loneliness, are more susceptible to adverse effects as a result of the social distancing protocols enacted to slow the spread of COVID‐19. Based on prior outbreaks, the authors speculate the detrimental outcomes and offer solutions. Methods: Reviewing the literature on the detrimental effects of social isolation and loneliness and higher mortality in the older population. Utilizing psychological study outcomes from prior major outbreaks such as in SARS, Ebola, H1N1 influenza, and Middle East respiratory syndrome offer predictions and the susceptibility in the geriatric age group. Results: Organizations such as the WHO, Centers for Disease Control, and American Association of Retired Persons have put measures in place to provide networking on a local, regional, and national level. These efforts are designed to start mitigating such detrimental effects. A necessary follow‐up to this pandemic will be gathering data on unique populations such as the geriatric community, to better mitigate adverse outcomes given the certainty that COVID‐19 will not be the last global viral outbreak. Conclusions: The results of worsened social isolation and loneliness is associated with significantly increased morbidity and mortality in the geriatric population. Various solutions including virtual interactions with loved ones, engaging in physical activity, continuing any spiritual or religious prayers remotely, and community services to provide aid for the older population are all efforts to minimize social isolation and loneliness.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 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

Research briefing three: digital social work – the emergence of hybrid practice during the COVID-19 pandemic

University of Birmingham

This briefing examines emerging findings showing where and how digital social work practices have played a useful role in child protection work during the COVID-19 pandemic. It explores challenges encountered in the use of digital technologies and highlights circumstances in which newly emerging hybrid digital-physical practices help keep children safe or offer additional benefits for social workers and the families they support. Topics covered include: transitioning to the digital; video calls disrupting social workers’ expectations of themselves and their practice; learning to work digitally; video calls as face-to-face visits; video calls as a way to build relationships; hybrid digital-physical social work and possible hybrid practice futures; and digital inequalities. The study shows that digital social work and the hybrid practices it generates can provide a number of benefits. This might usefully be taken forward as part of an expanded set of techniques for support, communication and evaluation in social work, whereby their use is tailored to families on a case-specific basis. Yet these options need to be considered in the context of the ever deepening social and economic inequalities that characterise the UK at the moment, to ensure that they are designed in such a way that is equitable, fair and inclusive.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

Coronavirus: adult social care key issues and sources

House of Commons Library

An overview of key issues facing the adult social care sector during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, including links to some of the key official guidance for the sector. Section one of this briefing provides a high-level overview of policy in relation to adult social care since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in early 2020, including the development of key UK Government guidance. The second section provides more detailed information on some key issues that have been raised during the course of the outbreak, including: statistics on deaths in care homes; funding for adult social care, including the financial pressures on social care providers; testing for care home staff and residents; the discharging of patients from hospital into care homes; rules relating to visiting care homes for friends and family of residents; and the supply of PPE to the adult social care sector.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

Adult social care coronavirus winter plan 2020-21: briefing and gap analysis for councils

Local Government Association

This briefing summarises the key messages in the Adult Social Care Winter Plan, highlighting the role local authorities must play in the delivery of the plan. It includes a summary of the key actions for local authorities within the plan, in a format which enables them to verify that actions are in place, ready for the assurance that has to be submitted to the Department of Health and Social Care on 31 October. The actions are grouped into four themes: preventing and controlling the spread of infection in care settings; collaboration across health and care services; supporting people who receive social care, the workforce, and carers; and supporting the system.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

Power down to level up: resilient place-shaping for a post-Covid age

Local Government Information Unit

The paper discusses the reasons for the rebirth of place in local government, not least of which is the immediate crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic. It addresses the recent history of centrally directed attempts at place-shaping and charts the development of place-focused policy during the 2010s, spelling out a strategy for resilient place-shaping in English local governance into the 2020s. Place plays an important role for an increasing number of local councils as a strategic lens and a blueprint for local leadership. Recognition of place is vital for community wellbeing, particularly as disruption and complexity grow in society, politics and the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The paper argues that the return of place-shaping is driven by several interlinked factors, which include: the space vacated by central government; England’s unfinished constitution; culture and focus in local government; the importance of recognising place in effective public policy; so called “left behind” places; and Covid-19. The paper also presents case studies illustrating diverse approaches to place-leadership, each offering different lessons and insights. The common theme is their commitment to expanding local government’s role in improving the wellbeing of local places – the so-called resilient place-shaping. The case studies cover: Cornwall Council – focused localism; Colchester Borough Council – local development and identity; innovation in Scotland and community wealth building in North Ayrshire; Kirklees Council – local democracy and place-based working; Greater Manchester City Region – devolved city leadership; and Kent County Council – community support during the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

State of the nation 2020: children and young people’s wellbeing: research report

Department for Education

This report collates published evidence on the wellbeing in children and young people over the period of March to August 2020, including statistics on the personal wellbeing of children and young people in England and the UK; and a wider set of indicators on their relationships, health, education and skills, personal finance, activities, and where they live. Overall, the data gives a surprisingly positive picture of the wellbeing and experiences of the majority of children and young people at this time, especially in light of anticipated impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic identified in reviews of previous literature. However, there are indications that children and young people with particular characteristics may have experienced lower subjective wellbeing, for example disabled children and young people, children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and some children from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. In addition, there are early indications that children’s self-reported and parental reported mental health and wellbeing had declined during the spring and summer months. Behaviour and restlessness or attention difficulties were noted to have increased during these months for children and young people, while older young people have reported a general deterioration in their psychological wellbeing.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

What is the risk of transmission of COVID-19 when delivering domiciliary care, and how effective are interventions that aim to minimise that risk?: a rapid review

Public Health England

A review of the evidence related to the transmission of COVID-19 in domiciliary care. No studies were found describing the risk of transmission when delivering domiciliary care (either from the care worker to care receiver or vice versa). Furthermore, no studies were found describing the effectiveness of interventions that aim to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when delivering domiciliary care. Professional opinions on how to safely deliver domiciliary care were identified in the literature; these support the application of general infection prevention and control practices, the use of risk assessments, ensuring staff are appropriately trained and employing an ‘only when necessary’ approach to face-to-face contact.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

Limiting staff movement and cohorting of residents to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 in care homes: a rapid review

Public Health England

Findings from a review of the evidence to examine the effectiveness of strategies to restrict staff movement and isolate groups of residents showing symptoms of Covid-19 (‘cohorting’) in reducing the transmission of the virus. The review found low-level evidence from three Covid-19 outbreaks in North America suggesting that restricting staff movement and cohorting of residents could help to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 within care homes. To fully understand the effectiveness of these two types of intervention in relation to Covid-19, more high-quality research is needed. Indirect evidence from the management of influenza and other outbreaks in care home settings may help to supplement understanding of effectiveness.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

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