COVID-19 resources

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Adult secure service user, family and carer feedback survey during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Rethink Mental Illness

Findings from a survey to gather the views and experiences of people in adult secure services, in all service categories including mental illness, personality disorder, learning disability and autism (both in the hospital and the community), and their families and carers, to find out the impact of COVID-19 on them from March to June 2020. The most striking finding was the considerable variation in responses – both between services and within the same service. This report sets out 9 key areas where people identified examples of what is working well, as well as where lessons could be learnt and improvements made, not only for a potential second wave of the pandemic but also to ensure long lasting improvements for services as a consequence of this experience. The key areas are: activities; outdoor access; leave and progress; communication; digital access; family and friends contact; infection control; physical health; and staff. Leave was the most common theme in all of the responses to the survey and overwhelmingly people found the restrictions difficult. People cited a range of reasons for this – not being able to continue with community activities, feeling ‘cooped up’ and the impact on seeing friends and family. Some people linked these restrictions to the effect this was having on their progress and were frustrated that this was holding them up. There was also frustration for people that lockdown easing in the community was not always reflected in the lifting of restrictions in their hospital. Overall, people said they were very understanding of the measures that needed to be in place to limit the impact of COVID-19 and keep them safe.

Last updated on hub: 19 November 2020

Adult social care after Covid-19: ADASS

Local Government Information Unit

Focuses on the future of adult social care and the lessons emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, setting out the key messages from recent reports by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS). As well as its annual budget survey, ADASS has produced a companion report on the impact of Covid-19 on adult social care and its finances in England. The reports show the range of problems facing adult social care in responding to Covid-19. They highlight the tragedy of so many people in care homes dying from the disease due to rapid discharge, the inequalities which have led to vulnerable people being badly affected and the courage of staff, largely female and many Black and minority ethnic, in continuing to support people throughout. The reports provide recommendations for what needs to be done for the next stages of the virus in the autumn – a key issue is to ensure safe hospital discharge. They also make recommendations for the future of adult social care – over the next two years the directors of adult of social care want to see sufficient ring-fenced finance to create stability and allow transformation with the NHS to continue; a new employment deal for care workers; care market reform; and full engagement on a cross-party basis to design a sustainable future for social care. This would be a bridging period for essential reforms to take place until a long-term solution can be agreed.

Last updated on hub: 08 July 2020

Adult social care and COVID-19: assessing the impact on social care users and staff in England so far

The Health Foundation

An overview of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social care in England, describing how the pandemic unfolded in the social care sector from March until June 2020, and examining the factors that contributed to the scale and severity of outbreaks in care homes. The briefing also attempts to quantify the disruption to health and social care access from February until the end of April 2020. The findings demonstrate that the pandemic has had a profound impact on people receiving and providing social care in England – since March, there have been more than 30,500 deaths among care home residents than it would be normally expected, and a further 4,500 excess deaths among people receiving care in their own homes (domiciliary care); and while deaths in care homes have now returned to average levels for this time of year, the latest data (up until 19 June) shows that there have continued to be excess deaths reported among domiciliary care users. Social care workers are among the occupational groups at highest risk of COVID-19 mortality, with care home workers and home carers accounting for the highest proportion (76%) of COVID-19 deaths within this group. The analysis also shows that there was a substantial reduction in hospital admissions among care home residents which may have helped reduce the risk of transmission but potentially increased unmet health needs. The briefing argues that long-standing structural issues have exacerbated the crisis in social care and hindered the response to the pandemic. It suggests that action is needed now to prevent further harm including by filling the gaps in data, particularly for those receiving domiciliary care, and by developing a new data strategy for social care.

Last updated on hub: 03 August 2020

Adult social care and COVID-19: assessing the policy response in England so far

The Health Foundation

An analysis of national government policies on adult social care in England related to COVID-19 between 31 January and 31 May 2020. This briefing considers the role that social care has played in the overall policy narrative and identifies the underlying factors within the social care system, such as its structure and funding, that have shaped its ability to respond. It suggests that overall, central government support for social care came too late – some initial policies targeted the social care sector in March but the government's COVID-19: adult social care action plan was not published until 15 April and another month passed before the government introduced a dedicated fund to support infection control in care homes. Protecting and strengthening social care services, and stuff, appears to have been given far lower priority by national policymakers than protecting the NHS and policy action on social care has been focused primarily on care homes and risks leaving out other vulnerable groups and services. The briefing calls on the Government to learn from the first phase of the COVID-19 response to prepare for potential future waves of the virus. Short-term actions should include greater involvement of social care in planning and decision making, improved access to regular testing and PPE, and a commitment to cover the costs of local government’s COVID-19 response. Critically, more fundamental reform of the social care system is needed to address the longstanding policy failures exacerbated by COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 03 August 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

Adult Social Care COVID-19 Taskforce: Self Directed Support (SDS) Advisory Group report

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the Self Directed Support (SDS) Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. The Advisory Group looked specifically at what was needed to ensure that people who self direct their care and/or support (for themselves or a family member) are able to maintain their wellbeing, safety and independence during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report aligns its recommendations to seven ‘I’ statements, covering: 1. Rights – there needs to be specific guidance/ training on human rights in relation to Covid-19 with proactive safeguarding in place where needed; 2. Trust – implementation of existing Government guidance needs to be robustly monitored with statutory organisations being held to account if this doesn’t translate into people’s experiences; 3. Information – information needs to be available at a local level that is joined up across different agencies and developed with people who self-direct their support; 4. Practical Support – the offer of practical support should result from a coordinated effort and not be left to chance; 5. Connection – there needs to be coordinated and concerted activity to ensure people have opportunities for connection; 6. Balance – there needs to be coordinated and concerted activity to ensure people are contacted in a supportive way, on a regular basis should they wish, to check how they are doing; 7. Choice - where services are closed there should be alternatives offered or the ability to choose to use that element of PB/PHB in a different way.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Adult social care funding reform: developments since July 2019 (England)

House of Commons Library

This briefing paper provides a summary of recent developments since July 2019 concerning the reform of adult social care in England. It examines the Government’s current position to seek a cross-party consensus in order to bring forward proposals for reform of how people pay for adult social care; the delays to cross-party talks as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak; and the Government’s latest pledge to press ahead with the reform in light of the lessons from the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 13 July 2020

Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund – round 2: guidance

Department of Health and Social Care

The purpose of this fund is to support adult social care providers, including those with whom the local authority does not have a contract, to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission within and between care settings, in particular by helping to reduce the need for staff movements between sites. [Updated 15 January 2021]

Last updated on hub: 05 November 2020

Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund ring-fenced grant 2020: local authority circular

Department of Health and Social Care

Government circular outlining the Adult social care infection control fund, which aims to support adult social care providers to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission in and between care homes and support wider workforce resilience. A small percentage of the fund can be used to support domiciliary care providers and support wider workforce resilience to deal with COVID-19 infections. The document is accompanied by five annexes which set out the conditions upon which the grant is paid and the local authorities to whom it will be paid. [First published 9 June 2020. Last updated: 21 September 2020].

Last updated on hub: 08 June 2020

Adult social care winter plan: letter from Minister for Care to local authorities

Department of Health and Social Care

Letter from Helen Whately, Minister for Care, to outline the expectations of local authorities in relation to the adult social care winter plan. The plan sets out the actions the Government is taking at a national level to support those who provide and receive care. It also outlines the actions every local area (local authorities and NHS partners) and every care provider must take to support the collective efforts to keep the coronavirus at bay.

Last updated on hub: 28 September 2020