COVID-19 resources

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Interim phase: area SEND

Ofsted

An operational note for Her Majesty’s Inspectors and Care Quality Commission inspectors carrying out interim visits to local areas regarding their special educational needs and disabilities arrangements from October 2020. From October, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will be visiting local areas to find out about their arrangements for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). The visits are designed to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the SEND system and to support improvement. Inspectors will work collaboratively with local areas to identify what has worked well for children and young people with SEND and their families over recent months, what the challenges and lessons learned have been, and what the opportunities are for improvement for the future.

Last updated on hub: 17 September 2020

International “living” report: long-term care and COVID-19 vaccination, prioritization and data

International Long-term Care Policy Network

This report aims to provide an overview of progress in the delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations to people who use and provide long-term care. It is a “living report” that will be updated regularly. The report shows data for populations that either use and provide long-term care or are likely to do so. Initial review of prioritization documents shows that care home residents and personnel are consistently listed among the group with the highest priority. Care partners and family members of residents and unpaid carers of people living in the community are not explicitly mentioned. There are few mentions of people living with dementia or people with learning disabilities.

Last updated on hub: 11 January 2021

International evidence on care home COVID-19 outbreak responses: summary of key findings

International Long-term Care Policy Network

This note summarises emerging evidence on COVID-19 outbreak responses in care homes, obtained from a “living” systematic review that focused on COVID-19 mortality and spread of disease in long-term care more broadly (Salcher-Konrad & al. (2020). COVID-19 related mortality and spread of disease in long-term care: a living systematic review of emerging evidence). The review found that outbreaks in long-term care settings varied widely in terms of the number of people affected, and that evidence on the reasons behind this variation is still emerging. It identifies four measures that may have worked in containing COVID-19 outbreaks in care homes: early detection and rapid response after detection of index case; systematic testing of all residents and staff – high prevalence of asymptomatic and presymptomatic cases that would not be detected by a) symptoms screening, and b) one-off testing (if infection has already spread beyond index case); moving high-risk contacts of cases out of the facility; and isolating cases by removing them from the facility or creating separate wards within the facility.

Last updated on hub: 04 November 2020

International examples of measures to prevent and manage COVID-19 outbreaks in residential care and nursing home settings

International Long-term Care Policy Network

This document provides examples of policy and practice measures that have been adopted internationally to prevent COVID-19 infections in care homes and to mitigate their impact. The evidence shows that: while both the characteristics of the population in care homes and the difficulties of physical distancing in communal living mean that care home residents are at high risk of dying from COVID-19, these deaths are not inevitable; countries with low-levels of infection in the population typically also have low shares of infections in care homes; the response to COVID-19 in care homes needs to be coordinated across all relevant government departments and levels, and with the acute health sector response; timely data on the impact of COVID-19 in care homes is essential to ensure that opportunities for preventing large numbers of deaths are not missed; evidence of asymptomatic transmission and atypical presentation of COVID-19 in geriatric populations should be reflected in guidance documents and testing policies; while there are infections local to care homes, regular testing of residents and staff will be essential, ideally followed by contact tracing and effective isolation; most countries have restricted visitors but this policy alone has not protected care homes from infection; staff pay and living conditions may be an important barrier to effective infection controls, particularly if staff do not have access to sick pay or need to work in multiple facilities (or live in crowded accommodation); access to healthcare and palliative care (in terms of personnel, medicines and equipment) needs to be guaranteed, particularly for homes without nursing or medical staff; measures to address the psychological impact of the pandemic on both staff and residents need to be put in place.

Last updated on hub: 04 November 2020

International examples of measures to support unpaid carers during the COVID-19 pandemic

International Long-term Care Policy Network

This document provides examples of policy and practice measures that have been adopted internationally to support unpaid carers caring for someone with long-term care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes information on types of guidance issued, virtual support to facilitate social contact, emergency support in case unpaid carers can no longer provide care, financial support, including additional support during the pandemic, and responsibilities given to healthcare providers to support unpaid carers. It highlights that support in the form of technological interventions, such as helplines, online carer groups and tele-health have been newly established and/or expanded; some countries are providing emergency support structures in case the family carer becomes unable to provide care, and only one country to date has increased support for family carers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The document will be updated regularly as more information becomes available.

Last updated on hub: 21 May 2020

International policy responses and early management of threats posed by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to social care

Journal of Long-Term Care

Context: People with prior health conditions are susceptible to severe and sometimes fatal outcomes of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, that causes the disease COVID-19. The protection of the capacity of systems for social care was thus an important consideration for governments in the early stages of the global pandemic. Objectives: This paper reports and discusses the results of a rapid review of international early policy responses for the protection of social care systems after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that SARS-CoV-2 had evolved into a pandemic. Literature was collected in March 2020. Method: Rapid online review of government responses to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic using official government statements and press reports from 13 countries. Findings: The analysis of early responses in and about social care to the pandemic suggested an initial focus on avoiding the outbreak of the virus in care homes, with first steps being to limit visitors in these contexts and considering ways to isolate residents with symptoms or a confirmed infection. Responses to protect people receiving social care in their homes and schemes to support informal or family carers were less prominent. Limitations: Only publications in the public domain and in local languages of the 13 countries were considered for this analysis. It is possible that further strategies and responses were not made available to the public and are therefore not included, which limits this article’s scope for analysis. Implications: The findings of this article can support reflection on the trajectory of policy responses to the threats that SARS-CoV-2 poses to social care. They can thereby potentially inform planning and policy responses for enhanced pandemic preparedness and stronger social care systems in the future.

Last updated on hub: 04 October 2020

Interprofessional working during the COVID-19 pandemic: sociological insights

Journal of Interprofessional Care

Editorial that provides sociological insights about interprofessional working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes sections about learning about interprofessional working from past pandemics and interprofessional working and research post COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 13 November 2020

Interventions to support the resilience and mental health of frontline health and social care professionals during and after a disease outbreak, epidemic or pandemic: a mixed methods systematic review (Review)

Cochrane

Objectives: to assess the effects of interventions aimed at supporting the resilience and mental health of frontline health and social care professionals during and after a disease outbreak, epidemic or pandemic. And to identify barriers and facilitators that may impact on the implementation of interventions aimed at supporting the resilience and mental health of frontline health and social care professionals during and after a disease outbreak, epidemic or pandemic. Methods: the researchers searched the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Global Index Medicus databases and WHO Institutional Repository for Information Sharing. They also searched ongoing trials registers and Google Scholar. They ran all searches from the year 2002 onwards, with no language restrictions. Selection criteria: this review included studies in which participants were health and social care professionals working at the front line during infectious disease outbreaks, categorised as epidemics or pandemics by WHO, from 2002 onwards. Outcomes critical to this review were general mental health and resilience. Additional outcomes included psychological symptoms of anxiety, depression or stress; burnout; other mental health disorders; workplace staffing; and adverse events arising from interventions. Data collection and analysis: Pairs of review authors independently applied selection criteria to abstracts and full papers, with disagreements resolved through discussion. One review author systematically extracted data, cross-checked by a second review author. Results: 16 studies were included that reported implementation of an intervention aimed at supporting the resilience or mental health of frontline workers during disease outbreaks (severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS): 2; Ebola: 9; Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS): 1; COVID‐19: 4). Interventions studied included workplace interventions, such as training, structure and communication (6 studies); psychological support interventions, such as counselling and psychology services (8 studies); and multifaceted interventions (2 studies). Objective 1: a mixed‐methods study that incorporated a cluster‐randomised trial, investigating the effect of a work‐based intervention, provided very low‐certainty evidence about the effect of training frontline healthcare workers to deliver psychological first aid on a measure of burnout. Objective 2: all 16 studies were included in the qualitative evidence synthesis, where 17 key findings from multiple barriers and facilitators reported in studies were identified. The reviewers did not have high confidence in any of the findings. The reviewers were moderately confident that the following two factors were barriers to intervention implementation: frontline workers, or the organisations in which they worked, not being fully aware of what they needed to support their mental well‐being; and a lack of equipment, staff time or skills needed for an intervention. The reviewers were moderately confident that the following three factors were facilitators of intervention implementation: interventions that could be adapted for local needs; having effective communication, both formally and socially; and having positive, safe and supportive learning environments for frontline workers. The reviewers were moderately confident that the knowledge or beliefs, or both, that people have about an intervention can act as either barriers or facilitators to implementation of the intervention. Conclusions: There is a lack of both quantitative and qualitative evidence from studies carried out during or after disease epidemics and pandemics that can inform the selection of interventions that are beneficial to the resilience and mental health of frontline workers. Alternative sources of evidence (e.g. from other healthcare crises, and general evidence about interventions that support mental well‐being) could therefore be used to inform decision making. When selecting interventions aimed at supporting frontline workers' mental health, organisational, social, personal, and psychological factors may all be important. Research to determine the effectiveness of interventions is a high priority. The COVID‐19 pandemic provides unique opportunities for robust evaluation of interventions. Future studies must be developed with appropriately rigorous planning, including development, peer review and transparent reporting of research protocols, following guidance and standards for best practice, and with appropriate length of follow‐up. Factors that may act as barriers and facilitators to implementation of interventions should be considered during the planning of future research and when selecting interventions to deliver within local settings.

Last updated on hub: 09 November 2020

Introduction to and spread of COVID-19-like illness in care homes in Norfolk, UK

Journal of Public Health

Background: Residential care homes for the elderly are important settings for transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease. Methods: This study undertook secondary analysis of 248 care homes in Norfolk, UK. The dataset counted nurses, care workers and non-care workers, their status (available, absent due to leave or sickness and extra staff needed to address the coronavirus pandemic) and residents (if any) with suspected COVID-19 in the period 6 April to 6 May 2020. Concurrent descriptions of access by the home to personal protection equipment (PPE: gloves, masks, eye protection, aprons and sanitizer) were in the data. PPE access was categorized as (most to least) green, amber or red. This study undertook two-stage modelling, first for suspected COVID-19 cases amongst residents and second relating any increases in case counts after introduction to staffing or PPE levels. Results: Counts of non-care workers had strongest relationships (P < 0.05) to introduction of suspected SARS-CoV-2 to the homes. Higher staff levels and more severe PPE shortages were linked to higher case counts (P < 0.05) during the monitoring period. Conclusion: Managing aspects of staff interaction with residents and some working practices might reduce ingression to and spread of COVID-19-like illness within care homes.

Last updated on hub: 27 January 2021

Introduction to Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs) In Rapid Time

Social Care Institute for Excellence

SCIE discusses the need for a rapid review process to enable system learning that is identified and shared beyond the location of the incident.

Last updated on hub: 31 July 2020

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