COVID-19 resources

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Mid-year 2020-21 adult social care activity

NHS Digital

Local Authorities are part of the front line of organisations dealing with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in England. This management information is not looking directly at the response to the crisis. Instead, it aims to give users some insight into the impact of the pandemic on the ongoing statutory duties of local authorities to provide assessments, support and funding for the appropriate level of social care needed by its adult population, and to safeguard its citizens from abuse or deprivations of liberty. Data was collected from local authorities on a voluntary basis, to a shorter timeline than usual and without much of the comprehensive data quality assurance usually in place for the equivalent annual data collections. Key facts include: coverage – 81% of local authorities in England provided data to this one-off, voluntary data collection; long term support – the number of clients in receipt of long term social care support at the end of March 2020 was lower than the previous year, and this decreased further in the first half of 2020-21; safeguarding activity – there appears to have been a slight increase of approximately 4% in the total number of safeguarding concerns raised to local authorities so far this year, compared to half the annual total from 2019-20, and a c.9% decrease in the enquiries that commenced in the period; DoLS applications – fewer applications for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) were received by local authorities in the first half of 2020-21 (a decrease of 3.3% compared to the first half of 2019-20, following many years of increasing volumes). The number of applications completed also fell, by 16.5%, compared to the first half of 2019-20.

Last updated on hub: 22 December 2020

Misunderstandings about older people fuel corona virus complacency

Working with Older People

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore public assumptions underlying the apparent disregard for the lives of older people during the coronavirus outbreak. It attempts to dispel myths about quality of life among older people. Design/methodology/approach: This paper integrates the author’s personal experiences as a doctor with data collection, which involved general PubMed searches for articles relating to the public response to the effect of coronavirus on older people; beliefs about the lives of older people; and issues of happiness, contentedness and quality of life in older people. Findings: Some people have concluded that the lives of older people – which they believe to be of low quality – are worth risking to lessen the economic impact of coronavirus. This morbid calculation is based in part on the assumption that older people are less happy than younger people. In fact, the evidence shows that as people get older, they become significantly happier. Originality/value: This paper asks readers to explore their assumptions about ageing and reaffirms the importance of protecting older people in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 29 December 2020

Mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak: a review of international measures to support community-based care

International Long-term Care Policy Network

This report provides a brief overview of the policy responses and practice measures used internationally to respond to the impact of COVID-19 on the provision of community-based care. The data provided is largely collected from the country reports on the COVID-19 long-term care situation, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, England, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, South Korea, and the United States. Key findings include: community-based care faces unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to other parts of the long-term care continuum; several countries have taken steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections in community-based care including the closure of adult day centres and other service providers; continuity of care is of upmost importance – a disruption of care and support could have serious negative impacts on individual health and well-being due to increased risk of loneliness and social isolation; the dispersed nature of community based care suggests that direct governmental action and oversight may be more difficult to provide than for residential care settings such as care homes or nursing facilities; efforts to maintain continuity of care in community-based care include government financial support to home care workers; recruitment of volunteers and family members to act as paid carers; and the provision of remote psychological supports to home care workers; some countries have taken steps to move patients and home care workers to residential care settings; few countries are specifically reporting data on infections and deaths among users of home care – an exception to this is Australia; overall evidence of national measures to support community-based care is still lacking for most countries.

Last updated on hub: 04 November 2020

Mitigation of risks of COVID-19 in occupational settings with a focus on ethnic minority groups – consensus statement from PHE, HSE and FOM

Public Health England

Consensus statement from Public Health England (PHE), Health and Safety Executive (HSE ) and the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM) on the mitigation of risks of COVID-19 in occupational settings with a focus on ethnic minority groups.

Last updated on hub: 24 November 2020

Modern slavery risks for care-workers in England during COVID-19 pandemic

University of Nottingham

This briefing summarises findings of a research project to identify the key risk factors that may increase modern slavery risk in the care sector as a result of COVID-19. Researchers found serious potential modern slavery risks in the care sector: 1. pre-recruitment financial risk – increased recruitment activity and rise in use of migrant labour, with risk of work-visa debt; 2. post-recruitment financial risk – wages being withheld, especially with regard to sick pay and travel time; delays in payment through retrospective reconciliation, increasing reliance on “pay-per-minute”; 3. pre-recruitment operational risk – flexible employment practices in response to workforce availability, including waiving of full DBS checks, media perception of care homes discouraging potential staff, leading to labour shortages, reliance on unregulated temporary staffing agencies; 4. post-recruitment operational risk – decreasing quality of working conditions, pressure for staff to live ‘locked in’ on-site; audit limitations; isolation of home carers, increased risk for BAME staff, obscured signs of exploitation and unacknowledged home care workload increases. Some unprecedented positive impacts from COVID-19, however, have arisen, which have the potential to mitigate modern slavery risk - (1) increased interorganisational co-operation; (2) increased community-orientated care approach; (3) perceived increase in the societal value of social care.

Last updated on hub: 10 September 2020

Monitoring the Mental Health Act in 2019/20: the Mental Health Act in the COVID-19 pandemic

Care Quality Commission

This annual report on CQC monitoring of the Mental Health Act (MHA) puts a specific focus on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on patients detained under the MHA, and on the services that care for and treat them. The findings indicate that: planning for individuals’ discharge from hospital continues to be essential and is particularly important during the pandemic period due to the increased burden on all services, including those in the community; some services showed exemplary practice in the co-production of care with patients, including infection control measures; in many services the physical environment requires modernisation and doing so would have the added positive impact of making infection control easier; some services continued to uphold restrictions on patients’ movement, activities and leave for longer than seemed necessary; many services invested in software to help detained patients to stay connected with their family and other sources of support during the pandemic; detained patients’ access to advocacy services was made more difficult during the pandemic, but such services played an even more crucial role where patients’ lives were more limited by infection control measures; there needs to be careful evaluation of using remote technology should aspects of them continue after the pandemic abates.

Last updated on hub: 03 December 2020

Mortality associated with COVID-19 in care homes: international evidence

International Long-term Care Policy Network

This document focuses on mortality associated with COVID-19 in care homes, summarising information from three types of sources: epidemiological studies, official estimates and news reports; and relies on national experts for confirmation of sources and definitions. Key findings include: official publicly available data on the numbers of deaths among care home residents linked to COVID-19 is not available in many countries; international comparisons are difficult due to differences in testing capabilities and policies, different approaches to recording deaths, and differing definitions of what constitutes a “care home”; there are three main approaches to quantifying deaths in relation to COVID-19: deaths of people who test positive (before or after their death), deaths of people suspected to have COVID-19 (based on symptoms or epidemiologically linked), and excess deaths (comparing total number of deaths with those in the same weeks in previous years); another important distinction is whether the data covers deaths of care home residents or only deaths in the care home; based on the data gathered for this report, the current average of the share of all COVID-19 deaths that were care home residents is 46% (based on 21 countries); the share of all care home residents who have died (linked to COVID-19) ranges from 0.01% in South Korea to over 4% (which would mean that over one in 25 care home residents have died linked to COVID-19) in Belgium, Ireland, Spain, the UK and the US; currently, there is limited evidence from anywhere in the world on how individuals who receive care in the community have been directly or indirectly affected by COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 04 November 2020

Most social workers say Covid-19 has negatively hit their work and the lives of those they support

Community Care

The results of a survey about practice in England during the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey, carried out by Community Care, was completed by nearly 500 people working in adults’, children’s and mental health services, 92 percent of them qualified social workers. The survey found that more than half of practitioners have had to carry out duties that caused them anxiety because of infection risk, though three-quarters approve of their employer's response to the crisis.

Last updated on hub: 08 June 2020

MoVE report 1: lessons from lockdown

The University of Sheffield

This report presents the first set of findings from 49 semi-structured interviews with a range of stakeholders from England, Scotland and Wales, about their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. It presents findings on the lessons learned from the successes and challenges experienced by those involved in coordinating community-facing responses. It is the first of three reports out of this first stage of research. The lessons revolve around 5 key themes: the value of local responses – existing local infrastructure and community support networks have underpinned successful community responses; harnessing the energy of volunteers – the pandemic highlights the need to rethink volunteering so that more informal volunteering and “good neighbourliness” momentum can be harnessed; the role of the VCS sector – the voluntary and community sector (VCS) has been vital to mobilising volunteers and meeting needs during the pandemic and has proved its worth ten-fold; resisting the bureaucratic creep – one of the great leaps forward from coordinating community responses has been the breaking down of systemic bureaucratic barriers to working collaboratively; pending crises – the pending cliff edge and the likely ‘‘tsunami of demand’’ were central concerns; in particular, the impending funding crisis facing LAs, VCS and communities.

Last updated on hub: 22 December 2020

MoVE report 2: models and frameworks for coordinating community responses during COVID-19

The University of Sheffield

.This is the second of three reports from phase one of the MoVE (mobilising volunteers effectively) project, exploring the models and frameworks utilised by local authorities (LAs) across the UK to coordinate community responses. The report presents the second set of findings from 49 semi-structured interviews with a range of stakeholders from England, Scotland and Wales, about their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. It identifies a number of core underlying themes at the heart of response frameworks and processes; classifies three different response models; begins to sketch out potential post-COVID models of social action and community partnership; and offers some reflections for LAs wishing to retain learning from the pandemic and take these models forward. The data highlights three main frameworks that were utilised to coordinate volunteer and community support. These are: Model 1 – response cells utilising a VCS local infrastructure organisation as the primary coordinator/broker; Model 2 – response cells channelling support through a series of hubs; Model 3 – multi-agency response cells working directly with community networks and new informal movements. The report also identifies the key areas that shape what post-lockdown models of social action and community partnership could look like, including: flattened structures and greater decentralisation; the importance of established local infrastructure organisations; building on co-production models; enhanced role for community hubs; the role of informal volunteering and mutual aid.

Last updated on hub: 17 December 2020