COVID-19 resources

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Over-exposed and under-protected: the devastating impact of COVID-19 on black and minority ethnic communities in Great Britain

Runnymede Trust, The

Findings of a survey exploring black and minority ethnic (BME) peoples experiences of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, and focusing on the impact of the pandemic on their physical and mental health, work, finances, relationships, childcare and schooling, and their understanding of the governments COVID-19 social and economic measures. The 2,585 adults (aged 18+) sampled for this survey included a ‘boost’ sample of 538 BME adults, taking the overall sample of BME respondents to 750 in the whole survey. Black and minority ethnic people are over-represented in COVID-19 severe illness and deaths - pre-existing racial and socioeconomic inequalities, resulting in disparities in co-morbidities between ethnic groups, have been amplified by COVID-19. The survey shows that BME people face greater barriers in shielding from coronavirus as a result of the types of employment they hold; they make greater use of public transport, are more likely to live in overcrowded and multigenerational households, and are less likely to be given appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) at work. The survey also finds that BME groups are much less aware of the governments life-saving public health messaging around Covid-19, leaving them under-protected and vulnerable to coronavirus. The report makes a number of recommendations, including ensuring employers carry out risk assessments for staff with vulnerable characteristics, including black and minority ethnic backgrounds; ensuring that all key workers in public-facing roles have access to adequate PPE; prioritising a tailored Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support (FTTIS) programme ensuring vulnerable BME communities are identified and supported; strengthening the social security safety net; and increasing Statutory Sickness Pay and widen eligibility.

Last updated on hub: 06 August 2020

Caring and COVID-19: loneliness and use of services

Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Equalities (CIRCLE)

This report focuses on experiences of feeling lonely and of accessing support among a key group of carers in April and May 2020, during the official COVID-19 lockdown period. Drawing on data from the April 2020 wave of Understanding Society COVID-19 survey, the report contrasts carers’ experiences with those of other people. An estimated 6,048,286 adults in the UK provided care to someone living outside their own household in 2020. They are a ‘subset’ of the 10,991,440 estimated adult carers. The analysis shows high levels of loneliness in May 2020 among carers who were female, employed or younger – overall, carers were more likely to have felt lonely than other people, with 1 in 3 female carers (1 in 4 male carers) having felt lonely in the previous 4 weeks and carers aged 17-45 being more likely to report feeling lonely than carers aged 65 or older. During the lockdown, many people were unable to access NHS services – in April 9 in 10 carers (8 in 10 other people) had their treatments cancelled or postponed; 4 in 5 carers (3 in 4 other people) did not get a hospital in-patient service they needed; and 1 in 4 carers in April, and 1 in 5 in May, needed to, but could not, access their GP. The report also looks at access to social and community services – overall, 1 in 4 carers needing help did not get a service they needed; figures improved in May, but carers remained worse off; in April, 50% of carers (2 in 5 other people) needing formal care did not get it and 2 in 5 carers and others who required a psychotherapy service did not get it.

Last updated on hub: 06 August 2020

Caring and COVID-19: financial wellbeing

Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Equalities (CIRCLE)

This report considers the financial wellbeing of people providing unpaid care (outside their own household) in April and May 2020, during the UK’s official lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on data from the April 2020 wave of Understanding Society COVID-19 survey, the analysis also looks at carers’ likelihood of being furloughed and at changes in their working hours, analysing these by sex, age and employment status. An estimated 6,048,286 adults provided care to someone living outside their own household in the UK in 2020. They are a ‘subset’ of the 10,991,440 adults estimated to be carers. The analysis shows that In May 2020, carers had lower financial wellbeing than other people in the population – 21.5% experienced some degree of financial strain, saying they were ‘just about getting by’ or finding it ‘quite’ or ‘very’ difficult to do so and among women, more carers (22.3%) than non-carers (17.9%) had low financial wellbeing. 1 in 5 carers expected to be ‘worse off’ in April (1 in 8 in May) – their short-term finances were a concern for more people aged 31-65 than in other age groups, among both carers and other people. In May 2020, among people with paid jobs (including for carers), 1 in 5 were on furlough – 1 in 4 working carers aged 17-30 were furloughed, and 1 in 5 at other ages while 1 in 4 male carers were furloughed compared with 1 in 5 female carers.

Last updated on hub: 06 August 2020

Caring and COVID-19: hunger and mental wellbeing

Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Equalities (CIRCLE)

This report looks at the use of foodbanks and the experience of hunger in the households of unpaid carers providing care to someone living outside their own household in April 2020, during COVID-19 lockdown. Drawing on data from the April 2020 wave of Understanding Society COVID-19 survey, the analysis also reports evidence of changes in carers’ mental wellbeing, analysing these by sex, age and employment status. There were an estimated 6,048,286 adults providing care to someone living outside their own household in the UK in 2020. They are a ‘subset’ of the 10,991,440 adults estimated to be carers. The analysis shows considerable evidence of the difficulties some carers face – 228,625 carers said someone in their household had gone hungry in the previous week with women being twice as likely as men to report this; figures were especially high for younger carers, reaching 12.24% for those aged 17-30. In addition, 106,450 carers (1.76%) said their household had used a foodbank in the past month – female carers were twice as likely as men to use foodbanks and foodbank use was especially high (8%) for carers aged 17-30. The report also looks at carers’ mental wellbeing in April 2020 and compares it with the same carers’ reported wellbeing in the 2017-19 wave of the survey. It shows that carers’ mental wellbeing was lower than that of non-carers in both surveys – mental wellbeing was much lower among female carers than male carers and lower for working age carers, especially those aged 17-45. Between 2017-19 and April 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the mental wellbeing of female carers, older carers, carers in employment and those without a paid job declined.

Last updated on hub: 06 August 2020

Technology and innovation for long-term health conditions

King's Fund

This paper looks at four digital innovations in health services from the UK and the Nordic countries, including the TeleCare North programme to provide remote treatment for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); the Patients Know Best portal and electronic health record; remote diabetes monitoring for children at Helsinki University Hospital; and the Huoleti app for connecting patients with a support network. These examples highlight the potential of technology to empower patients, to support stronger therapeutic relationships, to support effective teamworking across professional boundaries and to create networks and communities to support patients. They also show how entrepreneurs and health services can avoid the negative effects that technology has sometimes introduced or exacerbated in health care. The case studies also demonstrate the power of technology to stitch together different health and care services, allowing staff across primary care, community services, hospital services and social care to work together to deliver joined-up care. The findings articulate some of the questions services need to answer as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and the steps they need to follow to implement digital technologies effectively after the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 05 August 2020

Resilient health and care: learning the lessons of COVID-19 in the English NHS

Institute for Public Policy Research

This analysis considers why the English health care system has struggled during the Covid-19 pandemic, and how to ensure it is given the capacity, resources, and flexibility to adapt to shocks when they emerge. This entails investing not only in the NHS and acute care services but also in community care and the social care sector. Through a rapid review of the international data, the analysis identifies three key macro-themes: capacity, resourcing and population health. Across these themes, it shows that the UK system was in a poor position to resist a health shock, compared to the international standard. The report calls on the Government to take the opportunity to create a system where resilience is considered efficient, where long-term thinking is encouraged, and where resources are allocated to deliver on it. To this end, English health policy might borrow from economic policy’s 'fiscal rules' and introduce six 'health and care resilience rules'. These are: capacity rule - the Government should allocate catch-up funding in the community and social care sector, to build their capacity as primary sources of care; staffing rule - the Government must expand the People Plan process, by allocating funding, including social care, and extending the time horizon covered to ten years; modernisation rule - the Government should aim to meet international standards of adoption and spread of technology; sustainable funding rule - ensuring the NHS has sufficient revenue and capital; population health rule - focusing on prevention; and health inequality rule - the Government should commit to cut inequality by at least 10 per cent by the end of the parliament.

Last updated on hub: 05 August 2020

4 reasons housing providers must revise their telecare needs post COVID-19

Appello

This guide highlights the changing landscape for the delivery of technology enabled care services (TECS). It draws on findings from interviews and independent research undertaken with the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN) of 120 senior executives from providers of supported, sheltered and retirement housing. The analysis indicates that 85% housing providers report their perceptions on the use of technology have changed as a result of COVID-19 while 74% feel that their requirements for telecare and wellbeing technologies have changed as a result of the pandemic. The document sets out four key reasons that support the strengthening and consolidation of the telecare offer within housing settings and makes recommendations on how to achieve this. The four reasons are: vulnerable communities need support to maintain their social connections – there is huge potential for housing providers to harness communication technologies to help connect older people and promote digital inclusion; remote working will be here to stay – 80% of housing providers believe video communication between residents and staff is becoming more important to their organisation because of COVID-19; how we access healthcare services will change – for instance, it is likely that the pandemic will be the catalyst for greater use of video appointments within the health sector; more services are being accessed online – in an uncertain world, with shielding and social distancing it is becoming even more vital to help older and vulnerable people to access support, and services from paying bills online to accessing pensions and shopping from home while keeping safe.

Last updated on hub: 04 August 2020

MCR pathways lockdown survey: how to build back better: listening to the voices of our young people

MCR Pathways

Findings of a survey of 1,347 care-experienced and disadvantaged young people (aged 13 -18) from across Scotland, gaining insight into their experience of the COVID-19 lockdown, specifically in relation to mental wellbeing, home learning, and impact on career plans and future expectations. Key findings on the impacts of the lockdown include: impact on mental wellbeing – two thirds (66.8%) of young people are feeling low, more anxious and stressed since lockdown and 88.8% said their sleeping patterns have changed and over a quarter (26.5%) said they were experiencing significantly disrupted sleep; impact on education and return to school – since lockdown, 68.2% did not use any learning materials provided by the school while, significantly, over a quarter had caring duties that impacted on their capacity for home learning; impact on the future – 64.8% of young people say that COVID-19 has not changed their future plans for what they want to do when they leave school and 38.5% of leavers are feeling confident about their next steps. The report makes a number of recommendations, including ensuring education is provided on a full-time basis, schools offer a recovery curriculum, and disadvantaged young people are systematically and comprehensively consulted as a matter of course throughout the formation of all recovery and rebuild plans.

Last updated on hub: 04 August 2020

National food strategy: part one

National Food Strategy

Part one of the two-part National Food Strategy contains urgent recommendations to enable the food system to cope with the turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to prepare for the end of the EU exit transition period on 31 December 2020. The report and recommendations cover two main themes: making sure the most disadvantaged children do not get left behind, ensuring all children get the nutrition they need; and grasping the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to decide what kind of trading nation the UK want to be. The report calls on the Government to move quickly to shore up the diets of the most deprived children using existing, proven mechanisms, expanding eligibility for the Free School Meal scheme, extending the Holiday Activity and Food Programme, increasing the value of Healthy Start vouchers to £4.25 per week, and extending the work of the Food to the Vulnerable Ministerial Task Force for a further 12 months up until July 2021.

Last updated on hub: 04 August 2020

Adult social care: seven principles for reform

Local Government Association

Sets out seven principles that should underpin social care and support reform in light of COVID-19. Taken together, these principles and their accompanying asks of Government are intended to chart a way forward for ensuring the very best local care and support in the future, so that people can live their very best life. The principles, which are endorsed by thirty-two leading organisations, are: people first and the value of social care; the importance of ‘local’; funding for a person-centred and preventative model of social care, which promotes resilience in local public services and communities; a new deal for the care workforce; a commissioning model that creates more person-centred services that help prevent, delay or reduce the need for more formal care services; securing greater parity of esteem between health and social care; and ensuring the scope of and ambition for social care reform encompass support for adults of all ages including unpaid carers, and a commitment to the Care Act wellbeing principle and to improving people’s choice and control of the care and support they use to live their best life.

Last updated on hub: 04 August 2020

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