COVID-19 resources for Managers and leaders

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing available for adult social care in England

Department of Health and Social Care

Outlines the COVID-19 testing available for testing staff, residents and visitors for all adult social care settings. The guidance covers: regular testing cycle for care home residents and staff (England); outbreak testing for care home residents and staff (England); care home family and friend visitors; visiting professionals in care homes; extra care and supported living settings; home care testing; day care centres; and universal testing. [Published: 24 March 2021; Last updated: 29 June 2021]

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2021

Covid-19 Insight: issue 11

Care Quality Commission

Initial findings from a provider collaboration review exploring the care for people with a learning disability who live in the community, and what impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on them and the services they receive. Many of the issues emerging from review are not new. In a lot of cases, the pandemic has simply served to shine a light on pre-existing challenges, gaps and poor-quality care. There are some approaches to care delivery that can provide people with the care that they need, in a way that enables them to lead their best lives. For example: giving people choice, control and independence; access to the right care and support at the right time; and collaboration between services, and with the person and their families. The findings of this provider collaboration review support our wider ambitions to improve our regulation of services for people with a learning disability and autistic people. The document also updates data on: the number of deaths of people in care homes; and the number of deaths of people detained under the Mental Health Act.

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2021

Coronavirus and People with Learning Disabilities Study: wave 2 results June 2021. Briefing: COVID-19 vaccinations

The University of Warwick

This study is designed to systematically and responsively track the experiences of adults with learning disabilities through the COVID-19 pandemic across the four UK nations. The data in this briefing are taken from Wave 2 of the study. There are two ‘Cohorts’ of participants in this study. In Wave 2: in Cohort 1, 598 adults with learning disabilities were interviewed by researchers; in Cohort 2, family carers or paid support staff took part in an online survey about the experiences of 273 adults with learning disabilities who they supported/cared for. These were likely to be adults with more severe to profound learning disabilities. This document presents selected data about vaccinations from the Wave 2 results. The data show that 92% of people with learning disabilities in Cohort 1 and 91% of people with learning disabilities in Cohort 2 had received at least one dose of the COVID19 vaccine. 34% of people with learning disabilities in Cohort 1 and 48% of people with learning disabilities in Cohort 2 had received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 15% of people with learning disabilities in Cohort 1 reported that they had had problems accessing or being called to get their vaccine – the most commonly reported issues were problems travelling to the venue and having to call to ask for an appointment on multiple occasions, instead of being called up for an appointment.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2021

Extended use of face mask guidance in social care settings including adult care homes

Scottish Government

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to the social care sector, visiting professionals, residents and service users and their family and friends on the wearing of face masks when in social care settings. The key points of this guidance are: face masks are the final layer of protection from COVID-19, the other layers of protection include physical distancing, hand hygiene, enhanced cleaning, and good ventilation remain paramount; remember “hand hygiene” – every time you change or touch your mask or face covering; all staff providing direct care should wear a Fluid Resistant Surgical Mask (FRSM) throughout their shift as per the guidance; all staff working in non-direct care roles - such as domestic, administration, or management - who work in offices, laundry or kitchen areas, should wear face coverings when working within 2 metres of another person, and should wear an FRSM if in contact with care home residents; in office areas where there is good ventilation and 2 metres physical distancing face coverings are not required; residents in a care home are not required to wear a FRSM or face covering within the care home, which is first and foremost their own home; individuals receiving care within their own home are not required to wear a FRSM or face covering within their home.

Last updated on hub: 28 June 2021

Vulnerable children and young people survey: summary of returns waves 1 to 24

Department for Education

Findings of a survey of local authorities in England to help understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on children’s social care. Local authorities were asked to report on the following areas: contact with children supported by the local authority children’s social care; children’s social care workforce; and system pressures. Headline figures for Wave 24 of the survey are as follow. The total number of children looked after (CLA) was 3% higher than the same time in 2019-20 and the total number of children on a child protection plan (CPP) was 6% lower. A large proportion of CLA, children on a CPP and other children in need (CIN) have been in contact with a social worker in the last four weeks (67%, 94% and 62% respectively). The proportion of social workers not working due to coronavirus (COVID-19) has remained low with 2% of local authorities reporting over 10% of social workers unavailable due to coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wave 24. The proportion of local authorities reporting over 10% of their residential care staff unable to work due to coronavirus (COVID19) has decreased to the lowest levels since the survey began to 3% in Wave 24. Note that some local authorities have small residential care workforces and therefore a small change in the number of staff available may result in a large change in the proportion unavailable. The total number of referrals during Wave 24 was 1% lower than the usual number at that time of year. The total number of children who started to be looked after reported in waves 1 to 24 of the survey was 9,670. This is around 29% lower than the same period in 2017-20.

Last updated on hub: 28 June 2021

ADASS activity survey 2021

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

The ADASS survey was carried out in March and April and was completed by more than 90 Director of Adult Social Services, almost two-thirds of the total. They were asked how need for care and support compared with last November, less than six months previously. Of those who responded: 69% said more people were being referred for support from the community, almost half of them reporting a rise of more than 10% over the six months; 68% said more people were presenting with mental health issues; 57% said more people with care and support needs were seeking help for domestic abuse or safeguarding; 35% said they were seeing more rough sleepers needing support. The findings point to the strain that family carers have been under during the pandemic. Of responding directors, 67% said they were seeing more people seeking help because of breakdown in carer arrangements – 27% reporting a rise of more than 10%. The survey also shows the inter-dependence of social care and the NHS in the wider health and care system. Of responding directors, 48% said they were being asked to support more people awaiting admission to hospital and 75% said they were dealing with more people being discharged and asking for help from their local council – 55% reporting a rise of more than 10% in numbers of requests following discharge over the six months.

Last updated on hub: 22 June 2021

Making vaccination a condition of deployment in care homes: government response

Department of Health and Social Care

Government response to findings from a consultation on a proposal to make COVID-19 vaccination a condition of deployment in older adult care homes. The consultation asked for views on whether people supported the proposed legislative change, the scope of the policy, proposed exemptions, implementation methods; and sought views on equality impacts and impact on maintaining safe levels of staffing and the workforce. Overall, the consultation showed that, while a majority (57%) of respondents did not support the proposal, the responses from the adult social care sector were mixed, with some group, for example care home providers mostly supporting the proposed legislative change while others, such as service users and relatives of service users were mostly opposed. Based on feedback received during the consultation, the Government made three key changes to the proposals set out in the original consultation document: it is extending the scope of the policy to all CQC-registered care homes, in England, which provide accommodation for persons who require nursing or personal care, not just those care homes which have at least one person over the age of 65 living in their home; it is extending the requirement to be vaccinated to include all persons who enter a care home, regardless of their role (excluding those that have medical exemptions; residents of that care home; friends and family of residents who are visiting; those entering to assist with an emergency or carrying out urgent maintenance work; and those under the age of 18); it will provide exemptions for those entering to assist with an emergency or carrying out urgent maintenance work; and clinical trial participants.

Last updated on hub: 21 June 2021

Discounting older disabled people in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic: the English government’s breaches of care, equality and human rights laws

University of York

This article considers government responses to older people living in English long-term care and nursing homes during the COVID-19 lockdown in Spring/Summer of 2020. Care homes are total institutions, closed spaces from which residents rarely leave, and are occupied by some of the least powerful and most vulnerable people in our society. As such they always require attention, especially during national emergencies. However, during the initial COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 many concerning acts of commission/omission occurred in relation to care homes. Specifically, there were: belated and inadequate social policies; excessive and unreported deaths; insufficient health protections (delayed lockdowns; insufficient protective equipment and testing; untested hospital transfers); family and friend exclusions; inadequate end-of-life planning (poor treatment and care; exclusion of loved ones a faith representatives; unlawful use of ‘Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR)’ Orders; potentially unlawful constraints upon freedom of movement; and insufficient regulatory scrutiny. This article considers each of these concerns in relation to care, equality and human rights legislation, arguing that the English government behaved unlawfully, reflecting wider systemic cultural devaluation of older and disabled lives.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2021

National discussions on mandatory vaccination for long-term care staff in 24 countries

International Long-term Care Policy Network

Following the enormous impacts of Covid-19 among people who use long-term care, most countries have prioritised people who live and work in care homes for vaccinations. In some countries there is also a debate on whether it should be compulsory for people working in this sector (or particularly in care homes) to be vaccinated, or whether there are other measures that may be more acceptable and effective at increasing vaccination take-up and may not deter people from working in the sector. This post provides an overview of the situation in May 2021 in 24 countries. This review finds that most countries have stated that staff working in long-term care would be among the first groups to be prioritized for Covid-19 vaccinations but in many countries there have been practical difficulties in facilitating access to vaccination for this group which, added to some vaccine hesitancy, has resulted in lower vaccination rates for staff than ideal. Vaccines are mandatory for healthcare personnel in Italy. While many countries have debated whether to make Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory for certain groups, including people working in long-term care, none of the 24 countries for which we have information have adopted this as a national policy, although there are some local/regional examples where this has become the practice or where providers require that their employees are vaccinated. There are a few examples of other vaccinations (such as flu) being made mandatory for staff working in long-term care and/or health care. Most countries do not have data systems that support monitoring of vaccination rates among staff working in the long-term care sector.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2021

Post-lockdown children in crisis: exploring the links between social distancing and the mental health of children in poverty

The Childhood Trust

This report investigates the ways in which long-term social distancing measures have affected and may continue to affect children’s mental health, wellbeing, and development. It ultimately finds that restrictions on social contact have significantly increased mental health issues among vulnerable children and young people in London over the past year and have contributed to clinically significant levels of heightened anxiety and depression amongst a random sample of 68 children from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Key findings include: incidence of mental health issues were two times higher in a sample of disadvantaged children in London (33%) compared to children across England (16%); 82% of charity respondents reported that their beneficiaries were experiencing serious mental health issues as a direct result of lockdown measures; heightened anxiety (88%) and depression (79%) were the most common mental health symptoms experienced by disadvantaged children and young people according to the charities surveyed; incidence of clinical anxiety and depression were 23% higher in a random sample of disadvantaged girls in London aged 15-18 (50%) compared to teenage girls across England (27.2%); the average total anxiety and depression score for boys aged 12-14 evaluated was approximately 30% higher than the mean score for unreferred boys in that age group; charities (41%) supporting approximately 35,215 disadvantaged children in London reported that their beneficiaries experienced greater abuse in home settings during lockdowns; 77% of charity respondents indicated that a lack of social interaction and in-person play time are still compromising their beneficiaries’ mental health post-lockdown; 80% of charity respondents reported that social distancing and lockdown measures have made it challenging for children to exercise and maintain their physical health; 75% of charity respondents reported that their beneficiaries are still experiencing food insecurity, even though children have returned to school and can access more substantial meals.

Last updated on hub: 15 June 2021

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