COVID-19 resources for managers and leaders

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Back on track: supporting young people out of lockdown

YMCA

This report explores what impact COVID-19 and the lockdown have had on young people, using existing evidence to root out what good solutions could look like, and suggesting a road map forward to how we rebuild our society and the lives of young people. The report finds that This report finds young people are lonely – nine-in-ten report missing being face-to-face with people (92%), and three-quarters feel lonelier and more isolated during lockdown (77%); a virtual world can’t be the new normal, with three-quarters of young people (73%) tired of being online all the time; young people are struggling with school and their aspirations for the future are changing, with 56% being worried about falling behind and 41% being worried about getting a job; young people need safe spaces outside of the home to improve family cohesion, with more than half of young people (58%) feeling that their relationship with their family has become more strained during lockdown; prevention of young people’s poor mental health is key as more than two-fifths of young people report that they are worried about their mental health or wellbeing as they come out of the COVID-19 lockdown (42%). The report calls on the government to create a cross departmental strategy for children and young people’s recovery from COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown.

Last updated on hub: 03 September 2020

Poverty in the pandemic: the impact of coronavirus on low-income families and children

Child Poverty Action Group

Based on an online survey of 285 low-income families and in-depth interviews with 21 of these families between May and August 2020, this report offers insights into the day-to-day struggles that families have been dealing with, as well as their strength and resilience in managing such an array of challenges on a limited income. The analysis reveals that 8 in 10 hard-up families said they were financially worse off as a result of the pandemic; almost half have had physical or mental health problems because of coronavirus; parents worry about not meeting children’s needs; 48% have a new or worse debt problem; 23% experienced a relationship issue at home; and 46% have taken on extra caring responsibilities. Respondents highlighted the inadequacy of benefit levels to cover basic living costs; the long waiting period and additional delays in receiving the first universal credit payment, coupled with the variability and uncertainty in the amounts received; the impact of the benefit cap on families who had been furloughed at less than their full pay; and difficulty in knowing where to look for advice on claiming benefits and other support. In light of the findings, the report calls on the Government to: increase child benefit by £10 a week and add an extra £10 a week to the child element within universal credit and child tax credits; extend free school meals to all families who are in receipt of universal credit or working tax credit, with a view to bringing in universal free school meals for all children in the long term; and abolish the benefit cap, or at least suspend it for the duration of the pandemic, to protect families whose employment has been disrupted by the crisis.

Last updated on hub: 03 September 2020

No way out: children stuck in B&Bs during lockdown

Children’s Commissioner for England

An analysis of the impact of Covid-19 crisis, drawing on data from the 15 local authorities with the highest numbers of children in B&B accommodation. This research estimates that there were between 1,100 – 2,000 families in England in B&Bs on 23 March. It is estimated that this range has dropped to between 750 and 1,350 by the time full lockdown ended on 31 May. Furthermore, there was an increase in the proportion of families who had spent longer than 6 weeks in B&Bs between 23 March and 31 May, despite this being unlawful. The report argues that while living in a B&B has never been appropriate for a child, the problems have been amplified during Covid-19. Unable to attend school, children living in cramped conditions were struggling to complete schoolwork, putting them at a distinct disadvantage from their peers. Although families were technically still able to go to parks for their exercise during this time, many families were too anxious to do so. The stresses of living in a B&B are heightened when families share the building with vulnerable adults also being housed by the council or other services, such as those with mental health or drug abuse problems – being unable to escape the B&B during lockdown would have increased feelings of anxiety. In addition, the lockdown, reduced the opportunities for contact between homeless families and the professionals that normally protect them. The Children’s Commissioner calls for: support for children who were homeless during lockdown; all families housed in B&Bs to be moved out of them in the event of further local or national lockdowns; and action to prevent new family homelessness in the coming weeks and months.

Last updated on hub: 03 September 2020

Impacts of pandemics and epidemics on child protection: lessons learned from a rapid review in the context of COVID-19

United Nations Children's Emergency Fund

This rapid review collates and synthesises evidence on the child protection impacts of COVID-19 and previous pandemics, epidemics and infectious disease outbreaks. It provides lessons for global and national responses to COVID19 and recommendations for future research priorities. While the evidence is limited, the findings suggest that there are various pathways through which infectious disease outbreaks can exacerbate vulnerabilities, generate new risks and result in negative outcomes for children. Outcomes are typically multi-layered, with immediate outcomes for children, families and communities – such as being orphaned, stigmatisation and discrimination and reductions in household income – leading to further negative risks and outcomes for children in the intermediate term. These risks include child labour and domestic work, harmful practices (including early marriage), and early and adolescent pregnancy. Lessons from previous pandemics and epidemics suggest that the following could mitigate the child protection risks: responding to children in vulnerable circumstances, including orphans (e.g. through psychosocial interventions focused on improving mental health and community-based interventions); responding to stigmatisation and discrimination (e.g. through information and communication campaigns and support from public health systems, communities and schools); investing in social protection to enable livelihoods during outbreaks and to counteract shocks; promoting access to health, protective and justice services, particularly for girls, who may be adversely affected. The report also argues that evidence generation strategies during and after the COVID-19 crisis should consider rigorous retrospective reviews and building upon monitoring, evidence and learning functions of pre-existing programmes.

Last updated on hub: 03 September 2020

COVID-19 insights: impact on workforce skills

Skills for Health

Based on the Covid-19 Workforce Survey, this report explores the extent of the pandemic’s impact on the health sector employers and employees. It reveals that the pressure of working in the healthcare sector during the pandemic has led to many staff retiring or resigning. As a result, nearly half of the respondents report that their organisation is planning on increasing recruitment over the next 6 months. However, several organisations have frozen training activities which has led to skills gaps. The pandemic has brought along new ways of working which has meant that COVID-19 awareness and knowledge relating to social distancing as well as infection prevention and control have become crucial for healthcare staff. In addition, the sector has seen a change in the clinical management of patients with COVID-19 infection as well as an increase in home working and the use of PPE – however, 40.6% of respondents state that their organisation was not adequately prepared for this sudden shift in working methods. Many respondents report on issues obtaining PPE as well as inadequate IT systems and digital skills to facilitate remote working. As a result of the pandemic, 44.3% of employers report that their organisational structure will look different. To aid revised organisational structures and potential new ways of working, employers state that they would like immediate support with staff wellbeing processes, employee engagement and workforce planning.

Last updated on hub: 03 September 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: information for providers

Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) dedicated page for providers to keep up to date. Includes notifications, information about registration and running a service and providing care during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 02 September 2020

Personal protective equipment (PPE): care workers delivering homecare during the Covid-19 response

Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch

This national intelligence report provides insight into a current safety risk that the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) has identified, relating to the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by care workers when visiting a patient at home. It documents how concerns raised by HSIB were responded to by Public Health England, the body responsible for the development of guidelines for the appropriate use of PPE. The report finds that there are multiple Covid-19 guidelines for different care sectors. PPE guidelines should be used in conjunction with other guidelines, such as infection control guidelines, so that care providers can develop protocols for care delivery. This is challenging when guidelines are updated, or new guidelines are issued and there is a risk that guidance may be missed. The report argues that there is an opportunity to introduce a document management system for guidelines to ensure that the latest information is available. This would involve the design of a usable navigation system so that all related guidelines relevant to a particular care sector are visible and can be checked for completeness.

Last updated on hub: 01 September 2020

Telephone befriending: a valuable service during lockdown

Healthwatch Enfield

This report gives a brief overview of the telephone befriending scheme set up in the London Borough of Enfield during the Coronavirus pandemic and a snapshot of issues raised by residents identified as being vulnerable or at risk. Overall, Healthwatch Enfield volunteers made 413 telephone befriending calls during this period. The main issue raised by participants was the impact of social isolation on health and wellbeing including mental health issues, with those residents with ongoing health needs being particularly concerned. Recipients appreciated food parcels and medicines delivery but also valued the support of family and neighbours. Most of the recipients were pleased to receive the calls and a core continued to receive these throughout the period. The report suggests that the scheme should be continued if people request it, with established organisations being asked to support the calls. If or when a second wave arises, arrangements should be made to re-establish the full service.

Last updated on hub: 01 September 2020

West Midlands inquiry into COVID-19 fatalities in the BAME community

COVID-19 BAME Evidence Gathering Taskforce

Findings from the Labour Party-led COVID-19 BAME Evidence Gathering Taskforce, which was established to gather the evidence on the impact of Covid-19 on black and minority ethnic communities in the West Midlands. The report indicates that men and women in the black community have been over four times more likely to die from Covid-19 than white people (4.2 and 4.3 times respectively). Men of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin were 3.6 times more likely to have a Covid-19 related death, while the figure for women was 3.4 times more likely. Key findings include: fear of inequitable treatment that might be received in the NHS was a deterrent for many in the BAME asking for help quickly enough; the BAME community experienced an NHS and care system that was overwhelmed, despite the heroism of our frontline NHS workers, many of whom were themselves from the BAME community; public health messages about symptoms or what to do when in need were poorly communicated to BAME communities; the voice of the BAME community has not been heard in the way the health services are designed and delivered; many BAME frontline workers had direct experience of inadequate provision of PPE with some having to make protective equipment themselves; a clear strategy for understanding the scientific evidence for the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on the BAME community has not been communicated effectively. The report makes a number of recommendations and calls on the Government to commence a formal judge-led independent public inquiry into the Covid-19 fatalities in the BAME community and to consult with BAME communities on both the Chair and the Terms of Reference.

Last updated on hub: 01 September 2020

Vulnerable children and young people survey: summary of returns waves 1 to 8

Department for Education

Summary of local authority survey in England to help understand the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak on children’s social care. The analysis in the survey covers: contact with children supported by the local authority children’s social care; children’s social care workforce; cost pressures; and system pressures. The analysis reveals that the majority of children looked after, children on a child protection plan and other children in need have had their cases reviewed in light of the outbreak (89%, 91% and 86% respectively); the proportion of social workers not working due to the pandemic has remained stable across the time period, with between 87% and 89% of local authorities reporting between 0 to 10% of social workers unavailable due to coronavirus; just over three quarters of local authorities have reported a rise in foster and residential placements costs due to the pandemic; in Wave 4 the average number of referrals to children’s social care services per local authority was 12% lower than the same period over the previous three years – this compares to 22% lower in Wave 3; the total number of referrals reported in Waves 1 to 4 of the survey was 41,190 – this is around 18% lower than the same period over the past three years; the total number of children who have started to be looked after reported in Waves 1 to 4 of the survey was 1,640 – this is around 34% lower than the same period over the past three years.

Last updated on hub: 01 September 2020