COVID-19 resources

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From stabilisation to innovation: the response and redesign of TEC services during Covid-19

Telecare Services Association

This report contains the findings and recommendations from a 12-week programme of outreach by the Telecare Services Association (TSA) to the technology enabled care (TEC) sector, where 92% of all alarm services were contacted. The report offers a window into the world of the technology enabled care sector and how it has provided invaluable support to the wider health and care system during the early months of the response phase of the Covid-19 crisis. It captures a number of case studies across telecare and telehealth that demonstrates how the TEC sector mobilised to improve and redesign its services overnight for the good of the vulnerable in our communities. The findings show that TEC services could support the delivery of many elements within the Government’s Covid-19 recovery programmes. The report maps the findings and recommendations to individual sections of the Government’s Rebuild Plan. Key recommendations include a phased plan of action that focuses on: stabilising existing TEC services; how to best exploit proactive TEC services to shield the most vulnerable, increase care capacity and improve operating models; and embed and assure new service and technology interventions.

Last updated on hub: 23 September 2020

How Covid-19 changed community life in the UK: a week by week archive of life during a pandemic: understanding the impact on people and communities

The Young Foundation

This report brings together finding of two projects focused on hearing directly from people to better understand the short- and long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on UK communities. The insights gathered from over 600 people across the UK are organised week by week according to significant dates in the public news cycle — like the introduction of new government guidelines, the Queen’s speech or Capt. Tom Moore’s fundraiser for the NHS. The report identifies eight overarching key insights, which are: at the start of lockdown, community solidarity was on everyone’s agenda; most accepted the ‘new normal’ very quickly; as the pandemic continued, people reported missing physical touch; lockdown shifted family dynamics for better and worse; the ‘sandwich generation’ experienced unique challenges during Covid-19; lockdown took a huge toll on mental health and wellbeing; physical space had a big effect on people’s ability to cope; as time wore on, worries about the precariousness of the future grew. The report observes that Covid-19 was not ‘the great leveller’ people were initially led to believe it would be. It is now clear that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups are at a much higher risk of contracting and dying from Covid-19, particularly if they come from poorer households. In addition, people living in deprived areas have experienced Covid-19 mortality rates more than double those living in less deprived areas. The report makes a number of recommendations, including taking a systems-approach to old and emerging challenges in work, housing and tech inequality; exploring ways to sustain community strength and engagement; putting well-being and mental health at the heart of all decision-making; and making space for social innovation.

Last updated on hub: 23 September 2020

Getting ready for winter with Covid-19


This document shares ideas about how support workers can, alongside those they support, get ready for the reality of a winter with restrictions due to Covid-19.

Last updated on hub: 22 September 2020

The impact of the outbreak

Professional Social Work

As the coronavirus pandemic escalated in the UK, more than a thousand social workers alerted the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) to the effect on services and communities. The survey was conducted before the UK government announced a three-week lockdown in March 2020. Key concerns raised by social workers were: the safety of or protecting people and their rights; trying to prioritise home visits and operate rotas so that face-to-face calls are limited to urgent cases only. Many respondents said they themselves were in groups at heightened risk of coronavirus or lived with someone who was. Where possible, social workers said they were trying to carry out assessments or maintain contact with people using technology. Hospital social workers reported that the crisis was hitting efforts to support people to move out of hospital. The impact on social work education is also covered. Amid the immense pressures on social work services, many social workers said they had been buoyed by the efforts of communities to come together and support each other during the crisis. When asked, what would help social workers? Practitioners across specialisms called for more leadership, guidance and advice on how to carry out their jobs.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Child protection in a pandemic

Professional Social Work

Social workers Sian Miljkovic and Emily Hill share their experiences of working with children and families during the COVID-19 outbreak. Issues highlighted include: working from home during lockdown; concerns about lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) how the pandemic has impacted on the work of a child protection social worker. One of the key issues highlighted is that the services that keep placements going, for example CAMHS and schools have closed down and means that universal support for families that social workers that are usually in place have dropped away. This raises safeguarding risks, because other professionals or services are not seeing children and families, and puts added pressure on social workers to keep up with their caseloads. Other concerns raised include that children could be at risk in their homes because they are locked up with perpetrators of violence, with parents of drug and alcohol addiction, parent with poor mental health who cannot access the support services they had before. Concerns over contact arrangements during the pandemic were also raised. The social workers interviewed suggest that the workload for social workers will be even greater after the crisis is over, particularly in relation to domestic abuse. The social workers also discuss how they are using technology as best they can to continue working with service users remotely but note that this is dependant on families having technology and being online.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Webinar recording: Social care personal assistants (PAs) – the forgotten home care service during COVID-19

Social Care Institute for Excellence

This webinar focuses on those who employ or work as PAs, their experiences, concerns and key lessons for the future.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

A UK survey of COVID‐19 related social support closures and their effects on older people, people with dementia, and carers

International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Objectives: The aim of this national survey was to explore the impact of COVID‐19 public health measures on access to social support services and the effects of closures of services on the mental well‐being of older people and those affected by dementia. Methods: A UK‐wide online and telephone survey was conducted with older adults, people with dementia, and carers between April and May 2020.The survey captured demographic and postcode data, social support service usage before and after COVID‐19 public health measures, current quality of life, depression, and anxiety. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to explore the relationship between social support service variations and anxiety and well‐being. Results: 569 participants completed the survey (61 people with dementia, 285 unpaid carers, and 223 older adults). Paired samples t‐tests and X2‐tests showed that the mean hour of weekly social support service usage and the number of people having accessed various services was significantly reduced post COVID‐19. Multiple regression analyses showed that higher variations in social support service hours significantly predicted increased levels of anxiety in people with dementia and older adults, and lower levels of mental well‐being in unpaid carers and older adults. Conclusions: Being unable to access social support services due to COVID contributed to worse quality of life and anxiety in those affected by dementia and older adults across the UK. Social support services need to be enabled to continue providing support in adapted formats, especially in light of continued public health restrictions for the foreseeable future.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

The other side of the coin: adult social care reform in a post-COVID world

County Councils Network

The purpose of this think piece is to help shape thinking around the social care green paper, to distil the experience of County Councils and identify some key principles which CCN’s member authorities believe should be taken on board by policy makers in determining the direction of future adult social care reform. These principles have been collated under four broad themes specifically designed to support policy-makers focused on getting the big picture right. The four themes encompass: 1) scope – taking full account of the wide range of adult social care services delivered by councils and ensuring reform fully considers working age adults as well as older people and hospital discharges; 2) infrastructure – considering the best ways to deliver an adult social care system which is of high quality, provides value for money, and fully engages communities; 3) resource – providing the right resources to help adult social care be commissioned effectively to meet the needs of local communities; improvement – putting in place the necessary framework to not only ensures quality but create an ongoing culture of continuous improvement which helps everyone to live their best lives for as long as possible. The report attempts to inverse traditional thinking. Rather than seeing how social care can be used to cushion a health-centric system, it asks the reader to instead see the other side of the coin – how social care can ideally reduce the need for contact with acute health services as far as possible and be seamlessly integrated into wider place-based communities as the central service which ensures every citizen is able to live their best life.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Guidance of good practice relating to social distanced and hybrid family group conferences

Fulcrum Family Services

This document is designed to provide guidance of good practice to family group conference (FGC) managers and coordinators in risk assessing whether to conduct either a social distanced or hybrid family group conference (SDFGC or HFGC) within England. An SDFGC is an FGC meeting that is held while adhering to all necessary social distancing protocols and procedures in order to lower risks of contracting or spreading Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) among participants. An HFGC is an FGC that includes some participants who are participating virtually via technological means (e.g. video conferencing, or telephone participation), and some attending in person. The meeting will also adhere to all necessary social distancing protocols and procedures in order to lower risks of contracting or spreading Covid-19 among participants. Some information is provided in respect to the rest of the UK, but the Government information pertains mostly to England. This guidance does not provide definite answers as every service and local authority will have their own circumstances to consider including local infection rate, local guidance and organisational restrictions. However, it attempts to cover the necessary issues that need to be considered during risk assessing any SDFGC or HFGC which were known at the time of writing (29th June-17th August 2020). The situation is ever evolving, and therefore this guidance should be considered as a starting point – a service’s response to Covid-19 will likely in time also evolve beyond what has been considered thus far.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Guidance for employers on core training for redeployed workers, temporary workers and volunteers

Scottish Social Services Council

This resource provides a practical approach and guidance for care settings that may require the use of redeployed workers, the introduction of temporary workers and volunteers due to the staffing challenges facing the sector as a result of the spread of COVID-19. Expectations for employees and volunteers may differ and this resource sets out the key messages employers need to think about and what needs to be in place to promote the safe delivery of services. It includes resources available for inducting workers into different care settings and provides guidance on training and learning available to help people develop the knowledge, skills and competence to support our most vulnerable. It is recognised that services will be subject to demands which will require different approaches to how they make use of staffing and other resources. This may include deploying staff from other services and recruiting temporary workers and volunteers. The document stresses that it is important that during the COVID-19 pandemic employers continue to maintain the wellbeing and safety of people using services. It is also notes that it is advisable to continue to check national websites for the most up to date advice and information as it continues to change.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

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