COVID-19 resources

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Research briefing two: disruption and renewal of social work and child protection during COVID-19 and beyond

University of Birmingham

This briefing shares some emerging findings about how COVID-19 has disrupted child protection and led children’s social care to improvise in creative ways that, if sustained post- pandemic, could renew practice and provide improved outcomes for children and families. The briefing focuses in particular on the challenges of social distancing; ways of being effective and achieving non-physical closeness to some families; hybrid practice – integrating face-to-face, digital and humane practice; the changing use of time – developing non-traditional ways of keeping in contact with families and children through various formats; doorstep and garden visits; mobile practice – e.g. going on walks with young people and sometimes parents and using parks and other open spaces near family homes to walk, play or just be together. While some such work has been enabled by conditions that are unlikely to persist – such as reduced rates of referral to assessment teams – data collected during this period yield insights that have the potential to renew policy and practice over the longer-term and provide improved outcomes for children and families.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Adult social care: our COVID-19 winter plan 2020 to 2021

Department of Health and Social Care

This policy paper sets out the key elements of national support available for the social care sector for winter 2020 to 2021, as well as the main actions to take for local authorities, NHS organisations, and social care providers, including in the voluntary and community sector. It covers four themes: preventing and controlling the spread of infection in care settings; collaboration across health and care services; supporting people who receive social care, the workforce, and carers; and supporting the system. Each section sets out the Department of Health and Social Care’s offer of national support and the department’s expectations for adult social care providers alongside published guidance. The plan applies to all settings and contexts in which people receive adult social care. This includes people’s own homes, residential care homes and nursing homes, and other community settings.[Published 18 September 2020. Last updated 20 November 2020]

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce: final report, advice and recommendations

Department of Health and Social Care

Final report and recommendations of the Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce. Eight advisory groups were established to explore specific areas of care, namely: black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities; carers; good practice, guidance and innovation; mental health and wellbeing; older people and people living with dementia; people with learning disabilities and autistic people; self-directed support; and workforce’ The report sets out the progress and learning from the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in informing advice and recommendations to government and the social care sector. The report also sets out the action that will need be taken to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in the sector, both for those who rely on care and support, and the social care workforce. It details how people can be enabled to live as safely as possible while maintaining contacts and activity that enhance the health and wellbeing of service users and family carers. The report and recommendations cover the key themes in the management of COVID-19 and social care, including personal protective equipment (PPE), testing, flu vaccine, workforce and carers, training, funding, evidence and guidance, communication, clinical support, movement of people between care and health settings, inspection and regulation, capacity, expertise and information, use of data and digital, and national, regional and local structures. In addition, the report looks at the Care Home Support Plan; the Adult Social Care Action Plan; managing community outbreaks and the response of social care; key themes emerging from the taskforce advisory groups; and planning for the next phase of the pandemic

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Social Care Sector: Covid-19 Support Taskforce: full recommendations - including all Advisory Group recommendations

Department of Health and Social Care

This document presents the full recommendations of the Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce and the eight advisory groups. In response to COVID-19, the taskforce was commissioned, beginning its work on 15 June 2020 and completing its work at the end of August 2020, to provide advice and recommendations to government and the social care sector. Eight advisory groups were established to explore specific areas of care, namely: black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities; carers; good practice, guidance and innovation; mental health and wellbeing; older people and people living with dementia; people with learning disabilities and autistic people; self-directed support; and workforce. In addition to the specific themes of the advisory groups, the recommendations cover the key themes in the overall management of COVID-19 and social care, including personal protective equipment (PPE), testing, flu vaccine, workforce and carers, training, funding, evidence and guidance, communication, clinical support, movement of people between care and health settings, inspection and regulation, capacity, expertise and information, use of data and digital, and national, regional and local structures; the Care Home Support Plan; the Adult Social Care Action Plan; managing community outbreaks and the response of social care; key themes emerging from the taskforce advisory groups; and planning for the next phase of the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce: BAME Communities Advisory: report and recommendations

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the BAME Communities Advisory Group (AG), established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. It includes a summary literature review and selections of findings from consultations that the AG has drawn upon to make its recommendations. Part 2, is an appendix, containing the other material that informed the work of the AG. The methodology for developing the recommendations in this report comprised: a rapid literature review (UK Civil Service, 2014) to scope overall thematic issues and appraise existing research on the employment experiences of BAME professionals; an online survey of BAME professionals and service users and carers; two virtual consultations on Zoom of BAME service users and carers and professionals, using the focus group method; and key informant interviews of leaders of social care organisations and faith groups. The report make ten recommendations, including that that people with lived experience should be at the forefront of developing social care policy and guidance that affects BAME communities; and that there should be parity between staff working in the NHS and social care in research, the design, development and delivery of programmes that support BAME staff through this and future pandemics

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Carers Advisory Group submission to the ASC Sector COVID19 Taskforce: how can we prepare and support carers better?

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the Carers Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. The evidence (Annex) is drawn from the experience of thousands of unpaid carers, supporting family and friends who are disabled, chronically ill or older; the experience from organisations, local authorities, NHS commissioners, providers of services and researchers; and evidence from employers and their staff networks on support needed for employers and employees to remain in work. The taskforce proposals on advice, connecting, supporting, capacity and sustainability include: overarching recommendations; action that needs to be taken for any local lockdowns or future spikes/waves; immediate and urgent actions – to be taken pre-September 2020; action required for the first phase of winter – up to October 2020; and action required for the second phase of winter – up to March 2021. The overarching recommendation is that Government and leaders should recognise carers early in briefings and communications. The absence of carers when health and care workers were mentioned in news briefings made them feel overlooked, undervalued and confused about what they could access.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Social Care Sector Covid-19 Support Taskforce: Guidance, Good Practice and Innovation Advisory Group: final report on recommendations

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the Guidance, Good Practice and Innovation Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. The recommendations cover: guidance – social care responsibilities in local outbreaks of COVID 19, accessibility and accuracy of social care guidance, guidance coproduction and stakeholder groups, discharge from hospital to care settings, visiting friends and carers, use of guidance, use of PPE; good practice – COVID 19 commissioning guidance, accessing on-line resources, mutual aid and volunteering, primary care support, support for homeless people, maintaining wellbeing; and innovation – Social Care Innovation Network, scale and embed technology-enabled care models, global innovation, self-funders and unpaid carers.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Report of the Department of Health and Social Care C19 Task Force: Mental Health and Wellbeing Advisory Group

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. The Advisory Group has considered the context of and the priority action required for stability and continuity in the social care sector, in order to respond to the mental health and wellbeing needs of people and communities, to ensure that services can continue to navigate and deal with the effects of Covid-19 and plan for winter 2020/21. The report recommends that all service users known to mental health services must have the opportunity to review, with their care manager, their care plan, to ensure that these plans include provision for ongoing support; that all statutory services must be required to ensure they remain in regular contact with service users, that risk is managed with them and any commissioned providers throughout the pandemic and beyond; a clear and targeted focus on prevention that recognises and responds to the structural and intersectional determinants of mental illness and inequalities in mental health outcomes, particularly for BAME people and communities, is required of all services; and that the essential role of adult social care in the meeting the needs of people with mental health challenges and their carers and in promoting population mental health and wellbeing, must be explicitly recognised by the NHS and its leadership at national and local levels.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Draft final report: national advisory group: People with Learning Disabilities and Autistic People

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the People with Learning Disabilities and Autistic People Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. The report calls for an end to the ethos of doing things for or to people, and instead embedding the practice of coproduction into all COVID-19 planning both locally and nationally. The Advisory Group’s highest priority recommendations are that government should commit to accessible guidance and communications for people with learning disabilities and autistic people, and their families, being issued with or very soon after all future COVID-19 guidance; restore, maintain and adapt the support for individuals and families already assessed as having eligible needs; urgently identify and provide the level of resources needed for councils or CCGs to financially stabilise provider organisations at risk of collapse; reduce isolation and loneliness for people with learning disabilities, autistic people and their families, through expanding the reach of NHS and other volunteering programmes, and COVID-19 hubs, to people with learning disabilities and autistic people, and investing in a national awareness campaign encouraging and enabling communities and mutual aid groups to be more inclusive and supportive; and reach individuals and families who don’t receive social care support or organise their own, but who are isolated or in crisis.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Report of the Social Care Taskforce's Older People and People Affected by Dementia Advisory Group

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the Older People and People Affected by Dementia Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. The recommendations cover the following areas: restoring and sustaining contact with visitors in care homes; restoring care services and assessments; reinstating and sustaining community-based services and support; restoring and sustaining access to health care; ensuring effective safeguarding; and planning for and managing outbreaks. The report calls for all care settings and providers to have sufficient PPE; regular and ongoing testing of care staff and care recipients; the testing regime to be reliable and timely in its operation and resultant data to be shared with relevant NHS bodies and professionals, as well as providers; the flu vaccination programme to be unparalleled in its scope and ambition, and reach out to all social care staff and recipients in all settings, and informal carers too, supported by mass marketing; the financial resilience of care providers to be kept under constant review, with plans in place and regularly updated by CQC, central and local Government, to mitigate any significant market failure; total and available care capacity should be published weekly; and the ongoing challenges in data sharing and data governance between health and social care settings must be resolved by September 2020.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

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