COVID-19 resources

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Long-term care settings in the times of COVID-19: challenges and future directions

International Psychogeriatrics

Commentary that makes the point that long-term care settings (LTCS) encompasses settings that provide a range of services to meet older persons’ needs for social, personal, and/or health care. Discusses the reasons why long-term care institutions as a high-risk environment for older adults during the COVID-19 outbreak; emotional threats to older adults in long-term care settings during the COVID-19 outbreak; the emotional threats to long-term care staff during the COVID-19 outbreak. Also considers what should we do next?

Last updated on hub: 21 December 2020

Social work, mental health, older people and COVID-19

International Psychogeriatrics

This commentary explores the work of social work in Ireland in addressing the impact of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) crisis on older people in general, and older people who have an enduring mental illness.

Last updated on hub: 21 December 2020

Lockdown learnings

My Home Life

A visual mindmap sharing the reflections of care homes staff on their experience of the pandemic and lockdown. The thoughts of 12 care home managers and activity coordinators from the Care Home Friends and Neighbours North West London project were gathered by My Home Life England during online and telephone interviews in the summer of 2020. Staff were asked to reflect on ‘what they could be proud of’ in terms of how their care homes managed during the challenging months of lockdown due to COVID-19. The learnings focus on: preparing for increased role in end of life and supporting bereaved families; maintaining connections between team members; maintaining relationships between residents and relatives; and maintaining and developing community connections.

Last updated on hub: 21 December 2020

Caring during lockdown: challenges and opportunities for digitally supporting carers. A report on how digital technology can support carers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


This report describes a project aimed at exploring challenges experienced while caring during the national lockdown and how digital platforms may help alleviate them. The study team analysed transcripts of one such platform, Mobilise’s Virtual Cuppas, to address the project’s objectives. As the national lockdown commenced, Mobilise drew on existing research and established a series of daily ‘Virtual Cuppas’. Facilitated by a professional carer coach, these Cuppas offer a relaxed, online setting for carers to check in with other carers around the country and discuss the challenges they face each day. The carers reported significant challenges during the first COVID-19 lockdown period. Perceived lack of information and social restrictions had a cumulative impact on carers’ sense of certainty, control and levels of motivation. Over time, this took an emotional toll on the carers leading to feelings of exhaustion and burden. The carers, however, quickly adapted to the various challenges, established new routines and adopted positive strategies such as humour and self-care to actively manage their wellbeing. Virtual Cuppas not only appeared an effective platform to identify and share available resources for carers during the national lockdown, but it became a resource in its own right to develop individual resilience. The report makes a number of recommendations, including: invest in additional support for carers during national crises; invest in innovations and infrastructure that can keep us connected; develop digital literacy programmes for carers; and create future digital support for carers that can bridge analogue and digital communities and support networks

Last updated on hub: 17 December 2020

MoVE report 2: models and frameworks for coordinating community responses during COVID-19

The University of Sheffield

.This is the second of three reports from phase one of the MoVE (mobilising volunteers effectively) project, exploring the models and frameworks utilised by local authorities (LAs) across the UK to coordinate community responses. The report presents the second set of findings from 49 semi-structured interviews with a range of stakeholders from England, Scotland and Wales, about their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. It identifies a number of core underlying themes at the heart of response frameworks and processes; classifies three different response models; begins to sketch out potential post-COVID models of social action and community partnership; and offers some reflections for LAs wishing to retain learning from the pandemic and take these models forward. The data highlights three main frameworks that were utilised to coordinate volunteer and community support. These are: Model 1 – response cells utilising a VCS local infrastructure organisation as the primary coordinator/broker; Model 2 – response cells channelling support through a series of hubs; Model 3 – multi-agency response cells working directly with community networks and new informal movements. The report also identifies the key areas that shape what post-lockdown models of social action and community partnership could look like, including: flattened structures and greater decentralisation; the importance of established local infrastructure organisations; building on co-production models; enhanced role for community hubs; the role of informal volunteering and mutual aid.

Last updated on hub: 17 December 2020

Lonely and left behind: tackling loneliness at a time of crisis

British Red Cross

Findings from an in-depth qualitative research, exploring the experience of loneliness among people who had been isolating or shielding as a result of the pandemic. The research took a longitudinal, case study approach, engaging 16 participants from a range of backgrounds through a series of in-depth telephone interviews and written diary tasks between July and September 2020. Each of the participants had been, at the time of the research, isolating or shielding, with some starting to reintegrate throughout the period. The study reveals that: many participants were feeling lonely or isolated before the pandemic, often due to experiencing a degree of turbulence in their lives, and this has been compounded by the impacts of the pandemic and being less able to utilise previous coping strategies during lockdown; all participants reported experiencing loneliness more often as a result of the pandemic and lockdown; for participants who continue to shield as lockdown restrictions eased, feelings of loneliness either stayed the same or worsened as they watched others resume their social lives, and they reported feeling ‘left behind’; participants pointed to the heightened importance of technology and entertainment to try to cope with loneliness, rather than the physical social interactions that they would have been able to turn to prior to the pandemic; of the policy and practice solutions tested with participants, the most popular solution was investing in remote mental health and emotional support. It was felt any type of support would need to be delivered remotely, due to fear of COVID-19 and reluctance to access options that would require physical travel or mixing with others in person.

Last updated on hub: 17 December 2020

Coronavirus and the social impacts on different ethnic groups in the UK: 2020

The Office for National Statistics

This release uses data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) matched with data from the Understanding Society: COVID-19 Study, 2020 to explore the social impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic initial period of lockdown on the health, employment, and living standards of people of different ethnicities in the UK. The release also uses data from the Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS) to understand the financial resilience of different ethnic groups in Great Britain before the pandemic. Main points include: most ethnic groups in the UK experienced a worsening of their self-reported mental health between 2019 and April 2020 (based on their GHQ-12 score); the mental well-being of those in the Indian ethnic group in the UK may have been particularly affected by the pandemic as they reported both greater difficulty with sleep over worry between 2019 and the initial period of lockdown (April 2020) and had higher scores than other groups on a measure of self-reported mental health difficulties (GHQ-12); prior to the pandemic, households headed by someone of Black African or Other Black ethnicity were significantly less likely to have enough formal financial assets to cover a drop in employment income than those from most other ethnic groups; after adjusting for age, around half of working-age adults of White British (46%) and Other White (51%) ethnicities in paid work, both immediately before and during the first period of lockdown, in the UK, reported a decrease in their weekly hours worked in April 2020, compared with one-third of their counterparts of Indian (33%) and Black, African, Caribbean or Black British (33%) ethnicities; in April 2020 in the UK, over a quarter (27%) of those from Black, African, Caribbean or Black British ethnic groups reported finding it very or quite difficult to get by financially, significantly more than those from White Irish (6%), Other White (7%), Indian (8%) and Pakistani or Bangladeshi (13%) ethnic groups.

Last updated on hub: 16 December 2020

Valuing voices in Wales: protecting rights through the pandemic and beyond

National Development Team for Inclusion

This report brings together findings from a survey, carried out in June 2020, of 72 advocates working across Wales. Advocates shared urgent concerns which reflect not only the restrictions that the pandemic brought but also the wider societal and cultural belief systems and attitudes towards people who are supported through advocacy. There are widespread and profound concerns about the impact of the pandemic on the human rights of people who use health and social care services. Responses indicated frequent failures to provide people with the support to which they are legally entitled, increasing risks of abuse and harm and weaknesses in the safeguards needed to prevent and address these. Key findings show that: eighty-five percent (85%) of advocates felt the human rights of the people they support were not being fully upheld; a third (33%) of advocates had experienced Do Not Attempt Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation orders (DNACPRs) being placed on the people they support without any regard to the person’s feelings, wishes, values or beliefs, and without formal capacity assessments or consultation with family; over forty percent (43%) of advocates reported care providers had stopped all visitors and almost a third (31%) reported that people were being confined to their rooms; over a quarter of advocates (28%) experienced a care provider seeking to prevent access to advocates despite rights to advocacy remaining unchanged; while some people find digital communication can be as effective as meeting in person, for most people it is not comparable. It means that they are not getting the support they need and this risks further entrenching health inequalities.

Last updated on hub: 16 December 2020

Lessons learnt from councils' response to rough sleeping during the COVID-19 pandemic

Local Government Association

Findings of a study to investigate lessons learnt from the ‘Everyone In’ response to the COVID-19 crisis in dealing with rough sleeping and those at risk of it and how this can inform future policy and practice, including planning for winter. The success of Everyone In demonstrates that, given the mandate and funding, councils, working with their partners, have the means to end the vast majority of rough sleeping. Where Everyone In worked well there were some features that contributed to its success. These were: rapid and expansive response in picking up and accommodating people sleeping rough and people living in unsafe conditions at risk of sleeping rough, including those not normally eligible for public services due to immigration status; comprehensive needs assessment, including health, substance abuse and specific needs of women; characteristics of hotel accommodation giving important feelings of safety and self-worth; multi-agency services coming to the emergency accommodation and encouraging engagement; and rapid turnaround in moving on low needs cohort. Multi-agency partnership working was key to success – important aspects were: councils working closely with a broader range of partners than usual, including health, criminal justice, housing associations and the voluntary and charitable sectors; engagement with health services; enhanced trust between councils operating across two tier geographies; and making the most of new technology to conduct remote meetings between agencies, drastically reducing the logistical barriers to co-operation.

Last updated on hub: 16 December 2020

Building common purpose: learning on engagement and communications in integrated care systems

NHS Confederation

Led by a working group of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) and other NHS and local authority communications leaders, this document has drawn on the insights of system leaders and senior communicators working throughout health and care during the Covid-19 pandemic. As with other areas of health and care, the pandemic has helped to remove divides between communicators working in different organisations. There is now an opportunity to build on this in 2021 with every area of the country set to be part of an integrated care system. The document identifies five success factors that are required for high-performing engagement and communications at system level. These are: embed a strategic approach to engagement and communications; adopt systematic approaches to continuous relationship building; develop a shared vision and narrative and make it real; embed open, transparent and two-way engagement approaches; and develop engagement and communications leadership, capacity and expertise. The central message from this work is that engagement and communications is a key enabler of partnership and system working. It can play a crucial role in supporting integrated care systems, and the partners that make them up, to achieve stronger relationships, more open and transparent ways of working, greater trust, more engaged staff and, ultimately, better outcomes for the public.

Last updated on hub: 16 December 2020