COVID-19 resources

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Outstanding practice in the face of adversity

The Outstanding Society

Outstanding Society Board member Russell Lease, Director of Horizon Healthcare Homes Ltd, shares some of the innovations being employed by care home staff to ensure that residents continue to live to the full during the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Case study appears on the Care Home Professional website.

Last updated on hub: 09 June 2020

Overcoming the isolating impact of COVID-19

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

The devastating international health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is reported on a daily basis in terms of newly acquired infections and mortality rates. What is less visible are the social and emotional implications of the virus, in particular the impact of requirements to remain socially isolated and in some circumstances to self-isolate or self-quarantine for periods of time. Young people living in residential care are already highly vulnerable having been removed from home and placed in group care. They often lack positive mentors and role models and have few healthy peer relationships. In short, young people who are already socially isolated are potentially further disadvantaged by requirements for them to practise social distancing and self-isolation. This paper examines contemporary literature promoting the participation of young people in programmes and organisations. Whilst ‘participation’ has been a longstanding international requirement for young people in the out of home care system, we argue that it has particular relevance in these times and may offer an opportunity for young people’s lived experience to be recognised and valued.

Last updated on hub: 27 November 2020

Over-exposed and under-protected: the devastating impact of COVID-19 on black and minority ethnic communities in Great Britain

Runnymede Trust, The

Findings of a survey exploring black and minority ethnic (BME) peoples experiences of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, and focusing on the impact of the pandemic on their physical and mental health, work, finances, relationships, childcare and schooling, and their understanding of the governments COVID-19 social and economic measures. The 2,585 adults (aged 18+) sampled for this survey included a ‘boost’ sample of 538 BME adults, taking the overall sample of BME respondents to 750 in the whole survey. Black and minority ethnic people are over-represented in COVID-19 severe illness and deaths - pre-existing racial and socioeconomic inequalities, resulting in disparities in co-morbidities between ethnic groups, have been amplified by COVID-19. The survey shows that BME people face greater barriers in shielding from coronavirus as a result of the types of employment they hold; they make greater use of public transport, are more likely to live in overcrowded and multigenerational households, and are less likely to be given appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) at work. The survey also finds that BME groups are much less aware of the governments life-saving public health messaging around Covid-19, leaving them under-protected and vulnerable to coronavirus. The report makes a number of recommendations, including ensuring employers carry out risk assessments for staff with vulnerable characteristics, including black and minority ethnic backgrounds; ensuring that all key workers in public-facing roles have access to adequate PPE; prioritising a tailored Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support (FTTIS) programme ensuring vulnerable BME communities are identified and supported; strengthening the social security safety net; and increasing Statutory Sickness Pay and widen eligibility.

Last updated on hub: 06 August 2020

Overview of adult social care guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Department of Health and Social Care

Brings together information for adult social care providers on COVID-19 guidance and support. The resource covers help with infection prevention and control; what to do when you suspect an outbreak; reporting an outbreak; caring for patients discharged from hospital or another social care facility; visits to care homes and other care settings; information for providers of care in supported living and domiciliary settings; how to get social care workers and people in care homes tested; managing care workers during COVID-19; securing PPE and related supplies; help for holders of direct payments, commissioners and care providers; information for social care providers on mental health and wellbeing and financial support; Capacity Tracker and guidance on using it; information for unpaid carers; easements of the Care Act; COVID-19 ethical framework for adult social care; caring for people who are protected by safeguards under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, including the deprivation of liberty safeguards; steps to take following a coronavirus-related death of a person who worked in adult social care. [First published 25 August 2020; Last updated 10 June 2021]

Last updated on hub: 27 August 2020

Overview of feedback from the social care sector: CIW check-in calls with providers of registered services for adults and children

Care Inspectorate Wales

This document provides an overview of the CIW ‘check-in’ calls from 30 March until 26 July where inspectors had 10,045 conversations with registered social care services in Wales about how they were managing the impact of COVID-19. The main themes drawn from responses are: the importance of a rights-based approach, ensuring people receiving social care, and their families or advocates, are involved in decision making; recognising, and minimising as far as possible, the impact not being able to see family and friends has on the mental well-being of many people; the importance of having a co-ordinated communication strategy that minimises duplication and clearly highlights key issues and changes to guidance; ongoing access to infection prevention and control training and support; ensuring easy access to sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE), with clarity about its use; ensuring easy access to testing with a timely turnaround of results; the importance of support networks for managers and care workers recognising the isolation of the many small providers in Wales; the importance of continuity of staffing because of increased risk of agency staff transmitting the virus if they are working across different services; and recognising that providers are partners in care especially in relation to hospital discharge, as are family members, for many people.

Last updated on hub: 02 February 2021

Ownership and COVID-19 in care homes for older people: a living systematic review of outbreaks, infections, and mortalities


Background The adult social care sector is being increasingly outsourced to for-profit providers, but the impacts of privatisation on service quality and resident outcomes are unclear. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for-profit providers have been accused of failing their residents by prioritising profits over care, prevention, and caution, which has been reported to result in a higher prevalence of COVID-19 infections and deaths in for-profit care homes. Although many of these reports are anecdotal or based on news reports, there is a growing body of academic research investigating ownership variation across COVID-19 outcomes, which has not been systematically appraised and synthesised. Objectives To identify, appraise, and synthesise the available research on ownership variation in COVID-19 outcomes (outbreaks, infections, deaths, shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and staff) across for-profit, public, and non-profit care homes for older people, and to update the findings as new research becomes available. Design Living systematic review. Methods This review was prospectively registered with Prospero (CRD42020218673). The researchers searched 17 databases and performed forward and backward citation tracking of all included studies. Search results were screened and reviewed in duplicate. Risk of bias (RoB) was assessed in duplicate according to the COSMOS-E guidance. The results were synthesised according to RoB, model adjustment, and country context and visualised using harvest plots. Results Twenty-eight studies across five countries were included, with 75% of included studies conducted in the Unites States. For-profit ownership was not consistently associated with a higher probability of COVID-19 outbreaks across included studies. However, there was compelling evidence of worse COVID-19 outcomes following an outbreak; with for-profit care homes having higher rates of accumulative infections and deaths. For-profit providers were also associated with shortages in PPE, which may have contributed to the higher incidence of infections and deaths. Chain affiliation was often found to be correlated with higher risk of outbreaks, but not consistently associated with an elevated number of deaths and infections. Private equity ownership was not consistently associated with worse COVID-19 outcomes. Conclusion For-profit status was a consistent risk factor for higher cumulative COVID-19 infections and deaths. Thus, ownership among providers may be a key modifiable factor which can be regulated to improve health outcomes in vulnerable populations and reduce health disparities. This review will be updated as new research becomes published, which may change the conclusion of the synthesis.

Last updated on hub: 25 February 2021

Pandemic and protest in 2020: questions and considerations for social work research

Qualitative Social Work

The convergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and social/political protest concerning structural anti-Black racism marks a moment for deep reflection and revision of many taken-for-granted assumptions about our research and academic lives as social work scholars. In this reflexive essay we, as two non-Black qualitative social work scholars, explore some of the questions and considerations for social work research that have surfaced since the emergence of these complex social, political, and economic crises. We organize our reflection around what we study, why, and how we go about studying it. We then offer a discussion of various constraints and challenges that emerge in this type of reflective scholarly practice, including an analysis of how contexts of white supremacy culture and neoliberalism shape social work scholarship. We close the essay with a number of recommendations for further reflection for social work scholars, such as reviewing research practices, seeking external research funding, practicing reflexivity, interrogating assumptions about knowledge production, self and community care, and integrating scholarly work into social work curriculum.

Last updated on hub: 17 March 2021

Pandemic one year on: landmark mental health study reveals mixed picture

Mental Health Foundation

New results from the Mental Health in the Pandemic study show that one year on, the crisis has had wide and deep emotional impacts on UK adults. The research reveals some positive signs. Anxiety about the pandemic has become less common, falling from 62 per cent of those surveyed in March 2020 to 42 per cent in February 2021. However, the overall picture is mixed. Loneliness has become much more common, increasing from 10 per cent of those surveyed in March 2020 to 26 per cent in February 2021. Feelings of loneliness have not returned to their pre-lockdown levels at any point over the past year, including when most restrictions were lifted over the summer. Loneliness matters for mental health because connections with others help us cope with difficulties. Losing connections means less emotional support, at a time of global crisis that has challenged almost everyone.

Last updated on hub: 29 March 2021

Pandemic Patient Experience II: from lockdown to vaccine roll-out

Patients Association

This report outlines the findings of an online survey conducted from February 11th to April 5th 2021, following up key themes in our report of last year, Pandemic Patient Experience. The survey reveals that the struggles to access services that many patients experienced in the spring and summer of 2020 have been less severe since then, but have still continued to some extent. Many people have shielded during the pandemic, but most shielding has not been done in line with official advice. The impact of shielding, and the numbers of people who will find it hard to return to participating fully in society, may therefore be widely underestimated. Patient feedback on the vaccination programme is extremely positive. Most patients found communication about their vaccine appointment and the process for arranging it very positive. Patients’ views on the overall handling of the pandemic were somewhat mixed. Very few rated it as very good, but across the other response options there was a range of opinion, trending overall to the negative. Vaccinated respondents were clearly more likely to rate it positively than unvaccinated respondents, but this may simply reflect a well documented trend in views across age groups rather than people’s views being specifically influenced by whether or not they have had a vaccination.

Last updated on hub: 04 May 2021

Pandemic patient experience: UK patient experience of health, care and other support during the COVID-19 pandemic

Patients Association

This is a report based on the findings from a survey to capture how patients and others are experiencing health and care services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey had four sections: managing and accessing care for existing health condition(s); experience of treatment and care for COVID-19; experience of end of life care and bereavement support; and experience of services under lockdown overall. It ran from May until August, and around 953 people responded to at least one section of the survey. The findings show that 67% of respondents had had health and care appointments cancelled as a result of the pandemic. Those who had had the virus at some point reported they had good experiences in the circumstances, but that they didn’t always have access to the support and information they needed, especially from GPs, and sometimes from the NHS111 telephone line. Some of those who had experienced a bereavement during lockdown spoke of the compassionate care and support they received but also reported some clear examples of failings in services and people were not always able to stay in contact with their loved one at the end of life. About half of respondents did not feel generally supported emotionally when receiving health and care services; and felt they had to wait to long, were not able to access the right services and said their care had not been well co-ordinated. The report identifies a set of principles for ensuring all patients, disabled people, carers and others are able to have the best possible experience, including: recognise from the outset that the impact of the crisis will fall hardest on those who already face discrimination and inequality; and maintain the principles and values of patient choice, shared decision making and voice.

Last updated on hub: 29 September 2020

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