COVID-19 resources

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Resilience across the UK during the coronavirus pandemic

Mental Health Foundation

This research briefing looks at resilience – the ability to cope with the normal stress of life as well as being able to bounce back from crises – across the UK during the coronavirus pandemic. The paper explores the evidence on resilience from the ‘Coronavirus: Mental Health in the Pandemic’ study, which, since mid-March 2020, has undertaken regular, repeated surveys of more than 4,000 adults who are representative of people aged 18+ and living in the UK. The paper shows that thus far, many people in the UK have managed relatively well throughout the pandemic and looks at their ways of coping. It also examines some of the potentially harmful coping behaviours people have engaged in during the pandemic. Finally, it suggests ways that the UK Government and devolved administrations could support people’s resilience so that they can better weather the storm of the current pandemic. Key messages include: most people (64%) say they are coping well with the stress of the pandemic; of those who have experienced stress due to the pandemic, almost nine out of ten (87%) are using at least one coping strategy (going for a walk, spending time in green spaces, and staying connected with others); some people are resorting to potentially harmful ways of coping, including increased alcohol consumption, substance misuse, and over-eating, putting their mental and physical health at greater risk. While each nation has made available mental health literacy resources in response to COVID-19, this study’s findings point to where more policy and investment could be targeted to support people and communities to remain resilient in the face of local or national restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 19 October 2020

Resilience during uncertainty? Greater social connectedness during COVID‐19 lockdown is associated with reduced distress and fatigue

British Journal of Health Psychology

Background: Social connections are crucial for our health and well‐being. This is especially true during times of high uncertainty and distress, such as during the COVID‐19 lockdown. This period was characterized by unprecedented physical distancing (often communicated as social distancing) measures resulting in significant changes to people’s usual social lives. Given the potential effects of this disruption on people’s well‐being, it is crucial to identify factors which are associated with negative health outcomes, and conversely, those that promote resilience during times of adversity. Aims: This study examined the relationship between individuals’ levels of social connectedness during lockdown and self‐reported stress, worry, and fatigue. Method: Survey data were collected from 981 individuals in a representative sample of Austrian citizens. Data collection occurred during the last week of a six‐week nationwide lockdown due to the COVID‐19 pandemic. The final sample consisted of 902 participants. Participants were asked to complete validated questionnaires to assess levels of social connectedness as well as measures of perceived stress, worry - both general and COVID‐19 specific - and symptoms of fatigue during the previous two weeks. Results: The results demonstrate that greater social connectedness during the lockdown period was associated with lower levels of perceived stress, as well as general and COVID‐19‐specific worries. Furthermore, this study found a negative relationship between fatigue and social connectedness, which was mediated by feelings of stress, general worries, and COVID‐19‐specific worries - respectively, indicating that individuals with smaller network sizes, who were highly distressed during the pandemic, were also likely to report feeling more fatigued. Conclusion: The findings highlight the important role that social connections play in promoting resilience by buffering against negative physical and mental health outcomes, particularly in times of adversity in times of adversity.

Last updated on hub: 09 November 2020

Resilient health and care: learning the lessons of COVID-19 in the English NHS

Institute for Public Policy Research

This analysis considers why the English health care system has struggled during the Covid-19 pandemic, and how to ensure it is given the capacity, resources, and flexibility to adapt to shocks when they emerge. This entails investing not only in the NHS and acute care services but also in community care and the social care sector. Through a rapid review of the international data, the analysis identifies three key macro-themes: capacity, resourcing and population health. Across these themes, it shows that the UK system was in a poor position to resist a health shock, compared to the international standard. The report calls on the Government to take the opportunity to create a system where resilience is considered efficient, where long-term thinking is encouraged, and where resources are allocated to deliver on it. To this end, English health policy might borrow from economic policy’s 'fiscal rules' and introduce six 'health and care resilience rules'. These are: capacity rule - the Government should allocate catch-up funding in the community and social care sector, to build their capacity as primary sources of care; staffing rule - the Government must expand the People Plan process, by allocating funding, including social care, and extending the time horizon covered to ten years; modernisation rule - the Government should aim to meet international standards of adoption and spread of technology; sustainable funding rule - ensuring the NHS has sufficient revenue and capital; population health rule - focusing on prevention; and health inequality rule - the Government should commit to cut inequality by at least 10 per cent by the end of the parliament.

Last updated on hub: 05 August 2020

Resources to help digital enabling

National Care Forum

A series of simple practical resources – 15 crib sheets – to help care providers make the best use of digital technology for their residents and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. The crib sheets are designed to be printed and laminated by care settings for multiple use, but they may be just as useful to help anyone in their own home, as well as carers and families and friends. The sheets are grouped into three themes, covering basic skills, connectivity and wellbeing and resilience.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

Resources to help staff and residents feel connected to their spiritual and religious needs during lockdown: episode 4

My Home Life England

'Conversations with Care Homes' is a series by My Home Life England (MHLE). This episode focuses on resources to help staff and residents feel connected to their spiritual and religious needs during lockdown. It also talk about enhancing wellbeing and recount more stories of thoughtful acts of kindness. Video posted 1 May, 2020.

Last updated on hub: 09 June 2020

Resources to support community and institutional Long-Term Care responses to COVID-19

International Long-term Care Policy Network

Hub of resources focused on supporting community and institutional Long-Term Care responses to COVID-19. Includes country reports, international reports, emerging evidence, resources and blogs.

Last updated on hub: 09 June 2020

Respond, adapt, recover: stories of how tech is delivering on the frontline

techUK

This report explores how the UK responded in the immediate wake of the COVID-19 pandemic’s first peak and lockdown, how businesses and people adapted to a new normal, and with vaccine roll-out underway, what steps must be taken for the economy and society to recover – demonstrating the role of technology in achieving this. The report highlights some of the organisations that have taken on the challenges presented to the UK during of the pandemic, the role of technology in finding solutions, and the lessons learnt so far that will provide a framework for what comes next. It shows that a number of companies doing innovative work: in scaling up health and social care response, in offering solutions to our new ways of working, in bringing communities together in a time of isolation, and using data to help us react to and overcome this pandemic. Although the ways each sector has responded vary, a common thread is the enhancement of technological innovation. The acceleration of digital solutions demanded by the pandemic have been compared to ‘healthcare’s online banking moment’. Community work, such Age UK’s free online IT courses, has meant some digitally-excluded individuals have been able to learn new skills and socialise while respecting social distancing rules. Working from home has become the new normal, with some companies potentially changing the way businesses operate in the long-term. While the pre-existing digital infrastructures have succeeded in positively contributing to the adaption and response to the pandemic, it is clear that this is the first step towards an even more digital future.

Last updated on hub: 11 January 2021

Responding to COVID19: examples of changing and emerging practice across the East of England

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, COVID19 has prompted a wide range of much needed and proactive responses to ensure people stay as independent as possible, well, safe and connected. Barriers that existed before the pandemic, have in most cases easily been removed. There is evidence of communication, partnership working and digital technology being embraced. Although it is recognised that face to face responses will continue to play an important role, there is evidence of emerging practice which has achieved better outcomes for people and that should be sustained post COVID19. This publication highlights some of those. The paper shares examples of emerging practice during the pandemic. They cover a multitude of areas such as: the use of digital technology; supporting care markets and providers; reaching out to people and communities; supporting people with accommodation needs; ensuring person-centred care and coproduction; and supporting the workforce to stay well.

Last updated on hub: 19 January 2021

Responding to COVID-19: issues affecting services for children and young people

Children England

This paper highlights some of the issues that professional from across the children’s sector are experiencing in the course of their work during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. It highlights: difficulties in reaching children and young people in need of support; the large amount of often conflicting guidance and information being issued by agencies, local and national government and industry bodies; and concerns about the financial stability of organisations, particularly third sector organisations, and their ability to provider services. The briefing suggests solutions to address each issue.

Last updated on hub: 04 May 2020

Responding to COVID-19: new trends in social workers’ use of information and communication technology

Clinical Social Work Journal

COVID-19 changed the context for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) use globally. With face-to-face practice restricted, almost all communication with clients shifted to ICTs. Starting in April 2019, the researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with social workers from four agencies serving diverse populations in a large urban centre, with the aim of exploring social workers’ informal ICT use with clients. Approximately 6 weeks after the cessation of face-to-face practice in March 2020 due to COVID-19 measures, the researchers re-interviewed social workers (n = 11) who had participated in the study. Second interviews were based on a newly developed interview guide that explored social workers’ use of ICTs with clients in the context of COVID-19. Analysis of transcribed interviews revealed that the context of COVID-19 had generated two main themes. One, a paradigm shift for social workers was characterized by (a) diverse ICT options, (b) client-driven approach, and (c) necessary creativity. The second theme entails the impact of this transition which involved (a) greater awareness of clients’ degree of access, (b) confidentiality and privacy, and (c) professional boundaries. This paper discusses these themes and sub-themes and present implications for practice and research in a Post-COVID-19 world.

Last updated on hub: 03 March 2021

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