COVID-19 resources

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Partnership working in the face of a pandemic crisis impacting on social work placement provision in England

Social Work Education (The International Journal)

The first quarter of 2020 saw unprecedented global, national, and local changes as the world adapted to a pandemic that swept the world at an alarming rate and prompted a policy of social exclusion and social distancing. Inevitably, the pandemic impacted upon social work education and placement provision significantly. The ability to respond to the impact of the pandemic crisis within social work placements will be presented as an unprecedented wicked problem. The ability to respond to this crisis can be argued to have demonstrated the worth of teaching partnerships, as the developed relationships and understanding of partner’s differing priorities enabled this to be undertaken effectively, efficiently, and expediently. This article will reflect on how the Leeds and Wakefield Social Work Teaching Partnership (LWSWTP) undertook responsive partnership decision-making to develop and implement new placement protocols. The article will also explore if partnership working with the stakeholders has been sufficiently robust, using the Arnstein’s 1969 Ladder of Participation. The article will conclude by reflecting on the key learning points from partnership working in the Covid-19 crisis situation as we move forward post crisis.

Last updated on hub: 12 November 2020

Patients living with dementia who ‘walk with purpose or intent’ in the COVID-19 crisis

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) West

This evidence summary looks at how to manage care home residents with dementia who ‘walk with purpose or intent’ such that infection prevention measures are not breached during an epidemic such as COVID-19. It identified clear guidance from the British Geriatric Society (BGS) on the approach of care home staff for residents with dementia who ‘walk with purpose or intent’ during the COVID 19 crisis. The guidance focuses on isolation of suspected cases and behavioural approach to ameliorating potential unsafe activities of residents. The British Psychological Society’s Faculty of the Psychology of Older People also describes primary preventative and secondary reactive behavioural approaches that can be used to care for residents during the COVID 19 outbreak.

Last updated on hub: 10 June 2020

People and places in London most vulnerable to COVID-19 and its social and economic consequences

New Policy Institute

This report identifies groups of people whose socio-economic status puts them at higher risk of either catching COVID-19 or passing it on, experiencing harm to their health and wellbeing during lockdown; or experiencing harm as both lockdown and the emergency measures introduced to alleviate it, are lifted. The report is divided into four sections, looking at people and households who face higher risks as a result of: COVID-19 itself and the wider pandemic; the economic recession; housing insecurity; and having pre-existing additional support needs. Built around a set of statistical indicators, the report offers a picture of the scale of vulnerability and how it varies across London boroughs. Half the indicators show the background (pre-pandemic) position and half show how things have changed since March 2020. Four of the 29 indicators are restricted to London (or London subregions) while one is national. The report’s main message is that the vulnerabilities flowing from the pandemic and the accompanying recession affect more and different people than those who are usually seen as vulnerable. While the need to protect older people from the virus remains paramount, the report concludes that the pandemic and recession should be seen as a crisis for people of working-age, especially those in the 20s, 30s and 40s, and their children.

Last updated on hub: 10 March 2021

Perceived social support, loneliness, and hope during the COVID-19 pandemic: testing a mediating model in the UK, USA, and Israel

British Journal of Clinical Psychology

Objectives: The COVID‐19 epidemic is affecting the entire world and hence provides an opportunity examine how people from different countries engage in hopeful thinking. The aim of this study was to examine the potentially facilitating role of perceived social support vis‐à‐vis hope as well as the mediating role of loneliness between perceived social support and hope. This mediating model was tested concurrently in the UK, the USA, and Israel. Methods: In April 2020, as the first wave of the virus struck the three aforementioned countries, we assessed perceived social support, loneliness, and hope in 400 adults per country (N = 1,200). Assessments in the UK/USA were conducted via the Prolific platform, whereas in Israel they were conducted via Facebook/WhatsApp. Results: In all three countries, perceived social support predicted elevated hope, although the effect was smallest in the UK. Loneliness mediated this effect in all three countries, although full mediation was attained only in the UK. Conclusions: Perceived social support may facilitate hope in dire times, possibly through the reduction of loneliness.

Last updated on hub: 03 March 2021

Perceived social support, loneliness, and hope during the COVID‐19 pandemic: testing a mediating model in the UK, USA, and Israel

British Journal of Clinical Psychology

Objectives: The COVID‐19 epidemic is affecting the entire world and hence provides an opportunity examine how people from different countries engage in hopeful thinking. The aim of this study was to examine the potentially facilitating role of perceived social support vis‐à‐vis hope as well as the mediating role of loneliness between perceived social support and hope. This mediating model was tested concurrently in the UK, the USA, and Israel. Methods: In April 2020, as the first wave of the virus struck the three aforementioned countries, we assessed perceived social support, loneliness, and hope in 400 adults per country (N = 1,200). Assessments in the UK/USA were conducted via the Prolific platform, whereas in Israel they were conducted via Facebook/WhatsApp. Results: In all three countries, perceived social support predicted elevated hope, although the effect was smallest in the UK. Loneliness mediated this effect in all three countries, although full mediation was attained only in the UK. Conclusions: Perceived social support may facilitate hope in dire times, possibly through the reduction of loneliness.

Last updated on hub: 18 May 2021

Performance tracker 2020: how public services have coped with coronavirus

Institute for Government

This fifth edition of the Performance Tracker brings together data series with information gathered from interviews with more than 50 people to provide a picture of how five public services – general practice, hospitals, adult social care, schools and criminal courts – have coped with coronavirus. The analysis assesses the changes introduced to manage disruption, evaluates the success of each of these changes and makes recommendations about whether they should be kept or extended beyond the pandemic. The report finds that both general practice and hospital care have been heavily disrupted by coronavirus. In response, there has been a fundamental shift in how technology is used, and major changes to funding and working practices. All organisations involved in regulating, funding and delivering social care have made major changes at speed to respond to coronavirus. Some changes have been so beneficial that they should be kept in normal times. Widespread use of the Capacity Tracker app has provided central government, local authorities, NHS trusts and providers with useful data on capacity and the government should explore whether it is possible to create a capacity tracker to track demand and capacity in homecare as well. Greater use of technology has also improved communication between local authorities, providers and the families and friends of service users – and provided real comfort to the service users themselves at an unimaginably difficult time. The report calls on the government to commission an independent review to assess how to prepare social care to make greater use of digital technology safely and effectively in the future.

Last updated on hub: 04 November 2020

Perinatal social work during the Covid-19 pandemic: reflecting on concepts of time and liminality

Qualitative Social Work

This article reflects upon the experiences of two perinatal, hospital social workers during the unprecedented time of the Covid-19 in Ireland, as discussed with their academic colleague. This encounter revealed the complexity of service delivery that emerged, when managing the needs of vulnerable clients whilst being mindful of personal safety. One of the social workers was pregnant so was conscious of possible risks to her unborn child, as well as her young family at home. The second social worker, her line manager, discusses the dilemmas associated with the management of risk when allocating staff to contexts where they would be in direct contact with Covid-19. At the core of the analysis of these situations is the notion of liminal space and the realisation that time appears to have a new meaning; what we once knew as normal no longer exists, but we have yet to reach the ‘new normal’.

Last updated on hub: 17 March 2021

Personal assistants eligible for vaccination as part of national priority group two: frontline social care workers

Local Government Association

These questions and answers document has been developed with leading organisations and individual councils working to support take-up of vaccination among frontline social care workers. To be eligible for vaccination in the national priority group two, personal assistants need to be caring for someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19, and/or has a defined underlying health condition leading to greater risk of disease or mortality from COVID-19, and/or is of advanced age (85+); this is set out in detail in the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) published on 14 January 2021. Topics areas include: eligibility and the process for getting vaccinated; data sharing; employment-related questions; unpaid carers; and vaccinations for people being cared for by a PA.

Last updated on hub: 03 March 2021

Personal assistants returning from shielding

Mark Bates Ltd

Fact sheet offering support to people who employ personal assistants with regards to their employee returning to work, following the lifting of shielding measures by the Government.

Last updated on hub: 04 August 2020

Personal protective equipment (PPE): care workers delivering homecare during the Covid-19 response

Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch

This national intelligence report provides insight into a current safety risk that the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) has identified, relating to the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by care workers when visiting a patient at home. It documents how concerns raised by HSIB were responded to by Public Health England, the body responsible for the development of guidelines for the appropriate use of PPE. The report finds that there are multiple Covid-19 guidelines for different care sectors. PPE guidelines should be used in conjunction with other guidelines, such as infection control guidelines, so that care providers can develop protocols for care delivery. This is challenging when guidelines are updated, or new guidelines are issued and there is a risk that guidance may be missed. The report argues that there is an opportunity to introduce a document management system for guidelines to ensure that the latest information is available. This would involve the design of a usable navigation system so that all related guidelines relevant to a particular care sector are visible and can be checked for completeness.

Last updated on hub: 01 September 2020

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