COVID-19 resources

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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: 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

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 Taskforce: Workforce Advisory Group: report and recommendations

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the Workforce Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. Two consistent themes have run throughout the work of the Advisory Group: the low priority given to planning and resource allocation for the workforce who support individual employers; and the importance of coherent and timely guidance which meets the needs of the workforce and their employers in their respective environments. The recommendations have been grouped as “top priority”, “highly important” and “important”. The top priorities cover: pay and recognition of the workforce; maintain the safety and wellbeing of our workforce; fully-fund measures to minimise staff movement and self-isolation; supporting workers’ mental and physical health; and maximise uptake of seasonal influenza vaccination.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Social care: coronavirus – can the catastrophe be a catalyst?: care report 2020

Just

The Care Report 2020 sheds light on how the over-45s think and feel about adult social care, planning for future needs and costs of care and the implications of COVID-19. The report indicates that there is a widespread view among over-45s that the lack of progress on social care policy by successive governments has had an impact on how the social care sector and NHS have been able to respond to Covid-19. More than half said they thought it had made it harder for the care services to respond to the threat. Just around one in five thinks the government will put into practice a social care policy in this Parliament. A constant theme of the research findings is that there is broad agreement on what constitutes fairness in paying for care regardless of political affiliation. Across the political spectrum, most agree that if someone is unable to pay for care then the State should pay. Similar proportions say they think the State should pay for all care, regardless of how they voted at the 2019 General Election. There is no great difference in voter support for those who do and don’t back a cap on care costs. Critically, nearly four in five of over-45s said they had not thought about care, planned for it or spoken to family about it, further highlighting the urgency for a government policy. The report concludes by noting that worries about lack of progress towards a social care policy and a workable solution appear to outweigh concerns about the finer points of that solution.

Last updated on hub: 02 July 2020

Social care: time to grasp the nettle

NHS Confederation

This report, part of the NHS Reset campaign, explores the opportunities and challenges ahead for health and social care. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role that social care plays in the delivery of health and care services. But it has also exacerbated the underlying weaknesses in social care and demonstrated the need for fundamental reform. The report argues that four critical factors are needed to reset social care: a stable, well-funded social care service – without social care reform leading to a sustainable system the NHS will not be able to deliver high-quality care in the wake of the pandemic; a long-term plan for social care to address the imbalance that was already present in the social care service, as well as a fundamental review of the model of social care provided in England; a well-resourced and trained workforce – a national, integrated health and care workforce strategy would go some way to tackle the crippling workforce issues facing social care; and outcome-based commissioning – the NHS needs a joined-up approach to commissioning, with people at the forefront of local decisions.

Last updated on hub: 07 September 2020

Social connection in long-term care homes: a scoping review of published research on the mental health impacts and potential strategies during COVID-19

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

Objectives: Good social connection is associated with better health and wellbeing. However, social connection has distinct considerations for people living in long-term care (LTC) homes. The objective of this scoping review was to summarize research literature linking social connection to mental health outcomes, specifically among LTC residents, as well as research to identify strategies to help build and maintain social connection in this population during COVID-19. Design: Scoping review. Settings and Participants: Residents of LTC homes, care homes, and nursing homes. Methods: We searched MEDLINE(R) ALL (Ovid), CINAHL (EBSCO), PsycINFO (Ovid), Scopus, Sociological Abstracts (ProQuest), Embase and Embase Classic (Ovid), Emcare Nursing (Ovid), and AgeLine (EBSCO) for research that quantified an aspect of social connection among LTC residents; this study limited searches to English-language articles published from database inception to search date (July 2019). For the current analysis, this study included studies that reported (1) the association between social connection and a mental health outcome, (2) the association between a modifiable risk factor and social connection, or (3) intervention studies with social connection as an outcome. From studies in (2) and (3), this study identified strategies that could be implemented and adapted by LTC residents, families and staff during COVID-19 and included the articles that informed these strategies. Results: This study included 133 studies in the review. his study found 61 studies that tested the association between social connection and a mental health outcome. This study highlighted 12 strategies, informed by 72 observational and intervention studies, that might help LTC residents, families, and staff build and maintain social connection for LTC residents. Conclusions and Implications: Published research conducted among LTC residents has linked good social connection to better mental health outcomes. Observational and intervention studies provide some evidence on approaches to address social connection in this population. Although further research is needed, it does not obviate the need to act given the sudden and severe impact of COVID-19 on social connection in LTC residents.

Last updated on hub: 27 January 2021

Social connection in long-term care homes: a scoping review of published research on the mental health impacts and potential strategies during COVID-19

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

Objectives: Good social connection is associated with better health and wellbeing. However, social connection has distinct considerations for people living in long-term care (LTC) homes. The objective of this scoping review was to summarize research literature linking social connection to mental health outcomes, specifically among LTC residents, as well as research to identify strategies to help build and maintain social connection in this population during COVID-19. Design: Scoping review. Settings and Participants: Residents of LTC homes, care homes, and nursing homes. Methods: The researchers searched MEDLINE(R) ALL (Ovid), CINAHL (EBSCO), PsycINFO (Ovid), Scopus, Sociological Abstracts (ProQuest), Embase and Embase Classic (Ovid), Emcare Nursing (Ovid), and AgeLine (EBSCO) for research that quantified an aspect of social connection among LTC residents; the searches were limited to English-language articles published from database inception to search date (July 2019). For the current analysis, this study included studies that reported (1) the association between social connection and a mental health outcome, (2) the association between a modifiable risk factor and social connection, or (3) intervention studies with social connection as an outcome. From studies in (2) and (3), the researchers identified strategies that could be implemented and adapted by LTC residents, families and staff during COVID-19 and included the articles that informed these strategies. Results: This study included 133 studies in the review. This study found 61 studies that tested the association between social connection and a mental health outcome. This study highlighted 12 strategies, informed by 72 observational and intervention studies, that might help LTC residents, families, and staff build and maintain social connection for LTC residents. Conclusions and Implications: Published research conducted among LTC residents has linked good social connection to better mental health outcomes. Observational and intervention studies provide some evidence on approaches to address social connection in this population. Although further research is needed, it does not obviate the need to act given the sudden and severe impact of COVID-19 on social connection in LTC residents.

Last updated on hub: 25 March 2021

Social connection in the COVID-19 crisis: initial report from the COVID-19 Inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration

British Future

This report from the APPG Inquiry on Social Integration presents findings from Part One of the Inquiry to better understand the issues experienced under the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Inquiry examined who is at risk of social isolation; the barriers and challenges in reaching and supporting socially isolated groups; and identified examples best practice in relation to social connectedness. The findings show that many different people are at risk of social isolation in the COVID-19 crisis, and that people experience social isolation differently. Whist the crisis resulted in people feeling a greater sense of belonging in their local community, it is not clear if this will last. The report also shows that digital exclusion is a particular risk of social isolation, so there is need to use non-digital forms of communication in initiatives to reduce isolation. The crisis has also seen an increase in volunteering, including 'mutual aid' volunteering, which bridges the gap between formal and informal volunteering. The report concludes with short-term and long-term recommendations for action during and after the pandemic. These include an expansion of 'Digital champion' schemes, where volunteers support those who lack digital skills and confidence. When the current crisis period ends, the APPG urges a long-term commitment from the Government, educational institutions, employers and civil society to reduce digital exclusion.

Last updated on hub: 18 May 2020

Social connection, loneliness and lockdown

Research In Practice: Dartington

Katy Shorten gives a comprehensive overview of loneliness and key messages from the literature for social care. The blog covers: identifying loneliness; the importance of social networks and activities; the role of technology; partnership working with organisations that support people and communities; building relationships; and being person-centred. The blog signposts to key evidence and resources.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

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