COVID-19 resources

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Perspectives from the front line: the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on BME communities

NHS Confederation

This report distils the findings of a research study into the underlying factors affecting the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on black and minority ethnic (BME) communities. It is based on interviews with BME NHS leaders, clinicians, community organisations and service users, and a survey of over 100 members of the NHS Confederation’s BME Leadership Network. Topics covered include: inequalities and health; institutional racism; racial discrimination on the front line; communication; and the Black Lives Matter movement. Overwhelmingly, participants point to long-standing inequalities and institutional racism as root causes. Interviewees were united in the view that despite the wealth of data collected by the national bodies and numerous reviews on the relationship between health, inequalities and BME communities, the NHS and government had not taken sufficient action to address the underlying issues. To redress this, it will be crucial to treat long-term structural health inequities and institutional racism as critical factors when planning services and emergency responses. To break down barriers to accessing healthcare, the government should take immediate steps to review the potential for hostile environment policies to be a vehicle for promoting institutional racism. BME health and care professionals were reported to be more likely to take on high-risk roles, including working on COVID-19 wards, due to fear that contracts may not be renewed or shifts reduced – this was compounded by a bullying culture which meant that BME employees were less likely to raise concerns or share their experiences. The report argues that the health service should look to adopt a new model of leadership that welcomes and values innovators with roots in BME communities and a track record of anti-racism. Integrated care systems should lead the development of governance and human resources functions that facilitate diverse leadership in line with commitments in the NHS People Plan.

Last updated on hub: 04 January 2021

Peter and friends talk about Covid-19 and having a learning disability and/or autism

Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities

This book explores what it means having a learning disability and/or autism during the COVID-19 pandemic. It contains stories from people in a variety of different situations, including workplaces, family homes, in supported living, people in hospital including patients or staff in general hospitals, Assessment and Treatment Units and Medium Secure Units. The book includes contributions from Australia, Austria, Canada, England, Ghana, Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, South Africa and Wales by people with learning disabilities, their families and those supporting them during the pandemic. Chapters include: all about COVID and why we wrote the book; insights and experiences from people with learning disabilities; stories from parents and carers; individuals, teams and organisations supporting people with learning disabilities through the virus; mental health, technology and the 5 Ways to Wellbeing – coping with the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 13 January 2021

Photovoice as a creative coping tool with the COVID-19 crisis in practical training seminar for social work students

Qualitative Social Work

The Coronavirus-19 crisis has led university professors, social workers, students and social service consumers to shift to online methods of communication and teaching. In this novel, shared reality, the present paper introduces a new initiative based on implemented photovoice methodology as a tool for documenting BSW students' professional daily lives. This tool was used at a practical training seminar for 16 third year students at the School of Social Work, Sapir Academic College.

Last updated on hub: 17 March 2021

Picking up the pieces: young women’s experiences of 2020

Young Women's Trust

This report explores the impact of the pandemic, and what life is really like for young women in 2020 It combines findings from an annual survey of 4,000 young people with in-depth peer research interviews with 60 young women across England and Wales to offer a unique insight into the economic, mental, and emotional impact the crisis has had. Findings from the survey indicate that of the 5.4 million young women aged 18-30 in the UK an estimated: 1.5 million young women have lost income since the coronavirus pandemic; 750,000 have been made to come into work despite concerns about their safety; 4.1 million young women think women face discrimination in the workplace; 1.9 million young women would be reluctant to report sexual harassment for fear of losing their job up from 1.3 million last year; 3 million young women are worried about their mental health, compared to 2.7 million last year; 3.3 million young women feel ignored by politicians. The peer researchers heard about the true toll of the coronavirus pandemic on other young women. In addition to increased stress, anxiety and depression, young women reported being in crisis and having to access emergency mental health services. Others struggled to connect with support online. Young women reported an increase in sexism and other discrimination, in particular racism, since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, within the workplace and outside. The report argues that any recovery plan for the UK must acknowledge and address the extent to which young women have already been picking up the pieces and holding up our economy in 2020.

Last updated on hub: 13 April 2021

Pilot point prevalence survey of COVID-19 among domiciliary care staff in England

Public Health England

This pilot study provides the first estimate of the extent of COVID-19 infections among domiciliary care workers in England. A prospective descriptive survey of a sample of workers from domiciliary care providers was carried out in June 2020, using a sampling frame of all care providers in England registered with CQC. The findings provide evidence that the prevalence of COVID-19 among domiciliary care workers is in line with the general population as opposed to a higher prevalence as observed in studies of front-line healthcare workers and care home staff. It should be noted that this study took place post the peak of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result its findings are not directly comparable to those emerging from care home and healthcare worker studies.

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020

Pivoting during a pandemic: school social work practice with families during COVID-19

Children and Schools

The COVID-19 global pandemic led to the unprecedented shuttering of nearly all K–12 public education settings across the United States from March through June 2020. This article explores how school social workers’ roles, responsibilities, and work tasks shifted during spring 2020 distance learning to address the continuing and changing needs of families and the larger school community. Interviews were conducted with 20 school social workers in K–12 public schools, across three states, to understand the primary needs of children and families during the pandemic and to learn how school social workers can be most effective in responding to these needs. The data were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Study findings revealed that during spring 2020, school social workers consistently had increased contact and interaction with students’ parents that centered around two major activities: (1) food assistance and referrals for families and (2) parent check-ins and coaching. The article discusses implications for the field of school social work during crises and beyond. Considerations include increased funding for schools that serve communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic and the reprioritization of school social workers’ roles and responsibilities to include increased contact with parents.

Last updated on hub: 05 July 2021

Planning for the recovery and the shift towards homeworking: implications for poverty in outer London

This report examines the short and long-term implications of COVID-19 on poverty and inequality in outer London, with a particular focus on employment, low pay, housing and the shift towards homeworking. The report highlights the convergence in some poverty indicators between outer and inner London. It shows that the claimant count has increased at a faster rate in poorer outer London boroughs. The highest claimant rates in London are now in Ealing, Brent, Haringey, Waltham Forest, Newham and Barking & Dagenham. The report also shows how COVID-19 has had an uneven impact within outer London. The death rates in Haringey, Newham and Barking & Dagenham, for example, are four times higher than in Richmond upon Thames. Outer Londoners face an inhospitable labour market. Outer Londoners are 25-50% more likely to be unemployed than those in inner London when accounting for personal characteristics; and approaching a quarter (23%) of jobs performed by outer Londoners are paid below the London Living Wage. Disabled people and some ethnic minority groups have seen a rise in unemployment rates to above 10%. An increasing number of poorer households in outer London are now under acute housing stress. Outer London boroughs, for instance, have seen a large rise in housing support for those in the private rented sector, many of whom have rent arrears. Covid-19 has led to higher rates of homeworking in outer London than the rest of the UK. While higher paid Londoners are more likely to work from home this could have implications for where lower paid jobs are located and the demand for housing. If there is a major shift towards homeworking, then there could more job opportunities locally for outer Londoners. The report shows that those in lower paid jobs work closer to where they live. More local jobs could therefore help combat efforts to tackle poverty.

Last updated on hub: 26 July 2021

Point of care testing using rapid automated antigen testing for SARS-COV-2 in care homes – an exploratory safety, usability and diagnostic agreement evaluation


Introduction Successful adoption of POCTs (Point-of-Care tests) for COVID-19 in care homes requires the identification of ideal use cases and a full understanding of contextual and usability factors that affect test results and minimise biosafety risks. This paper presents findings from a scoping-usability and test performance study of a microfluidic immunofluorescence assay for COVID-19 in care homes. Methods A mixed-methods evaluation was conducted in four UK care homes to scope usability and to assess the agreement with qRT-PCR. A dry run with luminescent dye was carried out to explore biosafety issues. Results The agreement analysis was carried out on 227 asymptomatic participants (159 staff and 68 residents) and 14 symptomatic participants (5 staff and 9 residents). Asymptomatic specimens showed 50% (95% CI: 1.3%-98.7%) positive agreement and 96% (95% CI: 92.5%-98.1%) negative agreement with overall prevalence and bias-adjusted Kappa (PABAK) of 0.911 (95% CI: 0.857-0.965). Symptomatic specimens showed 83.3% (95% CI: 35.9%-99.6%) positive agreement and 100% (95% CI: 63.1%-100%) negative agreement with overall prevalence and bias-adjusted Kappa (PABAK) of 0.857 (95% CI: 0.549-1). The dry run showed four main sources of contamination that led to the modification of the standard operating procedures. Simulation after modification showed no further evidence of contamination. Conclusion Careful consideration of biosafety issues and contextual factors associated with care home are mandatory for safe use the POCT. Whilst POCT may have some utility for ruling out COVID-19, further diagnostic accuracy evaluations are needed to promote effective adoption.

Last updated on hub: 06 May 2021

Policy briefing: the COVID-19 vaccination and unpaid carers (England only)

Carers UK

Unpaid carers are included in the priority lists for the COVID-19 vaccine in the same way that they are for the flu jab. This briefing sets out the position in more detail and explores recommendations for deployment of the vaccine to unpaid carers in detail.

Last updated on hub: 13 January 2021

Pooling together: how community hubs have responded to the COVID-19 emergency

Carnegie UK Trust

Case studies illustrating how communities and public services responded to the Covid-19 crisis, focusing on the role played by community hubs. These were an important, instant emergency response. They were a collaboration between volunteers and the public sector, reached into communities, and built positive relationships between service providers and citizens. Some of the key findings from the descriptive studies include: the community hubs were new structures but based on existing relationships and values; they were flexible and responsive; a key strength of the hubs was the partnerships between the local authorities, the voluntary sector and communities; the value of volunteering and volunteers became apparent – the hubs have become the foundation of increased volunteering, with an enhanced volunteer scheme and database in Lancaster and Renfrewshire, respectively; the hubs have facilitated an approach where the public sector brings its skills and resources into play alongside supporting the community to do what it does well, such as connecting and reaching out to people who don’t readily access public services, like libraries or health improvement.

Last updated on hub: 04 January 2021

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