COVID-19 resources

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Informal home care providers: the forgotten health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic


Editorial states that during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, informal home care provision and challenges faced by care providers, excluding those who are formal and paid, in the home context have largely been overlooked. Also makes the point that in public health emergencies, informal home care providers are a crucial human resource that improves the community’s health-care capacity, especially in regions with an ageing population and areas with suboptimal health-care systems. The comment piece suggests that for home care to better support health needs during extreme events, urgent research related to social and economic impacts of home care is needed to update policies and improve health support programmes. The piece also provides a list of research priorities relevant to informal home care providers.

Last updated on hub: 20 June 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): personal protective equipment (PPE) plan

Department of Health and Social Care

Cross-government UK-wide plan to ensure that critical personal protective equipment (PPE) is delivered to those on the frontline responding to coronavirus (COVID-19). The plan incorporates three strands: 1) guidance – setting out who needs PPE and when, and who does not, based on UK clinical expertise and WHO standards; 2) distribution – making sure those who need PPE can get it and at the right time; and 3) future supply – taking action to secure enough PPE to see services through the crisis, working alongside the industry to boost future supply. [Published 10 April 2020. Last updated 15 April 2020]

Last updated on hub: 18 June 2020

Commissioning during COVID-19 and beyond

Social Care Institute for Excellence

This guide focuses on what we can learn from commissioning during the COVID-19 crisis. It discusses how commissioners can work in true partnership with citizens, providers and the community to resolve issues.

Last updated on hub: 18 June 2020

COVID-19: the safe and legal use of restraint and seclusion in mental health and learning disability services during the Coronavirus period

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Northern Ireland

This guidance sets out key messages in relation to restraint and seclusion in mental health and learning disability services in Northern Ireland during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The guidance covers the management of restrictive interventions in the COVID-19 outbreak period; seclusion in mental health and learning disability inpatient services; types of restraints; public health advice around social distancing, shielding and isolation, and associated legalities for mental health and learning disability services; blanket restrictions; and the use of Personal Protective Equipment. The core principle underpinning the guidance recommends that in making any decision regarding the use of restraint, seclusion or restrictive practices, the proposed intervention must always be the least restrictive option available, considered to be in the person’s best interests with the aim of preventing harm, and proportionate to the likelihood and seriousness of that harm. The guidance includes links to additional resources. Restraint and seclusion in other settings than mental health and learning disability services are not covered in this guidance.

Last updated on hub: 18 June 2020

Briefing on COVID-19 guidance for social care assessments and the ethical framework

Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE)

This briefing provides insight and recommendations on how to better respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of disabled people, people who live with long term conditions and unpaid carers in relation to social care assessment and the provision of care during COVID-19. It argues that taking a human rights based approach can help difficult decision-making when there are tensions between risks and rights or between demand and available resources, calling for greater detail on equalities and explicit reference to human rights law in both UK and Scottish government guidance relating to the pandemic and local plans. The briefing makes a number of recommendations, including: monitoring the use of powers to relax social care assessments and engaging with people who access services during the pandemic and lockdown; greater clarity when social care packages are being reduced and removed; that individualised support for unpaid carers is made available; that charges for people who use social care (including collection of arrears and debt for previous care charges) should be suspended; that actions should be taken to mitigate the risks of associated with remote social care assessments. The briefing finally recommends regular, ongoing contact with social work professionals and others capable of carrying out partial assessments, using the communication methods that work best for the individual.

Last updated on hub: 18 June 2020

Using direct payments during the coronavirus outbreak: full guidance for people receiving direct payments and personal assistants

Department of Health and Social Care

This document sets out key messages to support people in planning and receiving their care safely during the pandemic, including slowing the transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and reducing the possibility of hospital admission or care breaking down. It is aimed at people of all ages ‒ children, young people and adults ‒ who receive support through their personal budgets or personal health budgets and take this as a direct payment. It is also relevant to family members, local authorities (LAs), clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), providers and people who are employed through a direct payment, including PAs (including those who are self-employed). Topics covered include: flexible use of direct payments during the pandemic; continuation of direct payments; personal protective equipment (PPE); employment of individuals; the coronavirus job retention scheme; statutory sick pay (SSP) for PAs with COVID-19 like symptoms; testing; monitoring requirements; self-funders; and keeping safe. [Last updated 11 March 2021]

Last updated on hub: 17 June 2020

Protecting and safeguarding older people: Covid-19 information pack

Older People's Commissioner for Wales

This pack provides a range of useful information and resources about keeping older people safe in Wales – including how to identify older people who may be at risk, and contact details for key organisations that can provide crucial help and support.

Last updated on hub: 17 June 2020

The mental health effects of the first two months of lockdown and social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK

Institute of Fiscal Studies

Mental health in the UK worsened substantially as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic – by 8.1% on average and by much more for young adults and for women which are groups that already had lower levels of mental health before Covid-19. Hence inequalities in mental health have been increased by the pandemic. Even larger average effects are observed for measures of mental health that capture the number problems reported or the fraction of the population reporting any frequent or severe problems, which more than doubled for some groups such as young women. It is important to control for pre-existing recent trends in mental health when attempting to understand and isolate the effects of Covid-19.

Last updated on hub: 17 June 2020

Supporting ‘off-radar’ children and young people who are at risk of violence/abuse in their household: Part 1 (interim report)

Survivors’ Voices

This survivor-led report contains relevant possible actions to support children who are 'off-radar' (unknown to any statutory services) during and post pandemic 'lockdown' periods. It provides an initial collation and thematic analysis of the results of a survivor-led and rapid-response survey. This was targeted at people who had experience of being abused as children whilst unknown to safeguarding or support services, in order to capture the wisdom of lived experience regarding what practical actions may help reach this population. Actions and recommendations cover a range of topics and thematic areas, which are grouped into the settings to which they apply. These include: schools, nurseries, and childcare; other statutory services; youth organisations and other voluntary agencies and services that work with young people; government and national and international agencies; communities and families. The report suggests that the overwhelming consensus is that there is a need for a major awareness-raising and information campaign using TV/media and a variety of social and other media; and to develop ways to ensure children and young people can communicate with those who can help, including apps, a free phone helpline and web-based links.

Last updated on hub: 17 June 2020

Time for a clean slate: children’s mental health at the heart of education

Barnardo's UK

This briefing we highlight lessons from practitioners in school settings about the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. It also examines how schools seek to strengthen their support for their pupils’ mental health and wellbeing; and the opportunities to make changes to the wider education system so it prioritises wellbeing as well as academic progress. The report finds that nearly half of practitioners are supporting a child or young person with increasing mental health needs. This includes symptoms of anxiety, stress, sleep disregulation, depression, reduced self-esteem, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) behaviours, paranoia and self-harm. The report makes specific recommendations to the government, schools and teachers, calling for a trauma-informed approach to policy making and prioritising child welfare and wellbeing, so that it is on a par with academic achievement.

Last updated on hub: 17 June 2020

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