COVID-19 resources

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Social distancing in a social therapy environment

Therapeutic Communities: the International Journal of Therapeutic Communities

Purpose: This paper aims to describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a prison-based therapeutic community (TC). Design/methodology/approach: The paper takes the form of a case study where the authors reflect on their current practice, using the findings of research on social isolation and the overarching TC principles to explore the effect of the pandemic on the TC at HMP Grendon. The authors consider how the residents and staff adjusted to the change as the parameters changed when the social distancing rules were imposed and how they adapted to the prolonged break to therapy. Sections in the paper were written by a resident and an operational member of staff. The authors conclude with their thoughts on how to manage the consequences the lockdown has brought and start to think about what returning to “normality” might mean. Findings: The paper describes the adjustments made by the residents and staff as the UK Government imposed the lockdown. The authors, including a resident and an operational member of staff comment on the psychological and practical impact these adjustments had. The thought is given to the idea of “recovery”, returning to “normality” and how this study can be best managed once restrictions are lifted. Research limitations/implications: At the time of writing, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at HMP Grendon. The measures and commitment from all staff and residents in the prison to keep the prison environment safe may in part account for this. This paper explores the effects of lockdown on the emotional environment in a TC and highlights the consequences that social isolation can have on any individual. To the authors’ knowledge, there is currently no research undertaken on the impact of lockdown/social isolation on a TC. This research would be useful, as the authors postulate from reflections on current practice that the effects of the lockdown will be greater in a social therapy environment. Originality/value: HMP Grendon started in 1962, as this time there have been no significant events that have meant the suspension of therapy for such a sustained period. It is, therefore, important that the impact of such is considered and reflected upon.

Last updated on hub: 09 December 2020

“Act-as-if you are infected and infectious”: what has the global therapeutic community movement learnt from COVID-19?

Therapeutic Communities: the International Journal of Therapeutic Communities

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is twofold: to reflect upon what the global therapeutic community (TC) movement has learnt from coronavirus and to consider how TCs will continue to adapt and evolve in a post-pandemic climate. Design/methodology/approach: This is a viewpoint paper based on the authors’ participation in an international learning event whereby speakers from TCs from around the world spoke about how they adapted their services to overcome adversity. Findings: The findings are usefully thought out as shelter, creativity, reintegration and employment, technology and roots. Based on the material discussed in the learning event, it would seem that the global TC movement has engaged in a process of looking to the past to move forward by drawing upon founding principles and prescriptions of the TC tradition, rooted in humanistic and indeed humanitarian responses to staff, client and sociocultural needs. Originality/value: According to the author, this paper is one of the first attempts to capture how TCs from across the globe have responded to the threat of coronavirus.

Last updated on hub: 09 December 2020

Safeguarding adults practice and remote working in the COVID-19 era: challenges and opportunities

Journal of Adult Protection

Purpose: This exploratory paper aims to examine the literature on the impact of COVID-19 on safeguarding adults practice. Design/methodology/approach: A literature search was carried out in recently published articles to locate literature relating to COVID-19 and safeguarding adults in the UK and internationally. This included policy guidance and law, to describe the existing knowledge base, gaps in practice and areas that may require further research. Findings: The findings suggest that measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to remote working and virtual safeguarding practice. The findings highlight the need for empirical research into the impact of virtual safeguarding adults assessments and effective ways to support the needs and outcomes of those who may be at risk of or experiencing abuse and neglect while shielding, socially isolating or when working in an environment where social distancing is required. Research limitations/implications: The paper is based on a review and analysis of published documents and not on other types of research. Originality/value: Little is known about effective safeguarding adults practice in the era of shielding, self-isolation, social distancing and remote working. The paper adds to the body of knowledge in the field.

Last updated on hub: 09 December 2020

Safeguarding adults and COVID-19: a sector-led improvement response

Journal of Adult Protection

Purpose: This study aims to describe the sector-led response to the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown in terms of safeguarding adults. Design/methodology/approach: This study uses a case study method to examine a sector-led improvement response to COVID-19 and safeguarding adults. Findings: The study describes how safeguarding issues and concerns were identified and brought together, and then responded to. It reviews this initiative in the context of crisis intervention theory and discusses the achievements of this initiative regarding COVID-19 and safeguarding adults during the period April–July 2020. Originality/value: The study describes a unique joint initiative between the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, which worked with the Networks of Chairs of Safeguarding Adults Boards, Safeguarding Adults Boards’ managers and Principal Social Workers. This initiative developed resources and shared information and good practice to support a response in unprecedented circumstances.

Last updated on hub: 09 December 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic and the struggle to tackle gender-based violence

Journal of Adult Protection

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to look at the policies for the protection of women during pandemics while taking gender and feminist interests into crucial consideration. In perilous times like this, where many humans are living in fear and struggling to survive a world filled with diverse traumatizing events such as wars, universal pandemic, man-induced tragedies, natural destruction, overwhelming stress and stress-related illnesses abound. Currently, Covid-19 pandemic is rampaging in different areas of the world. Design/methodology/approach: Studies have reviewed the major reasons of the violence against women during lockdown. A qualitative review of the literature is performed and analyzed. As there have been compulsory lockdowns in different parts of the world, Turkey included, the lockdown is ideal for preventing the spread of Covid-19. Findings: There are issues this Covid-19 pandemic has caused, and one major issue is the stigma and trauma women face around the world, even in their homes. Domestic violence is a serious concern. It is, therefore, paramount for the government to intervene on this issue by declaring domestic violence as “essential services” and must set modalities in place for instant reliefs to women in such distress. It is even further envisaged that the term lockdowns have a diverse number of interpretations. One such prevailing argument is that humans are enslaved to their general imaginations, may continue in the pathways set aside by gender stereotypes or the same lockdowns, can be used as a means to set aside patriarchal notions and pursue a violence-free existence. Originality/value: This research will increase the awareness in terms of preventing gender-based violence and try to address how this pandemic makes it worse for women. In addition, there are many studies focused on family violence and Covid-19 while few focus on gender.

Last updated on hub: 09 December 2020

COVID-19 and residential care facilities: issues and concerns identified by the international network prevention of elder abuse (INPEA)

Journal of Adult Protection

Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the physical, psychological, social and financial health of older persons. On this subject, the United Nations published a policy brief on the impact of COVID-19 on older persons in May 2020. In line with this, the purpose of this general review is to address three issues affecting older persons living in residential care facilities: protective measures implemented to block the virus’ entry, the types of mistreatment most frequently experienced and the necessity to promote and defend the rights of these persons. Design/methodology/approach: The design of this study is based on input gathered since the end of April during meetings of the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) and the results of a July survey of its members. Findings: The survey results indicate variability in the implementation of protective measures in different countries and the significant presence of mistreatment and violation of the rights of older persons. Three major issues demand attention: ageism, systemic and managerial problems and the effects of implemented measures. All these prompt the INPEA to once again plea for the adoption of an international convention of human rights of older persons. Originality/value: To our knowledge, this is the first article sharing the views of the INPEA from a global perspective in the context of COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 09 December 2020

From ovid to COVID: the metamorphosis of advanced decisions to refuse treatment into a safeguarding issue

Journal of Adult Protection

Purpose: This paper aims to examine advance decisions to refuse treatment (ADRTs) in the context of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus 2019) pandemic. This study considers the development of ADRTs, the lack of take up and confusion among the general public, clinicians and health and social care staff. Design/methodology/approach: The paper is a conceptual piece that reflects on ADRTs in the particular context of COVID-19. It considers professional concerns and pronouncements on ADRTs. Findings: ADRTs have a low take up currently. There is misunderstanding among public and professionals. There is a need for raising awareness, developing practice and a need to allay fears of misuse and abuse of ADRTs in clinical, health and social care settings. Practical implications: The authors make recommendations that reflexive training and awareness become the norm in health and social care, that reform of ADRTs is undertaken to prevent misunderstandings and that the person becomes central in all decision-making processes. Originality/value: This paper is original in considering ADRTs as a safeguarding issue from two perspectives: that of the person making the ADRT and being confident in respect for the decisions made; and that of clinicians and other professionals being reflexively aware of the need to accept advance decisions and not acting according to unconscious biases in times of crisis.

Last updated on hub: 09 December 2020

#LeftInLockdown – parent carers’ experiences of lockdown

Disabled Children’s Partnership

Findings from an online survey to assess the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown on families with disabled children across the UK. The survey was promoted between 1 -17 May 2020 via social channels, direct emails to supporters of DCP charities, parent carer groups and networks. The survey covers the following areas: caring in lockdown, information and support, health and social care, education and learning; money and work; and what the government could do to help now and with the transition from lockdown. Parents report an increased caring load, both for themselves and for their disabled children's siblings; they feel exhausted, stressed, anxious and abandoned by society – in many cases, the support families previously received has now stopped. Many families are seeing declines in both mental and physical health – parents are particularly concerned about the pressure of children's behaviour and mental wellbeing; managing home-schooling; and what will happen to their children if they contract Covid-19. The little support that had previously been provided for families has often stopped altogether. Children's friendships, learning and communications, mental and physical health, and emotions and behaviour have all been negatively impacted. In addition, the lockdown is increasing financial pressures on families. Parents call for action now, including: acknowledgement and respect for their situation and the challenges they face; increased support – both financial and services; information and guidance more specifically at families with disabled children; flexibility – including from employers, schools, and around lockdown rules to enable family and friends to provide support.

Last updated on hub: 09 December 2020

The return to school for disabled children after lockdown

Disabled Children’s Partnership

Findings from an online poll of parent carers of disabled children and young people exploring how the full re-opening of schools had gone for their disabled children; and whether other support such as therapies and social care had been reinstated post lockdown. More than 3,400 parents completed the poll. The survey shows that the return to school has gone well for many disabled children. However, there are groups of children who have been let down. Many children with tracheostomies/those who need aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) had been unable to return to school. Some children with conditions that increase anxiety also had particular challenges. Parents reported delays in assessments for Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), which may have been a result of the relaxation of the statutory requirements over the spring and summer. Some families requested part-time timetables to help ease their children back into school routines while others have been told by the school that they can only attend part-time – there were concerns from some of these families about the amount of support they were getting with home learning. There were challenges with the wider services and support that SEND children need in order to learn – mental health support, therapy, health and social care, transition and social activities, transport. Many children/families lost services during lockdown and had not yet had them restored. The report calls on the government, local authorities and the health service to ensure the right support is in place, including where appropriate medical support, therapies and mental health services, to enable children to successfully return to school; and to ensure that where children are not in school they and their families are able to continue learning at home.

Last updated on hub: 09 December 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and health inequalities

Welsh Government

The objective of this paper is to understand current and future health inequalities around COVID-19 and suggest some potential mitigations for these inequalities. Based on data from the first few months, the report reveals that people in the most deprived fifth of the population in Wales are twice as likely to be admitted to hospital, to end up in ICU, and to die from COVID-19 as those from the least deprived fifth. Data from England and some limited data for Wales suggest there has been proportionally more hospital admissions and deaths in BAME groups. In addition, deprived groups may be more vulnerable to indirect COVID-19 harms due to additional pressures on the health and social care system; and they may be more vulnerable to harms from lockdown changing people’s way of life and affecting their mental health, as well as their physical health, and for some, increasing the risk of domestic violence or children being exposed to adverse childhood experiences and trauma. The main recommendation of this report is to try to protect the most deprived population from the direct effects of COVID19 in a potential second wave, and from the indirect effects of COVID-19 on the economy which will increase health inequalities in the longer term. We will know we have succeeded in this if the gradient in COVID-19 mortality is less steep in future than in the first peak and if we see a reduction in the gradient in all-cause mortality in 2022, given that it is unlikely that inequalities will reduce in the next two years. In the longer term we need to look at policies to increase health and financial resilience across the population.

Last updated on hub: 09 December 2020