COVID-19 resources

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“We are alone in this battle”: a framework for a coordinated response to COVID-19 in nursing homes

Journal of Aging and Social Policy

As of May 2020, nursing home residents account for a staggering one-third of the more than 80,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in the U.S. This pandemic has resulted in unprecedented threats to achieving and sustaining care quality even in the best nursing homes, requiring active engagement of nursing home leaders in developing solutions responsive to the unprecedented threats to quality standards of care delivery during the pandemic. This perspective offers a framework, designed with the input of nursing home leaders, to facilitate internal and external decision-making and collective action to address these threats. Policy options focus on assuring a shared understanding among nursing home leaders and government agencies of changes in the operational status of nursing homes throughout the crisis, improving access to additional essential resources needed to mitigate the crisis’ impact, and promoting shared accountability for consistently achieving accepted standards in core quality domains.

Last updated on hub: 08 June 2020

“Whatever it takes”: Government spending on children and young people – the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 Spending Review

National Children's Bureau

This report sets out an analysis of the 2020 Spending Review, showing that the approach is still too piecemeal to deliver a better childhood for the UK’s children. Many children, young people and families benefited through the universal measures taken in response to the pandemic, including the Coronavirus Job Retention (‘furlough’) Scheme and the £20-a-week uplift in Universal Credit. Other measures were more specifically targeted at children and young people in low-income households. However, while the Treasury has made much needed spending commitments in some areas, there have been major omissions in others. These include: no commitments to counteract rising child poverty; no support to make babies and young children a priority; not enough to protect young people’s mental health; no solution to the sustained crisis in children’s social care.

Last updated on hub: 22 December 2020

10 leaps forward: innovation in the pandemic. What we want to keep from this experience: going ‘back to better’

London South Bank University

An analysis of the findings of an online survey asking leaders and clinicians to reflect and play back in their own words the most important transformations that have happened due to COVID-19. The findings show that in a very short time healthcare services have learned to operate as a highly performing system and made significant advances. These include: staff being properly valued and supported; using 21st century tools; working with connected, visible, engaged leaders; care basics and inefficiencies have been fixed and sorted; local health systems have joined up together to get things done; staff working together as real teams; staff have stepped up and acted with professionalism and autonomy. As a result, the healthcare system is now better placed to make decisions based on needs and think pro-actively; to make mutual decisions with patients as partners; and to work in close collaboration with its community.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2020

12 lessons for children’s social work from practising under Covid

Community Care

The Covid-19 pandemic is presenting governments, social work leaders, managers and frontline practitioners with unique challenges. This article summarises finding of a research study exploring its impact on children, families and child protection social work. Since April 2020, 48 social workers, family support workers and managers from four anonymous research sites have been interviewed, many on a monthly basis. Researchers also spoke with 22 family members and analysed a small number of digital interactions between social workers and parents. The emerging findings contain 12 key lessons for practice now and for the future: social workers have creatively improvised to remain close to children and families; social workers and organisations should trust the digital more, particularly as part of a hybrid practice that combines in-person and digital interactions; digital interactions should be seen as differently, not always less, valuable; existing research and guidance should be developed to maximise the benefits of digital social work and the hybrid practices it generates; social workers have chosen to take risks to support children and families, even when they have been afraid; social workers don’t always maintain a physical distance from children and families; Covid-19 related risk-taking is not just an individual choice but systemic; there is a particular need to develop guidance and share best practice on the use of face masks; social workers and family support workers are providing increased levels of material help and support for families; social workers miss the support of the office; social workers should not be expected to operate alone when supporting and safeguarding children; social workers deserve greater public recognition for their contribution during the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 16 February 2021

4 reasons housing providers must revise their telecare needs post COVID-19

Appello

This guide highlights the changing landscape for the delivery of technology enabled care services (TECS). It draws on findings from interviews and independent research undertaken with the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN) of 120 senior executives from providers of supported, sheltered and retirement housing. The analysis indicates that 85% housing providers report their perceptions on the use of technology have changed as a result of COVID-19 while 74% feel that their requirements for telecare and wellbeing technologies have changed as a result of the pandemic. The document sets out four key reasons that support the strengthening and consolidation of the telecare offer within housing settings and makes recommendations on how to achieve this. The four reasons are: vulnerable communities need support to maintain their social connections – there is huge potential for housing providers to harness communication technologies to help connect older people and promote digital inclusion; remote working will be here to stay – 80% of housing providers believe video communication between residents and staff is becoming more important to their organisation because of COVID-19; how we access healthcare services will change – for instance, it is likely that the pandemic will be the catalyst for greater use of video appointments within the health sector; more services are being accessed online – in an uncertain world, with shielding and social distancing it is becoming even more vital to help older and vulnerable people to access support, and services from paying bills online to accessing pensions and shopping from home while keeping safe.

Last updated on hub: 04 August 2020

590 people’s stories of leaving hospital during COVID-19

Healthwatch England

This report shines a light on people’s experiences of getting home from hospital during the pandemic. In March 2020, the Government introduced a new hospital discharge policy to help the NHS free up beds by getting people out of hospital quickly. This meant anyone who may need out-of-hospital support to help them recover would now have their needs assessed after being discharged (discharge to assess), rather than in hospital. The report drawn on a survey over 500 patients and carers and 47 in-depth interviews with health and care professionals involved in the hospital discharge process. Key findings include: 82% of respondents did not receive a follow-up visit and assessment at home and almost one in five of these reported an unmet care needs; some people felt their discharge was rushed, with around one in five feeling unprepared to leave hospital; over a third of people were not given a contact who they could get in touch with for further advice after discharge; overall patients and families were very positive about healthcare staff, praising their efforts during such a difficult time; around a third of people faced an issue with delayed COVID-19 test results. The research indicates the discharge to assess model could be beneficial for patients and staff if properly resourced and implemented. However, the high proportion of people who did not receive information about the changed process or an assessment from a health professional reveals that the approach set out in the policy remains in many places an ambition, rather than a reality. In the medium term this model also needs embedding within broader health and social care reforms.

Last updated on hub: 29 October 2020

A balanced approach to decision-making in supporting people with IDD in extraordinarily challenging times

Research in Developmental Disabilities

A balanced approach to decision-making during challenging times is necessary in order to avoid risks that jeopardize the lives and wellbeing of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The COVID-19 pandemic is the recent example of a crisis that places people with IDD at risk for lopsided societal reactions and threats to them or their wellbeing. Attention to decision-making is required to safeguard hard-earned achievements, including public policies and organization practices that emphasize human and legal rights, self-advocacy, individualized supports, inclusive environments, choices, and community inclusion. This paper suggests maintaining a holistic approach to understanding the lives and human functioning of people with IDD, a balanced approach to accountability and performance management, an understanding of the multidimensional properties of context, and a heightened vigilance in professional responsibility. A balanced approach will strengthen the likelihood of a return to high quality services and supports to people after the crisis, reduce loss of critical progress, and enhance stability across future social, political, and financial changes and challenges.

Last updated on hub: 13 November 2020

A care-led recovery from Coronavirus: the case for investment in care as a better post-pandemic economic stimulus than investment in construction

Women’s Budget Group

This briefing sets out why much-needed investment in care would promote employment, reduce the gender employment gap and would be a first step in building a resilient, sustainable and more equal economy. It argues that the Covid-19 pandemic has catalysed a revaluation of care, health and employment structures, exposing pre-existing problems, creating an opportunity for transformative change and an economic stimulus that focuses on care. The report finds that investment in care has the potential to mitigate the worst employment effects of the Coronavirus recession. Specifically, investing in care would creates 2.7 times as many jobs as the same investment in construction – 6.3 as many for women and 10% more for men; increasing the numbers working in care to 10% of the employed population, as in Sweden and Denmark, and giving all care workers a pay rise to the real living wage would create 2 million jobs, increasing overall employment rates by 5% points and decreasing the gender employment gap by 4% points; 50% more can be recouped by the Treasury in direct and indirect tax revenue from investment in care than in construction; and investment in care is greener than in construction, producing 30% less greenhouse gas emissions – a care-led recovery is a green led recovery.

Last updated on hub: 30 September 2020

A catalyst for change: what COVID-19 has taught us about the future of local government

Nesta

This paper draws together insights from the experiences of local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland during the first six months of the COVID-19 crisis, providing an overview of their response, and of the changes needed to meet the demands of the pandemic. It discusses the upcoming challenges that could hamper the efforts of councils to embed and build upon these positive changes and set a positive vision for the future of local government in the aftermath of this crisis. This vision illustrates what local government could look like in ten years if it is able to preserve and build upon the progress made during the pandemic. The paper identifies several trends that are of particular significance to local government over the coming years: remote working will be retained by a large proportion of staff, including frontline staff; digital tools will enable a large proportion of council-run services to be delivered remotely; increased and enhanced public participation and engagement will lead to improved decision-making and better outcomes for communities; sharing power with local communities across design, delivery and ownership of services and assets will enhance their quality and produce wider benefits to communities in the form of empowerment, resilience and cohesion; greater and new types of collaboration between councils, statutory partners, the third and private sectors and communities will achieve better outcomes for their people and places; and greater devolution from central government will provide local areas with longer-term funding commitments and greater flexibility to design policy for their local context. This guide is part of the New Operating Models Handbook, a set of learning products which explore the new operating models emerging in local government, supporting innovation and asset-based practice.

Last updated on hub: 07 October 2020

A child-centred recovery

Local Government Association

This document outlines ambitions for a child-centred post-Covid recovery, drawing together every aspect of policy and service delivery to create the places people want to live in and plan for the future. It outlines the immediate challenges as a result of the pandemic and what we need to do to tackle them; consider how councils and the Government can implement more child-centred approaches to policy and decision-making, to make sure that children are at the heart; and looks at the challenges we face in the longer-term to deliver the great places to grow up that children need and deserve. The report identifies three immediate priorities: a cross-Whitehall strategy that puts children and young people at the heart of recovery; investment in local safety nets and the universal and early help services, including mental health and wellbeing services, that children, young people and their families will need to support them through the short and long-term impacts of the pandemic; dedicated action to prevent the attainment gap from widening, including immediate work to stabilise the early years sector and support children and young people to attend school or to continue learning from home where required. The report argues that a child-centred recovery is about far more than services directly responsible for children and young people. Children deserve to grow up in good quality, stable homes, in safe areas offering positive long-term opportunities, with good access to the services they need.

Last updated on hub: 27 October 2020

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