COVID-19 resources

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The longest lockdown: the experiences of disabled children and their families during lockdown 3: survey 1

Disabled Children’s Partnership

Findings of a survey of a panel of 1,200 families capturing their experiences during lockdown. The panel has been set up to be broadly demographically representative of the population of families with disabled children across England in terms of geography, disability and ethnicity. 635 families responded to the first survey in January 2021, and this paper reports on what they told us. The findings reveal disabled children are not receiving support for their disability or medical condition via health services or their school placement. Parents report a detrimental impact of their child’s disability during a time of reduced level of informal and formal support at home during the pandemic. 75% of families reported delays to routine health appointments for their disabled child. Over half of families stated that these delays had a negative impact on their child’s condition. As a result of these delays, families reported additional problems with: anxiety and behavior (70%), sleep (66%) and loneliness (65%). More than 3 in 10 families felt their disabled child had depression. The situation is compounded for those children accessing support for their disability via their nursery, school, college or placement. 70% or more children could not access therapies such as occupational therapy, physical or physiotherapy, play therapy, speech and language therapy or music therapy. 72% of families reported that their EHCP or SEN plan had been negatively affected during the pandemic, with 67% stating that they were getting some or none of the support detailed.

Last updated on hub: 09 March 2021

The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Department of Health and Social Care

Emergency guidance for health and social care staff in England and Wales who are caring for adults who lack the relevant mental capacity to consent to their care and treatment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. The guidance is designed to minimise additional pressures on hospitals and care home and ensures that decision makers are clear about the steps they need to take. It focuses on new scenarios and potential ‘deprivations of liberty’ created by the outbreak. The guidance states that it may be necessary during the COVID-19 Pandemic to "to change the usual care and treatment arrangements of somebody who lacks the relevant mental capacity to consent to such changes" and that changes to a person’s care or treatment in these scenarios will not constitute a new deprivation of liberty. The guidance includes a decision-making flow chart for decision makers in hospitals and care home. The guidance will apply until withdrawn by the Department.[First published 9 April 2020; withdrawn on 10 August 2021, this emergency guidance no longer in use.].

Last updated on hub: 14 April 2020

The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: additional guidance

Department of Health and Social Care

Emergency guidance for health and social care staff in England and Wales who are caring for adults who lack the relevant mental capacity to consent to their care and treatment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. This document provides additional guidance to supplement 'The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic', which was published in April 2020. It includes guidance on: testing someone who lacks the relevant mental capacity; providing life-saving treatment to someone who lacks the capacity to consent; hospitals and care homes; and using emergency public health powers when someone who lacks relevant capacity needs to be isolated because they have symptoms and are not following public health advice. [First published 29 May 2020; last updated 12 January 2021]

Last updated on hub: 01 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

The mental health emergency: how has the coronavirus pandemic impacted our mental health?

MIND

Sets out findings of a survey to understand the experiences of people with pre-existing mental health problems during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the challenges that they are facing, the coping strategies that they are using, and the support they would like to receive. The report highlights how pre-existing inequalities have been worsened by the pandemic with some groups being more likely to report that their mental health has declined, including women, people with disabilities, those living in social housing, people with eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, or personality disorders, and frontline workers. Whilst the research did not find a significant difference in the overall rate of decline in mental health for people from BAME communities in comparison to White people, they did report that their mental health got worse. Key learnings set out in this report include: more than half of adults and over two thirds of young people said that their mental health has gotten worse during the period of lockdown restrictions, from early April to mid-May; restrictions on seeing people, being able to go outside and worries about the health of family and friends are the key factors driving poor mental health; feelings of loneliness have made nearly two thirds of people’s mental health worse during the past month; many people do not feel entitled to seek help, and have difficulty accessing it when they do; a quarter of adults and young people who tried to access support were unable to do so - not feeling comfortable using phone/video call technology has been one of the main barriers to accessing support.

Last updated on hub: 20 July 2020

The metrics matter: improving comparisons of COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

In the United States, nursing facility residents comprise fewer than 1% of the population but more than 40% of deaths due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Mitigating the enormous risk of COVID-19 to nursing home residents requires adequate data. The widely used Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 Nursing Home Dataset contains 2 derived statistics: Total Resident Confirmed COVID-19 Cases per 1000 Residents and Total Resident COVID-19 Deaths per 1000 Residents. These metrics provide a misleading picture, as facilities report cumulative counts of cases and deaths over different time periods but use a point-in-time measure as proxy for number of residents (number of occupied beds in a week), resulting in inflated statistics. This paper proposes an alternative statistic to better illustrate the burden of COVID-19 cases and deaths across nursing facilities. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting and Participants: Using the CMS Nursing Home Compare and COVID-19 Nursing Home Datasets, this study examined facilities with star ratings and COVID-19 data passing quality assurance checks for each reporting period from May 31 to August 16, 2020 (n = 11,115). Methods: This study derived an alternative measure of the number of COVID-19 cases per 1000 residents using the net change in weekly census. For each measure, this study compared predicted number of cases/deaths by overall star rating using negative binomial regression with constant dispersion, controlling for county-level cases per capita and nursing home characteristics. Results: The average number of cases per 1000 estimated residents using our method is lower compared with the metric using occupied beds as proxy for number of residents (44.8 compared with 66.6). This study found similar results when examining number of COVID-19 deaths per 1000 residents. Conclusions and Implications: Future research should estimate the number of residents served in nursing facilities when comparing COVID-19 cases/deaths in nursing facilities. Identifying appropriate metrics for facility-level comparisons is critical to protecting nursing home residents as the pandemic continues.

Last updated on hub: 29 April 2021

The more you know, the less you fear: reflexive social work practices in times of COVID-19

International Social Work

In this article, we present the results of a strategy to disseminate best social work practices during periods of social lockdown in Spain, in a climate characterised by post-truth, misinformation and fake news. Social work is challenged with the task of delivering reliable and quality information aimed at building a better society. At the time of writing, Spain was one of the countries most affected by COVID-19, with one of the highest numbers of deaths per million inhabitants in the world. With the population in lockdown, our strategy was to design a series of innovative web seminars on both the subject and the procedures involved in social work, with the aim of sharing information and best practices to counter disinformation campaigns on social media. The results show the growing demand – both by citizens in general and students and professionals in particular – for reliable information in the field of professional practice. One of the priorities of digital social work must be to disseminate its results in the digital environment.

Last updated on hub: 19 November 2020

The more you know, the less you fear: reflexive social work practices in times of COVID-19

International Social Work

This article presents the results of a strategy to disseminate best social work practices during periods of social lockdown in Spain, in a climate characterised by post-truth, misinformation and fake news. Social work is challenged with the task of delivering reliable and quality information aimed at building a better society. At the time of writing, Spain was one of the countries most affected by COVID-19, with one of the highest numbers of deaths per million inhabitants in the world. With the population in lockdown, the strategy was to design a series of innovative web seminars on both the subject and the procedures involved in social work, with the aim of sharing information and best practices to counter disinformation campaigns on social media. The results show the growing demand – both by citizens in general and students and professionals in particular – for reliable information in the field of professional practice. One of the priorities of digital social work must be to disseminate its results in the digital environment.

Last updated on hub: 15 October 2020

The multiple conditions guidebook – one year on

Richmond Group of Charities

This report revisits seven of the case studies featured in The Multiple Conditions Guidebook to find out how things are progressing in the year since their original publication. Conversations detailing the impact of Covid-19 on people with multiple conditions, and the practitioners and services supporting them, are set out in this report with case study updates from the Black Country (employment support), British Lung Foundation (peer support groups), Cornwall (self-management), Gateshead (GP health reviews), Luton (specialist exercise trainers), Southwark (social prescribing) and Yorkshire (medication reviews). Across all the case studies revisited the Taskforce heard how: there is fear and anxiety from the increased risk to life from the virus for people with pre-existing health conditions and for some a sense that these health conditions mean their lives are less valuable in the face of Covid-19; the restrictions in place to keep people safe mean that people’s health conditions are, more than ever, affecting their ability to go about their life as normal; the disruption to the health and care services that many rely on to keep well not only causes stress and worry but also a deterioration in people’s health.

Last updated on hub: 10 December 2020

The National Academy of medicine social care framework and COVID-19 care innovations

Journal of General Internal Medicine

Despite social care interventions gaining traction in the US healthcare sector in recent years, the scaling of healthcare practices to address social adversity and coordinate care across sectors has been modest. Against this backdrop, the coronavirus pandemic arrived, which re-emphasized the interdependence of the health and social care sectors and motivated health systems to scale tools for identifying and addressing social needs. A framework on integrating social care into health care delivery developed by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine provides a useful organizing tool to understand the social care integration innovations spurred by COVID-19, including novel approaches to social risk screening and social care interventions. As the effects of the pandemic are likely to exacerbate socioeconomic barriers to health, it is an appropriate time to apply lessons learned during the recent months to re-evaluate efforts to strengthen, scale, and sustain the health care sector’s social care activities.

Last updated on hub: 10 February 2021

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