COVID-19 resources

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One size does not fit all: moving towards delivering culturally competent services

Healthwatch Enfield

Findings of a survey to understand the impact of Coronavirus on local Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities across Enfield. A key lesson from this report is that specific community groups used different services in different ways and as a result had different views about the support they need. It is also clear that the existing methods of cascade with a strong reliance on online communication do not work for everybody in BAME groups. A common issue is the lack of trust in the system, based on people’s previous experiences of giving feedback, only to see no action resulting from their efforts. The report finds that: 54% of respondents said that they have not received the help and support they need; a significant proportion of respondents prefer to access information through television or radio in their own language; 1 in 10 people said that accessing services online had stopped them from getting the help they need; 40% said that English is not their first language; 30% said that they need a translator to communicate during health appointments, so using a telephone to do this was a problem for them; 53% of people reported that they would not be having the flu vaccine this year, and their comments provides clear reasons for this decision. The report makes six recommendations to ensure that individuals from BAME communities in Enfield are able to access the care and support they need in the future, including developing and investing in culturally competent research which is informed by communities and address areas of concern to them.

Last updated on hub: 07 December 2020

Rural Wisdom evaluation: the value of connection

National Development Team for Inclusion

This short report shares the experiences and reflections of the Volunteering Matters Cymru team leading the Rural Wisdom project in Wales on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had upon their work. Rural Wisdom is a five-year National Lottery funded project exploring the impact of community-based activities that are led by older people living in rural areas in Scotland and Wales. In sharing these reflections, the report aims to provide others living and working in rural areas to apply and benefit from what works, in fast-paced and challenging times. For older people, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been incredibly detrimental. The issues identified, around loneliness, isolation and vulnerability, have been exacerbated by the measures to shield and isolate from family, friends and the wider community over a prolonged period of time. Building and maintaining connections with people, even remotely, has never been so important. Despite restrictions older people are still willing and able to contribute to their communities. Development Workers are working with people over the age of 70 who still volunteer but have adapted what they do based on their circumstances and restrictions, for example being a telephone befriender. Through engagement events, local community councils and steering groups, older people are still having a voice and influencing change; the difference is that they now meet online. Where groups or events have been sustained and taken on by the community the pandemic has only put a pause on their activity, although it is hard to tell how long for. However, other activities such as the school lunch club that had not been running long enough for it to be embedded or sustained, may need support to get re-started.

Last updated on hub: 07 December 2020

COVID-19 and the wellbeing of the adult social care workforce: evidence from the UK

Personal Social Services Research Unit

The coronavirus pandemic has badly hit the social care sector in Britain. The impact on the health of care recipients, and the operation of care settings has been well documented. However, the experience of the social care workforce has been less fully explored. This report presents and discusses the findings from a ‘pulse’ survey of care workers undertaken in July/August 2020. We show that many care workers experienced increased workloads, reduced feelings of safety at work, and increased levels of stress, some of which significantly differed by care setting. However, many remained committed to the sector, despite the challenges. The results highlight the need for the development of tailored practical strategies and guidance to support care workers' wellbeing at work. An adequate level of supply of relevant equipment and testing along with relevant training remain crucial for both the workforce and service quality. While the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the effect of long-standing cracks in the social care sector, an urgent response is required to maintain the ability of the sector and its workforce to meet the escalating demands for social care.

Last updated on hub: 07 December 2020

The vulnerability of nursing home residents to the Covid-19 pandemic

International Journal of Care Coordination

Residents in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities comprise a large percentage of the deaths from Covid 19. Is this inevitable or are there problems with NHs and their care that increase the susceptibility of their residents. The first U.S. cluster of cases involved the residents, staff, and visitors of a Seattle-area nursing home. Study of this cluster suggested that infected staff members were transmitting the disease to residents. The quality of nursing home care has long been a concern and attributed to chronic underfunding and resulting understaffing. Most NH care is delivered by minimally trained nursing assistants whose low pay and limited benefits compel them to work in multiple long-term care settings, increasing their risk of infection, and work while ill. More comparative studies of highly infected long-term care facilities with those organizations that were able to better protect their residents are urgently needed. Early evidence suggests that understaffing of registered nurses may increase the risk of larger outbreaks.

Last updated on hub: 03 December 2020

Monitoring the Mental Health Act in 2019/20: the Mental Health Act in the COVID-19 pandemic

Care Quality Commission

This annual report on CQC monitoring of the Mental Health Act (MHA) puts a specific focus on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on patients detained under the MHA, and on the services that care for and treat them. The findings indicate that: planning for individuals’ discharge from hospital continues to be essential and is particularly important during the pandemic period due to the increased burden on all services, including those in the community; some services showed exemplary practice in the co-production of care with patients, including infection control measures; in many services the physical environment requires modernisation and doing so would have the added positive impact of making infection control easier; some services continued to uphold restrictions on patients’ movement, activities and leave for longer than seemed necessary; many services invested in software to help detained patients to stay connected with their family and other sources of support during the pandemic; detained patients’ access to advocacy services was made more difficult during the pandemic, but such services played an even more crucial role where patients’ lives were more limited by infection control measures; there needs to be careful evaluation of using remote technology should aspects of them continue after the pandemic abates.

Last updated on hub: 03 December 2020

Visits out of care homes

Department of Health and Social Care

This document sets out how care homes can support residents of working age on visits outside of the care home. Outward visits are an important part of life for many in residential care. However, spending time with others outside the care home will increase risk of exposure to COVID for the resident and potentially to other vulnerable residents on their return. These risks are usually significantly greater for older people than for those of working age. As such, visits out of care homes should only be considered for care home residents of working age. Care homes should, however, support visits out for older people in exceptional circumstances, such as to visit a friend or relative at the end of their life. This guidance explains how visits out of a care home can take place; the role of the provider in supporting outward visiting; and the need for individual risk assessments.[First published 1 December 2020; last updated 12 January 2021]

Last updated on hub: 03 December 2020

The annual report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills 2019/20


This Annual Report looks at schools, early years, further education and skills and children’s social care for the academic year 2019 to 2020. Ofsted’s findings are based on inspection evidence from inspections of, and visits to, schools, colleges and providers of social care, early years and further education and skills. The report also draws on findings from research and analysis this year. The report reflects an year of two halves (the ‘pre-COVID’ period from September 2019 to March 2020, and the ‘post-COVID’ period that followed) and insights from each period, but also highlights the commonalities across time and remits. Sections include a commentary of the findings; data on Ofsted’s activities; early years and childcare providers; schools; further education and skills; social care. Inspections under the education inspection framework (EIF) started in September 2019. Ofsted judgements of overall effectiveness remained high and largely unchanged. The concerns of some that the new framework would lead to turbulence in inspection grade profiles have not been borne out. Overall, half of the 151 local authority children’s services in England have now been judged to be good or outstanding. This is an increase from just over one third after each local authority’s first inspection under the single inspection framework (SIF). The percentage judged inadequate is also lower, at 14%. Inspections of children’s homes, under the social care common inspection framework (SCCIF), show that the vast majority of homes (80%) are currently good or outstanding. SEND inspections, on the other hand, point to a lack of a coordinated response from education and health services in many local areas.

Last updated on hub: 03 December 2020

Staying mentally well this winter

Department of Health and Social Care

This plan sets out the steps that government is taking in the immediate term to help mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on people’s mental health and wellbeing this winter. It outlines the key resources being provided to look after mental wellbeing, government plans to empower everyone to look after their wellbeing and strengthen the support available for those struggling in communities, commitments to ensure services are there to support those who need it, and the packages available to help keep our frontline workers well.

Last updated on hub: 03 December 2020

Building a resilient system: reflections and insights from health and care leaders

Carnall Farrar

This report draws on the thoughts and experiences of 38 key leaders across health and social care to develop a concept of a “resilient system”. This encapsulates new ways of collaborating at all levels to deliver person-centred, place-based care that builds on the lessons of the pandemic. Leaders shared their reflections from the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic and their insights on how they are shifting their approach, both to their work and to their leadership style. A three-part roundtable series was also held to address top themes and guiding principles. System resilience is an active, integrated approach to responding to crises, including surges in demand, without losing core functions. Resilient systems are able to shift service delivery and flex the workforce as needed to respond to rapid change. Resilient systems will deliver a balance between doing things once across the system and ensuring local flexibility. The report discusses the key ingredients of system resilience, including: person-centred, place-based care; empowered and engaged workforce; shared assets – estates, data and finance; and an evolving leadership approach.

Last updated on hub: 03 December 2020

A year in our lives

Centre for Mental Health

Brings together the stories of people across the UK and beyond to capture how the pandemic and lockdown have affected people’s mental health.

Last updated on hub: 03 December 2020