COVID-19 resources

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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

Reducing health inequalities associated with Covid-19

NHS Providers

This framework offers principles for a population health level approach to understanding and taking action on health inequalities which have developed or worsened as a result of the COVID-19 crisis that began in 2019/20. It focuses on what NHS acute hospital trusts and mental health and community trusts can do, working as part of an integrated health and care system. The framework is intended to help NHS provider trusts to systematically review, describe, prioritise and further develop their role in addressing health inequalities during response and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and as part of their broader core efforts to meet the needs of their local population. The framework is designed to assist NHS provider trusts to address three main areas: the principles that should be used across the healthcare system to ensure the response to Covid-19 does not increase health inequalities; the priority actions for providers to implement, working in the context of the population and its healthcare system; the indicators that should be used to monitor the impact of Covid-19 on health inequalities. The principles for action include: supporting integrated, co-ordinated person centre care; ensuring services are accessible fo all, particularly those at risk of exclusion; health and care services should always be allocated based on healthcare need, striving in particular for equity of outcome, with a principle of proportional universalism embedded; wider determinants of health should be addressed and funded at a place-based level, harnessing available community assets; health and care staff should be valued and supported to maintain wellbeing and to enable delivery of high quality, person-centred care in all settings.

Last updated on hub: 01 December 2020

Digital health and Covid-19: a PRSB consultation

Professional Record Standards Body

Based on consultation with PRSB members and partners including the royal colleges, social care system leaders, health care providers, patient groups and regulators, this report examines the digital transformation of health and care services during the pandemic and recommends how the system can use the lessons from COVID-19 to advance digital change, while maintaining safety and prioritising citizen’s needs. The report indicates the emergence of some clear priorities for action in relation to digital health and care. These focus on harnessing the enthusiasm of service users and professionals for digital; self-management and remote monitoring; improving information collection and data exchange; safety; resetting and supporting evolving models of care in urgent and emergency services; shared decision making and end of life care; social care, working on a system-wide implementation plan for new social care standards to build support for digital transformation across health and care and to support the future of integrated care.

Last updated on hub: 01 December 2020

Children’s rights in Great Britain: submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

Equality and Human Rights Commission

This submission aims to provide the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) with information on the implementation of the rights set out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in Great Britain since it was last reviewed by the UN CRC in 2016. The thematic areas covered include: equality and human rights framework, looking at the implications of Covid-19 and Brexit; living standards and poverty; education; children in institutions; youth justice; refugee and migrant children; health, including mental health; and violence and personal safety, covering violence against children and trafficking and exploitation. The report raises concerns about how the pandemic is exacerbating existing inequalities, and having a devastating impact on children’s rights, well-being and futures. Key concerns include more children being pushed into poverty, widening educational inequalities and worsening mental health. School closures and inequalities in home-learning environments also risk exacerbating growing attainment gaps for certain groups, including disabled pupils, some ethnic minorities, and those who are socio-economically disadvantaged. The shift to online learning risks undermining the right to education and may have a long-term effect on attainment. The report also cites challenges affecting special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision in schools, with staff shortages, social distancing rules and the need to concentrate resources on the health emergency resulting in local authorities reducing SEND provision and, in some cases, ceasing it all together. Although the effect of the pandemic on children’s mental health is not yet fully understood, the report warns that the combined impact of limited capacity within the mental health service and children being cut off from support at school, could be severe and long-lasting.

Last updated on hub: 01 December 2020