COVID-19 resources

Results 401 - 410 of 1465

Key workers: creative ageing in lockdown and after

The Baring Foundation

This report focuses on creative ageing during the pandemic, drawing on a small survey of 62 arts organisations as well as short case studies describing their experience of offering activities during lockdown. During lockdown there were many artists skilled in working with older people and with established relationships including with care homes and housing associations, as well as with charities for older people. Lockdown meant that these arts organisations needed to develop new ways of working with older people which had until then almost always been in person. Most organisations swiftly developed online offers of activities, usually from scratch. These were either interactive, for instance using Zoom, or performances or ‘how to’ sessions that might be on YouTube or similar platforms. Keenly aware of the digital divide, these were almost always accompanied by non-digital methods such as telephone contact and activity packs through the post and often extended to other services such as befriending or delivering food. The report argues that towards the end of 2020 the future for creative ageing looks uncertain, with the nation depending on social distancing and many older people and care homes being extremely cautious about interacting with other people. For the foreseeable future this is likely to be a blended approach of remote working methods that are both digital and non-digital. More needs to delivered by care home staff though they are already overstretched. Crucially, arts organisations will be reliant on the support of funders, especially in the arts and health sectors.

Last updated on hub: 09 November 2020

COVID-19 and disruptions to the health and social care of older people in England

Institute for Fiscal Studies

This report uses newly available survey data to examine how health and social care has been disrupted among the older population in England in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides evidence of how widespread were the disruptions to the use of hospitals, GPs and community and social care services, and access to prescription medication, from February 2020 to May 2020. The analysis reveals that disruptions to hospital care were widespread during the early stages of the pandemic – a sixth of the over-50 population in England had hospital treatment or an operation cancelled. Older people, those living in more deprived areas and those with worse self-reported health were most likely to experience a disruption to their hospital care. Disruptions to the use of GP and community health and social care services were also widespread. Almost a quarter of those reporting that they needed to speak to a GP did not, while almost three-quarters of those reporting that they needed community health and social care services did not use these. 12.8% of those who reported ‘poor’ or ‘fair’ health failed to see a GP when attempting to do so, compared with just 5.8% among those with ‘excellent’ health. Those living in the most deprived areas were most affected by disruptions to community services. 37% of those living in the least deprived areas did not access these services even after attempting to do so, increasing to 46% among those living in the most deprived areas. Care-seeking behaviour changed radically in the early stages of the pandemic, with a significant proportion of patients with care needs not actively seeking help. 14% of those requiring GP care, and more than a third of those reporting that they needed community care services, did not contact these services.

Last updated on hub: 09 November 2020

Promising approaches revisited: effective action on loneliness in later life

Campaign to End Loneliness

Drawing on the expertise and experience of leading figures in the field, academic literature and other evidence, this report presents an update to an earlier framework for loneliness interventions published in 2015. The framework helps to make sense of the different ways we can address loneliness, and explains how these approaches fit together to create an effective community response. The guide offers examples of these approaches in action so that organisations can find inspiration from others. The new guide learns the lessons of the last five years – as well as the impact of the pandemic and how organisations tackling loneliness have adapted. Its key message is that to tackle loneliness, different types of support need to be in place. People need to have the infrastructure to engage in social life, whether that is about digital, transport or a built environment that supports social life. Finally, there are direct ways of reducing loneliness whether that is one-to-one or in groups, or psychological support. A key change to the framework is the addition of the built environment as part of the ‘gateway infrastructure’ that helps tackle loneliness, recognising the role shops, cafes and pubs play as places to meet.

Last updated on hub: 09 November 2020

Supporting working carers in COVID-19: response and reflections: employer survey report

Carers UK

Findings of a research survey of 114 members of the Employers for Carers (EfC) business forum to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on working carers and how employers have supported them. The analysis shows that: 9 out of 10 employers (90%) said they had put in additional arrangements to support carers’ health and wellbeing during the pandemic; three quarters of employers said they had offered additional flexible working arrangements for carers; around 6 out of 10 employers (61%) offered different arrangements for staff who were caring for someone in the shielded category; half of employers said their organisation offered carers leave or special leave to carers within their workforce, and 34% said that they offered furloughing; there was a relatively even split between organisations who said they had a carers network or support group (44%) and those who did not (42%); a relatively high number (72%) said they had key workers in frontline roles that may place them at greater risk; around a half of respondents said their organisation had developed, or had plans to develop, new additional organisational/HR/other policies or procedures as a result of the pandemic; over a third of respondents felt their organisations had learned new practical lessons that would help them in supporting carer employees. Implementing better remote working and flexibility were key issues identified. The report highlights key areas of carer support which EfC member organisations have been providing during COVID-19 and makes a number of recommendations, calling on national and local government to optimise their communications around carers so that they are clear about what caring can continue in different areas during the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 09 November 2020

Advice and guidance on discharging COVID-19 positive patients to care homes

Royal College of Physicians

A brief summary of current advice and guidance about discharging patients to care homes. The main points are that: patients should be discharged as soon as they are fit, whether they are COVID-19 positive or not; COVID-19 positive patients being discharged into a care home setting can only be discharged into care homes that have been designated safe by the CQC – if their own care home is not COVID-19 safe, they need to be discharged into alternative accommodation; it is the responsibility of the local authority to find alternative accommodation.

Last updated on hub: 09 November 2020

Interventions to support the resilience and mental health of frontline health and social care professionals during and after a disease outbreak, epidemic or pandemic: a mixed methods systematic review (Review)


Objectives: to assess the effects of interventions aimed at supporting the resilience and mental health of frontline health and social care professionals during and after a disease outbreak, epidemic or pandemic. And to identify barriers and facilitators that may impact on the implementation of interventions aimed at supporting the resilience and mental health of frontline health and social care professionals during and after a disease outbreak, epidemic or pandemic. Methods: the researchers searched the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Global Index Medicus databases and WHO Institutional Repository for Information Sharing. They also searched ongoing trials registers and Google Scholar. They ran all searches from the year 2002 onwards, with no language restrictions. Selection criteria: this review included studies in which participants were health and social care professionals working at the front line during infectious disease outbreaks, categorised as epidemics or pandemics by WHO, from 2002 onwards. Outcomes critical to this review were general mental health and resilience. Additional outcomes included psychological symptoms of anxiety, depression or stress; burnout; other mental health disorders; workplace staffing; and adverse events arising from interventions. Data collection and analysis: Pairs of review authors independently applied selection criteria to abstracts and full papers, with disagreements resolved through discussion. One review author systematically extracted data, cross-checked by a second review author. Results: 16 studies were included that reported implementation of an intervention aimed at supporting the resilience or mental health of frontline workers during disease outbreaks (severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS): 2; Ebola: 9; Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS): 1; COVID‐19: 4). Interventions studied included workplace interventions, such as training, structure and communication (6 studies); psychological support interventions, such as counselling and psychology services (8 studies); and multifaceted interventions (2 studies). Objective 1: a mixed‐methods study that incorporated a cluster‐randomised trial, investigating the effect of a work‐based intervention, provided very low‐certainty evidence about the effect of training frontline healthcare workers to deliver psychological first aid on a measure of burnout. Objective 2: all 16 studies were included in the qualitative evidence synthesis, where 17 key findings from multiple barriers and facilitators reported in studies were identified. The reviewers did not have high confidence in any of the findings. The reviewers were moderately confident that the following two factors were barriers to intervention implementation: frontline workers, or the organisations in which they worked, not being fully aware of what they needed to support their mental well‐being; and a lack of equipment, staff time or skills needed for an intervention. The reviewers were moderately confident that the following three factors were facilitators of intervention implementation: interventions that could be adapted for local needs; having effective communication, both formally and socially; and having positive, safe and supportive learning environments for frontline workers. The reviewers were moderately confident that the knowledge or beliefs, or both, that people have about an intervention can act as either barriers or facilitators to implementation of the intervention. Conclusions: There is a lack of both quantitative and qualitative evidence from studies carried out during or after disease epidemics and pandemics that can inform the selection of interventions that are beneficial to the resilience and mental health of frontline workers. Alternative sources of evidence (e.g. from other healthcare crises, and general evidence about interventions that support mental well‐being) could therefore be used to inform decision making. When selecting interventions aimed at supporting frontline workers' mental health, organisational, social, personal, and psychological factors may all be important. Research to determine the effectiveness of interventions is a high priority. The COVID‐19 pandemic provides unique opportunities for robust evaluation of interventions. Future studies must be developed with appropriately rigorous planning, including development, peer review and transparent reporting of research protocols, following guidance and standards for best practice, and with appropriate length of follow‐up. Factors that may act as barriers and facilitators to implementation of interventions should be considered during the planning of future research and when selecting interventions to deliver within local settings.

Last updated on hub: 09 November 2020

A country report: impact of COVID-19 and inequity of health on South Korea’s disabled community during a pandemic

Disability and Society

The South Korean media boasts of its leading success–during the escalation of the coronavirus outbreak–in flattening of the curve thereby mitigating the grave outcomes of the public health crisis. Much of the success is reportedly attributed to the rapid and advanced development of test kits, essential equipment and implementation of protocols in precautionary measures. However, it has been an arduous task to stay afloat for one particular vulnerable community. The disabled citizens of Korea were confronted by the realities of health inequity during this disastrous period. Pre-existing the pandemic onset, the disabled community have faced stigmatization and under many circumstances de-prioritization by their own society. Through the lens of a visiting physician, my hope is to poignantly and respectfully share personal experiences and thoughts on these realties impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea.

Last updated on hub: 07 November 2020

Preparing social services and public services professionals for meaningful roles in disaster services

Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work

This manuscript reviews the importance of disaster preparedness for the social services and public services professional. The value in separating fact from fiction in regard to probabilities for biological, chemical, and nuclear terrorism is highlighted. The various phases of disaster preparedness are elucidated along with the components of the effective all-hazards plan. Consideration of the psychological impact of disasters is presented in conjunction with the role of the mental health worker in the amelioration of outcomes. The role of electronic technology in disaster preparedness is elaborated, and useful websites are cited to facilitate disaster planning.

Last updated on hub: 07 November 2020

Reducing SARS‐CoV‐2 transmission in the UK: a behavioural science approach to identifying options for increasing adherence to social distancing and shielding vulnerable people

British Journal of Health Psychology

Purpose: To describe and discuss a systematic method for producing a very rapid response (3 days) to a UK government policy question in the context of reducing SARS‐CoV‐2 transmission. Methods: A group of behavioural and social scientists advising the UK government on COVID‐19 contributed to the analysis and writing of advice through the Government Office for Science. The question was as follows: What are the options for increasing adherence to social distancing (staying at home except for essential journeys and work) and shielding vulnerable people (keeping them at home and away from others)? This was prior to social distancing legislation being implemented. The first two authors produced a draft, based on analysis of the current government guidance and the application of the Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW) framework to identify and evaluate the options. Results: For promoting social distancing, 10 options were identified for improving adherence. They covered improvements in ways of achieving the BCW intervention types of education, persuasion, incentivization, and coercion. For promoting shielding of vulnerable people, four options were identified covering the BCW intervention types of incentivization, coercion, and enablement. Conclusions: Responding to policymakers very rapidly as has been necessary during the COVID‐19 pandemic can be facilitated by using a framework to structure the thinking and reporting of multidisciplinary academics and policymakers.

Last updated on hub: 07 November 2020

Daily emotional well‐being during the COVID‐19 pandemic

British Journal of Health Psychology

The COVID‐19 outbreak has become one of the largest public health crises of our time. Governments have responded by implementing self‐isolation and physical distancing measures that have profoundly impacted daily life throughout the world. In this study, we aimed to investigate how people experience the activities, interactions, and settings of their lives during the pandemic. The sample (N = 604) was assessed in Ireland on the 25 March 2020, following the closure of schools and non‐essential businesses. We examined within‐person variance in emotional well‐being and how people spend their time. We found that while most time was spent in the home (74%), time spent outdoors (8%) was associated with markedly raised positive affect and reduced negative emotions. Exercising, going for walks, gardening, pursuing hobbies, and taking care of children were the activities associated with the greatest affective benefits. Home‐schooling children and obtaining information about COVID‐19 were ranked lowest of all activities in terms of emotional experience. These findings highlight activities that may play a protective role in relation to well‐being during the pandemic, the importance of setting limits for exposure to COVID‐19‐related media coverage, and the need for greater educational supports to facilitate home‐schooling during this challenging period.

Last updated on hub: 07 November 2020