COVID-19 resources

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Levelling up communities: paper one

Covid Recovery Commission

This first report by the Covid Recovery Commission presents an initial analysis on how inequality impacts on individuals, neighbourhoods and communities right across the UK and how these inequalities have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. It shows that the pandemic has hit disadvantaged communities hardest – in the 20% most deprived neighbourhoods there has been an average of 21 more Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 population compared to the least deprived neighbourhoods. Furthermore, neighbourhoods in the highest 10% of unemployment benefit claims prior to Covid-19 have seen a 5.4 percentage point increase in claims, compared to a 2.3 percentage point increase for those in the 10% with the lowest claim rate prior to the pandemic. Finally, people who say that they cannot afford an unexpected expense have seen a larger rise in depression during the pandemic – more than a third of people who cannot afford an unexpected expense report having severe to moderate symptoms of depression. The report argues that a new approach to levelling up is needed to tackle these inequalities. This should focus on local impacts and use a comprehensive strategy, wider than simply rebalancing economic fortunes, to ensure the UK economy and society is fairer post-Covid-19, than it was before. It identifies and explores some areas which warrant further discussion, and include: decision making that focuses on people and places; building personal and community resilience; improving mental and physical health; and delivering educational opportunities.

Last updated on hub: 13 October 2020

A telling experience: understanding the impact of Covid-19 on people who access care and support: a rapid evidence review with recommendations

Think Local Act Personal

A review of the evidence exploring the impact of the Care Act Easements (CAE) and/or Covid-19 on the lives of people who accessed care and support, and unpaid carers. The evidence reviewed pointed to the general confusion and anxiety of the early pandemic upon the general public and specifically upon those who accessed care and support, focusing on: loneliness and isolation; financial pressures; practical issues around food shopping; increase in health anxiety; and changes to the streetscape. The research also revealed more specific findings related to those who accessed care and support and their unpaid or family carers, including: an overarching challenge around communications; concerns around Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); cancellations of respite and day services; and some examples of changes to care packages. The review also identifies areas of good practice and learning which might be drawn upon to help build a legacy for future care and support, including: support to shape future communications and advice around a potential second Covid-19 wave; building on aspects of flexible and agile working, particularly in terms of digital models of provision; supported living and extra care providers such as Shared Lives; potential of personalisation reaffirmed as the cornerstone of future delivery; pockets of good practice around co-production to build upon for future learning; innovation and good practice in commissioning to build a new a vision for mental health support and more widely across health and social care; potential of the informal networks of Mutual Aid groups and neighbourhood support and of national networks to share information, good practice and learning at a sector leadership level.

Last updated on hub: 13 October 2020

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on child welfare: online abuse

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

This briefing uses insight from NSPCC helpline contacts and Childline counselling sessions to highlight the impact of online abuse on children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic. It focuses on perpetrators targeting children online for sexual abuse and contains quotes from children and young people reporting their experience. Key themes include: the impact of online sexual abuse on children; online grooming; loneliness and self-esteem; using online platforms for the first time; sharing sexual images; sexual exploitation; and speaking out about abuse. The briefing highlights that while children and young people have been able to access important support via the internet during the coronavirus pandemic, perpetrators have also been provided with more opportunities to target children for sexual abuse online. Techniques used by perpetrators include: using multiple channels to communicate with children; moving conversations from one platform to another; and taking conversations from public to private online spaces. The report calls for expansive and ambitious Online Harms regulation across the UK, to help keep children safe. This includes: a Duty of Care on online platforms; a regulator that has comprehensive investigatory, disclosure and enforcement powers to address online risks; and user advocacy arrangements, funded by an industry levy, to provide counterbalance to industry engagement and ensure children’s needs are represented in regulatory decisions.

Last updated on hub: 13 October 2020

The COVID‐19 pandemic and its impact on children in domestic violence refuges

Child Abuse Review

This short report, reports the findings of a a web‐based survey of domestic violence refuges in Norway (N = 46) distributed on 8 April 2020 with the aim of obtaining an overview of the impact of the COVID‐19 crisis and the virus control measures implemented on 13 March 2020 on victims of domestic violence and abuse. During lockdown in Norway, all daycare centres and schools were closed immediately, as were many small businesses, including restaurants and shops. Moreover, all gatherings, such as sporting events and concerts, were banned. These and numerous other restrictions in Norway during the spring of 2020 represented the most extreme measures enforced by the Norwegian government since the Second World War. Many of the restrictions have significantly impacted the lives of children and adolescents, especially the closing of daycare centres, schools and arenas in which many children spend their leisure time, such as football fields, swimming pools and art centres. Three key themes identified in the survey responses were: concern for children living with domestic violence outside of the refuge; concern for children and adolescents living at the refuge; and services that are flexible and accustomed to crisis situation. While at time of writing, the lockdown had been lifted in Norway, the authors report that the lives of children and adolescents remain very much affected by the pandemic, and there is reason to believe that the last few months have seen an increase in violence against children.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

From unnoticed to invisible: the impact of COVID‐19 on children and young people experiencing domestic violence and abuse

Child Abuse Review

This continuing professional development paper provides an overview of the impact that COVID‐19 has had on specialist services delivering support to children and young people experiencing domestic violence and abuse (DVA). It draws upon the experiences of being the operational manager of two specialist children's services. The target audience includes professionals working with young people in a range of settings including schools, youth clubs and statutory services. This understanding also contributes a valuable insight into those with a strategic or commissioning responsibility to provide support services for children and young people.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

From crisis to coordination: challenges and opportunities for integrated care posed by the COVID-19 pandemic

International Journal of Integrated Care

Editorial. Suggests that our response to the COVID-19 pandemic is hampered by the lack of essential data and knowledge. Any thorough analysis of the policies and their consequences will not be possible for some time to come. Suggests that the only thing we can say with certainty is that COVID-19 has demonstrated the shortcomings of our health and social systems, shortcomings exacerbated by political inertia in addressing complex societal challenges through population-based approaches. The article also points to three persistent and well-known challenges which now need addressing. These include that, responses to COVID-19 have largely NOT been integrated, leading to adverse outcomes; responses continue to demonstrate inequalities in care and outcomes to vulnerable populations; and the need to build evidence for an integrated and coordinated response, and to inform and drive policy and practice. The editorial concludes that COVID-19 has accentuated the stark reality that, despite the efforts of the past 20 years, there remains a continued failure to embrace integrated care systems. It has also demonstrated how quickly systems, organisations and individuals can change, if they must.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

COVID‐19 in the geriatric population

International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Objectives: The global COVID‐19 pandemic has caused rapid and monumental changes around the world. Older people, who already experience higher rates of social isolation and loneliness, are more susceptible to adverse effects as a result of the social distancing protocols enacted to slow the spread of COVID‐19. Based on prior outbreaks, the authors speculate the detrimental outcomes and offer solutions. Methods: Reviewing the literature on the detrimental effects of social isolation and loneliness and higher mortality in the older population. Utilizing psychological study outcomes from prior major outbreaks such as in SARS, Ebola, H1N1 influenza, and Middle East respiratory syndrome offer predictions and the susceptibility in the geriatric age group. Results: Organizations such as the WHO, Centers for Disease Control, and American Association of Retired Persons have put measures in place to provide networking on a local, regional, and national level. These efforts are designed to start mitigating such detrimental effects. A necessary follow‐up to this pandemic will be gathering data on unique populations such as the geriatric community, to better mitigate adverse outcomes given the certainty that COVID‐19 will not be the last global viral outbreak. Conclusions: The results of worsened social isolation and loneliness is associated with significantly increased morbidity and mortality in the geriatric population. Various solutions including virtual interactions with loved ones, engaging in physical activity, continuing any spiritual or religious prayers remotely, and community services to provide aid for the older population are all efforts to minimize social isolation and loneliness.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

Ensuring equity for people living with disabilities in the age of COVID-19

Disability and Society

People with disabilities are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. They may also suffer from lack of accessible emergency preparedness plans, communication and healthcare. Protective measures for people with disabilities should be endorsed and prioritized at a community level to adjust for social distancing. Repositories of local resources for emergency outreach in this time are also crucial. Telemedicine offers an innovative and safe way for health providers to care for people with disabilities to access many critical services without placing themselves or their caregivers at increased risk of contracting COVID-19. Communication strategies for critical information about resources for people with disabilities should be accessible. United States hospitals and government agencies should make allocation guideline proposals accessible to people with disabilities and incorporate bias training.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

Research briefing three: digital social work – the emergence of hybrid practice during the COVID-19 pandemic

University of Birmingham

This briefing examines emerging findings showing where and how digital social work practices have played a useful role in child protection work during the COVID-19 pandemic. It explores challenges encountered in the use of digital technologies and highlights circumstances in which newly emerging hybrid digital-physical practices help keep children safe or offer additional benefits for social workers and the families they support. Topics covered include: transitioning to the digital; video calls disrupting social workers’ expectations of themselves and their practice; learning to work digitally; video calls as face-to-face visits; video calls as a way to build relationships; hybrid digital-physical social work and possible hybrid practice futures; and digital inequalities. The study shows that digital social work and the hybrid practices it generates can provide a number of benefits. This might usefully be taken forward as part of an expanded set of techniques for support, communication and evaluation in social work, whereby their use is tailored to families on a case-specific basis. Yet these options need to be considered in the context of the ever deepening social and economic inequalities that characterise the UK at the moment, to ensure that they are designed in such a way that is equitable, fair and inclusive.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

Coronavirus: adult social care key issues and sources

House of Commons Library

An overview of key issues facing the adult social care sector during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, including links to some of the key official guidance for the sector. Section one of this briefing provides a high-level overview of policy in relation to adult social care since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in early 2020, including the development of key UK Government guidance. The second section provides more detailed information on some key issues that have been raised during the course of the outbreak, including: statistics on deaths in care homes; funding for adult social care, including the financial pressures on social care providers; testing for care home staff and residents; the discharging of patients from hospital into care homes; rules relating to visiting care homes for friends and family of residents; and the supply of PPE to the adult social care sector.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020