COVID-19 resources

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Back on track: supporting young people out of lockdown

YMCA

This report explores what impact COVID-19 and the lockdown have had on young people, using existing evidence to root out what good solutions could look like, and suggesting a road map forward to how we rebuild our society and the lives of young people. The report finds that This report finds young people are lonely – nine-in-ten report missing being face-to-face with people (92%), and three-quarters feel lonelier and more isolated during lockdown (77%); a virtual world can’t be the new normal, with three-quarters of young people (73%) tired of being online all the time; young people are struggling with school and their aspirations for the future are changing, with 56% being worried about falling behind and 41% being worried about getting a job; young people need safe spaces outside of the home to improve family cohesion, with more than half of young people (58%) feeling that their relationship with their family has become more strained during lockdown; prevention of young people’s poor mental health is key as more than two-fifths of young people report that they are worried about their mental health or wellbeing as they come out of the COVID-19 lockdown (42%). The report calls on the government to create a cross departmental strategy for children and young people’s recovery from COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown.

Last updated on hub: 03 September 2020

Poverty in the pandemic: the impact of coronavirus on low-income families and children

Child Poverty Action Group

Based on an online survey of 285 low-income families and in-depth interviews with 21 of these families between May and August 2020, this report offers insights into the day-to-day struggles that families have been dealing with, as well as their strength and resilience in managing such an array of challenges on a limited income. The analysis reveals that 8 in 10 hard-up families said they were financially worse off as a result of the pandemic; almost half have had physical or mental health problems because of coronavirus; parents worry about not meeting children’s needs; 48% have a new or worse debt problem; 23% experienced a relationship issue at home; and 46% have taken on extra caring responsibilities. Respondents highlighted the inadequacy of benefit levels to cover basic living costs; the long waiting period and additional delays in receiving the first universal credit payment, coupled with the variability and uncertainty in the amounts received; the impact of the benefit cap on families who had been furloughed at less than their full pay; and difficulty in knowing where to look for advice on claiming benefits and other support. In light of the findings, the report calls on the Government to: increase child benefit by £10 a week and add an extra £10 a week to the child element within universal credit and child tax credits; extend free school meals to all families who are in receipt of universal credit or working tax credit, with a view to bringing in universal free school meals for all children in the long term; and abolish the benefit cap, or at least suspend it for the duration of the pandemic, to protect families whose employment has been disrupted by the crisis.

Last updated on hub: 03 September 2020

No way out: children stuck in B&Bs during lockdown

Children’s Commissioner for England

An analysis of the impact of Covid-19 crisis, drawing on data from the 15 local authorities with the highest numbers of children in B&B accommodation. This research estimates that there were between 1,100 – 2,000 families in England in B&Bs on 23 March. It is estimated that this range has dropped to between 750 and 1,350 by the time full lockdown ended on 31 May. Furthermore, there was an increase in the proportion of families who had spent longer than 6 weeks in B&Bs between 23 March and 31 May, despite this being unlawful. The report argues that while living in a B&B has never been appropriate for a child, the problems have been amplified during Covid-19. Unable to attend school, children living in cramped conditions were struggling to complete schoolwork, putting them at a distinct disadvantage from their peers. Although families were technically still able to go to parks for their exercise during this time, many families were too anxious to do so. The stresses of living in a B&B are heightened when families share the building with vulnerable adults also being housed by the council or other services, such as those with mental health or drug abuse problems – being unable to escape the B&B during lockdown would have increased feelings of anxiety. In addition, the lockdown, reduced the opportunities for contact between homeless families and the professionals that normally protect them. The Children’s Commissioner calls for: support for children who were homeless during lockdown; all families housed in B&Bs to be moved out of them in the event of further local or national lockdowns; and action to prevent new family homelessness in the coming weeks and months.

Last updated on hub: 03 September 2020

What you need to know when visiting a care home (new guidance for COVID-19)

Healthwatch England

A breakdown of current guidance on visiting care homes during coronavirus. It addresses key aspects and questions, including: when to to visit a care home; what advice to expect; whether a test is required to be able to visit my relative; how to travel to the care home; what is likely to change when visiting a loved one; how many people can visit a care home at a time; what happens if there is an outbreak at the care home; and what happens if there is a local lockdown.

Last updated on hub: 03 September 2020

Impacts of pandemics and epidemics on child protection: lessons learned from a rapid review in the context of COVID-19

United Nations Children's Emergency Fund

This rapid review collates and synthesises evidence on the child protection impacts of COVID-19 and previous pandemics, epidemics and infectious disease outbreaks. It provides lessons for global and national responses to COVID19 and recommendations for future research priorities. While the evidence is limited, the findings suggest that there are various pathways through which infectious disease outbreaks can exacerbate vulnerabilities, generate new risks and result in negative outcomes for children. Outcomes are typically multi-layered, with immediate outcomes for children, families and communities – such as being orphaned, stigmatisation and discrimination and reductions in household income – leading to further negative risks and outcomes for children in the intermediate term. These risks include child labour and domestic work, harmful practices (including early marriage), and early and adolescent pregnancy. Lessons from previous pandemics and epidemics suggest that the following could mitigate the child protection risks: responding to children in vulnerable circumstances, including orphans (e.g. through psychosocial interventions focused on improving mental health and community-based interventions); responding to stigmatisation and discrimination (e.g. through information and communication campaigns and support from public health systems, communities and schools); investing in social protection to enable livelihoods during outbreaks and to counteract shocks; promoting access to health, protective and justice services, particularly for girls, who may be adversely affected. The report also argues that evidence generation strategies during and after the COVID-19 crisis should consider rigorous retrospective reviews and building upon monitoring, evidence and learning functions of pre-existing programmes.

Last updated on hub: 03 September 2020

COVID-19 insights: impact on workforce skills

Skills for Health

Based on the Covid-19 Workforce Survey, this report explores the extent of the pandemic’s impact on the health sector employers and employees. It reveals that the pressure of working in the healthcare sector during the pandemic has led to many staff retiring or resigning. As a result, nearly half of the respondents report that their organisation is planning on increasing recruitment over the next 6 months. However, several organisations have frozen training activities which has led to skills gaps. The pandemic has brought along new ways of working which has meant that COVID-19 awareness and knowledge relating to social distancing as well as infection prevention and control have become crucial for healthcare staff. In addition, the sector has seen a change in the clinical management of patients with COVID-19 infection as well as an increase in home working and the use of PPE – however, 40.6% of respondents state that their organisation was not adequately prepared for this sudden shift in working methods. Many respondents report on issues obtaining PPE as well as inadequate IT systems and digital skills to facilitate remote working. As a result of the pandemic, 44.3% of employers report that their organisational structure will look different. To aid revised organisational structures and potential new ways of working, employers state that they would like immediate support with staff wellbeing processes, employee engagement and workforce planning.

Last updated on hub: 03 September 2020

Beyond COVID: New thinking on the future of adult social care

Social Care Institute for Excellence

SCIE's position paper for commissioners and senior managers working in the health and social care sector sets out the findings of Beyond COVID: new thinking on the future of adult social care.

Last updated on hub: 03 September 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: information for providers

Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) dedicated page for providers to keep up to date. Includes notifications, information about registration and running a service and providing care during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 02 September 2020

What elements of a systems’ approach to bereavement are most effective in times of mass bereavement? A narrative systematic review with lessons for COVID-19

Palliative Medicine

Background: The global COVID-19 pandemic has left health and social care systems facing the challenge of supporting large numbers of bereaved people in difficult and unprecedented social conditions. Previous reviews have not comprehensively synthesised the evidence on the response of health and social care systems to mass bereavement events. Aim: To synthesise the evidence regarding system-level responses to mass bereavement events, including natural and human-made disasters as well as pandemics, to inform service provision and policy during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Design: A rapid systematic review was conducted, with narrative synthesis. The review protocol was registered prospectively (www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero, CRD 42020180723). Data sources: MEDLINE, Global Health, PsycINFO and Scopus databases were searched for studies published between 2000 and 2020. Reference lists were screened for further relevant publications, and citation tracking was performed. Results: Six studies were included reporting on system responses to mass bereavement following human-made and natural disasters, involving a range of individual and group-based support initiatives. Positive impacts were reported, but study quality was generally low and reliant on data from retrospective evaluation designs. Key features of service delivery were identified: a proactive outreach approach, centrally organised but locally delivered interventions, event-specific professional competencies and an emphasis on psycho-educational content. Conclusion: Despite the limitations in the quantity and quality of the evidence base, consistent messages are identified for bereavement support provision during the pandemic. High quality primary studies are needed to ensure service improvement in the current crisis and to guide future disaster response efforts.

Last updated on hub: 02 September 2020

The National Mental Capacity Forum: Chair's annual report 2019-2020

Ministry of Justice

This is the fourth annual report of the National Mental Capacity Forum. Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 crisis, the report spans three main aspects of the Forum’s work: evaluation of the efficacy of the Forum over its first four years in changing awareness of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and its implementation; the legislative changes that resulted in the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 to move from Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) to Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS); and actions taken from the outset of the pandemic to meet the needs of those who are protected by the MCA and support those providing care and having responsibility for the wellbeing of people with impairments of mental capacity.

Last updated on hub: 01 September 2020