COVID-19 resources on care homes

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Local government and Covid-19: social care, a neglected service

Local Government Information Unit

This briefing looks at the state of the social care sector pre-pandemic and the impact that the virus has had on care homes and domiciliary care. There were over 4,000 deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes England in the two weeks up to 28 April – over four times the number recorded in residential and nursing homes up to that point and it is not clear whether the virus has yet reached its peak in this sector. The social care sector has been underfunded and under-valued by successive governments and was in a parlous state before the pandemic took hold. The briefing discusses: rates of infections and deaths in social care settings; continuing concerns about lack of adequate PPE provision to both care homes and domiciliary care providers; lack of testing for both care workers and residents/clients and what this means for the safety of social care provision; the additional costs of COVID-19 on local authorities and care providers in an already underfunded and unstable sector; and the lessons that can be learnt.

Last updated on hub: 08 July 2020

Impact of coronavirus in care homes in England: 26 May to 19 June 2020

The Office for National Statistics

Sets out the first results from the Vivaldi study, a large scale survey which looked at coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in 9,081 care homes providing care for dementia patients and the elderly in England. Across the care homes included in the study, 56% are estimated to have reported at least one confirmed case of coronavirus (staff or resident). Across these, an estimated 20% of residents and 7% of staff tested positive for COVID-19, as reported by care home managers, since the start of the pandemic. The emerging findings reveal some common factors in care homes with higher levels of infections amongst residents. These include prevalence of infection in staff, some care home practices such as more frequent use of bank or agency nurses or carers, and some regional differences (such as higher infection levels within care homes in London and the West Midlands). There is some evidence that in care homes where staff receive sick pay, there are lower levels of infection in residents. Findings also include some common factors in care homes with higher levels of infection amongst staff. These include prevalence of infection in residents (although this is weaker than the effect of staff infection on residents), some care home practices (such as more frequent use of bank or agency nurses or carers, and care homes employing staff who work across multiple sites) and some regional differences (such as higher infection levels within care homes in the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber). However, regional differences may be affected by different patterns of testing in staff and residents over time.

Last updated on hub: 07 July 2020

Leading in isolation during Covid-19

King's Fund

Lesley Flatley shares the challenges of leading an independent residential home during the pandemic and the feeling of isolation and loneliness that social care leaders may experience without the support of a large organisation like the NHS. The blog also looks at the actions and strategies they implemented to address and support the emotional and mental wellbeing of staff and residents and reflects on the lessons learned, including the role of technology.

Last updated on hub: 07 July 2020

Verification of Expected Death (VOED) with clinical remote support: guidance for adult social care workers: consultation version

Skills for Care

This guidance is primarily for adult social care providers in residential and community settings, outlining the process and procedures for verifying an expected death with remote clinical support. It is designed to support decision making within local systems and explains how to prepare to verify an expected death with remote support. The Coronavirus Act 2020 and recent government guidance makes special arrangements for verifying an expected death with clinical remote support in a community setting, such as care homes, supported living accommodation or when a person receives care in their own home. The guide covers: what providers and managers need to think about beforehand to inform decision making about verifying expected death with clinical remote support and who to involve; information to support decision making of whether care staff will verify a person’s death with remote support; the process of verifying an expected death with remote support; what to consider after the process, care of the deceased and the family and the importance of employee wellbeing and support for those involved, including sources of support.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

CQC publishes data on deaths in care settings broken down by ethnicity

Care Quality Commission

Data on the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on different ethnic groups in care settings. This data – which includes death notifications in adult social care settings from 10 April -15 May 2020 (and the equivalent period in 2019) – indicates a disproportionate number of deaths among people from BME groups. The data shows that while the vast majority of all reported deaths from adult social care settings were White people the proportion of deaths in all adult social care services due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 was higher for Black (49%) and Asian (42%) people compared to White people (41%) and people from mixed or multiple ethnic groups (41%).

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

Verification of Expected Death with clinical remote support for a care worker during Covid-19 time of emergency [Consultation version]

Skills for Care

This infographic provides step by step guidance for adult social care providers and registered managers on the process of verifying an expected death with remote support. The Coronavirus Act 2020 and recent government guidance makes special arrangements for verifying an expected death with clinical remote support in a community setting, such as care homes, supported living accommodation or when a person receives care in their own home.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

Deaths involving COVID-19 in the care sector, England and Wales: deaths occurring up to 1 May 2020 and registered up to 9 May 2020

The Office for National Statistics

Provisional figures on deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) within the care sector, in England and Wales. The report shows that since the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (between the period 2 March and 1 May 2020) there were 45,899 deaths of care home residents (wherever the death occurred). COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in male care home residents and the second leading cause of death in female care home residents, after Dementia and Alzheimer disease. Between 10 April 2020 and 8 May 2020 there were 3,161 deaths of recipients of domiciliary care in England – this was 1,990 deaths higher than the three-year average (1,171 deaths).

Last updated on hub: 25 June 2020

Providing person-centred support for residents living with dementia who need to be isolated in care homes during the COVID-19 crisis

Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester

This information sheet supports care homes catering for people living with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic. The document covers a range of strategies to help a person living with dementia understand the COVID-19 situation; to create an inviting isolation space; to help occupy the person in an isolation space; to use the environment to encourage isolation; to meet people’s need for human contact; and to encourage a person to comply with infection control requirements. It brings together current best practice, setting out general advice only. Each resident should be assessed on an ongoing and individual basis to find the best response and the latest national sector guidance should be followed.

Last updated on hub: 24 June 2020

COVID-19: visitors’ protocol. CPA Briefing for care providers

Care Provider Alliance

This protocol provides a set of principles and top tips for developing visiting policies in residential settings - to ensure people using care and support have the opportunity to safely receive visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, while minimising the risk of its introduction to, or spread within, the care setting. The protocol is primarily aimed at care settings which cater for older people, including people with dementia, such as residential and nursing homes. However, it will be of help for other care settings such as those supporting working age people with a range of vulnerabilities, including physical, sensory or learning disabilities. The protocol sets out the principles for considering how to allow visitors in care settings, recognising the importance of finding ways to ensure this is done in a risk-based, balanced way. It examines the types of visits that may be considered, the policies and procedures that are needed, visitor restrictions and ability to suspend visiting, effective communication, and learning as the situation develops. The protocol includes a set of rights and responsibilities for both care providers and visitors which put the welfare and wellbeing of residents / people receiving care at the heart of the approach to developing their visiting policies.

Last updated on hub: 24 June 2020

COVID-19 and Coronavirus evidence alerting. Rapid scan 1: effects on people in care/nursing homes (and other residential facilities) including approaches to protecting workers and residents

NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit

This rapid scan collates new and emerging evidence on implications for care homes and residential facilities and transferable lessons from previous pandemics and major incidents. It highlights key papers to inform decisions, policy and planning, and is intended to be pragmatic rather than exhaustive in its coverage. The resource summarises key messages and recurring themes emerging from the evidence – around PPE, reducing the spread, surge planning, staffing, communication, isolation and distancing, and technology – and signposts to expert commentary, key guidance, rapid reviews, lessons from previous pandemics, ongoing studies and other useful resources.

Last updated on hub: 24 June 2020

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