COVID-19 resources on home care

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Social care personal assistants (PAs) – the forgotten home care service during COVID-19

This webinar will focus on those who employ or work as PAs, their experiences, concerns and key lessons for the future.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Adult social care: our COVID-19 winter plan 2020 to 2021

Department of Health and Social Care

This policy paper sets out the key elements of national support available for the social care sector for winter 2020 to 2021, as well as the main actions to take for local authorities, NHS organisations, and social care providers, including in the voluntary and community sector. It covers four themes: preventing and controlling the spread of infection in care settings; collaboration across health and care services; supporting people who receive social care, the workforce, and carers; and supporting the system. Each section sets out the Department of Health and Social Care’s offer of national support and the department’s expectations for adult social care providers alongside published guidance. The plan applies to all settings and contexts in which people receive adult social care. This includes people’s own homes, residential care homes and nursing homes, and other community settings.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Report of the Social Care Taskforce’s Older People and People Affected by Dementia Advisory Group

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the Older People and People Affected by Dementia Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. The recommendations cover the following areas: restoring and sustaining contact with visitors in care homes; restoring care services and assessments; reinstating and sustaining community-based services and support; restoring and sustaining access to health care; ensuring effective safeguarding; and planning for and managing outbreaks. The report calls for all care settings and providers to have sufficient PPE; regular and ongoing testing of care staff and care recipients; the testing regime to be reliable and timely in its operation and resultant data to be shared with relevant NHS bodies and professionals, as well as providers; the flu vaccination programme to be unparalleled in its scope and ambition, and reach out to all social care staff and recipients in all settings, and informal carers too, supported by mass marketing; the financial resilience of care providers to be kept under constant review, with plans in place and regularly updated by CQC, central and local Government, to mitigate any significant market failure; total and available care capacity should be published weekly; and the ongoing challenges in data sharing and data governance between health and social care settings must be resolved by September 2020.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Key measures for infection prevention and control: a guide for social care workers providing care in an individual’s home

Scottish Social Services Council

This guide highlights essential practical actions to support good infection control practice during COVID-19, particularly hand and cough hygiene and personal protective equipment (PPE). It signposts some of the key measures care workers will need to protect themselves and others when providing care and support for people, including those with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. The guide is for social care workers providing support and care to people living in their own homes; particularly care at home and housing support workers, referred to as ‘domiciliary care’ in the national guidance. It acknowledges that many of the people they support may be in the shielding category.

Last updated on hub: 18 September 2020

The safe use of medication during the COVID-19 pandemic

Scottish Social Services Council

A guide for social care workers supporting people at home or in a care home. It offers support, information and resources for social care workers who have the responsibility to carry out one or more of the following types of support: prompt – remind someone to take their medication using their preferred communication method; assist – help someone who manages their own medication with physical tasks like opening bottles, at their request; administer medication – prepare the right medication, at the right time and support a person to take it in the right way in line with their care or support plan and advice from the prescriber or pharmacist.

Last updated on hub: 18 September 2020

COVID-19 mortality and long-term care: a UK comparison

International Long-term Care Policy Network

This article reviews the path of the COVID-19 pandemic across the UK long-term care (LTC) sector, indicating how it evolved in each of the four home nations. It prefaces this with a description of LTC across the UK, its history and the difficulties encountered in establishing a satisfactory policy for the care of frail older people across the home nations. The analysis indicates that throughout the pandemic, 54,510 COVID-19 related deaths were registered in the UK, across all age groups and all locations of death. Of these, 17,127 (31%) occurred within care homes and at least 21,775 (40%) were accounted for by care home residents. In terms of excess deaths (measured against the average weekly deaths during the previous 5-year period) during the pandemic England had a 38% increase in mortality compared with 29% in Scotland, 22% in Wales, and 20% in Northern Ireland. England is the only UK nation that has released COVID-19 mortality data on those receiving care at home. That data show that throughout the pandemic period there were a large number of excess deaths in the domiciliary setting. The majority of which were not recorded as being COVID-19 related. Overall, the English data demonstrate that, compared to care homes, the overall proportional increase in deaths was greater in the domiciliary setting.

Last updated on hub: 10 September 2020

Personal protective equipment (PPE): care workers delivering homecare during the Covid-19 response

Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch

This national intelligence report provides insight into a current safety risk that the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) has identified, relating to the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by care workers when visiting a patient at home. It documents how concerns raised by HSIB were responded to by Public Health England, the body responsible for the development of guidelines for the appropriate use of PPE. The report finds that there are multiple Covid-19 guidelines for different care sectors. PPE guidelines should be used in conjunction with other guidelines, such as infection control guidelines, so that care providers can develop protocols for care delivery. This is challenging when guidelines are updated, or new guidelines are issued and there is a risk that guidance may be missed. The report argues that there is an opportunity to introduce a document management system for guidelines to ensure that the latest information is available. This would involve the design of a usable navigation system so that all related guidelines relevant to a particular care sector are visible and can be checked for completeness.

Last updated on hub: 01 September 2020

Care Provider Alliance Coronavirus (COVID-19) directory

Care Provider Alliance

The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) are collating and signposting to the latest guidance and advice from reliable sources on their website. The resource includes news, guidance and information. The site is updated frequently.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

Dementia and COVID-19: social contact

Alzheimer's Society

This briefing sets out the evidence for action to support social contact for people living with dementia and what the Government need to do next. It covers: the impact of COVID-19 on people with dementia in the UK; the importance of social contact for people living with dementia; maintaining social contact in care homes; supporting the delivery of home care services. The briefing observes that as well as the severe impact of COVID-19 itself, restrictions under lockdown have imposed a lack of social contact and interaction which are known to be contributing factor in the decline of people with dementia. The paper calls on the Government to lead a task force with Local Authorities and expert groups to address how they will support people with dementia as the country emerges from the lockdown over the next 6-12 months, with social contact at the heart of the solution. Specific recommendations for both care homes and home care are included.

Last updated on hub: 10 August 2020

Adult social care and COVID-19: assessing the impact on social care users and staff in England so far

The Health Foundation

An overview of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social care in England, describing how the pandemic unfolded in the social care sector from March until June 2020, and examining the factors that contributed to the scale and severity of outbreaks in care homes. The briefing also attempts to quantify the disruption to health and social care access from February until the end of April 2020. The findings demonstrate that the pandemic has had a profound impact on people receiving and providing social care in England – since March, there have been more than 30,500 deaths among care home residents than it would be normally expected, and a further 4,500 excess deaths among people receiving care in their own homes (domiciliary care); and while deaths in care homes have now returned to average levels for this time of year, the latest data (up until 19 June) shows that there have continued to be excess deaths reported among domiciliary care users. Social care workers are among the occupational groups at highest risk of COVID-19 mortality, with care home workers and home carers accounting for the highest proportion (76%) of COVID-19 deaths within this group. The analysis also shows that there was a substantial reduction in hospital admissions among care home residents which may have helped reduce the risk of transmission but potentially increased unmet health needs. The briefing argues that long-standing structural issues have exacerbated the crisis in social care and hindered the response to the pandemic. It suggests that action is needed now to prevent further harm including by filling the gaps in data, particularly for those receiving domiciliary care, and by developing a new data strategy for social care.

Last updated on hub: 03 August 2020