COVID-19 resources on infection control

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Putting children first in future lockdowns

Children’s Commissioner for England

Sets out the key actions needed to ensure children are at the heart of planning for any future coronavirus lockdowns. The briefing focuses on a range of aspects and settings, including education, early years, mental health, play and activity, online harms, housing, children’s social care, and secure settings. It sets out ten principles that should guide any policy and action, arguing that children’s perspectives must be better reflected in scientific and public health advice; education should be prioritised over other sectors; full lockdowns must balance the epidemiological benefit to children against the social and health costs to children of closures to schools, leisure/youth centres and other facilities; any rights extended to adults must also be given to children in ways that work for them (e.g., right to exercise outdoor); communication about the lockdown must make clear that risk of infection should not prevent children and families seeking help they need, such as urgent healthcare which is not related to the virus or refuge from domestic abuse. The briefing also argues that more specific guidance is needed for children’s homes and further guidance should be issued to local authorities to prioritise the safeguarding of vulnerable children during any future lockdown, including those who do not currently have a social worker. Local authorities should also be working with local partners to proactively identify children who become vulnerable during the lockdown, including in families where domestic abuse may have arisen or increased or where parental substance misuse or mental health problems have escalated.

Last updated on hub: 11 August 2020

Babies in lockdown: listening to parents to build back better

Best Beginnings

Findings from an online survey of over 5,000 mothers, fathers and other co-parents, capturing the experiences of parents coping with the implications of COVID-19 lockdown, and highlighting the lack of support for families, and the inequalities in babies’ early experiences. The report reveals that almost 7 in 10 respondents found their ability to cope with their pregnancy or baby had been impacted as a result of COVID-19; nearly 7 in 10 felt the changes brought about by COVID-19 were affecting their unborn baby, baby or young child; only one third expressed confidence in being able to access mental health support if required; and many families with lower incomes, from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and young parents have been hit harder by the COVID-19 pandemic and were less likely to receive the support they needed. The report makes three policy calls: a one-off Baby Boost to enable local services to support families who have had a baby during or close to lockdown; a new Parent-Infant Premium providing new funding for local commissioners, targeted at improving outcomes for the most vulnerable children; and significant and sustained investment in core funding to support families from conception to age two and beyond, including in statutory services, charities and community groups.

Last updated on hub: 11 August 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): tips for the housing sector on supporting someone affected by dementia

Housing LIN

This briefing sets out a number of top tips for the housing sector, operators and commissioners of specialist housing – such as extra care or retirement housing – or general needs housing, on supporting people affected by dementia during the coronavirus pandemic. It also signposts to a selection of useful links and further practical advice. People living with dementia normally thrive on familiarity; familiar faces, a familiar environment, familiar food, and familiar routines, all of which may be compromised by the enforced period of isolation necessary to fight the coronavirus. The top tips highlight some of the best practice and legal issues in supporting decisions that might need to be made about health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak; considers how to continue to provide practical assistance, support and manage risks; and provides information on maintaining meaningful activity and minimising loneliness during this period of enforced isolation.

Last updated on hub: 11 August 2020

COVID-19: guidance for supported living

Department of Health and Social Care

This guidance sets out key messages to assist with planning and preparation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic so that local procedures can be put in place to minimise risk and provide the best possible support to people in supported living settings. It describes safe systems of working including, social distancing, respiratory and hand hygiene and enhanced cleaning and examines how infection prevention and control (IPC) and personal protective equipment (PPE) applies to supported living settings. Key topics covered include: steps that supported living providers and local authorities can take to maintain service delivery; risk assessment, risk reduction and local implementation; staff within clinically vulnerable groups; general infection prevention and control; visitors and support bubbles; what to do if a supported living worker has COVID-19 symptoms; and what to do if someone in supported living has symptoms of COVID-19. This guide updates and builds on the previous advice to supported living providers, which was withdrawn on 13 May 2020. [Published 6 August 2020]

Last updated on hub: 10 August 2020

The impact of Covid-19 on community health services

NHS Confederation

This report captures the community sector’s response during the pandemic and showcases the achievements of community providers and their staff. Community health services play a key role within the health and care system, supporting integration at place and neighbourhood level through their relationships across the spectrum of local health and care organisations, including primary care, social care, local authorities and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE). They keep people well at home, or in community settings as close to home as possible, and support them to live independently. The report seeks to learn from community providers’ experiences of the pandemic to secure the necessary transformation for the longer term. It suggests that the expansion and transformation of community services’ capacity during the pandemic proved critical in supporting the NHS’s response. As the health and care sector moves to recover and reset after the first peak of the outbreak, community service providers are now embedding innovative practice. They will play a critical role in providing ongoing rehabilitation for people who have been most seriously ill from the virus. The paper calls for investing in public health and place the social care system on a sustainable footing as a priority; supporting investment in home-based community pathways as well as community rehabilitation beds; boosting the community workforce with a national recruitment campaign and increased deployment of returners before winter pressures hit; and creating a digital improvement strategy, robust national dataset and national performance standards to standardise and spread best practice.

Last updated on hub: 10 August 2020

How fit were public services for coronavirus?

Institute for Government

This report sets out an assessment of how prepared and resilient public services, such as the NHS, social care, schools and the police, were for the Covid-19 pandemic. Findings are based on desk research, analysis of government data and interviews with civil servants, front-line staff, representative bodies and other experts. While all services benefited from the existence of emergency plans and command structures, these varied greatly in detail, focus and adaptability. The findings show that: Government plans were too focused on a flu pandemic, with not enough attention paid to the possibility of other types of pandemic; good planning ensured that hospitals could respond well to the first wave, but high staff vacancies and a maintenance backlog will make it far harder to restart routine services; adult social care services struggled because of poor quality national plans, weak communication between Whitehall and local government, and the large number of care homes; underinvestment in buildings and ICT meant the criminal justice system, particularly in criminal courts and prisons, struggled; however, planning for a no-deal Brexit in 2019 meant the Department of Health and Social Care had a greater understanding of how supply chains would be disrupted in a pandemic. The report makes a series of recommendations, including ensuring more regular pandemic planning exercises are conducted, with key ministers such as the prime minister and health secretary taking part within six months of taking office; ensuring providers of public services publish their plans for dealing with emergencies and report annually on progress; and ensuring Government spending decisions are based on the analysis of the resilience of public services.

Last updated on hub: 10 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

PPE guide for community health and social care settings: what PPE to wear and when: an illustrative guide

Public Health England

This resource outlines personal protective equipment (PPE) advice for health and social care workers in community setting to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. It shows: which PPE to wear depending on where and how staff are working; how to work safely using your PPE and safer working practices to protect staff and residents. The guide sets out five common scenarios community health and social care professionals might encounter, describing what PPE they should wear in each case. The scenarios include: personal care involving touching the person who is cared for; when professionals are within 2 metres of anyone who has a cough; when staff are within 2 metres of the individual being cared for but not touching them; when staff are caring for a person who is shielding; and when they are in the workplace and 2 metres away from people they are caring for. This guidance should be used in conjunction with local policies.

Last updated on hub: 10 August 2020

Dementia and social contact

Alzheimer's Society

This briefing outlines the importance of social contact for people living with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic. It sets out what actions local government can take to ensure that people living with dementia do not see their symptoms deteriorate as a result of limited social contact.

Last updated on hub: 10 August 2020

Visiting arrangements in care homes

Alzheimer's Society

This briefing sets out the key considerations Directors of Public Health should take into account in supporting care homes to reopen for people living with dementia during the Covid-19 crisis. It argues that the balance of risks between allowing visits and preventing the spread of infection must take account of what can be a permanent decline in abilities that social isolation can bring to people with dementia. In their risk assessments, local authorities must fully consider the particular needs of people affected by dementia and put in place appropriate steps to reopen care homes to visitors and offer them the support they need to so safely.

Last updated on hub: 10 August 2020