COVID-19 resources on infection control

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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

Over-exposed and under-protected: the devastating impact of COVID-19 on black and minority ethnic communities in Great Britain

Runnymede Trust, The

Findings of a survey exploring black and minority ethnic (BME) peoples experiences of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, and focusing on the impact of the pandemic on their physical and mental health, work, finances, relationships, childcare and schooling, and their understanding of the governments COVID-19 social and economic measures. The 2,585 adults (aged 18+) sampled for this survey included a ‘boost’ sample of 538 BME adults, taking the overall sample of BME respondents to 750 in the whole survey. Black and minority ethnic people are over-represented in COVID-19 severe illness and deaths - pre-existing racial and socioeconomic inequalities, resulting in disparities in co-morbidities between ethnic groups, have been amplified by COVID-19. The survey shows that BME people face greater barriers in shielding from coronavirus as a result of the types of employment they hold; they make greater use of public transport, are more likely to live in overcrowded and multigenerational households, and are less likely to be given appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) at work. The survey also finds that BME groups are much less aware of the governments life-saving public health messaging around Covid-19, leaving them under-protected and vulnerable to coronavirus. The report makes a number of recommendations, including ensuring employers carry out risk assessments for staff with vulnerable characteristics, including black and minority ethnic backgrounds; ensuring that all key workers in public-facing roles have access to adequate PPE; prioritising a tailored Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support (FTTIS) programme ensuring vulnerable BME communities are identified and supported; strengthening the social security safety net; and increasing Statutory Sickness Pay and widen eligibility.

Last updated on hub: 06 August 2020

4 reasons housing providers must revise their telecare needs post COVID-19

Appello

This guide highlights the changing landscape for the delivery of technology enabled care services (TECS). It draws on findings from interviews and independent research undertaken with the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN) of 120 senior executives from providers of supported, sheltered and retirement housing. The analysis indicates that 85% housing providers report their perceptions on the use of technology have changed as a result of COVID-19 while 74% feel that their requirements for telecare and wellbeing technologies have changed as a result of the pandemic. The document sets out four key reasons that support the strengthening and consolidation of the telecare offer within housing settings and makes recommendations on how to achieve this. The four reasons are: vulnerable communities need support to maintain their social connections – there is huge potential for housing providers to harness communication technologies to help connect older people and promote digital inclusion; remote working will be here to stay – 80% of housing providers believe video communication between residents and staff is becoming more important to their organisation because of COVID-19; how we access healthcare services will change – for instance, it is likely that the pandemic will be the catalyst for greater use of video appointments within the health sector; more services are being accessed online – in an uncertain world, with shielding and social distancing it is becoming even more vital to help older and vulnerable people to access support, and services from paying bills online to accessing pensions and shopping from home while keeping safe.

Last updated on hub: 04 August 2020

COVID-19 Insight: issue 3

Care Quality Commission

Explores the need for providers and other organisations to collaborate to tackle COVID-19. The briefing focuses on better care through collaboration, looking at the importance of collaboration among providers, views on shared local vision for services, the importance of shared governance, and the challenge of ensuring enough staffing capacity; responding to feedback about care services, looking at the issues that have prompted CQC to inspect a number of services and the campaign ‘Because we all care’; financial viability and stability in the adult social care sector; the impact of COVID-19 on the use of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards; and protecting people's rights under the Mental Health Act.

Last updated on hub: 04 August 2020

Personal assistants returning from shielding

Mark Bates Ltd

Fact sheet offering support to people who employ personal assistants with regards to their employee returning to work, following the lifting of shielding measures by the Government.

Last updated on hub: 04 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

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