COVID-19 resources on infection control

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COVID-19: visiting nursing and residential care homes: summary for family and friend carers

Northern Ireland. Department of Health

Outlines the arrangements for visiting in nursing and residential care homes which apply in line with current regional surge level position (level 4 – high or rising level of transmission). This is subject to change depending on the prevalent rate of transmission and will be reviewed frequently. Local outbreaks of infection in care homes will require an additional specific local response and additional restrictions for visiting in line with Public Health Agency advice for management of the outbreak.

Last updated on hub: 20 October 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

Crises collide: women and Covid-19: examining gender and other equality issues during the Coronavirus outbreak

Women’s Budget Group

This report outlines issues relating to women and Covid-19 in the UK and makes recommendations for gender-sensitive improvements to the UK Government’s response. It focuses on the implications of the pandemic for women in relation to public health, social care, economic inequalities, social security, housing, violence against women and girls, the justice system and human rights. 73% of Covid-19 critical care cases in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are men. However, growing evidence shows that due to pre-existing gender and other inequalities, different groups of women in the UK will experience Covid-19 in specific ways in the short, medium and long term. The report finds that women are the majority of health and care workers and are the majority of workers with highest exposure to Covid-19; young women are disproportionately likely to work in the sectors that have been hit hardest by the lock-down; women are more likely to be low paid and in insecure employment and are the majority of people living in poverty and female-headed households are more likely to be poor; pre Covid-19, women were more likely to struggle with debt and bills; on average, women carry out 60% more unpaid work than men; women are more likely to experience domestic and sexual violence and abuse and are the majority (67%) of people living in homelessness.

Last updated on hub: 01 October 2020

Dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes: a protocol for room moving and cohorting

Article published in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology by Kain, D. et al, October 2020. A letter to the editor that sets out some principals of room movements in long-term care homes during the COVID-19 in the context of Canadian care homes.

Last updated on hub: 13 November 2020

Deaths of people identified as having learning disabilities with COVID-19 in England in the spring of 2020

Public Health England

This review analyses the available data on the deaths from COVID-19 of people identified as having learning disabilities. The review looked at: deaths from COVID-19 of people with learning disabilities; factors impacting the risk of death from COVID-19 of people with learning disabilities; deaths in care settings of people with learning disabilities. The key finding of this study was that people with learning disabilities had significantly and substantially higher death rates in the first wave of COVID19 in England than the general population. Making no allowance for the younger age and different sex ratio of people with learning disabilities, the rate of deaths notified to LeDeR in this group was 2.3 times the death rate in the general population. If this figure is adjusted to allow for the likely level of under-notification to LeDeR it was 3.5 times the general population rate. After standardisation for age and sex the rate calculated just from notifications to LeDeR was 4.1 times the general population rate. Adjusting for the likely level of under-notification it was 6.3 times the general population rate. The total number of deaths in adults with learning disabilities for the 11 weeks from 21 March to 5 June was 2.2 times the average number for the corresponding period in the 2 previous years. By contrast, the number of deaths in the general population was 1.5 times the average for the 2 previous years. Deaths with COVID-19 in adults with learning disabilities were spread more widely across the age groups than those in the general population. As in the general population, the COVID-19 death rate in people with learning disabilities was higher for men than for women. The overall increase in deaths was also greater in Asian or Asian-British, and Black or Black-British people. Residential care homes providing care for people with learning disabilities do not appear to have had the very high rates of outbreaks of COVID-19 seen in homes providing care for other groups, mainly older people. This appears to be related to their smaller number of beds.

Last updated on hub: 16 November 2020

Deaths of people with learning disabilities from COVID-19

University of Bristol

This report describes the circumstances leading to death for a representative sample of 206 adults with learning disabilities. The majority of the 206 deaths (79%, n=163) were attributable to COVID-19: 27% of the total number of COVID-19 deaths notified to the LeDeR programme from 2nd March 2020 – 9th June 2020. Forty-three (21%) of the 206 deaths were attributed to other causes and are included as a comparator group – 6% of the total deaths from other causes occurring during this period. The study finds that there is a striking difference in age at death between COVID-19 deaths in the general population compared with people with learning disabilities. In the general population of England and Wales, 47% of deaths from COVID-19 were in people aged 85 years and over. Of all deaths of people with learning disabilities from COVID-19 notified to the LeDeR programme, just 4% were aged 85 years and over. A third (35%) of those who died from COVID-19 lived in residential care homes, rising to almost half of those with Down’s syndrome. A quarter (25%) lived in supported living settings. Priority must be given to supporting measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in these settings. People who died from COVID-19 were more frequently reported to have respiratory conditions (72%), compared to those who died from other conditions (60%). Access to healthcare that was problematic for some people who died from COVID-19 included: the responsiveness of NHS111; access to COVID-19 tests; and access to specialist learning disability nurses. Ensuring that these services are fully accessible to people with learning disabilities, their families and paid carers would improve service provision.

Last updated on hub: 16 November 2020

Decision making in a crisis: first responses to the coronavirus pandemic

Institute for Government

This report examines the government’s initial response to the Covid-19 crisis, including the implications for the social care sector and workforce, and the decisions made in three areas: economic support, Covid-19 testing and the lockdown. It suggests that the response was hampered by the absence of a long-term strategy, lack of clarity about who was responsible for what and its poor use of evidence. The report also identifies how: the government needed to be clearer about the role of science advice and its limitations, particularly in the early stages of the crisis when it looked to its scientists to generate policy, not just advise on it; government decisions were influenced too much by concerns over NHS capacity rather than by controlling the spread of the virus; senior officials distanced themselves from the decision to reach 100,000 tests a day, and it was unclear who was responsible for different aspects of the testing regime, which made it difficult to assign responsibility for remedying gaps and failures; the government did not think about some of the most important aspects of how it would implement its policies until after it had announced them, leaving many public services, in particular schools and the police, playing catch up.

Last updated on hub: 08 September 2020

Delivering care at home and housing support services during the COVID-19 pandemic: Care Inspectorate inquiry into decision making and partnership working

Care Inspectorate Scotland

This report draws together the views of health and social care partnerships and service providers in Scotland about their experience of care at home and housing support services during the first phase of this pandemic. It sets out the findings of a Care Inspectorate’s inquiry which investigated how these services were prioritised to help ensure service delivery continuity; what were the known impacts on people who experience care; how the risks to service delivery were mitigated; how effective were the partnership working arrangements; and what were the recovery plans for services. The inquiry found that the most robust responses to the challenges and uncertainties of the pandemic involved an integrated approach and included: targeting resources to meet gaps and pressures as they occurred and reviewing and refining approaches as new information came to light; maintaining a focus on how staff remained confident, safe and secure by addressing the challenges of PPE, guidance and testing; responding quickly with additional financial support and guarantees to ensure services remained viable and that the commitment was not undermined by unpredictable reductions in income and additional costs; investing in staff terms and conditions to reduce disincentives to testing and self-isolating when required; and working together across health and social care, service providers and the community.

Last updated on hub: 30 September 2020

Delivering core NHS and care services during the pandemic and beyond: second report of session 2019–21

UK Parliament

Findings of an inquiry to investigate a range of issues relating to the delivery of core NHS and care services during the pandemic. This report addresses the following issues: communication with patients; managing waiting times and the backlog of appointments; issues facing NHS and care staff relating to access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and routine testing of staff; issues facing NHS and care staff relating to workforce “burnout”; and what lessons can be learnt from the pandemic in order to support the NHS in the future. The coronavirus pandemic posed an unprecedented challenge to the NHS and social care system. The report raises concerns about the lack of effective communication strategies with patients; the substantial increase in the number of missed, delayed and cancelled appointments across critical non-COVID services; and the effect of the pandemic on the physical and mental wellbeing of the NHS and social care workforce. The report also assesses what changes should take place to support the NHS in the long-term. They include introducing an expanded 111 dial service to support A&E departments, investigating how technology (“telemedicine”) can be used without digitally excluding those already disadvantaged, and retaining capacity and resources from the independent sector in the long term.

Last updated on hub: 05 October 2020

Delivering safe, face-to-face adult day care

Social Care Institute for Excellence

This guide aims to support you, day care managers, social workers, commissioners and providers, to restart or continue activities.

Last updated on hub: 10 July 2020

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