COVID-19 resources on infection control

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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

Adult social care and COVID-19: assessing the policy response in England so far

The Health Foundation

An analysis of national government policies on adult social care in England related to COVID-19 between 31 January and 31 May 2020. This briefing considers the role that social care has played in the overall policy narrative and identifies the underlying factors within the social care system, such as its structure and funding, that have shaped its ability to respond. It suggests that overall, central government support for social care came too late – some initial policies targeted the social care sector in March but the government's COVID-19: adult social care action plan was not published until 15 April and another month passed before the government introduced a dedicated fund to support infection control in care homes. Protecting and strengthening social care services, and stuff, appears to have been given far lower priority by national policymakers than protecting the NHS and policy action on social care has been focused primarily on care homes and risks leaving out other vulnerable groups and services. The briefing calls on the Government to learn from the first phase of the COVID-19 response to prepare for potential future waves of the virus. Short-term actions should include greater involvement of social care in planning and decision making, improved access to regular testing and PPE, and a commitment to cover the costs of local government’s COVID-19 response. Critically, more fundamental reform of the social care system is needed to address the longstanding policy failures exacerbated by COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 03 August 2020

The experience of people approaching later life in lockdown: the impact of COVID-19 on 50-70-year olds in England

Ipsos MORI

Explores how people in their 50s and 60s experienced the COVID-19 pandemic; the future expectations and intentions of this age group, and how have these been shaped by the pandemic; and the implications of this for a future policy agenda. The report, which focuses on home and community, health and wellbeing and work and money, draws on a literature review exploring the latest evidence in relation to these policy areas; a survey of 1,000 people aged 50-70-years within England; and a longitudinal qualitative research with 19 purposively selected participants designed to reflect a range of different experiences. The findings highlight the correlation between age and health outcomes during the pandemic – there was a decline in physical health for one in five respondents while more than a third said their mental health got worse. Overall, the report finds that the lockdown has been tough on some – many people have seen their health deteriorate with more unhealthy behaviours, and more than two in five fear their finances will worsen in the year to come. But there have also been some positive changes, with many appreciating the time spent with family, helping their communities, a better work-life balance, and time to reflect on their careers and future. The report stresses that as the lockdown restrictions ease it will still take time for things to get back to normal – the data shows that two in five respondents think that it will take at least one to two years or longer.

Last updated on hub: 03 August 2020

Readying the NHS and social care for the COVID-19 peak

House of Commons

An examination of the health and social care response to COVID-19 in England and of the challenges to the services that the outbreak posed. The NHS was severely stretched but able to meet overall demand for COVID-19 treatment during the pandemic’s April peak; from early March to mid-May, the NHS increased the quantity of available ventilators and other breathing support, which are essential for the care of many COVID-patients. The report suggests that it has been a very different story for adult social care, despite the hard work and commitment of its workforce. Years of inattention, funding cuts and delayed reforms have been compounded by the Government’s slow, inconsistent and, at times, negligent approach to giving the sector the support it needed during the pandemic – responsibilities and accountabilities were unclear at the outset and there has been a failure to issue consistent and coherent guidance throughout the pandemic; 25,000 patients from were discharged from hospitals into care homes without making sure all were first tested for COVID-19; and the Government failed to provide adequate PPE for the social care sector and testing to the millions of staff and volunteers through the first peak of the crisis. The report argues that there are many lessons that the government must learn, not least giving adult social care equal support to the NHS and considering them as two parts of a single system, adequately funded and with clear accountability arrangements.

Last updated on hub: 03 August 2020

The doctor will Zoom you now: getting the most out of the virtual health and care experience: insight report

National Voices

Findings of a rapid, qualitative research study designed to understand the patient experience of remote and virtual consultations. The study engaged 49 people using an online platform, with 20 additional one to one telephone interviews. Participants were also invited to attend an online workshop on the final day of the study. All participants had experienced a remote consultation during the lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report suggests that remote consultations and the use of technology offer some great opportunities to make significant improvements to general practice, hospital outpatient and mental health appointments, but making the most of this opportunity means understanding the patient experience. For many people, remote consultations can offer a convenient option for speaking to their health care professional. They appreciate quicker and more efficient access, not having to travel, less time taken out of their day and an ability to fit the appointment in around their lives. Most people felt they received adequate care and more people than not said they would be happy with consultations being held remotely in future. However, there is no one size that fits all solution. Key to a successful shift to remote consultations will be understanding which approach is the right one based on individual need and circumstance. The report argues that a blended offer, including text, phone, video, email and in-person would provide the best solution and an opportunity to improve the quality of care. By focusing on the needs of people receiving care and using a combination of communication tools a more equal space for health care providers and patients to interact can be created.

Last updated on hub: 30 July 2020

Evaluation of the CAMHS In-Reach to Schools Pilot Programme: pilot progress and the impact of Covid 19, supplementary paper to the interim report

Welsh Government

This paper supplements the evaluation of the CAMHS In-Reach to Schools pilot, a programme that aims to build capacity (including skills, knowledge and confidence) in schools to support pupils’ mental health and well-being and improve schools’ access to specialist liaison, consultancy and advice when needed. It presents the data gathered through the second round of qualitative case-study research with a sample of school clusters, services, such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), school counselling, educational psychology and voluntary sector services, working with them, and interviews and discussions with CAMHS In-Reach Practitioners. The report aims to present the position for schools and services at the approximate midpoint of the pilot programme (early spring 2020) and provides a ‘snapshot’ of the impact of Covid-19 and the lockdown upon schools, pupils and services in late April and May 2020. These latter findings are drawn from a small sample at a period in time, when schools were responding to a fast-moving and challenging situation. The report finds that there is a clear need, and strong support, for the pilot, and the impact of Covid-19 is expected to increase this need. The pilot programme allows schools to be better prepared than they would otherwise have been for the return of pupils and, to a lesser degree, staff. Nevertheless, they still want support from the pilots to help them prepare for schools increasing their operations, and the difficulties pupils and staff may experience when they return.

Last updated on hub: 30 July 2020