COVID-19 resources on infection control

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in care homes: statistics to 8 July 2020

Department of Health and Social Care

Latest figures on coronavirus testing for social care staff, their household members and residents of care homes. As of 8 July, there had been an estimated 741,021 tests on workers in the UK in social care settings and their symptomatic household members for COVID-19 through Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) testing routes. There have been an estimated 352,946 tests on care home residents for COVID-19 through DHSC testing routes in the UK. An estimated 100,900 care home residents in England had been tested for COVID-19 through PHE testing routes.

Last updated on hub: 21 July 2020

Building a country that works for all children post COVID-19

The Association of Directors of Children's Services

This discussion paper looks at the impacts of Covid-19 on children and their families. Its purpose is three-fold: to put children, young people and their lived experiences of the pandemic front and centre in national recovery planning; to articulate what is needed to restore the public support services they rely on; and to capture the positives and gains made during a very complex national, and indeed, global emergency. The paper reveals that the directors of children’s services in England share concerns about increased exposure of children to ‘hidden harms’ such as domestic violence and the impact of social distancing on children and young people’s development and on their mental and emotional health and wellbeing. The vulnerability of specific cohorts, including care leavers, young carers, children and young people in conflict with the law and families with no recourse to public funds, has been heightened during this period. Covid-19 has disrupted professionals’ relationships with children and families and weakened the sustainability of both the voluntary and charitable sector and the early years and childcare sector. Both families and the workforce have shown great levels of resilience, flexibility and creativity. The paper calls for a rapid review of the response to the first phase of the pandemic to improve preparedness for future waves and spikes of infection, arguing that the experiences of practitioners and of children and families must be part of this process. It also suggests that the recovery phase offers the government an opportunity to further its ‘levelling up’ agenda, and the initiation of an ambitious, world leading health inequalities strategy, making wellbeing rather than straightforward economic performance the central goal of policy.

Last updated on hub: 20 July 2020

Exposed, silenced, attacked: failures to protect health and essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Amnesty International UK

This report makes concrete recommendations for what governments across the world need to do to comply with their human rights obligations and adequately protect the rights of health and essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the context of their occupational health and safety, health and essential workers face shortages and difficulties accessing PPE in several countries; they also experience challenges around remuneration and compensation, high workloads and associated anxiety and stress; in several countries, instead of being supported, they are facing reprisals from the state and from their employers for speaking out about their working conditions or for criticising the authorities’ response; they are subjected to social stigma and acts of violence from members of society because of the jobs they perform. The report makes a comprehensive set of recommendations to ensure health and essential workers are adequately protected during the COVID-19 pandemic. It calls on governments to ensure that employers provide all health and essential workers with adequate PPE to protect themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic, in line with international standards; recognise COVID-19 as an occupational disease; listen to and address essential workers’ safety concerns in an appropriate manner; investigate any attacks or acts of violence against health and essential workers; carry out comprehensive, effective and independent reviews regarding states’ and other actors’ preparedness for and responses to the pandemic, and provide effective and accessible remedies where there is evidence government agencies did not adequately protect human rights; and collect and publish data by occupation in order to ensure effective protection in the future.

Last updated on hub: 20 July 2020

Workforce guidance for mental health, learning disabilities and autism, and specialised commissioning services during the coronavirus pandemic

NHS England

This document provides mental health, learning disabilities and autism, and specialised commissioning workforce guidance and considerations to ensure safety in the workplace is maintained during the COVID-19 outbreak. It is intended to support the local contingency planning for a range of resource-constrained scenarios and covers general principles; ways in which staff work; releasing time to care; training and CPD; and safer staffing models.

Last updated on hub: 20 July 2020

Preparing for a challenging winter 2020/21

Academy of Medical Sciences

This report considers a worst-case scenario for winter 2020/21 – a likely mix of COVID-19, bad seasonal influenza and cold weather; what this would mean for deaths, NHS capacity and social care; and the actions that would enable the health and social care system to better cope in the face of new winter pressures resulting from the pandemic. The need for health and social care undergoes large seasonal fluctuations, peaking in the winter, with the NHS and social care systems typically operating at maximal capacity in the winter months. The report identifies four additional challenges that have great potential to exacerbate winter 2020/21 pressures on the health and social care system, by increasing demand on usual care as well as limiting surge capacity: a large resurgence of COVID-19 nationally, with local or regional epidemics; disruption of the health and social care systems due to reconfigurations to respond to and reduce transmission of COVID-19; a backlog of non-COVID-19 care; and a possible influenza epidemic that will add pressure. The paper argues that there is a need for urgent preparation to mitigate the risks of a particularly challenging winter 2020/21, including: minimising community SARS-CoV-2 transmission and impact; organising health and social care settings to maximise infection control and ensure that COVID-19 and routine care can take place in parallel; improving public health surveillance for COVID-19, influenza and other winter diseases; and minimising influenza transmission and impact, including by maximising the uptake of influenza vaccination by health and social care workers. Includes a ‘Peoples perspective’ report in appendix, written by patients and carers, that calls for the actions to be developed through engagement with patients, carers and the public to ensure services, guidelines and communications work for people, rather than focusing plans on individual medical conditions.

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020

Pilot point prevalence survey of COVID-19 among domiciliary care staff in England

Public Health England

This pilot study provides the first estimate of the extent of COVID-19 infections among domiciliary care workers in England. A prospective descriptive survey of a sample of workers from domiciliary care providers was carried out in June 2020, using a sampling frame of all care providers in England registered with CQC. The findings provide evidence that the prevalence of COVID-19 among domiciliary care workers is in line with the general population as opposed to a higher prevalence as observed in studies of front-line healthcare workers and care home staff. It should be noted that this study took place post the peak of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result its findings are not directly comparable to those emerging from care home and healthcare worker studies.

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020

Best interests decisions: A COVID-19 quick guide

Social Care Institute for Excellence

This quick guide aims to help people across social care and health settings to apply its provisions about making best interests decisions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020

Evolution and impact of COVID-19 outbreaks in care homes: population analysis in 189 care homes in one geographic region

medRxiv

This article is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed. The lead researcher is Jennifer K Burton. Method: Analysis of testing, cases and deaths using linked care-home, testing and mortality data for 189 care-homes with 5843 beds in a large Scottish Health Board up to 15/06/20. Findings: 70 (37.0%) of care-homes experienced a COVID-19 outbreak.Interpretation: The large impact on excess deaths appears to be primarily a direct effect of COVID-19, with cases and deaths are concentrated in a minority of care homes. A key implication is that there is a large pool of susceptible residents if community COVID-19 incidence increases again. Shielding residents from potential sources of infection and rapid action into minimise outbreak size where infection is introduced will be critical in any wave 2.

Last updated on hub: 15 July 2020

Disparities in the impact of COVID-19 in Black and Minority Ethnic populations: review of the evidence and recommendations for action

Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies

A review of the evidence on the reasons why more people from black and ethnic minority (BME) backgrounds appear to be at greater risk of hospitalisation and deaths with COVID-19. The review suggests that the reasons are complex with interplay between socio-economic disadvantage in BME populations, high prevalence of chronic diseases and the impact of long-standing racial inequalities being key explanations. Specifically, people from disadvantaged backgrounds or deprived areas, and BME backgrounds are more likely to have shorter life expectancies as a result of their socioeconomic status; housing conditions, including overcrowding is also likely to have had an impact on vulnerability to COVID-19; ethnic minorities have been over-represented in key worker jobs with increased the risk of exposure, infection and death; racial inequalities has been a recurring theme with doctors and nurse surveys experiencing difficulty getting access to personal protection equipment; the adverse social and economic consequences of COVID-19 have been greater on ethnic minority groups. The report makes a number of recommendations to address the greater risk of adverse health outcomes in BME populations. These include recommendations with immediate impact on the course of the pandemic (to mitigate the differential risk of exposure, infection and transmission, and to inform local outbreak control strategies) and longer-term action to reduce health and employment inequalities.

Last updated on hub: 15 July 2020

Your health and well-being

Social Care Wales

This health and wellbeing resource has been developed to support care workers to stay well and seek help and support when needed. Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic means care workers are working regularly under pressure and in unfamiliar and rapidly changing circumstances. The resource provides a direct link to tools, websites and other useful resources to support mental and physical wellbeing; it also includes information about general support groups and services you can access. Topics covered include: maintaining physical wellbeing; good mental wellbeing; general support services and groups; financial wellbeing; advice for pregnant workers; support for managers; general resources; and blogs and articles.

Last updated on hub: 15 July 2020

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