COVID-19 resources on Infection control

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Social distancing in a social therapy environment

Therapeutic Communities: the International Journal of Therapeutic Communities

Purpose: This paper aims to describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a prison-based therapeutic community (TC). Design/methodology/approach: The paper takes the form of a case study where the authors reflect on their current practice, using the findings of research on social isolation and the overarching TC principles to explore the effect of the pandemic on the TC at HMP Grendon. The authors consider how the residents and staff adjusted to the change as the parameters changed when the social distancing rules were imposed and how they adapted to the prolonged break to therapy. Sections in the paper were written by a resident and an operational member of staff. The authors conclude with their thoughts on how to manage the consequences the lockdown has brought and start to think about what returning to “normality” might mean. Findings: The paper describes the adjustments made by the residents and staff as the UK Government imposed the lockdown. The authors, including a resident and an operational member of staff comment on the psychological and practical impact these adjustments had. The thought is given to the idea of “recovery”, returning to “normality” and how this study can be best managed once restrictions are lifted. Research limitations/implications: At the time of writing, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at HMP Grendon. The measures and commitment from all staff and residents in the prison to keep the prison environment safe may in part account for this. This paper explores the effects of lockdown on the emotional environment in a TC and highlights the consequences that social isolation can have on any individual. To the authors’ knowledge, there is currently no research undertaken on the impact of lockdown/social isolation on a TC. This research would be useful, as the authors postulate from reflections on current practice that the effects of the lockdown will be greater in a social therapy environment. Originality/value: HMP Grendon started in 1962, as this time there have been no significant events that have meant the suspension of therapy for such a sustained period. It is, therefore, important that the impact of such is considered and reflected upon.

Last updated on hub: 09 December 2020

Social work and COVID-19 pandemic: an action call

International Social Work

The social work profession, more than any other, is most hurt by the rampaging coronavirus (aka, COVID-19) pandemic given the scourge’s pernicious impact on society’s underserved and undervalued populations. More so, the pandemic has undermined the profession’s historical value commitment to social justice and human rights while overturning our insistence on the importance of human relationships. The purpose of this essay is to explicate the nexus between social work and COVID-19 pandemic. While noting the deafening silence of the profession in the global discourse of the pandemic, it advocates for the urgency of our response if our profession is to attain significant public value amid the current loss of lives and threats to human rights. Strategies for our professional action, in flattening the curve of the contagion, are laid out.

Last updated on hub: 19 November 2020

Social work assessments for people with advanced dementia in “the new normal”

Working with Older People

Purpose: Social work involves working directly with people who are experiencing a crisis. An assessment is carried out to establish the best way forward and then reviewed after a period of time to measure success or recalibrate the service. The current pandemic restrictions have all but ruled out meeting with people face-to-face. Now, professionals are usually required to don some form of personal protective equipment (PPE) when meeting with people and their families. Talking to an unknown professional who is behind a mask or on the telephone, about a personal issue is hard for everyone, but it is particularly difficult for people who may be further on in their dementia journey. Design/methodology/approach: Critique. Findings: These impediments impact the social work assessment and review, meaning people may not have the quality of service they need and may end up paying for unnecessary provision. If admission to a care home is deemed necessary, the stakes rise considerably. A care home admission means contributing towards fees with pensions, savings and assets, including housing. Now, it comes with an additional health risk. Originality/value: COVID-19 infection has impacted on the older population but residents in care homes with frailer physical health, cognitive impairment and delirium are at particularly high risk of dying.

Last updated on hub: 29 December 2020

Staff movement: a risk management framework: briefing for adult care home providers

Care Provider Alliance

This briefing outlines a risk management approach that care homes can use to manage restrictions on staff movements. The briefing relates to CQC registered care homes with or without nursing in England. The Government is introducing legislation that will require care home providers to restrict all but essential movement of staff between settings in order to reduce transmission of COVID-19 – with a particular focus on care home staff. At the same time, care homes are facing staff shortages due to sickness and the ongoing high vacancy rates. A risk management framework can enable care homes to have a discussion with other agencies, such as their regulator or commissioner, about care home staff movement. This framework can assist services to manage the situation and provide operational tools that – over time – can drive down the number of staff movements and hence reduce the transmission of the virus. Many providers have already been pursuing such actions without an overall structure to work within. The briefing highlights the key factors which will affect staff movement over the coming months and which need to be considered within the risk management framework; actions for initial assessment; and how care homes should work with notifiable agencies, including the Care Quality Commission, local authorities and CCG commissioners, to agree contingency arrangements in advance of situations arising.

Last updated on hub: 11 January 2021

Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection

Public Health England

This guidance is intended for: people with symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus, and do not require hospital treatment, who must remain at home until they are well; and those living in households with someone who shows symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus. Also includes specific guidance for households with grandparents, parents and children living together where someone is at increased risk or has possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. [First published 12 March 2020. Last updated 20 September 2020]

Last updated on hub: 22 July 2020

Staying apart to stay safe: the impact of visit restrictions on long-term care and assisted living survey

Office of the Seniors Advocate

Findings of a five-week survey about the impact of COVID-19 related visitor restrictions at long-term care and assisted living homes. The survey, answered by residents, their family members and the general public, had over 13,000 valid responses. The analysis suggests that most family members and residents support some visit restrictions during the pandemic, although they believe visits should be more frequent and that at least one more visitor for each resident should be permitted. Key findings include: before the pandemic, 55% of families were visiting long-term care and assisted living residents for an hour or more several times per week and even daily; most family members were not aware of the possibility of essential visits during the first four months of visit restrictions, and almost half of the people who did apply for an essential visit were refused; under the current visitation policy, the majority of visits are only once a week or less, and half the visits in long-term care are 30 minutes or less; 30% of current visits are outside only; currently, 65% of visits are observed by staff for some or all of the time; only 21% of visits are in the privacy of the resident’s room (75% of long-term care residents and almost 100% of assisted living residents live in private rooms); 70% of visitors are not allowed to touch their loved one; most visitors are washing their hands, wearing a mask, having their temperature checked, and answering health questions prior to each visit.

Last updated on hub: 11 November 2020

Staying safe during COVID-19: guidance for practitioners working with those who harm

SafeLives

Guidance to help practitioners working with perpetrators of domestic violence during the COVID-19 crisis. The document explores: how to ensure clients get support from family and friends; self-care; general safety planning; structured strategy to help clients de-escalate situations before they become violent or abusive; and supporting support workers.

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2020

Stories of shielding: life in the pandemic for those with health and care needs

National Voices

Brings together the voices and stories of people with long-term health conditions during COVID-19. The report is based on the submissions to the digital platform Our COVID Voices, which was created for people with health and care needs to share their experiences. The platform received 70 unfiltered views and stories from people at great risk of all the effects of the pandemic, including anxiety, uncertainty and changes to their care. But it goes much deeper, into their relationships, their jobs and dealing with the everyday aspects of life in the pandemic. This document collates quotes from these stories to provide an overview of the real-life experiences of individuals shielding.

Last updated on hub: 15 October 2020

Strengthening the health system response to COVID-19: preventing and managing the COVID-19 pandemic across long-term care services in the WHO European Region (May 29, 2020)

World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe

This technical guidance identifies ten policy objectives to prevent and manage COVID-19 infections in long-term care services. It includes proposed actions and examples from across Europe and aims to help decision-makers, policy-makers and national or regional health authorities as they seek ways to prevent and manage the COVID-19 pandemic in long-term care services. The focus is on older people above the age of 65 years who use long-term care services in their homes, day centres or residential homes and nursing homes. The 10 policy objectives cover: Prioritizing the maintenance of LTC services; Mobilizing additional funds; Implementing prevention and control standards; Implementing safety measures that recognise the mutual benefits of the safety of people receiving and providing LTC services; Prioritizing testing, tracing and monitoring the spread of COVID-19; Securing staff and resources; Scaling up support for family caregivers; Coordinate between services; Secure access to dignified palliative care services; and Prioritize the well-being of people receiving and providing LTC services.

Last updated on hub: 28 May 2020

Summary of international policy measures to limit impact of COVID19 on people who rely on the Long-Term Care sector

London School of Economics and Political Science

This working paper provides a summary of measures to limit impact of COVID19 on people who rely on the Long-Term Care sector, compiled from contributions from members of the International Long-Term Care Policy Network. The list of measures is not exhaustive, it only contains examples of measures that have been reported or identified by contributors to the website so far.

Last updated on hub: 28 May 2020

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