COVID-19 resources on Infection control

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult care homes visiting guidance

Scottish Government

This guidance sets out how care home visiting in Scotland may be re-introduced while minimising the risks to residents, staff and visitors. It takes a staged approach, where stage 1 – essential visits only - has been in operation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The guide sets out how relaxation of visiting restrictions will take place in three further stages, moving through outdoor visiting, indoor visiting by one designated person and eventually to a controlled programme of outdoor and indoor visiting. It explains what precautions will be taken to safeguard resident, visitor and staff safety. [First published July 2020; Last updated 20 October 2020]

Last updated on hub: 09 July 2020

Care homes: outbreak testing and regular testing

Department of Health and Social Care

Sets out the next stages in the COVID-19 testing strategy for adult social care to be rolled out from 6 July. This letter to the Directors of Public Health and Directors of Adult Social Services covers outbreak management and rapid testing for care homes with outbreaks; retesting in care homes without outbreaks; extra care and supported living; and domiciliary care.

Last updated on hub: 09 July 2020

Local government and Covid-19: social care, a neglected service

Local Government Information Unit

This briefing looks at the state of the social care sector pre-pandemic and the impact that the virus has had on care homes and domiciliary care. There were over 4,000 deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes England in the two weeks up to 28 April – over four times the number recorded in residential and nursing homes up to that point and it is not clear whether the virus has yet reached its peak in this sector. The social care sector has been underfunded and under-valued by successive governments and was in a parlous state before the pandemic took hold. The briefing discusses: rates of infections and deaths in social care settings; continuing concerns about lack of adequate PPE provision to both care homes and domiciliary care providers; lack of testing for both care workers and residents/clients and what this means for the safety of social care provision; the additional costs of COVID-19 on local authorities and care providers in an already underfunded and unstable sector; and the lessons that can be learnt.

Last updated on hub: 08 July 2020

Managing through COVID-19: the experiences of children’s social care in 15 English local authorities

King's College London

This study examines the arrangements put in place in children’s social care services during the period of the COVID-19 lockdown and considers what their impact and legacy might be. A modified Delphi methodology was adopted, gathering expert opinion from 15 representatives of English local authorities to through a series of iterative questionnaires, with a goal of coming to a group consensus. Findings cover a whole range of issues, including home and office working; referrals; working with families in a pandemic; foster care; care leavers and unaccompanied young people seeking asylum; residential homes; multi-agency working; recruitment; planning for the end of lockdown; and lessons for the future. The study found that the local authorities have responded to three interrelated imperatives: to keep social workers safe while promoting their health and wellbeing, to work with extremely vulnerable families and to use technology to undertake work with these families who may be technology poor. All authorities were conscious that soon they could be facing additional challenges as they dealt not only with the practicalities of social distancing and technology, but the increased number of referrals that they expected once other services returned to ‘more business as usual’ operations. There was concern about those families who had been exposed to the risks arising within their homes such as domestic abuse, coercive control, alcohol and substance misuse, with consequences for their mental and physical health. COVID-19 has also offered opportunities, leading children’s social care services to think afresh about how things work and speed up changes that would have taken years to introduce. Previous notions of how to conduct an assessment, engage in direct practice and offer student placements are amongst the many activities that have been tested and reshaped, at least temporarily. Similarly, virtual visits to families were reported to be effective in certain circumstances and be less intrusive for some families, although establishing face-to-face contact in the home will continue to be necessary.

Last updated on hub: 07 July 2020

Impact of coronavirus in care homes in England: 26 May to 19 June 2020

The Office for National Statistics

Sets out the first results from the Vivaldi study, a large scale survey which looked at coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in 9,081 care homes providing care for dementia patients and the elderly in England. Across the care homes included in the study, 56% are estimated to have reported at least one confirmed case of coronavirus (staff or resident). Across these, an estimated 20% of residents and 7% of staff tested positive for COVID-19, as reported by care home managers, since the start of the pandemic. The emerging findings reveal some common factors in care homes with higher levels of infections amongst residents. These include prevalence of infection in staff, some care home practices such as more frequent use of bank or agency nurses or carers, and some regional differences (such as higher infection levels within care homes in London and the West Midlands). There is some evidence that in care homes where staff receive sick pay, there are lower levels of infection in residents. Findings also include some common factors in care homes with higher levels of infection amongst staff. These include prevalence of infection in residents (although this is weaker than the effect of staff infection on residents), some care home practices (such as more frequent use of bank or agency nurses or carers, and care homes employing staff who work across multiple sites) and some regional differences (such as higher infection levels within care homes in the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber). However, regional differences may be affected by different patterns of testing in staff and residents over time.

Last updated on hub: 07 July 2020

Guidance for those under 25 who provide care for someone

Department of Health and Social Care

This guidance is for young carers and young adult carers and will also be helpful for those who provide services to support young people who provide care. It provides information and advice to help young carers understand the changes they need to make during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and signposts the help available. It builds on previously published guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family and is also available as an easy read version. The content covers: definition of young carers and young adult carers; knowing how to help stop coronavirus spreading and caring for others; staying well and keeping safe on the internet; concerns about money, accessing support, food and medication; studying at home, resources to help, contact with school; how to continue to support when not living at home; and where to get further support – helplines and websites.

Last updated on hub: 07 July 2020

Leading in isolation during Covid-19

King's Fund

Lesley Flatley shares the challenges of leading an independent residential home during the pandemic and the feeling of isolation and loneliness that social care leaders may experience without the support of a large organisation like the NHS. The blog also looks at the actions and strategies they implemented to address and support the emotional and mental wellbeing of staff and residents and reflects on the lessons learned, including the role of technology.

Last updated on hub: 07 July 2020

Exploiting isolation: offenders and victims of online child sexual abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation

This report examines activities involving the sexual abuse and exploitation of children online and related offline crimes with a particular focus on how offenders have used their time during COVID-19 confinement to increase children’s vulnerability. The findings of this report are mainly based on contributions from Member States and Europol’s partner countries and input from a number of organisations. Key findings are: there have been significant increases in activity relating to child sexual abuse and exploitation on both the surface web and dark web during the COVID-19 lockdown period; travel restrictions and other measures during the pandemic have likely prevented offenders from travelling and so have shifted their focus to the exchange of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online; an increase in the number of offenders exchanging CSAM online during lockdown may have an impact on and stimulate demand for this type of material online beyond the lockdown; increases in detection and reporting of CSAM on the surface web during lockdown indicate the level of re-victimisation of children through the distribution of images and videos depicting them; consistent levels of activity by offenders on the dark web during lockdown reflects the ongoing organised business model that has evolved and the level of threat that it poses to children; society, including law enforcement, needs to focus on the self-generation of CSAM to ensure that children are protected from this type of exposure to harm; the increased circulation of CSAM during the COVID-19 pandemic will also increase the need for law enforcement to identify the victims depicted in it; it is critical to continue to promote preventive and educational initiatives in a coordinated and structural manner across Europe.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

Helping adult day centres to ‘unlock lockdown’. Part 1: planning practically for re-opening

King's College London

This document covers some of the practicalities of re-opening adult day centres as COVID-19 control measures are eased. It draws on guidance related to the pandemic, on broader guidance relating to social care, and relevant advice and action points for regulated settings (such as early years day care and care homes), some of which is also relevant to adult day centres. There is strong evidence that attending a day centre brings quality of life and so, despite risks, enabling people to have the choice of going to a day centre is something worthwhile. The document covers: infection control; communications; supporting service users, carers, staff and volunteers, and centre managers and coordinators; final things that managers and coordinators are likely to want to consider doing before re-opening; practical scenario planning tool. Part 2 of these guidance prompts reflection on what has happened during lockdown, what else centre managers and coordinators may wish to think about, the process of moving forwards and any learning that will be helpful for the future. Individual sections can be completed according to the stage you are in.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

Helping adult day centres to ‘unlock lockdown’. Part 2: reflecting about what has happened, our ‘journey’ during closure and the future of our service

King's College London

This tool prompts adult day centre managers and coordinators to reflect on what has happened during COVID-19 lockdown, the process of moving forwards and any learning that will be helpful for the future. There is strong evidence that day centres are valued by the people who attend and that they improve their quality of life. They help people to stay living at home and provide family members with help in their caring role. They play an important part in preventing loneliness and social isolation. They can also be part of the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The reflective points suggested in this tool may help mangers and coordinators think about the reasons for making this effort to restarting the recovery journey. Part 1 of this guidance covers some of the practicalities of re-opening, focusing on infection control, communications, supporting service users, carers, staff and volunteers, and planning.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

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