COVID-19 resources on infection control

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Visits to care homes: guidance for providers

Welsh Government

This guidance provides advice for care home providers on facilitating outdoor visits; indoor visits when the level of COVID-19 at a local or national level allows; indoor visits in exceptional circumstances including end of life; and people going out into the community and visiting family and friends. The guidance sets out an ethical framework to support people living and staying in care homes to reconnect safely with families, friends and professionals, consistent with the requirements of the wider coronavirus restrictions. The ultimate decision on whether, and in what circumstances care home visits take place rests with the individual provider, and some providers will find it more challenging to facilitate visits than others. However, this guidance is intended to support providers to enable visits to take place, and providers are expected and encouraged to facilitate visits wherever possible.

Last updated on hub: 08 September 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

The rapid learning initiative into the transmission of COVID-19 into and within care homes in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland. Department of Health

This report provides the findings of the Rapid Learning Initiative with regards to the transmission of Covid-19 into and within care homes during the first surge of the pandemic, and makes recommendations on the way forward prior to further potential surges of infection. It details the findings of each of the four sub-groups, which considered: the experience of residents, families and staff; symptom monitoring, interventions and testing; infection prevention and control; and physical distancing, reduced footfall and restricted visiting. The initiative identified three overarching structures and processes that will need to be established to support the delivery of outcomes and bring about a learning system that works across Heath and Social Care (HSCNI), including the independent sector and Trusts: at strategic level, the collaborative partnerships established for the purposes of the Initiative should continue and develop further to support future development of Strategy and Policy; a regional learning system should be developed and include key quality indicators for Care Homes (led by frontline staff) using real-time data that can for continuous improvement; and a quality improvement learning system should include building the capability and capacity within Care Home staff to use continuous improvement methodologies to implement operational improvement as a system.

Last updated on hub: 07 September 2020

COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel: examination of measures to 2021: report to the Minister for Health

Department of Health (Ireland)

This report provides a summary of the work conducted by the Nursing Homes Expert Panel, looking at the effectiveness and appropriateness of both national and international protective public health and other measures adopted to safeguard residents in nursing homes, in light of COVID-19. The evidence-informed and consultative approach taken by the Panel is described in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 presents an overview of relevant epidemiological information and data. Chapter 4 presents a summary and the results of a systematic evidence review completed under the direction of the Panel. Chapter 5 gives an overview of the results of a three-part consultation process conducted by the Expert Panel. Chapter 6 sets out the views and considerations of the Panel in respect of healthcare policy for older persons, and finally, Chapter 7 sets out the in-depth discussion on learning and the recommendations of the Panel. These address a number of thematic areas, including: public health measures; infection prevention and control; outbreak management; future admissions to nursing homes; nursing home management; . data analysis; community support teams; clinical – general practitioner lead roles on community support teams and in nursing homes; nursing home staffing/workforce; education-discipline-specific and inter-disciplinary; palliative care; visitors to nursing homes; and communication.

Last updated on hub: 07 September 2020

COVID-19: guidance for commissioners and providers of hostel services for people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping

Public Health England

Information on coronavirus (COVID-19) for commissioners and providers of hostel services for people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping. The guidance covers: hostels with individual self-contained rooms with en-suite facilities that have shared kitchens; and hostels without individual self-contained rooms and that have communal facilities. This guidance does not cover night shelters. [Published 16 March 2020; Last updated 3 September 2020]

Last updated on hub: 07 September 2020

Case studies

Care Home Professional

Brings together innovative examples of good practice in care homes. They case studies cover a range of topics, including responses to Covid-19; quality of care; the use of technology; social activities and entertainment; and helping residents stay connected.

Last updated on hub: 07 September 2020

What you need to know when visiting a care home (new guidance for COVID-19)

Healthwatch England

A breakdown of current guidance on visiting care homes during coronavirus. It addresses key aspects and questions, including: when to to visit a care home; what advice to expect; whether a test is required to be able to visit my relative; how to travel to the care home; what is likely to change when visiting a loved one; how many people can visit a care home at a time; what happens if there is an outbreak at the care home; and what happens if there is a local lockdown.

Last updated on hub: 03 September 2020

COVID-19 insights: impact on workforce skills

Skills for Health

Based on the Covid-19 Workforce Survey, this report explores the extent of the pandemic’s impact on the health sector employers and employees. It reveals that the pressure of working in the healthcare sector during the pandemic has led to many staff retiring or resigning. As a result, nearly half of the respondents report that their organisation is planning on increasing recruitment over the next 6 months. However, several organisations have frozen training activities which has led to skills gaps. The pandemic has brought along new ways of working which has meant that COVID-19 awareness and knowledge relating to social distancing as well as infection prevention and control have become crucial for healthcare staff. In addition, the sector has seen a change in the clinical management of patients with COVID-19 infection as well as an increase in home working and the use of PPE – however, 40.6% of respondents state that their organisation was not adequately prepared for this sudden shift in working methods. Many respondents report on issues obtaining PPE as well as inadequate IT systems and digital skills to facilitate remote working. As a result of the pandemic, 44.3% of employers report that their organisational structure will look different. To aid revised organisational structures and potential new ways of working, employers state that they would like immediate support with staff wellbeing processes, employee engagement and workforce planning.

Last updated on hub: 03 September 2020

Personal protective equipment (PPE): care workers delivering homecare during the Covid-19 response

Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch

This national intelligence report provides insight into a current safety risk that the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) has identified, relating to the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by care workers when visiting a patient at home. It documents how concerns raised by HSIB were responded to by Public Health England, the body responsible for the development of guidelines for the appropriate use of PPE. The report finds that there are multiple Covid-19 guidelines for different care sectors. PPE guidelines should be used in conjunction with other guidelines, such as infection control guidelines, so that care providers can develop protocols for care delivery. This is challenging when guidelines are updated, or new guidelines are issued and there is a risk that guidance may be missed. The report argues that there is an opportunity to introduce a document management system for guidelines to ensure that the latest information is available. This would involve the design of a usable navigation system so that all related guidelines relevant to a particular care sector are visible and can be checked for completeness.

Last updated on hub: 01 September 2020

West Midlands inquiry into COVID-19 fatalities in the BAME community

COVID-19 BAME Evidence Gathering Taskforce

Findings from the Labour Party-led COVID-19 BAME Evidence Gathering Taskforce, which was established to gather the evidence on the impact of Covid-19 on black and minority ethnic communities in the West Midlands. The report indicates that men and women in the black community have been over four times more likely to die from Covid-19 than white people (4.2 and 4.3 times respectively). Men of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin were 3.6 times more likely to have a Covid-19 related death, while the figure for women was 3.4 times more likely. Key findings include: fear of inequitable treatment that might be received in the NHS was a deterrent for many in the BAME asking for help quickly enough; the BAME community experienced an NHS and care system that was overwhelmed, despite the heroism of our frontline NHS workers, many of whom were themselves from the BAME community; public health messages about symptoms or what to do when in need were poorly communicated to BAME communities; the voice of the BAME community has not been heard in the way the health services are designed and delivered; many BAME frontline workers had direct experience of inadequate provision of PPE with some having to make protective equipment themselves; a clear strategy for understanding the scientific evidence for the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on the BAME community has not been communicated effectively. The report makes a number of recommendations and calls on the Government to commence a formal judge-led independent public inquiry into the Covid-19 fatalities in the BAME community and to consult with BAME communities on both the Chair and the Terms of Reference.

Last updated on hub: 01 September 2020

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