COVID-19 resources on infection control

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COVID-19 infection rises: letter to care providers from Director of Adult Social Care Delivery

Department of Health and Social Care

A letter from Stuart Miller, Director of Adult Social Care Delivery, to care providers to highlight rising infection rates and request action on testing and PPE in all care settings.

Last updated on hub: 18 September 2020

COVID-19 Insight: focus on adult social care

Care Quality Commission

This Insight document highlights COVID-19 related pressures facing adult social care. It reviews data on outbreaks, deaths, and the availability of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), and looks at the impact of COVID-19 on staff wellbeing and the financial viability of adult social care services. It also outlines future areas of focus for the Care Quality Commission (CQC), including infection control both within and between services, how local systems are engaging social care organisations in the management of COVID-19, and how the care for people from different vulnerable groups is being managed through the COVID-19 crisis. The document draws on information gathered from staff and people receiving care, data collection from domiciliary care services, and conversations with providers. It is the first in a series of Insight documents on key issues affecting health and care during COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 21 May 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

Covid-19 Insight: issue 4

Care Quality Commission

The report explores some of the learning about good practice in infection prevention and control, and shares some of the good examples in understanding how providers have worked together to tackle COVID-19. In particular, the report looks at good practice in infection prevention and control in three key settings: acute hospital trusts; care homes; and GP surgeries. It introduces the work CQC has carried out to understand provider collaboration; some early headlines from the work; and examples of good practice. The report also updates regular data including outbreaks and staff absences in homecare services; and numbers of deaths of people detained under the Mental Health Act.

Last updated on hub: 23 September 2020

Covid-19 Insight: issue 5

Care Quality Commission

The report explores some of the learning about good practice in infection prevention and control, and shares some of the good examples in understanding how providers are taking action to minimise the risk of cross-infection. In particular, the report looks at infection prevention and control in care homes, revealing that effective use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and having up-to-date policies in place were the two areas with the most gaps in assurance; and the experiences of hospital inpatients during the early stage of the pandemic, showing that while people’s experiences remained positive, in line with previous inpatient surveys, discharge and care after leaving hospital were the most problematic aspects of care. The report also updates regular data including outbreaks and deaths in homecare services; numbers of deaths of people detained under the Mental Health Act; deaths of people with learning disabilities; and deaths of people from Black and minority ethnic groups in adult social care settings.

Last updated on hub: 25 November 2020

Covid-19 Insight: issue 6

Care Quality Commission

This report shares regional data on the designated settings that allow people with a COVID-positive test result to be discharged safely from hospital, and the latest data on registered care home provision. It also looks at how providers have collaborated to provide urgent and emergency care during the pandemic. In addition, the report updates data on outbreaks and staff absences in homecare services; numbers of deaths of people detained under the Mental Health Act; numbers of deaths of people with a learning disability; breakdown of deaths in adult social care settings by ethnicity.

Last updated on hub: 22 December 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

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 policy tracker: a timeline of national policy and health system responses to COVID-19 in England

The Health Foundation

This policy tracker documents national government and health and social care system responses to COVID-19 in England, and how they change over time. The full tracker includes data on what changes have been introduced, when, why, and by whom – as well as how these changes have been communicated by policymakers. Policy changes are tracked with respect to five areas – from health and care system changes to policy narrative, measures to limit spread, research and development and wider social and economic policy. The tracker is updated regularly and was last updated on 28 September 2020.

Last updated on hub: 06 October 2020

COVID-19 related mortality and spread of disease in long-term care: a living systematic review of emerging evidence


Background: Policy responses to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on long-term care (LTC) require robust and timely evidence on mortality and spread of the disease in these settings. The aim of this living systematic review is to synthesise early international evidence on mortality rates and incidence of COVID-19 among people who use and provide LTC. Methods: We report findings of a living systematic review (CRD42020183557), including studies identified through database searches up to 26 June 2020. We searched seven databases (MEDLINE; Embase; CINAHL Plus; Web of Science; Global Health; WHO COVID-19 Research Database; medRxiv) to identify all studies reporting primary data on COVID-19 related mortality and incidence of disease among LTC users and staff. We excluded studies not focusing on LTC. Included studies were critically appraised and results on number of deaths and COVID-19 related mortality rates, case fatality rates, and excess deaths (co-primary outcomes), as well as incidence of disease, hospitalisations, and ICU admissions were synthesised narratively. Findings: A total of 54 study reports for 49 unique primary studies or outbreak reports were included. Outbreak investigations in LTC facilities found COVID-19 incidence rates of between 0.0% and 71.7% among residents and between 0.4% and 64.0% among staff at affected facilities. Mortality rates varied from 0.0% to 17.1% of all residents at outbreak facilities, with case fatality rates between 0.0% and 33.7%. In included studies of outbreaks, no LTC staff members had died. Studies of wider LTC populations found that between 0.4% and 40.8% of users, and between 4.0% and 23.8% of staff were infected, although the generalisability of these studies is limited. There was limited information on the impact of COVID-19 on LTC in the community. Interpretation: Long-term care users have been particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we found wide variation in spread of disease and mortality rates between outbreaks at individual LTC facilities. Further research into the factors determining successful prevention and containment of COVID-19 outbreaks is needed to protect long-term care users and staff.

Last updated on hub: 04 November 2020

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