COVID-19 resources on infection control

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Lived experience: voices of older people on the COVID-19 pandemic 2020

Age NI

This report highlights the experiences of older people in Northern Ireland living through the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on feedback from the Consultative Forum at Age NI, it reflects key concerns and experiences through four key themes: support, health and care; communication and connection; loneliness and isolation; and grief and loss. The report finds that the pandemic and lockdown forced changes to many of the everyday care and support systems older people depend upon –restrictions on acute and community services made managing existing health concerns more difficult for many older people. Accessing sources of clear, up to date information has been very important during the lockdown – older people would like to access support and services online; they have concerns about using public transport for getting out and about again; and want safe ways to get back to their interests and activities. Older people are especially vulnerable to the effects of loneliness – older people shielding and not able to maintain movement and activity lost physical and cognitive fitness rapidly; and lack of connection and being unable to visit care homes caused some to worry about the risk of abuse and neglect. The COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for a significant increase in the number of excess deaths in Northern Ireland and older people feature disproportionately among them – families were distressed and concerned when advanced care planning was raised during the early stages of the pandemic; and people were worried and anxious about older people living in residential and nursing homes. The report provides a set of specific action points to help improve older people’s experience in relation to each of the four themes.

Last updated on hub: 28 September 2020

Impact and mortality of COVID-19 on people living with dementia: cross-country report

International Long-term Care Policy Network

This report brings together international evidence on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people living with dementia and an overview of international policy and practice measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 among people living with dementia. It draws on data from nine countries: United Kingdom (UK), Spain, Ireland, Italy, Australia, the United States (US), India, Kenya and Brazil. The analysis indicates that the share of people whose deaths were linked to COVID-19 in care homes who had dementia ranges from 29% to 75% across those countries. Within countries, people with dementia account for 25% of all COVID-19 related deaths in England and Wales, 31% in Scotland and 19% in Italy. In many places, the basic human rights of people with dementia may have been compromised during the pandemic. These rights include access to Intensive Care Units, hospital admissions, health care and palliative care. The controversial ban on visits (including spouses and care partners) to care homes across the world, have kept people with dementia detached from essential affective bonds and provision of family care for many months. The report argues that guidance and tools to support institutions and practitioners to respond better to the needs of people with dementia during the pandemic are needed as a matter of urgency. Confinement, isolation and many of the challenges brought about by the pandemic are detrimental to the cognitive and mental health symptoms in people with dementia across the world, both those living in the community and care homes. This report offers a list of short-term and long-term actions needed to ensure that people with dementia are not being left behind in this pandemic or future ones.

Last updated on hub: 28 September 2020

Adult social care winter plan: letter from Minister for Care to local authorities

Department of Health and Social Care

Letter from Helen Whately, Minister for Care, to outline the expectations of local authorities in relation to the adult social care winter plan. The plan sets out the actions the Government is taking at a national level to support those who provide and receive care. It also outlines the actions every local area (local authorities and NHS partners) and every care provider must take to support the collective efforts to keep the coronavirus at bay.

Last updated on hub: 28 September 2020

National Care Forum infection, prevention and control (IPC) compliance assessment tool

National Care Forum

This compliance assessment is a simple tool which has been developed using the most recent information on infection prevention and control (IPC) from the CQC and others. It will help care providers know how well they are doing, identify areas in which they need to improve and bring the guidance together into one place. This completion of an assessment using this tool will also provide the evidence that they need to satisfy the CQC requirements and will help ensure services are prepared and in a strong position to manage any ‘second wave’ of COVID-19, or indeed, other yet unknown pressures. There are 8 sections to the tool covering the management of visitors, social distancing, admissions, PPE, testing, premises, staffing and policy. Each section contains a description of what is important to consider and examples of evidence that could be seen as good practice.

Last updated on hub: 28 September 2020

COVID-19 checklist for choosing a care home: 5 questions for residents, families, friends and carers to ask

National Care Forum

This short guide helps think about what individuals need to know and the questions they might ask when thinking about a choice of home during COVID-19. The pandemic means that care homes have had to learn to do things differently while continuing to provide high quality care. The questions focus on the quality of the home; the extent to which residents are able to maintain contacts with friends and family in a safe way; the testing programme; the use of personal protective equipment; and the health and hygiene measures that are in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 24 September 2020

The impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) on people who work as social care personal assistants

King's College London

This study addresses the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the work of social care Personal Assistants supporting people in need of care and support. Drawing from a sample of 105 PAs, researchers were able to interview 41. The findings show that regardless of whether they were paid, unless they were themselves ‘shielding’ to protect themselves or a family member, nearly all PAs were helping others in some way on a voluntary basis. However, other than limited, general guidance from the government which was not always thought useful by PAs, there were few other reliable sources of information about the virus, or about practical arrangements such as when and where to get tested, to obtain Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and to learn safe practices. Most PAs wore masks, gloves, aprons and said it was likely to become routine practice for them now, but It was often difficult for them to obtain PPE. PAs were asked about what would be most helpful to them in responding and adapting to the Covid virus. Several suggestions were made, including ready access to sufficient quantities of good quality PPE; the implementation of easily accessible, reliable testing; effective mechanisms for contact tracing to help prevent the spread of the virus; a single source of contact for support and reliable and accurate advice; better pay, contracts and less precarious working conditions; and financial support to people who were unable to work, but were not being paid by the employer, and did not qualify for the government’s furlough scheme.

Last updated on hub: 23 September 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

Getting ready for winter with Covid-19

Paradigm

This document shares ideas about how support workers can, alongside those they support, get ready for the reality of a winter with restrictions due to Covid-19.

Last updated on hub: 22 September 2020

Guidance of good practice relating to social distanced and hybrid family group conferences

Fulcrum Family Services

This document is designed to provide guidance of good practice to family group conference (FGC) managers and coordinators in risk assessing whether to conduct either a social distanced or hybrid family group conference (SDFGC or HFGC) within England. An SDFGC is an FGC meeting that is held while adhering to all necessary social distancing protocols and procedures in order to lower risks of contracting or spreading Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) among participants. An HFGC is an FGC that includes some participants who are participating virtually via technological means (e.g. video conferencing, or telephone participation), and some attending in person. The meeting will also adhere to all necessary social distancing protocols and procedures in order to lower risks of contracting or spreading Covid-19 among participants. Some information is provided in respect to the rest of the UK, but the Government information pertains mostly to England. This guidance does not provide definite answers as every service and local authority will have their own circumstances to consider including local infection rate, local guidance and organisational restrictions. However, it attempts to cover the necessary issues that need to be considered during risk assessing any SDFGC or HFGC which were known at the time of writing (29th June-17th August 2020). The situation is ever evolving, and therefore this guidance should be considered as a starting point – a service’s response to Covid-19 will likely in time also evolve beyond what has been considered thus far.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Adult social care: our COVID-19 winter plan 2020 to 2021

Department of Health and Social Care

This policy paper sets out the key elements of national support available for the social care sector for winter 2020 to 2021, as well as the main actions to take for local authorities, NHS organisations, and social care providers, including in the voluntary and community sector. It covers four themes: preventing and controlling the spread of infection in care settings; collaboration across health and care services; supporting people who receive social care, the workforce, and carers; and supporting the system. Each section sets out the Department of Health and Social Care’s offer of national support and the department’s expectations for adult social care providers alongside published guidance. The plan applies to all settings and contexts in which people receive adult social care. This includes people’s own homes, residential care homes and nursing homes, and other community settings.[Published 18 September 2020. Last updated 20 November 2020]

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

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