COVID-19 resources on Infection control

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NICE guidance: preventing infection and promoting wellbeing

Skills for Care

This webinar – delivered by NICE – focuses on two areas of NICE guidance: helping to prevent infection and promoting positive mental wellbeing, considering the particular challenges for social care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar also covers NICE COVID-19 rapid guidelines and NICE social care quick guides.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Nontraditional small house nursing homes have fewer COVID-19 cases and deaths

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

Objectives: Green House and other small nursing home (NH) models are considered “nontraditional” due to their size (10–12 beds), universal caregivers, and other home-like features. They have garnered great interest regarding their potential benefit to limit Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections due to fewer people living, working, visiting, and being admitted to Green House/small NHs, and private rooms and bathrooms, but this assumption has not been tested. If they prove advantageous compared with other NHs, they may constitute an especially promising model as policy makers and providers reinvent NHs post-COVID. Design: This cohort study compared rates of COVID-19 infections, COVID-19 admissions/readmissions, and COVID-19 mortality, among Green House/small NHs with rates in other NHs between January 20, 2020 and July 31, 2020. Setting and Participants: All Green House homes that held a skilled nursing license and received Medicaid or Medicare payment were invited to participate; other small NHs that replicate Green House physical design and operational practices were eligible if they had the same licensure and payer sources. Of 57 organizations, 43 (75%) provided complete data, which included 219 NHs. Comparison NHs (referred to as “traditional NHs”) were up to 5 most geographically proximate NHs within 100 miles that had <50 beds and ≥50 beds for which data were available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Because Department of Veterans Affairs organizations are not required to report to CMS, they were not included. Methods: Rates per 1000 resident days were derived for COVID-19 cases and admissions, and per 100 COVID-19 positive cases for mortality. A log-rank test compared rates between Green House/small NHs and traditional NHs with <50 beds and ≥50 beds. Results: Rates of all outcomes were significantly lower in Green House/small NHs than in traditional NHs that had <50 beds and ≥50 beds (log-rank test P < .025 for all comparisons). The median (middle value) rates of COVID-19 cases per 1000 resident days were 0 in both Green House/small NHs and NHs <50 beds, while they were 0.06 in NHs ≥50 beds; in terms of COVID-19 mortality, the median rates per 100 positive residents were 0 (Green House/small NHs), 10 (<50 beds), and 12.5 (≥50 beds). Differences were most marked in the highest quartile: 25% of Green House/small NHs had COVID-19 case rates per 1000 resident days higher than 0.08, with the corresponding figures for other NHs being 0.15 (<50 beds) and 0.74 (≥50 beds). Conclusions and Implications: COVID-19 incidence and mortality rates are less in Green House/small NHs than rates in traditional NHs with <50 and ≥50 beds, especially among the higher and extreme values. Green House/small NHs are a promising model of care as NHs are reinvented post-COVID.

Last updated on hub: 03 March 2021

Novel coronavirus (COVID19) standard operating procedure: COVID-19 vaccine deployment programme: frontline social care workers (JCVI Priority Cohort 2)

NHS England

This standard operating procedure (SOP) outlines the process for facilitating COVID-19 vaccination for frontline social care workers (excluding those working in care homes for older adults) as defined by the JCVI. This includes the identification of eligible care workers and the roles and responsibilities within local systems for enabling and supporting care workers to be vaccinated. The SOP also outlines how Hospital Hubs, Vaccination Centres and Local Vaccination Services should work to deliver COVID-19 vaccination to frontline social care workers at pace. It covers how they should work in partnership to match vaccination capacity to meet demand, support booking, on the day arrangements and data capture to monitor uptake. It does not cover the clinical delivery of the vaccine, which is covered in separate guidance.

Last updated on hub: 19 January 2021

Nursing home design and COVID-19: balancing infection control, quality of life, and resilience

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

Many nursing home design models can have a negative impact on older people and these flaws have been compounded by Coronavirus Disease 2019 and related infection control failures. This article proposes that there is now an urgent need to examine these architectural design models and provide alternative and holistic models that balance infection control and quality of life at multiple spatial scales in existing and proposed settings. Moreover, this article argues that there is a convergence on many fronts between these issues and that certain design models and approaches that improve quality of life, will also benefit infection control, support greater resilience, and in turn improve overall pandemic preparedness.

Last updated on hub: 07 December 2020

Older people’s nonphysical contacts and depression during the COVID-19 lockdown

Gerontologist

Background and Objectives: With the goal of slowing down the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, restrictions to physical contacts have been taken in many countries. We examine to what extent intergenerational and other types of nonphysical contacts have reduced the risk of increased perceived depressive feelings during the lockdown for people aged 50+. Research Design and Methods: We implemented an online panel survey based on quota sampling in France, Italy, and Spain in April 2020, about 1 month after the start of the lockdown. Our analyses are based on logistic regression models and use post-stratification weights. Results: About 50% of individuals aged 50+ felt sad or depressed more often than usual during the lockdown in the 3 considered countries. Older people who increased or maintained unchanged nonphysical contacts with noncoresident individuals during the lockdown were at a lower risk of increased perceived depressive feelings compared to those who experienced a reduction in nonphysical contacts. The beneficial effect of nonphysical contacts was stronger for intergenerational relationships. The effects were similar by gender and stronger among individuals aged 70+, living in Spain and not living alone before the start of the lockdown. Discussion and Implications: In the next phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, or during any future similar pandemic, policy makers may implement measures that balance the need to reduce the spread of the virus with the necessity of allowing for limited physical contacts. Social contacts at a distance may be encouraged as a means to keep social closeness, while being physically distant.

Last updated on hub: 06 March 2021

On site testing for adult social care services

Department of Health and Social Care

This guidance explains how adult social care services can prepare and manage on-site lateral flow testing. This can include testing of people who work in social care; professionals visiting a social care service for work; people getting care and support from social care services; people visiting someone who gets care and support. Lateral flow antigen testing involves processing a throat and nasal swab sample with an extraction fluid and a rapid lateral flow device (LFT). The rapid LFT detects a COVID-19 antigen that is produced when a person is infectious with COVID-19. If this antigen is present, then a coloured strip will appear which indicates a positive result. Lateral flow testing is not a fool proof solution: it should be seen as an addition to PPE and other IPC measures and must not be seen as a way of relaxing their use. The guidance covers: testing process overview; testing technology and preparations; and testing instructions (prepare testing area, check-in the person being tested, sample collection, sample analysis, result analysis, process and record results, and results guidance). [Published: 24 March 2021; Last updated:22 April 2021]

Last updated on hub: 08 March 2021

One year report on the status on the non-devolved provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020: March 2021

Department of Health and Social Care

One-year status report on which powers in the Coronavirus Act 2020 are currently active. The Act was designed to protect public health in various ways, with the ultimate aim of facilitating sufficient preparation for a worst-case scenario. The Act ensured that the NHS had the capacity to deal with the peak of the virus by allowing the temporary registration of nurses and other healthcare professionals. It also protected critical societal functions and ensured that they were still able to continue, such as providing courts with the ability to use video technology. The Act meant that we were able to ensure effective support packages such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employed Income Support Scheme were in place for people and businesses alike. To achieve this aim, the Act enables action in five key areas: increasing the available health and social care workforce; easing and reacting to the burden on frontline staff; supporting people, providing access financial support when they need it; containing and slowing the virus; and managing the deceased with respect and dignity.

Last updated on hub: 23 March 2021

Opening schools safely in the COVID-19 era: school social workers’ experiences and recommendations: a research brief for policymakers

University of California

This policy brief presents data from a national survey of school social workers (SSWs) exploring the impacts of COVID-19 school disruptions in the United States. It highlights the need to address hunger, housing instability, health, mental health and other challenges that a high proportion of students are experiencing, especially low-income students. From a capacity perspective, SSWs in the study report that sizable proportions of students are suffering from difficulties due to discrimination, family discord, child abuse, language difficulties, and community violence; SSWs are called to perform the same Herculean tasks that face other educators and school staff in this pandemic but there are concerns that this work is being done with few resources, outside supports, or governmental guidance; greater supports, like the personal protective equipment (PPE) given to health care professions, are needed for educational staff and social workers who are on the front lines of the pandemic. The paper argues that given SSWs’ ecological view and historical commitment to under-served communities, their voices should be heard in planning school reopening. Based on the findings from the survey, the brief recommends the following actions: create a rapid-response team of school professionals from multiple fields to develop a systemic, national response to support schools; prioritise the response to the most hard-hit schools and communities; develop three evidence-driven national plans, one for in-person instruction, one for online, and one for a hybrid; provide additional supports and resources, including more trained social workers sent to the most stressed schools and communities.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

Opening schools safely in the COVID-19 era: school social workers’ experiences and recommendations: technical report

University of California

This report summarises initial findings from a national survey of school social workers’ (SSWs) (n=1,275) practising across the United States. Findings highlight serious challenges facing schools, school staff, and students. Some of these challenges are specifically related to educational goals, but many are related to basic needs that are a prerequisite to academic and social emotional learning. Many SSWs reported having limited to no contact with some of their students because they couldn’t establish a connection with them during the shutdown; they expressed significant concerns about the motivation and engagement of the 81% of students with whom they did work; and reported that a majority of their students and families had profound, immediate, and urgent needs related to food insufficiency (62.4%), housing instability (42.8), health issues (61.6%), individualised student tutoring (62.3%), and mental health services (75.7%). While findings speak to the dynamism and creativity of SSWs in this pandemic, findings also revealed many troubling and serious issues that need immediate attention as schools plan how to re-open in the fall. Implications for professional development, district supports, university training, and a national effort to reconnect a potential “lost generation of students” are discussed and outlined. The report makes a series of recommendations, including a call to action for the various school social work organisations to join together to help SSWs and their school communities respond effectively as the pandemic continues to impact on the academic and social experience of children.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

Cabinet Office

This document describes the progress the UK has made to date in tackling the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and sets out the plans for moving to the next phase of its response to the virus. The strategy sets out a roadmap to easing existing measures and lift restrictions. It also provides details of the fourteen supporting programmes of work that will be delivered by the Government to achieve this. These include work to support care homes during the pandemic and strengthen the protections against infection of care home residents.

Last updated on hub: 08 June 2020

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