COVID-19 resources on Infection control

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Reducing SARS‐CoV‐2 transmission in the UK: a behavioural science approach to identifying options for increasing adherence to social distancing and shielding vulnerable people

British Journal of Health Psychology

Purpose: To describe and discuss a systematic method for producing a very rapid response (3 days) to a UK government policy question in the context of reducing SARS‐CoV‐2 transmission. Methods: A group of behavioural and social scientists advising the UK government on COVID‐19 contributed to the analysis and writing of advice through the Government Office for Science. The question was as follows: What are the options for increasing adherence to social distancing (staying at home except for essential journeys and work) and shielding vulnerable people (keeping them at home and away from others)? This was prior to social distancing legislation being implemented. The first two authors produced a draft, based on analysis of the current government guidance and the application of the Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW) framework to identify and evaluate the options. Results: For promoting social distancing, 10 options were identified for improving adherence. They covered improvements in ways of achieving the BCW intervention types of education, persuasion, incentivization, and coercion. For promoting shielding of vulnerable people, four options were identified covering the BCW intervention types of incentivization, coercion, and enablement. Conclusions: Responding to policymakers very rapidly as has been necessary during the COVID‐19 pandemic can be facilitated by using a framework to structure the thinking and reporting of multidisciplinary academics and policymakers.

Last updated on hub: 07 November 2020

Reopening the doors of Dutch nursing homes during the COVID-19 crisis: results of an in-depth monitoring

International Psychogeriatrics

Objectives: On May 11, the Dutch Government allowed 26 nursing homes to welcome 1 visitor per resident, after 2 months of lockdown. The study aimed to monitor in-depth the feasibility of the regulations and their impact on the well-being of residents, their visitors, and healthcare staff. Design: Mixed-methods study in 5 of the 26 facilities; the facilities were affiliated to an academic network of nursing homes. Participants: Visitors and healthcare professionals. Intervention: Allowing visitors using local regulations based on national guidelines. Measurements: Digital questionnaire, analyzing documentation such as infection prevention control protocols, attending meetings of COVID-19 crisis teams, in-depth telephone or in-person interviews with visitors and healthcare professionals, and on-site observations. Results: National guidelines were translated with great variety into local care practice. Healthcare professionals agreed that reopening would increase the well-being of the residents and their loved ones. However, there were also great worries for increasing workload, increasing the risk of emotional exhaustion, and the risk of COVID-19 infections. Compliance with local regulations was generally satisfactory, but maintaining social distance and correctly wearing face masks appeared to be difficult. Care staff remained ambivalent for fear of infections. In general, allowing visitors was experienced as having a positive impact on the well-being of all stakeholders. Nevertheless, some residents with dementia showed negative effects. Conclusion: The complete lockdown of Dutch nursing homes had a substantial impact on the well-being of the residents. The reopening was welcomed by all stakeholders, but provided a high organizational workload as well as feelings of ambivalence among care staff. In the second wave, a more tailored approach is being implemented. However, facilities are sometimes still struggling to find the right balance between infection control and well-being.

Last updated on hub: 13 April 2021

Report 01: findings from the first 1500 participants on parent/carer stress and child activity

Emerging Minds

This report is based upon the data from the first 1,500 parents and carers who have taken part in an online survey tracking the mental health of school-aged children and young people aged 4-16 years throughout the COVID-19 crisis. These participants completed the survey during a 6-day period, between Monday 30th March and Saturday 4th April – for most young people, this will have been the last week of the school term prior to the Easter holiday. The report focuses on the parent and carer stress and how children and young people are reported to spend their time. The report indicates that the top three stressors for parents and carers were work, their children’s wellbeing, and their family and friends (outside their household); early two third of parents and carers reported that they were not sufficiently meeting the needs of both work and their child; just over half the children and young people completed 2 or more hours of schoolwork per day; nearly three quarter of children and young people are keeping in contact with friends via video chat; and round three quarter of children and young people are getting more than 30 minutes of exercise per day.

Last updated on hub: 01 July 2020

Report 02: Covid-19 worries, parent/carer stress and support needs, by child special educational needs and parent/carer work status

Emerging Minds

This report provides cross-sectional data from the approximately 5,000 parents and carers who, between 30/03/20 and 29/04/20, have taken part in an online survey tracking the mental health of school-aged children and young people aged 4-16 years throughout the COVID-19 crisis. The report focuses on the following outcomes: parent and carer reported child worries related to COVID-19; parent and carer sources of stress; support and disruptions; parent and carer need for support; and parent and carer preference for the medium of delivery of support. The report reveals that nearly half the parents/carers thought that their child was concerned about family and friends catching the virus; around a third of parents/carers reported that their child was worried about missing school; work is the most frequent source of stress for parents, followed by their child’s emotional wellbeing; parents of children with special educational needs and neurodevelopmental disorders (SEN/ND) report higher levels of stress across all areas; while child behaviour is rarely a stressor for parents of non-SEN/ND children, it was frequently a stressor for parents of children with SEN/ND; 4 in 5 of those who were previously receiving support from services have had this stopped or postponed during the pandemic; parents particularly want support around their child’s emotional wellbeing, education and coming out of social isolation; parents of children with SEN/ND would also like support around managing their child’s behaviour; and parents and carers would value online written materials and videos, while parents with children with SEN/ND would also like online support from professionals.

Last updated on hub: 01 July 2020

Report 03: parents/carers report on their own and their children’s concerns about children attending school

Emerging Minds

This report provides cross-sectional data from approximately 611 parents and carers who have taken part in an online survey tracking the mental health of school-aged children and young people aged 4-16 years throughout the COVID-19 crisis. It focuses specifically on concerns around children and young people attending school during the Covid-19 pandemic. The findings show that parents of children with SEN/ND are particularly uncomfortable about their children attending school, as are parents who do not work, and those with lower incomes. Particular concerns for parents of children with SEN/ND are that their child will not get the emotional, behavioural and educational support that they need, or the support they need with transitions to different groups/classes. Parents of children with SEN/ND or a pre-existing mental health difficulty report that their children are particularly concerned about things being uncertain or different, changes to routine, the enjoyable parts of school not happening, and being away from home.

Last updated on hub: 01 July 2020

Report 04: changes in children and young people’s emotional and behavioural difficulties through lockdown

University of Oxford

This report provides longitudinal data from 2,890 parents and carers who took part in both a baseline and follow up questionnaires tracking the mental health of school-aged children and young people aged 4-16 years throughout the COVID-19 crisis. The report examines changes in parent and carer and adolescent self-reported emotional, behavioural and restless and attentional difficulties over a one-month period as lockdown has progressed. It shows that over a one-month period in lockdown parents and carers of primary school age children report an increase in their child’s emotional, behavioural, and restless and attentional difficulties; parents and carers of secondary school age children report a reduction in their child’s emotional difficulties, but an increase in restless and attentional behaviours; adolescents report no change in their own emotional or behavioural, and restless and attentional difficulties; parents and carers of children with SEN and those with a pre-existing mental health difficulty report a reduction in their child’s emotional difficulties and no change in behavioural or restless and attentional difficulties; parents and carers of high-income households report an increase in their child’s behavioural difficulties.

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2020

Report of the Social Care Taskforce's Older People and People Affected by Dementia Advisory Group

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the Older People and People Affected by Dementia Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. The recommendations cover the following areas: restoring and sustaining contact with visitors in care homes; restoring care services and assessments; reinstating and sustaining community-based services and support; restoring and sustaining access to health care; ensuring effective safeguarding; and planning for and managing outbreaks. The report calls for all care settings and providers to have sufficient PPE; regular and ongoing testing of care staff and care recipients; the testing regime to be reliable and timely in its operation and resultant data to be shared with relevant NHS bodies and professionals, as well as providers; the flu vaccination programme to be unparalleled in its scope and ambition, and reach out to all social care staff and recipients in all settings, and informal carers too, supported by mass marketing; the financial resilience of care providers to be kept under constant review, with plans in place and regularly updated by CQC, central and local Government, to mitigate any significant market failure; total and available care capacity should be published weekly; and the ongoing challenges in data sharing and data governance between health and social care settings must be resolved by September 2020.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Research briefing one: child protection, social distancing and risks from COVID-19

University of Birmingham

This briefing shares some emerging findings about the challenges of achieving social distancing during child protection work, especially on home visits, and how children and families and social workers can be kept safe from COVID-19. The data shows that social workers, family support workers and their managers have worked creatively in addressing the complex practical and moral dilemmas they have faced in implementing social distancing guidance and in aspiring to best practice in helping children and families. The briefing focuses in particular on the implication of going into homes, the impossibility of social distancing, and virtual home visits; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) use and dilemmas; and the professional values that guide social workers’ decisions about whether or not to conduct in person visits, including selflessness, public accountability and leadership. On the basis of the very early findings from this research, the briefing advises that social work staff should be told that they do not have to take any personal risks they do not feel comfortable with; staff doing visits inside family homes need to be provided with full PPE while other creative ways of seeing children, like in gardens, on walks, and on virtual visits, need to continue; social work leaders and managers at all levels need to address organisational anxieties by constantly being clear with frontline staff that how their practice and record keeping is evaluated will take full account of the constraints placed on their work by COVID-19 and social distancing.

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2020

Research briefing three: digital social work – the emergence of hybrid practice during the COVID-19 pandemic

University of Birmingham

This briefing examines emerging findings showing where and how digital social work practices have played a useful role in child protection work during the COVID-19 pandemic. It explores challenges encountered in the use of digital technologies and highlights circumstances in which newly emerging hybrid digital-physical practices help keep children safe or offer additional benefits for social workers and the families they support. Topics covered include: transitioning to the digital; video calls disrupting social workers’ expectations of themselves and their practice; learning to work digitally; video calls as face-to-face visits; video calls as a way to build relationships; hybrid digital-physical social work and possible hybrid practice futures; and digital inequalities. The study shows that digital social work and the hybrid practices it generates can provide a number of benefits. This might usefully be taken forward as part of an expanded set of techniques for support, communication and evaluation in social work, whereby their use is tailored to families on a case-specific basis. Yet these options need to be considered in the context of the ever deepening social and economic inequalities that characterise the UK at the moment, to ensure that they are designed in such a way that is equitable, fair and inclusive.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

Responding to the ‘Shadow Pandemic’: practitioner views on the nature of and responses to violence against women in Victoria, Australia during the COVID-19 restrictions

Monash University

This report presents the findings from a survey to capture the voices and experiences of practitioners responding to women experiencing violence during the COVID-19 shutdown in Victoria, Australia. With more people confined to their homes to reduce the community spread of COVID-19, there is a greater risk of violence against women and children. The analysis of practitioner responses to the survey found that the pandemic has led to: an increase in the frequency and severity of violence against women (VAW); an increase in the complexity of women’s needs; for 42 per cent of respondents, an increase in first-time family violence reporting by women; enhanced tactics to achieve social isolation and forms of violence specifically relating to the threat and risk of COVID-19 infection; for many women experiencing violence during the lockdown period, there was less ability to seek help; service innovations have occurred across Victoria to enhance accessibility and effectiveness of service delivery during the COVID-19 easing of restrictions and recovery phase; numerous challenges to providing support, undertaking effective risk assessment and carrying out safety planning during the COVID-19 shutdown phase. The research also draws attention to the wellbeing considerations for practitioners working remotely to support women experiencing violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to develop worker supports as restrictions are eased and a period of recovery is entered.

Last updated on hub: 24 June 2020

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