COVID-19 resources on Infection control

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Safeguarding adults practice and remote working in the COVID-19 era: challenges and opportunities

Journal of Adult Protection

Purpose: This exploratory paper aims to examine the literature on the impact of COVID-19 on safeguarding adults practice. Design/methodology/approach: A literature search was carried out in recently published articles to locate literature relating to COVID-19 and safeguarding adults in the UK and internationally. This included policy guidance and law, to describe the existing knowledge base, gaps in practice and areas that may require further research. Findings: The findings suggest that measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to remote working and virtual safeguarding practice. The findings highlight the need for empirical research into the impact of virtual safeguarding adults assessments and effective ways to support the needs and outcomes of those who may be at risk of or experiencing abuse and neglect while shielding, socially isolating or when working in an environment where social distancing is required. Research limitations/implications: The paper is based on a review and analysis of published documents and not on other types of research. Originality/value: Little is known about effective safeguarding adults practice in the era of shielding, self-isolation, social distancing and remote working. The paper adds to the body of knowledge in the field.

Last updated on hub: 09 December 2020

Severe mental illness and Covid-19: service support and digital solutions

Rethink Mental Illness

This briefing shares insights on service support for people with mental illness and digital solutions during the pandemic, drawing on online research with service users, as well as information from services. The paper sets out some of the challenges people severely affected by mental illness have faced during the pandemic and poses questions and suggestions on how they could be addressed, and how services can adapt to this new environment. It shows that service users are struggling with the delivery of remote services, or have seen a drop off in the level of support they have received. A concerning number have received no support at all. The briefing makes a series of recommendations on change to delivery of services and digital solutions: policy solutions for digitally excluded people are urgently required and should be a priority for NHS England and the government; as lockdown restrictions are lifted, digital and telephone consultations should continue to be provided, but only as an enhancement of options for service users who prefer this method; service users must be involved in designing and delivering mental health services during and post-pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce: BAME Communities Advisory: report and recommendations

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the BAME Communities Advisory Group (AG), established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. It includes a summary literature review and selections of findings from consultations that the AG has drawn upon to make its recommendations. Part 2, is an appendix, containing the other material that informed the work of the AG. The methodology for developing the recommendations in this report comprised: a rapid literature review (UK Civil Service, 2014) to scope overall thematic issues and appraise existing research on the employment experiences of BAME professionals; an online survey of BAME professionals and service users and carers; two virtual consultations on Zoom of BAME service users and carers and professionals, using the focus group method; and key informant interviews of leaders of social care organisations and faith groups. The report make ten recommendations, including that that people with lived experience should be at the forefront of developing social care policy and guidance that affects BAME communities; and that there should be parity between staff working in the NHS and social care in research, the design, development and delivery of programmes that support BAME staff through this and future pandemics

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce: final report, advice and recommendations

Department of Health and Social Care

Final report and recommendations of the Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce. Eight advisory groups were established to explore specific areas of care, namely: black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities; carers; good practice, guidance and innovation; mental health and wellbeing; older people and people living with dementia; people with learning disabilities and autistic people; self-directed support; and workforce’ The report sets out the progress and learning from the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in informing advice and recommendations to government and the social care sector. The report also sets out the action that will need be taken to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in the sector, both for those who rely on care and support, and the social care workforce. It details how people can be enabled to live as safely as possible while maintaining contacts and activity that enhance the health and wellbeing of service users and family carers. The report and recommendations cover the key themes in the management of COVID-19 and social care, including personal protective equipment (PPE), testing, flu vaccine, workforce and carers, training, funding, evidence and guidance, communication, clinical support, movement of people between care and health settings, inspection and regulation, capacity, expertise and information, use of data and digital, and national, regional and local structures. In addition, the report looks at the Care Home Support Plan; the Adult Social Care Action Plan; managing community outbreaks and the response of social care; key themes emerging from the taskforce advisory groups; and planning for the next phase of the pandemic

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Social Care Sector Covid-19 Support Taskforce: Guidance, Good Practice and Innovation Advisory Group: final report on recommendations

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the Guidance, Good Practice and Innovation Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. The recommendations cover: guidance – social care responsibilities in local outbreaks of COVID 19, accessibility and accuracy of social care guidance, guidance coproduction and stakeholder groups, discharge from hospital to care settings, visiting friends and carers, use of guidance, use of PPE; good practice – COVID 19 commissioning guidance, accessing on-line resources, mutual aid and volunteering, primary care support, support for homeless people, maintaining wellbeing; and innovation – Social Care Innovation Network, scale and embed technology-enabled care models, global innovation, self-funders and unpaid carers.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Social Care Sector: Covid-19 Support Taskforce: full recommendations - including all Advisory Group recommendations

Department of Health and Social Care

This document presents the full recommendations of the Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce and the eight advisory groups. In response to COVID-19, the taskforce was commissioned, beginning its work on 15 June 2020 and completing its work at the end of August 2020, to provide advice and recommendations to government and the social care sector. Eight advisory groups were established to explore specific areas of care, namely: black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities; carers; good practice, guidance and innovation; mental health and wellbeing; older people and people living with dementia; people with learning disabilities and autistic people; self-directed support; and workforce. In addition to the specific themes of the advisory groups, the recommendations cover the key themes in the overall management of COVID-19 and social care, including personal protective equipment (PPE), testing, flu vaccine, workforce and carers, training, funding, evidence and guidance, communication, clinical support, movement of people between care and health settings, inspection and regulation, capacity, expertise and information, use of data and digital, and national, regional and local structures; the Care Home Support Plan; the Adult Social Care Action Plan; managing community outbreaks and the response of social care; key themes emerging from the taskforce advisory groups; and planning for the next phase of the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Social Care Taskforce: Workforce Advisory Group: report and recommendations

Department of Health and Social Care

This is the report of the Workforce Advisory Group, established to make recommendations to feed into the work of the Social Care Sector COVID -19 Support Taskforce. Two consistent themes have run throughout the work of the Advisory Group: the low priority given to planning and resource allocation for the workforce who support individual employers; and the importance of coherent and timely guidance which meets the needs of the workforce and their employers in their respective environments. The recommendations have been grouped as “top priority”, “highly important” and “important”. The top priorities cover: pay and recognition of the workforce; maintain the safety and wellbeing of our workforce; fully-fund measures to minimise staff movement and self-isolation; supporting workers’ mental and physical health; and maximise uptake of seasonal influenza vaccination.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Social connection, loneliness and lockdown

Research In Practice: Dartington

Katy Shorten gives a comprehensive overview of loneliness and key messages from the literature for social care. The blog covers: identifying loneliness; the importance of social networks and activities; the role of technology; partnership working with organisations that support people and communities; building relationships; and being person-centred. The blog signposts to key evidence and resources.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Social distancing and social work field placements

Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning

The impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on social work practice placements around the world and in the United Arab Emirates is of concern to students, social work educators and service users. This practice note, focuses on the impact of the interruption to social work practice learning for students at the United Arab Emirates University and reflect on the introduction of 'social distancing', a health and safety strategy aimed at reducing the likelihood of the spread of the coronavirus. The paper proposes ways in which students in school placements can continue to develop their social work knowledge and skills ‘from a distance’ and while physically absent from their practice learning settings.

Last updated on hub: 17 April 2020

Social distancing in a social therapy environment

Therapeutic Communities: the International Journal of Therapeutic Communities

Purpose: This paper aims to describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a prison-based therapeutic community (TC). Design/methodology/approach: The paper takes the form of a case study where the authors reflect on their current practice, using the findings of research on social isolation and the overarching TC principles to explore the effect of the pandemic on the TC at HMP Grendon. The authors consider how the residents and staff adjusted to the change as the parameters changed when the social distancing rules were imposed and how they adapted to the prolonged break to therapy. Sections in the paper were written by a resident and an operational member of staff. The authors conclude with their thoughts on how to manage the consequences the lockdown has brought and start to think about what returning to “normality” might mean. Findings: The paper describes the adjustments made by the residents and staff as the UK Government imposed the lockdown. The authors, including a resident and an operational member of staff comment on the psychological and practical impact these adjustments had. The thought is given to the idea of “recovery”, returning to “normality” and how this study can be best managed once restrictions are lifted. Research limitations/implications: At the time of writing, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at HMP Grendon. The measures and commitment from all staff and residents in the prison to keep the prison environment safe may in part account for this. This paper explores the effects of lockdown on the emotional environment in a TC and highlights the consequences that social isolation can have on any individual. To the authors’ knowledge, there is currently no research undertaken on the impact of lockdown/social isolation on a TC. This research would be useful, as the authors postulate from reflections on current practice that the effects of the lockdown will be greater in a social therapy environment. Originality/value: HMP Grendon started in 1962, as this time there have been no significant events that have meant the suspension of therapy for such a sustained period. It is, therefore, important that the impact of such is considered and reflected upon.

Last updated on hub: 09 December 2020

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