COVID-19 resources on Infection control

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Bearing a disproportionate burden: racial/ethnic disparities in experiences of U.S.-based social workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Social Work: A journal of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

While social workers have served as frontline workers responding to the needs of vulnerable populations during COVID-19 pandemic, little is known about how social work professionals themselves have been impacted. This article explored the impact of COVID-19 on social work professionals’ mental health, physical health, and access to personal protective equipment (PPE). This was a cross-sectional web-based survey of social workers practicing in the United States (N = 3,118); data on demographic and workplace characteristics, physical and mental health, and safety concerns were collected between June and August of 2020. Univariate statistics were used to characterize the sample. Ordinal logistic and multinomial regression were used to achieve the research aims. The majority of participants reported either moderate or severe concerns related to mental (55 percent) and physical (55 percent) health; 36 percent of respondents indicated concerns about PPE access. Respondents’ concerns differed by demographic (e.g., race, age) and workplace characteristics (e.g., setting, role, region). Social workers of color are experiencing COVID-19-related concerns of significantly greater severity relative to their White counterparts. Findings highlight an immediate need to deepen understanding of the factors that contribute to these trends and identify mechanisms to support the frontline social work workforce most impacted.

Last updated on hub: 10 February 2022

Responding to pandemics and other disease outbreaks in homeless populations: a review of the literature and content analysis

Health and Social Care in the Community

Considering the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we recognised a lack of synthesis amongst the available literature pertaining to the intersections of homelessness and pandemic response and planning. Therefore, the purpose of this review was to identify relevant peer-reviewed literature in this area to thematically produce evidence-based recommendations that would inform community planning and response amongst homeless populations. Although this review is inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, our intention was to produce relevant recommendations to for all current and future outbreaks and pandemics more generally. Our search criteria focused on pandemics and rapid-spread illnesses such as contagious respiratory diseases with contact spread and with an emphasis on individuals experiencing homelessness. Content analysis methods were followed to extract and thematically synthesise key information amongst the 223 articles that matched our search criteria between the years of 1984 and 2020. Two reviewers were assigned to the screening process and used Covidence and undertook two rounds of discussion to identify and finalise themes for extraction. This review illustrates that the current breadth of academic literature on homeless populations has thus far focused on tuberculosis (TB) rather than diseases that are more recent and closely related to COVID-19—such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) or H1N1. Our thematic content analysis revealed six themes that offer tangible and scalable recommendations which include (1) education and outreach, (2) adapting structure of services, (3) screening and contract tracing, (4) transmission and prevention strategies, (5) shelter protocols and (6) treatment, adherence and vaccination. The breadth and depth of reviews such as these are dependent on the quantity and quality of the available literature. Therefore, the limited existing literature outside of tuberculosis specific to homelessness in this review illustrates a need for more academic research into the intersections of pandemics and homelessness—particularly for evaluations of response and planning. Nonetheless, this review offers timely considerations for pandemic response and planning amongst homeless populations during the current COVID-19 pandemic and can facilitate future research in this area.

Last updated on hub: 09 February 2022

COVID-19: information and guidance for care home settings (adults and older people)

Public Health Scotland

This guidance supports those working in care home settings and users of their services about COVID-19. It should be used for care homes for adults and older people, that is, all care homes registered with the Care Inspectorate, excluding those for children and young people. The guidance covers: measures to prevent transmission of COVID-19; providing care for residents during the pandemic; testing in the care home; management of symptomatic or test positive care home residents; admission of individuals to the care home; staff information; visiting arrangements for family and friends; death certification during the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 07 February 2022

COVID-19: normalising access in long term residential care facilities (LTRCFs)

Health Protection Surveillance Centre

Residents in Long Term Residential Care Facilities (LTRCFs) have the right to receive visitors to support meaningful contact with family members if they wish to do so and also to participate in the life of the wider community. This document aims to support providers in fulfilling their responsibility by giving guidance to management, staff, residents and relatives to ensure that any restriction on those rights in the context of COVID-19, influenza or other infectious disease are proportionate to the risk at that time. The term LTRCFs encompasses all congregated care settings where people are intended to remain for extended periods including nursing homes, certain mental health facilities and community housing units for people with disabilities. Timely communication in a manner appropriate to the individual resident will include an overview of the proposed visiting arrangements and any updates or changes that may occur in accordance with Government policy, public health/infection control advice. This document replaces COVID-19: Normalising visiting in Long Term Residential Care Facilities (LTRCFs) V 1.3.

Last updated on hub: 07 February 2022

Coronavirus (COVID-19): residential and secure childcare

Scottish Government

This guidance is for organisations and their staff working in residential children’s houses, residential schools, secure care and residential respite/short break services for children and young people. It supports the management of these services, taking account of local guidance and the public health guidance. The guide covers: staffing issues; public health measures; supporting children and young people; caring for a child or young person with possible or confirmed COVID-19; moving between care placements; residential respite/short break settings; Test and Protect in residential care; family visits and visits by professionals; summary of changes.

Last updated on hub: 01 February 2022

Coronavirus: adult social care key issues and sources

House of Commons Library

This briefing provides an overview of key issues facing the adult social care sector in England during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, and provides links to some of the main official guidance for the sector. Section one provides a high-level overview of policy in relation to adult social care since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020. The remaining sections provide more detailed information on some key issues that have arisen during the course of the pandemic, including: statistics on deaths in care homes; funding for adult social care, including the financial pressures on social care providers; testing for care home staff and residents; the discharging of patients from hospitals into care homes; rules relating to visiting care homes during the pandemic; the supply of PPE to the adult social care sector; the policy of mandatory vaccination of social care workers.

Last updated on hub: 01 February 2022

Survey of NCF membership: impact of the Omicron variant

National Care Forum

Findings from a survey of NCF Membership on the impact of the Omicron variant, suggesting an increase in the pressures facing the social care sector as a result of the new variant compounded by the limitations of government support on the frontline. 66% of the homecare providers responding are now having to refuse new requests for home care and 43% of providers of care homes are closing to new admissions, while 21% of providers of home care are handing back existing care packages. Overall, the providers responding reported 18% vacancy rate and 14% absence as a result of the Omicron variant. While the absence rate may be temporary, the vacancy rate has been well documented as growing at an alarming rate over the last six months and has been compounded by other policy decisions such as mandating vaccines as a condition of deployment.

Last updated on hub: 25 January 2022

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination as a condition of deployment for the delivery of CQC-regulated activities in wider adult social care settings

Department of Health and Social Care

This guidance supports the implementation of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) (No. 2) Regulations 2022, in wider social care settings, including home care, extra care housing and supported living. From 1 April 2022, social care providers registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) must ensure that anyone they employ or engage to carry out direct and face-to-face CQC-regulated social care activities meets the vaccination requirements as set out in this guidance. The person must be able to prove that they meet one of the following: satisfy the vaccination requirements; are exempt from vaccination; are covered by other exceptions. There is separate guidance on implementing these regulations in care homes. [First published: 20 January 2022. Last updated: 1 March 2022]

Last updated on hub: 24 January 2022

Misconduct in public office: why did so many thousands die unnecessarily?

This report sets out the findings and recommendations of The People’s Covid Inquiry, which took place fortnightly from 24 February to 16 June 2021. A panel of four, chaired by Michael Mansfield QC, heard evidence from over 40 witnesses including bereaved families, frontline NHS and key workers, national and international experts, trade union and council leaders, and representatives from disabled people’s and pensioners’ organisations. The Inquiry considered: how well prepared was the NHS; how the government responded; whether the Government adopted the right public health strategy; impact on the population: bereaved families, care homes and older people, palliative care, disabled people, children and young people, and schools; impact on frontline staff; inequalities and discrimination; profiteering from the people’s health; and governance of the pandemic. The Inquiry found that the NHS was not well prepared for the pandemic. The UK COVID-19 death toll need not have been so high. The straitened circumstances of the NHS were an important contributor to what transpired. Furthermore, The failure to recognise and address health determinants has led to a decline in the health of the UK population, a widening of health inequalities, and the consequent increased burden of COVID-19 mortality and morbidity falling upon the most disadvantaged sections of society. The spread of the pandemic, and the death toll was also worsened by a poor public health response – the consequence of over a decade of reduced funding, loss of expertise, dissipation of services, and multiple reorganisations.

Last updated on hub: 19 January 2022

Changes in COVID-19 outbreak severity and duration in long-term care facilities following vaccine introduction, England, November 2020 to June 2021

Eurosurveillance

This study describes the impact of changing epidemiology and vaccine introduction on characteristics of COVID-19 outbreaks in 330 long-term care facilities (LTCF) in England between November 2020 and June 2021. As vaccine coverage in LTCF increased and national incidence declined, the total number of outbreaks and outbreak severity decreased across the LTCF. The number of infected cases per outbreak decreased by 80.6%, while the proportion of outbreaks affecting staff only increased. The study supports findings of vaccine effectiveness in LTCF.

Last updated on hub: 06 January 2022

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