COVID-19 resources on Infection control

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Making vaccination a condition of deployment in care homes: government response

Department of Health and Social Care

Government response to findings from a consultation on a proposal to make COVID-19 vaccination a condition of deployment in older adult care homes. The consultation asked for views on whether people supported the proposed legislative change, the scope of the policy, proposed exemptions, implementation methods; and sought views on equality impacts and impact on maintaining safe levels of staffing and the workforce. Overall, the consultation showed that, while a majority (57%) of respondents did not support the proposal, the responses from the adult social care sector were mixed, with some group, for example care home providers mostly supporting the proposed legislative change while others, such as service users and relatives of service users were mostly opposed. Based on feedback received during the consultation, the Government made three key changes to the proposals set out in the original consultation document: it is extending the scope of the policy to all CQC-registered care homes, in England, which provide accommodation for persons who require nursing or personal care, not just those care homes which have at least one person over the age of 65 living in their home; it is extending the requirement to be vaccinated to include all persons who enter a care home, regardless of their role (excluding those that have medical exemptions; residents of that care home; friends and family of residents who are visiting; those entering to assist with an emergency or carrying out urgent maintenance work; and those under the age of 18); it will provide exemptions for those entering to assist with an emergency or carrying out urgent maintenance work; and clinical trial participants.

Last updated on hub: 21 June 2021

Making vaccination a condition of deployment in older adult care homes: open consultation

Department of Health and Social Care

This consultation is seeking views on a proposal to make COVID-19 vaccination a condition of deployment in older adult care homes. Older adults living in care homes have been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic because of their heightened risk to COVID-19 infection, often with devastating consequences, as well as the risk of outbreaks in these closed settings. While vaccination uptake rates are increasing slowly week on week, there are still a high number of older adult care homes which do not have the level of protection needed to reduce the risk of outbreak. To increase vaccine take up, the government is considering amending the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. This would mean older adult care home providers could only use those staff who have received the COVID-19 vaccination (or those with a legitimate medical exemption) in line with government guidance. The deadline for responding to the consultation is Friday 21 May 2021

Last updated on hub: 19 April 2021

Managing older adults’ fear of coronavirus disease: a new role for social work practice

Qualitative Social Work

As the number of patients infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (nCOVID-19) increases, the number of deaths has also been increasing. According to World Health Organization (WHO), as of 4 October 2020, 34,804,348 cases had tested positive for nCOVID-19 globally, which among them, 1,030,738 confirmed deaths had occurred, equivalent to a case-fatality rate of 2.96%. However, in comparison with global statistics, the incidence and mortality of the nCOVID-19 infection are higher in Iran. As reported by the National Committee on COVID-19 Epidemiology of Ministry of Health of Iran, the total number of patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection has reached 468,119, of which 26,746 have died, equivalent to a case-fatality rate of 5.71%. Currently, there is solid evidence that older adults are at a higher risk of severe disease following infection from COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 17 March 2021

Managing through COVID-19: the experiences of children’s social care in 15 English local authorities

King's College London

This study examines the arrangements put in place in children’s social care services during the period of the COVID-19 lockdown and considers what their impact and legacy might be. A modified Delphi methodology was adopted, gathering expert opinion from 15 representatives of English local authorities to through a series of iterative questionnaires, with a goal of coming to a group consensus. Findings cover a whole range of issues, including home and office working; referrals; working with families in a pandemic; foster care; care leavers and unaccompanied young people seeking asylum; residential homes; multi-agency working; recruitment; planning for the end of lockdown; and lessons for the future. The study found that the local authorities have responded to three interrelated imperatives: to keep social workers safe while promoting their health and wellbeing, to work with extremely vulnerable families and to use technology to undertake work with these families who may be technology poor. All authorities were conscious that soon they could be facing additional challenges as they dealt not only with the practicalities of social distancing and technology, but the increased number of referrals that they expected once other services returned to ‘more business as usual’ operations. There was concern about those families who had been exposed to the risks arising within their homes such as domestic abuse, coercive control, alcohol and substance misuse, with consequences for their mental and physical health. COVID-19 has also offered opportunities, leading children’s social care services to think afresh about how things work and speed up changes that would have taken years to introduce. Previous notions of how to conduct an assessment, engage in direct practice and offer student placements are amongst the many activities that have been tested and reshaped, at least temporarily. Similarly, virtual visits to families were reported to be effective in certain circumstances and be less intrusive for some families, although establishing face-to-face contact in the home will continue to be necessary.

Last updated on hub: 07 July 2020

Managing youth sector activities and spaces during COVID-19

National Youth Agency

This guidance is intended to support councils, local voluntary providers, leaders, volunteers and young people to remain safe when engaging in youth sector activities. Youth sector organisations typically work with young people aged 8 to 25 years, although other age groups are recognised. This guidance takes into consideration the safety and support needed for young people, staff and volunteers and wider public health considerations for youth services and activities. It is recognised that the level of lockdown will vary over time and by location if local restrictions are applied. To support youth sector organisations when reacting to these changes a readiness framework and level is provided. Alongside adhering to the framework’s guidance, all proposed activities and changes must be subject to a risk assessment, which should be enhanced when physical spaces/buildings /land are to be used. This guidance is updated periodically.

Last updated on hub: 09 March 2021

Mapping young London: a view into young Londoners after a year in lockdown

Partnership for Young London

This report looks at a range of issues the impact that Covid-19 has had on young people in London and the support or change they want to see. Partnership for Young London conducted a survey of 1623 young people aged 16-25, that was conducted between November 2020 and February 2021. Key findings include: Priorities – Housing, employment, and mental health are the most important issues for young Londoners now, with Covid-19 and lockdown having a huge impact on these issues; Covid-19 and lockdown – Young people are overwhelming unhappy with the Government’s response to the pandemic, with three in four (76.2%) believing the response was bad or very bad; Housing – Young Londoners are worried about not having a stable or safe space to stay (40.3%), with one in three having their housing situation impacted by Covid-19 and lockdown (31%); Employment – Two thirds (66.6%) said that Covid-19 and lockdown has impacted their, or someone in their household’s employment, and half (51.4%) had said that their future employment plans had changed; Mental and physical health – Young Londoners are facing a mental health crisis, with a third (34.4%) reporting wellbeing scores indicating depression, and a majority (75.5%) indicating poor wellbeing; Safety and the police – A majority (83.8%) of those surveyed said that they believed that there is systematic racism in the police, with even more (88%) saying that they supported Black Lives Matter; Discrimination – Just less than half (45.2%) of those surveyed said that they had experienced discrimination in London, while two thirds (74.4%) said they thought discrimination was common in London; Fairness and finance – One in five (20.2%) of those surveyed said that their financial situation meant that they have to go without essentials; Youth services – Nine out of ten (88%) of those surveyed said that they do not feel that they have a say in how youth services are set up and run.

Last updated on hub: 05 May 2021

Mass testing after a single suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in London care homes, April–May 2020: implications for policy and practice

Age and Ageing

Introduction: Previous investigations have identified high rates of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among residents and staff in care homes reporting an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We investigated care homes reporting a single suspected or confirmed case to assess whether early mass testing might reduce risk of transmission during the peak of the pandemic in London. Methods: Between 18 and 27 April 2020, residents and staff in care homes reporting a single case of COVID-19 to Public Health England had a nasal swab to test for SARS-CoV-2 infection by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and subsequent whole-genome sequencing. Residents and staff in two care homes were re-tested 8 days later. Results: Four care homes were investigated. SARS-CoV-2 positivity was 20% (65/333) overall, ranging between 3 and 59%. Among residents, positivity ranged between 3 and 76% compared with 3 and 40% in staff. Half of the SARS-CoV-2-positive residents (23/46, 50%) and 63% of staff (12/19) reported symptoms within 14 days before or after testing. Repeat testing 8 days later in two care homes with the highest infection rates identified only two new cases. Genomic analysis demonstrated a small number of introduction of the virus into care homes, and distinct clusters within three of the care homes. Conclusions: We found extensive but variable rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection among residents and staff in care homes reporting a single case of COVID-19. Although routine whole-home testing has now been adopted into practice, care homes must remain vigilant and should be encouraged to report a single suspected case, which should trigger appropriate outbreak control measures.

Last updated on hub: 26 May 2021

Medicine is a social science: COVID-19 and the tragedy of residential care facilities in high-income countries

Commentary published in BMJ Global Health, 5(8) 2020. Comments on the pandemic spread of COVID-19 in high-income countries that have witnessed an extraordinary high death toll of people living in residential care facilities. Provides insights from a social sciences and public health perspective about infections. Citation: Krones, T., Meyer, G., & Monteverde, S. (2020). Medicine is a social science: COVID-19 and the tragedy of residential care facilities in high-income countries. BMJ Global Health, 5(8), e003172.

Last updated on hub: 13 November 2020

Meeting social needs and loneliness in a time of social distancing under COVID-19: a comparison among young, middle, and older adults

Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment

Loneliness has a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of people. The COVID-19 pandemic has demanded individuals to socially distance, which has implications for loneliness and social isolation. This cross-sectional study explored the ways in which people in the United States (N = 412) are meeting their social needs in a time of social distancing, how these activities relate to levels of loneliness, and any differences among young, middle-aged, and older adults. Results indicated higher levels of loneliness and social isolation for the entire sample and across the three age groups from pre- to during COVID-19 with younger adults experiencing higher levels of emotional loneliness during COVID-19. The extent to which the activities were related to loneliness was only found among the young adults and older adults where outdoor meet-ups, talking on the phone, and texting was associated with lower levels of loneliness among the young adults, and engaging in social media and talking on the phone was associated with lower levels of loneliness among the older adults. The findings support social work and public health recommendations for addressing loneliness during times of social distancing under the COVID-19 pandemic and future public health crises.

Last updated on hub: 21 April 2021

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

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