COVID-19 resources on Infection control

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On-site testing for adult social care services: rapid lateral flow test guide

Department of Health and Social Care

This guidance is for all adult social care services where on-site testing is conducted using rapid lateral flow tests. provide guidance on how to prepare and manage on-site lateral flow testing. On-site testing can reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) but it does not completely remove the risk of infection. All other IPC measures must continue to be followed. It covers: rapid LFT technology, training and safety; how to use the handheld scanner; preparing the testing area; checking in the person being tested; sample collection; sample analysis; results analysis; process and record results; and results guidance. [Last updated: 5 July 2021]

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2021

Open with care: care home managers feedback on implementation survey findings

Scottish Government

Findings from an online survey of care home managers to provide feedback to the Scottish Government on their experiences of implementing the Open with Care visiting guidance, and help to inform future planning and guidance to support the sector. The guidance supports meaningful contact to resume between adult care home residents and their loved ones, beginning with visiting up to twice a week. This guidance is now possible due to all the COVID-protections in place. A total of 434 responses were received between 30th July and 15th August 2021. Main findings include: the majority of respondents were supporting a range of visiting options and were planning to continue to increase contact for residents and their families and friends; respondents viewed visiting as vitally important for residents and their loved ones, and they were striving to deliver meaningful contact safely; however, it was clear that respondents were dealing with substantial logistical challenges and sensitive issues around visiting, within the context of balancing safety and risk, and were very concerned about future outbreaks and potential repercussions; the majority of respondents were experiencing significant challenges in relation to staffing and workload; for some respondents, ensuring visitor compliance with guidance was a further challenge; there were mixed views about the advice, guidance and support provided for Open with Care with calls for more notice to be given around significant guidance changes and suggestions for improving the clarity of guidance.

Last updated on hub: 08 November 2021

Open with care: supporting meaningful contact in care homes

Scottish Government

This guidance applies to all adult care homes, which are now asked to make arrangements to enable meaningful contact with residents and loved ones. Given each care home has different circumstances to take into account, this guidance allows appropriate local flexibility as we continue to fight the global pandemic. Care homes and relatives are asked to work together thoughtfully and constructively in the short period while preparations and adaptions are put in place. The guidance states that care homes should work to increase the frequency and duration of meaningful contact with residents. In the first instance, resuming indoor visiting should involve up to two designated visitors weekly, visiting one at a time. This should however be seen as the minimum starting point with consideration given to increasing the number of visitors and frequency of visiting, as and when the care home judges it is safe to do so, with expert advice and support from oversight arrangements where appropriate.

Last updated on hub: 08 November 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

Outcomes in French nursing homes that implemented staff confinement with residents

Question: Was self-confinement of staff members with residents in French nursing homes during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic associated with better outcomes related to COVID-19 compared with overall national outcomes? Findings: This cohort study including 17 nursing homes with staff self-confinement and 9513 nursing homes in a national survey found that nursing homes with staff self-confinement experienced lower mortality related to COVID-19 among residents and lower incidence of COVID-19 among residents and staff members than rates recorded in a national survey. Meaning: These findings suggest that self-confinement of nursing home staff members with residents may help protect residents from mortality related to COVID-19 and residents and staff from COVID-19 infection. Citation: Belmin J. et al. (2020). Coronavirus disease 2019 outcomes in French nursing homes that implemented staff confinement with residents. JAMA network open, 3(8), e2017533-e2017533.

Last updated on hub: 13 November 2020

Out-of-school settings: COVID-19 guidance for parents and carers

Department for Education

This guidance is for parents and carers of children (those who were under the age of 18 on 31 August 2021) who attend: wraparound childcare – for example, breakfast and after-school clubs; holiday clubs; tuition; community activities. This guidance explains the steps parents can take to help manage coronavirus (COVID19) when using these settings for their children. It covers vaccinations, face coverings, tracing and self-isolation.

Last updated on hub: 01 March 2022

Outreach during Covid-19: encouraging older people’s social connection using outdoor ‘Face mask pop-ups’

Ageing Better in Camden

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ageing Better in Camden (ABC) Outreach Team had to find new ways to proactively find and engage with the socially isolated older people who ‘no one knows’. This group includes individuals who may be reluctant to access formal activities, help and support. Between August and October, the Team held 18 pop-ups in 13 different locations around Camden and met 234 older people (109 men and 125 women). The Team plan their pop-up events to help meet both the practical and emotional needs of older people, including the need for social connection, which may have been brought about or exacerbated by the pandemic. The report documents this adapted outreach practice and sets out what the Outreach Team learnt at these events about some of the main challenges faced by older people as a result of Covid-19. Through pop-up encounters, the Team built up a picture of the substantial challenges faced by some older people as a result of Covid-19 including: a need for social contact; going out as an act of courage; barriers to interaction once out; disruption to social networks and support; exacerbation of trauma; loss of normal life and identity; difficulty accessing services; and fear and loss of hope.

Last updated on hub: 22 March 2021

Over-exposed and under-protected: the devastating impact of COVID-19 on black and minority ethnic communities in Great Britain

Runnymede Trust, The

Findings of a survey exploring black and minority ethnic (BME) peoples experiences of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, and focusing on the impact of the pandemic on their physical and mental health, work, finances, relationships, childcare and schooling, and their understanding of the governments COVID-19 social and economic measures. The 2,585 adults (aged 18+) sampled for this survey included a ‘boost’ sample of 538 BME adults, taking the overall sample of BME respondents to 750 in the whole survey. Black and minority ethnic people are over-represented in COVID-19 severe illness and deaths - pre-existing racial and socioeconomic inequalities, resulting in disparities in co-morbidities between ethnic groups, have been amplified by COVID-19. The survey shows that BME people face greater barriers in shielding from coronavirus as a result of the types of employment they hold; they make greater use of public transport, are more likely to live in overcrowded and multigenerational households, and are less likely to be given appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) at work. The survey also finds that BME groups are much less aware of the governments life-saving public health messaging around Covid-19, leaving them under-protected and vulnerable to coronavirus. The report makes a number of recommendations, including ensuring employers carry out risk assessments for staff with vulnerable characteristics, including black and minority ethnic backgrounds; ensuring that all key workers in public-facing roles have access to adequate PPE; prioritising a tailored Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support (FTTIS) programme ensuring vulnerable BME communities are identified and supported; strengthening the social security safety net; and increasing Statutory Sickness Pay and widen eligibility.

Last updated on hub: 06 August 2020

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