COVID-19 resources on Infection control

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Saving lives through life-threatening measures? The COVID-19 paradox of infection prevention in long-term care facilities

European Review of Aging and Physical Activity

The current SARS Cov-2 infection control measures have paradoxical effects. On the one hand, the lockdown measures help to protect vulnerable populations in particular. On the other hand, these measures inevitably have the effect that those who are to be protected not only become socially isolated and are exposed to enormous psychological stress, but also break down physically due to inactivity. Thus, the activation that is omitted in the lockdown is not compensated by external reference groups, which also indicates that important conditions for healthy ageing are not given in long-term care facilities.

Last updated on hub: 05 August 2021

Self-test for adult social care services: detailed rapid lateral flow test guide

Department of Health and Social Care

This guide explains how adult social care staff should test themselves using a rapid lateral flow test for coronavirus (COVID-19), and report the results to the NHS. The COVID-19 self-test kit is a swab test (nose and throat) to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19). You can use this self-test kit if you are asymptomatic (you do not have symptoms). It explains how to prepare the test area and check the test kit contents; set up the test; take the swab sample; process the swab sample; read the result; report the result; and safely dispose of the test kit. [Published: 24 March 2021; Last updated: 5 July 2021]

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2021

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 Care Working Group consensus statement, March 2021

Department of Health and Social Care

Outlines the SAGE Social Care Working Group’s methodology for determining the minimum level of vaccine coverage in care home settings. Modelling analysis in March 2021 estimated that 75% of staff (given that 90% of residents in each individual care home had been vaccinated) provided a level of protection sufficient to limit outbreaks assuming other mitigations are in place. During March this analysis was updated to 80% coverage in staff and 90% in residents reflecting a slight change in evidence for efficacy of vaccination. This statement indicates that the calculations on recommended coverage should be taken as the best estimate at the time of writing. Given the changing epidemiological situation, they should be continually reviewed as evidence emerges. There is no certain threshold for protective vaccine coverage levels – the 80% to 90% coverage values previously calculated were based on single dose reported AZ efficacy rates. Vaccine is not a silver bullet, just part of our armoury against COVID-19. There is a risk that vaccination may lead to a reduced use of testing, PPE and IPC at a time that vigilance is needed against new variants with poorer vaccine efficacy.

Last updated on hub: 26 May 2021

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

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