COVID-19 resources on Infection control

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Best interests decisions: A COVID-19 quick guide

Social Care Institute for Excellence

This quick guide aims to help people across social care and health settings to apply its provisions about making best interests decisions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020

Beyond Covid-19 wave two: what now for care homes?

The Nuffield Trust

With Covid-19 having a particularly hard impact on care homes, Natasha Curry takes a closer look at why they were hit so badly last spring, whether they have fared any better this winter, and the importance of what happens next.

Last updated on hub: 22 February 2021

Briefing on protecting vulnerable people during the COVID-19 outbreak: report

Local Government Association

This briefing offers information to help councils to support and protect people who are vulnerable as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. It includes information supporting those who are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 and work that is taking place, led largely by councils and the voluntary and community sector (VCS), to protect other vulnerable groups. These include people facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, those already accessing care and support services, homeless people and rough sleepers, and those experiencing a reduction in usual services. Sections cover: an overview of the system for supporting vulnerable people; identifying vulnerable groups; types of support needs, such as housing and accommodation, food, medicine and mental wellbeing; and key considerations for councils in coordinating local support. The briefing will also help the NHS, community and voluntary sector and other partner agencies to understand the role of local government in supporting vulnerable people. It will be updated as and when necessary to keep up with the changing situation.

Last updated on hub: 09 April 2020

Briefing: improving the nation’s health: the future of the public health system in England

The Health Foundation

In light of the impact of the pandemic and the government’s decision to abolish Public Health England (PHE), this briefing explores what needs to be put in place to make progress on the government’s commitments to improve the nation’s health. It begins by looking at the role government can play in improving the nation’s health before examining how England might transition to a new public health system and what the main priorities for any new system should be. The paper argues that the new system needs the right strategy, structures and resources: the strategy for creating an effective new public health system should include a cross-government commitment to level up health outcomes and enable people to live longer in good health; the structures needed include an independent body to report to parliament on the nation’s health, a national function supporting the public health system, and strengthened local and regional infrastructure; the resources needed include, as a minimum, £1bn to restore public health funding to its 2015 levels and a further £2.5bn needed to level up public health across the country. Government should also commit to ensuring that public health funding keeps pace NHS with funding increases in future. The transition to a new public health system needs to be managed carefully, to ensure that the reorganisation does not disrupt the pandemic response or lead to a weaker system in future.

Last updated on hub: 08 December 2020

Build back fairer: the COVID-19 Marmot review. The pandemic, socioeconomic and health inequalities in England

The aim of this report is three-fold: to examine inequalities in COVID-19 mortality, focusing on mortality among members of BAME groups and among certain occupations, alongside continued attention to the socioeconomic gradient in health; to show the effects that the pandemic, and the societal response to contain the pandemic, have had on social and economic inequalities, their effects on mental and physical health, and their likely effects on health inequalities in the future; and to make recommendations on what needs to be done. The report sets out the proposition that England’s comparatively poor management of the pandemic is of a piece with England’s health improvement falling behind that of other rich countries in the decade since 2010. It offers four likely reasons why: the quality of governance and political culture which did not give priority to the conditions for good health; continuing increases in inequalities in economic and social conditions, including a rise in poverty among families with children; a policy of austerity and consequent cuts to funding of public services; and a poor state of the nation’s health that would increase the lethality of COVID-19. The high mortality rate of members of Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups can be attributed to living in more deprived areas, working in high-risk occupations, living in overcrowded conditions. Structural racism means that some ethnic groups are more likely to be exposed to adverse social and economic conditions. The report argues that the pandemic must be taken as an opportunity to build a fairer society, acknowledging that economic growth is a limited measure of societal success. It suggests that to build back fairer there needs to be a commitment at two levels. First is the commitment to social justice and putting equity of health and wellbeing at the heart of all policy-making, nationally, regionally and locally. The second level is to take the specific actions needed, as laid out in this report, to create healthier lives for all.

Last updated on hub: 15 December 2020

Build back fairer: the COVID-19 Marmot review. The pandemic, socioeconomic and health inequalities in England. Executive summary

The aim of this report is three-fold: to examine inequalities in COVID-19 mortality, focusing on mortality among members of BAME groups and among certain occupations, alongside continued attention to the socioeconomic gradient in health; to show the effects that the pandemic, and the societal response to contain the pandemic, have had on social and economic inequalities, their effects on mental and physical health, and their likely effects on health inequalities in the future; and to make recommendations on what needs to be done. The report sets out the proposition that England’s comparatively poor management of the pandemic is of a piece with England’s health improvement falling behind that of other rich countries in the decade since 2010. It offers four likely reasons why: the quality of governance and political culture which did not give priority to the conditions for good health; continuing increases in inequalities in economic and social conditions, including a rise in poverty among families with children; a policy of austerity and consequent cuts to funding of public services; and a poor state of the nation’s health that would increase the lethality of COVID-19. The high mortality rate of members of Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups can be attributed to living in more deprived areas, working in high-risk occupations, living in overcrowded conditions. Structural racism means that some ethnic groups are more likely to be exposed to adverse social and economic conditions. The report argues that the pandemic must be taken as an opportunity to build a fairer society, acknowledging that economic growth is a limited measure of societal success. It suggests that to build back fairer there needs to be a commitment at two levels. First is the commitment to social justice and putting equity of health and wellbeing at the heart of all policy-making, nationally, regionally and locally. The second level is to take the specific actions needed, as laid out in this report, to create healthier lives for all.

Last updated on hub: 15 December 2020

Building a country that works for all children post COVID-19

The Association of Directors of Children's Services

This discussion paper looks at the impacts of Covid-19 on children and their families. Its purpose is three-fold: to put children, young people and their lived experiences of the pandemic front and centre in national recovery planning; to articulate what is needed to restore the public support services they rely on; and to capture the positives and gains made during a very complex national, and indeed, global emergency. The paper reveals that the directors of children’s services in England share concerns about increased exposure of children to ‘hidden harms’ such as domestic violence and the impact of social distancing on children and young people’s development and on their mental and emotional health and wellbeing. The vulnerability of specific cohorts, including care leavers, young carers, children and young people in conflict with the law and families with no recourse to public funds, has been heightened during this period. Covid-19 has disrupted professionals’ relationships with children and families and weakened the sustainability of both the voluntary and charitable sector and the early years and childcare sector. Both families and the workforce have shown great levels of resilience, flexibility and creativity. The paper calls for a rapid review of the response to the first phase of the pandemic to improve preparedness for future waves and spikes of infection, arguing that the experiences of practitioners and of children and families must be part of this process. It also suggests that the recovery phase offers the government an opportunity to further its ‘levelling up’ agenda, and the initiation of an ambitious, world leading health inequalities strategy, making wellbeing rather than straightforward economic performance the central goal of policy.

Last updated on hub: 20 July 2020

Can social prescribing support the COVID-19 pandemic?

Centre for Evidence Based Medicine

This document looks at how social prescribing can be implemented within the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It finds that although there is limited evidence on how social prescribing can be best implemented within the current COVID-19 pandemic, there are an increasing array of anecdotal accounts that suggest the importance of maintaining community connectedness during this time.

Last updated on hub: 29 April 2020

Care and support workers’ perceptions of health and safety issues in social care during the COVID-19 pandemic: initial findings, 15 April 2020

University of Kent

This paper provides initial findings from legal and survey data about the role of care and support providers in the pandemic as employers with legal responsibilities for preventing harm to staff and people who use their services. The evidence suggests that care and supports workers, care home residents and other users of care and support services are exposed to the risk of SARS-CoV-2 virus without the protections to which they are legally entitled. The research team worked with UNISON in the North West of England to analyse findings from a survey of 2,600 care workers in approximately 1,200 different settings across residential care, home care, and support services for people with learning disabilities. The analysis of results is split into three sections, covering concerns about the need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); pay problems; and other COVID-19 related health and safety concerns. The findings reveal that: a large majority of respondents believe too little is being done by employers to keep staff safe from the risks SARS-CoV-2 infection; a large majority of respondents believe too little is being done by employers to keep people using care and support safe; 8 in 10 care workers think that they would not be paid their wages as normal if they had to self-isolate; care workers who are ill with COVID-19 are not all self-isolating; care workers believe that lack of attention to minimising the risk of infection in care and support settings has directly contributed to outbreaks of COVID-19 in social care settings.

Last updated on hub: 14 December 2020

Care home infection control top tips

North West Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

The purpose of this guide is to highlight some of the ways in which residential and nursing homes have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic in order to ensure that residents are safe, needs continue to be met and wellbeing is promoted, in what are very challenging and difficult circumstances. This guide has been compiled from desktop review of policy and best practice guidance, together with interviews with a selection of providers and commissioners from across the North West region. It aims to stimulate ideas on how providers and commissioners can develop and enhance services in the context of Covid-19, whilst simultaneously building future resilience into providers existing infection control plans. Topics covered include: the physical environment; staff; wellbeing; processes; and technology.

Last updated on hub: 17 September 2020

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