COVID-19 resources on Infection control

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Third quarterly report on progress to address COVID-19 health inequalities

Her Majesty's Government

This is the third quarterly report on progress to address the findings of Public Health England’s (PHE) review into disparities in the risks and outcomes of COVID-19. The report summarises work across government and through national and local partnerships, to improve vaccine uptake among ethnic minorities. A data-informed approach, targeted communication and engagement and flexible deployment models are the cornerstones of vaccine equalities delivery. This approach includes measures to support vaccinations during Ramadan, extending the use of places of worship as vaccination centres to around 50 different venues with many more acting as pop-up sites, delivering out of hours clinics, outreach into areas of lower uptake and encouraging family group vaccinations for those living in multi-generational homes who may be at increased risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 infection. This report also summarises progress with the Community Champions scheme that was launched in January, outlining activity across the 60 local authorities that received funding through this scheme. By the end of the second month, there were over 4,653 individual Community Champions working on the programme, who are playing a vital role in tackling misinformation and driving vaccine uptake. Communications and cross-government COVID-19 campaign activity over the last 3 months has continued to focus on encouraging vaccine uptake as the rollout expands. While positive vaccine sentiment has increased over time, there is still hesitancy to be addressed. The increase in the Black population is substantial but vaccine confidence is still lower in this group than any other. This remains a particular issue for Black healthcare workers.

Last updated on hub: 09 June 2021

Tips on visiting care home residents as lockdown eases

Brings together guidance and advice on how the public can visit care home residents as the COVID-19 lockdown measures ease. The resource covers: government guidelines to care home visits for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland; how care homes enable visitors; what to do before visiting a care home; what to expect from the first visit after lockdown; and visiting a relative living with dementia in a care home.

Last updated on hub: 27 July 2020

Two monthly report on the status of the non-devolved provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020

Department of Health and Social Care

This report, published in May 2020, details the status of the main non-devolved government provisions set out in The Coronavirus Act 2020. The Act gives the government temporary powers to respond to the progress of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. These powers are designed to be switched on when necessary, and off when no longer needed. The Act requires ministers to report every two months on which powers are currently active. This report includes a table providing details of the main provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020, use of the provision since Royal Assent, and whether the provision is currently in force. Provisions covered by the Act included: increasing the available health and social care workforce; easing the burden on frontline staff; containing the virus; managing the deceased with respect and dignity; and supporting people.

Last updated on hub: 03 June 2020

Uncovering the devaluation of nursing home staff during COVID-19: Are we fuelling the next health care crisis?

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

Editorial. As the COVID-19–related mortality rate of nursing home residents continues to rise, so too will the rates of mortality and morbidity of staff who care for them. The COVID-19 pandemic has also revealed and accentuated the ageism and devaluing of older people pervasive in many societies. The editorial suggests that we need to better protect and support the frail older adults residing in nursing homes, their relatives, and the workforce (staff and leadership) that provide care in these settings. The editorial goes on to provide some considerations for nursing home leaders and regulators to support the health and well-being of nursing home staff and residents. These are categorized into 4 main areas: clear direction and guidance, keeping staff healthy, human resource policies, and implementing new clinical changes. The editorial concludes that the key message for policy makers is that we need to bring to the forefront the critical role of leaders and their capacity to effectively lead in nursing homes, which are complex environments.

Last updated on hub: 21 August 2020

Understanding the impact of COVID-19 responses on citizens

Social Care Institute for Excellence

A guide that discusses the impact of COVID-19 and responses on people who use or interact with social care services.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Unequal impact? Coronavirus and BAME people: Government response to the Committee’s third report

Her Majesty's Government

Government response to the Women and Equalities Committee’s inquiry into the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on BAME people. Having considered its findings alongside other reports and evidence, the Government is committed to reduce Covid-19 disparities for ethnic minority groups. On 22 October 2020 the Minister for Equalities published her first quarterly report on progress to tackle the disparities in Covid-19 risks and outcomes highlighted by the Public Health England review. The second quarterly report was published on 26 February. The first report included a comprehensive overview of the actions the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is taking in relation to the recommendations made in PHE’s ‘Beyond the Data’ report. Both quarterly reports also summarise the measures that other government departments and their agencies have, to date, put in place to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. The government response to each of the Committee’s recommendations is set out in this response. Some of these have already been actioned. For example, the Race Disparity Unit already has a section on Covid-19 by ethnicity on the Ethnicity Facts and Figures website. Others will be picked up under existing streams of work. The new Equality Hub, in the Cabinet Office, brings together the Disability Unit, Government Equalities Office, Race Disparity Unit and, from 1 April, the sponsorship of the Social Mobility Commission. The Government Equalities Office’s remit relates to gender equality, LGBT rights and the overall framework of equality legislation for Great Britain, and the other units’ areas of focus are on cross-government disability policy and ethnic disparities respectively.

Last updated on hub: 09 March 2021

Unequal impact? Coronavirus and BAME people: third report of session 2019-21

House of Commons

Findings from an inquiry exploring the extent to which, throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) people have been affected by pre-existing inequalities across a huge range of areas, including health, employment, accessing Universal Credit, housing and the no recourse to public funds policy. The report considers the health factors that have exacerbated the impact of the coronavirus pandemic for BAME people, including the role played by comorbidities, health inequalities, and other wider determinants of health. It examines the interplay between an individual’s occupation and their exposure to the virus; the relationship between pre-existing occupational inequality and how this was heightened by the economic consequences of the pandemic; and how BAME people have been particularly affected by zero-hour contracts during the pandemic. The report also looks at some of the challenges faced by BAME people when applying for Universal Credit (UC), as more people are turning to the UC system to access necessary support; and examines how pre-existing housing inequalities amplified the impact of coronavirus for BAME communities, focusing on the health impacts of overcrowding and housing conditions. Finally, the report highlights early evidence suggesting that there are severe impacts of the no recourse to public funds policy that need to be addressed.

Last updated on hub: 15 December 2020

Updating ethnic contrasts in deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19), England and Wales: deaths occurring 2 March to 28 July 2020

The Office for National Statistics

Updated estimates of mortality involving the Covid-19 by ethnic group and investigation of the explanatory power of hospital-based comorbidity on ethnic differences, building on previous models published by the Office for National Statistics. Considering deaths up to 28 July 2020, males and females of Black and South Asian ethnic background were shown to have increased risks of death involving the Covid-19 compared with those of White ethnic background. In England and Wales, males of Black African ethnic background had the highest rate of death involving COVID-19, 2.7 times higher than males of White ethnic background; females of Black Caribbean ethnic background had the highest rate, 2.0 times higher than females of White ethnic background. All ethnic minority groups other than Chinese had a higher rate than the White ethnic population for both males and females. Looking separately at the care home population, males of Asian ethnic background and females of Black and Asian ethnic backgrounds (using broader ethnic groupings) also had a raised rate of death involving COVID-19 compared with people of White ethnic background after taking account of geography and health measures. These findings show that ethnic differences in mortality involving COVID-19 are most strongly associated with demographic and socio-economic factors, such as place of residence and occupational exposures, and cannot be explained by pre-existing health conditions using hospital data or self-reported health status.

Last updated on hub: 21 October 2020

Using non-pharmaceutical interventions and high isolation of asymptomatic carriers to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in nursing homes


Objective Using a pandemic influenza model modified for COVID-19, this study investigated the degree of control over pre-symptomatic transmission that common non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) would require to reduce the spread in long-term care facilities. Methods This study created a stochastic compartmental SEIR model with Poisson-distributed transition states that compared the effect of R0, common NPIs, and isolation rates of pre-symptomatic carriers primarily on attack rate, peak cases, and timing in a 200-resident nursing home. Model sensitivity was assessed with 1st order Sobol’ indices. Results The most rigorous NPIs decreased the peak number of infections by 4.3 and delayed the peak by 9.7 days in the absence of pre-symptomatic controls. Reductions in attack rate were not likely, even with rigorous application of all defined NPIs, unless pre-symptomatic carriers were identified and isolated at rates exceeding 76%. Attack rate was most sensitive to the pre-symptomatic isolation rate (Sobol’ index > 0.7) and secondarily to R0. Conclusions Common NPIs delayed and reduced epidemic peaks. Reducing attack rates ultimately required efficient isolation of pre-symptomatic cases, including rapid antigen tests on a nearly daily basis. This must be accounted for in testing and contact tracing plans for group living settings.

Last updated on hub: 20 February 2021

Using technology to support the people you care for

Skills for Care

For many vulnerable people who receive care, COVID-19 and the lockdown mean a dramatic reduction in activities and family contact. Staff may also have less free time to spend with the people they support as things change. It is critical to minimise the impact for users of services and their families. This webinar – co-delivered with Digital Social Care – explores how technology can offer some help to connect people and to bring ‘outside experiences’ in.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

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