SCIE: Domestic violence and abuse: Safeguarding during the COVID-19 crisis (updated 22nd May 2020) #covid19rftlks

Social Care Institute for Excellence | May 2020 | Domestic violence and abuse: Safeguarding during the COVID-19 crisis

The importance of safeguarding adults who are experiencing domestic abuse has not diminished during the COVID-19 crisis. Emerging evidence from statutory and voluntary agencies across the UK has emphasised the increased risks of domestic abuse, with Refuge reporting a 25 per cent increase in calls and online requests since the lockdown began in March 2020. 

This guide which is aimed at professionals and organisations who are involved in supporting and safeguarding adults and children, includes examples of how local authorities and national charities are responding rapidly, seeking to provide flexible safeguarding solutions during this challenging period. These include:

Full details are available from SCIE

Supporting people who are isolated or vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis (updated 19 May) #covid19rftlks

Social Care Institute for Excellence | May 2020 | Supporting people who are isolated or vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis

This quick guide from SCIE shares information, resources and ideas that you can use – especially if you now are working remotely or in isolation, and which can be shared with the people you support. Whilst the term ‘social distancing’ is being used to describe these measures, it may be helpful to think about the need to ‘physical distance’ as it is crucial this doesn’t mean we socially disconnect. Social connection is core to our mental wellbeing, and there are many ways we can stay connected, including virtually.

Full guide from SCIE

Safeguarding children and families during the COVID-19 crisis #covid19rftlks

This quick guide from the Social Care Institute for Excellence is for practitioners working to safeguard children and families during the COVID-19 outbreak, including social workers and those working in social care settings.

Practitioners are facing unprecedented challenges to support and safeguard vulnerable children and families. During this time of uncertainty and national crisis, it is particularly important to safeguard children who may be at an increased risk of abuse, harm and exploitation from a range of sources.

However, it is equally important to safeguard families, with parents facing significant pressures to continue to protect and promote the welfare of their children. These parents may already be struggling and so with additional pressure the likelihood of harm or significant harm may increase.

Full news release: Safeguarding children and families during the COVID-19 crisis


Adult social care recruitment care campaign launched to boost workforce

A new national adult social care recruitment campaign has been launched to boost the adult social care workforce in England as part of a wider plan to attract more staff into the sector | Department of Health and Social Care

  • A new campaign ‘Care for others. Make a difference’ today launched to support aim to attract thousands more people into social care sector
  • Highlights the vital role of the social care workforce during the pandemic, along with the longer-term opportunity of working in care
  • Rapid training and work programme will be set up

The campaign, titled ‘Care for Others. Make a Difference’, will look to inspire the public to consider a career in social care.

To help fill the recruitment gap, the Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock and Care Minister Helen Whately today launch the campaign to encourage the right people with the right values and attributes to consider a paid career in adult social care work.

The campaign includes the new CARE brand for social care which symbolises the entire care profession – like the iconic and recognisable NHS logo. The brand aims to raise the profile of the care sector and allow businesses to show them the same appreciation as NHS workers.

Further detail at Department of Health and Social Care


National action plan to further support adult social care sector 

The government has published an action plan to support the adult social care sector in England throughout the coronavirus outbreak | Department of Health and Social Care

  • New action plan to reduce outbreaks in care homes, support care staff and providers and maintain independence of those receiving care
  • Plans to boost access to PPE, ramp up testing for care sector and recruit more staff
  • Unifying new ‘care’ brand for care workers with NHS-style identity, to ensure recognition and access to benefits during crisis and in response to ask from sector

Better access to testing, millions of additional PPE items, expansions to the workforce and a new brand to further recognise the sector’s contribution to society are at the heart of a new action plan to support the social care sector through the coronavirus outbreak.

The Government has committed to ensuring that all care workers who need a test receive one, and all symptomatic residents in a care home will be tested to prevent outbreaks. Over 4,000 social care workers have already been referred for testing so far.

Everyone going into a care home from hospital will be tested with immediate effect. Currently the first five residents with symptoms are tested to provide confirmation of whether there is an outbreak.

The way PPE is being delivered to care homes is being rapidly overhauled, with homes supported to order PPE quickly, including through direct dispatches via Royal Mail, a 24/7 hotline and a new pilot website.

Further detail at Department of Health & Social Care

Full document: COVID-19: Our Action Plan for Adult Social Care

See also: Coronavirus (COVID-19): social care guidance

Social care for adults aged 18–64

The Health Foundation have published analysis produced before the pandemic that explores the social care needs of adults aged 18–64.

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The debate about social care reform is often focused on issues facing older people, but younger adults are a large and growing part of the adult social care system, often with very different needs and experiences to older people receiving care. This analysis hopes to contribute to a better understanding of how the current adult social care system in England works for younger adults and their carers.

Key points
  • Younger adults (aged 18–64) are a large and growing part of the adult social care system. They make up around a third of care users accessing long-term support in England and over half of local authority spending on social care.
  • Many younger adults are likely to be going without the care they need. Estimated care needs have been growing over the last decade, but the number of people accessing public support has fallen.
  • When younger adults do access social care, quality and outcomes vary. The majority of younger adults are happy with the social care they receive. But quality care of care is unacceptably poor in some cases, and national targets on supporting people with a learning disability or autism to live in the community have been repeatedly missed.
  • Unpaid carers of younger adults experience worse outcomes in some areas than carers of older people. They are less likely to be satisfied with social care services and are more likely to have developed health conditions and experienced financial difficulties because of their caring role.
  • Workforce problems are chronic across the social care system. More nurses will be needed in future to care for the growing number of younger adults with learning disabilities. Yet learning disability nursing courses are struggling to attract students, have particularly high drop-out rates, and are becoming financially unsustainable.
  • The publication analyses publicly available data to understand the social care needs of younger adults in England, how they differ from those of older people, and how these needs are changing.

Full document: Social care for adults aged 18–64

Government to offer testing for “everyone who needs one” in social care settings

All care home residents and social care staff with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms will be tested as capacity is built up | Department of Health and Social Care

  • All symptomatic care residents will be tested for COVID-19 as testing capacity continues to increase
  • All patients discharged from hospital to be tested before going into care homes as a matter of course
  • All social care staff who need a test will now have access to one with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to contact all 30,000 care providers in the coming days to offer tests

Currently the first 5 symptomatic residents in a care home setting are tested to provide confirmation of whether if there is an outbreak. However, as lab capacity increases every day the government is expanding testing to include all care home residents who develop symptoms.

Full detail at Department of Health and Social Care

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for social care

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Advice for councils and care providers as the Government works to delay the spread of COVID-19. There is specific residential care, supported living, home care and social distancing guidance.

Full detail: Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for social care

Related: Helping to prevent infection: A quick guide for managers and staff in care homes

Measures to prevent infections in care homes are vital. Managers and staff in care homes will find this guide very useful as a reminder of the most important methods of preventing infection.

The guide covers:

  • Hand decontamination
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Sharps
  • Waste disposal
  • Education and information

Adult social care in the UK

The Nuffield Trust has published Adult social care in the four countries of the UK. This explainer looks at key themes in social care around funding, eligibility and ‘offer’ in each of the four UK countries, while considering the direction of current reform efforts.

Full detail: Adult social care in the four countries of the UK.

See also: Social care across the four countries of the UK: what can we learn?| Nuffield Trust blog

Securing the future of Social Care funding

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This report sets out the issues facing disability organisations and why it is important that the government puts in place a sustainable funding plan. It calls on the government to not delay reform of the social care sector any longer and for policy makers to work with the sector to ensure community resources are responsive and preventative.