COVID-19: Implications for the support of people with social care needs in England

Adelina Comas-Herrera, Jose Luis Fernandez, Ruth Hancock, Chris Hatton, Martin Knapp, David McDaid, Juliette Malley, Gerald Wistow, Raphael Wittenberg

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This perspective examines the challenge posed by COVID-19 for social care services in England and describes responses to this challenge. People with social care needs experience increased risks of death and deteriorating physical and mental health with COVID-19. Social isolation introduced to reduce COVID-19 transmission may adversely affect well-being. While the need for social care rises, the ability of families and social care staff to provide support is reduced by illness and quarantine, implying reductions in staffing levels. Consequently, COVID-19 could seriously threaten care availability and quality. The government has sought volunteers to work in health and social care to help address the threat posed by staff shortages at a time of rising need, and the call has achieved an excellent response. The government has also removed some barriers to effective coordination between health and social care, while introducing measures to promote the financial viability of care providers. The pandemic presents unprecedented challenges that require well-co-coordinated responses across central and local government, health services, and non-government sectors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-372
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Aging & Social Policy
Issue number4-5
Early online date4 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • care needs
  • COVID-19
  • England
  • family care
  • pandemic
  • Social care

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