The findings of a study published today (11 November) by a team of researchers from Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), uncovers the barriers faced by staff in residential and domiciliary care when trying to put COVID-19 infection control guidance into practice, during the first wave of the pandemic and outlines the lessons learnt from their experiences.

The research, funded by funded by NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS); Higher Education Innovation Fund at University of Sussex and the NIHR Clinical Research Network, shows how care staff not only had difficulty getting guidance and advice on infection control, but there was also limited or no testing in place and inconsistent or conflicting information between health and care settings which led to unclear responsibilities. There was also the feeling that the care sector was invisible at times, despite huge sacrifices being made by many individuals to keep those being cared for safe.

Dr Lavinia Bertini, Primary Care and Public Health Research Fellow at BSMS explains:

"The first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic represented a major challenge for staff working in adult social care settings. The people we spoke to told us how they had to quickly adapt to new routines, procedures, guidelines and responsibilities. Some had problems with accessing information and guidance, others were worried about the negative image of the care sector, while some felt isolated and unappreciated.

"This study has helped us to understand the challenges that many care workers faced and from this we have been able to share these findings and lessons learnt with our colleagues in Kent, Surrey and Sussex and with Public Health England."

Download a copy of 'Supporting Care Workers during COVID': Findings and key messages from the study.'

For more information on this study, please contact Lavinia Bertini

The ARC KSS Social Care and Public Health themes are also hosting a Community of Practice, bringing together stakeholders interested in supporting the Home Care sector through research, for more details please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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