The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on people who use and provide long-term care (LTC) globally. A new International Living Report on COVID-19 and Long-Term Care, launched by LTCCovid, shows that long-standing structural problems meant most countries were poorly prepared to respond to a pandemic in the LTC sector.
The report identifies that a failure to properly consider people who rely on care in emergency planning led to delays and difficulties in implementing measures to prevent infections and deaths. Many systems struggled in balancing infection control with the human rights and physical and mental wellbeing of people who use and provide care.
The live report, which is being updated and completed by experts in LTC all over the world, builds on a project to support Social Care COVID Recovery and Resilience in England funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and is a collaboration between LSE’s Care Policy and Evaluation Centre’s (CPEC) and the Nuffield Trust. The report is being launched by LTCcovid, a collaborative platform supported by the International Long-Term Care Policy Network at LSE, which was developed to facilitate sharing of international experiences to mitigate the impact of the pandemic in the LTC sector.
The report allows users to compare the long-term care systems of different countries; their responses to Covid-19; their plans for recovery and future reforms aimed at ensuring care systems are better prepared for future emergencies.
Adelina Comas-Herrera, from CPEC LSE, lead of the LTCcovid collaboration and principal investigator of the Social Care COVID Recovery and Resilience project, said: “While we have well established international platforms to share information about health care systems, when the pandemic started we found that we did not have a similar international infrastructure to share learning in long-term care.
LTCcovid brought together experts from over 40 countries who contributed their own time and expertise to fill in this gap.” She adds: “We are delighted to present a dynamic tool to ensure that we can continue to learn from the experiences of other countries in relation to the pandemic and to support efforts to strengthen long-term care systems.”
Natasha Curry, from the Nuffield Trust and co-lead of the Social Care COVID Recovery and Resilience project said: “Long-term care has been badly affected by covid-19 the world over and many countries find themselves in similar situations. LTCcovid is a timely and valuable repository that enables countries to learn from each other and to share good practice as we all endeavour to recover from Covid-19 and create resilient care systems for the future.”
This report has been compiled collaboratively by researchers on Long-Term Care all over the world. Experts on long-term care can sign up and contribute by answering a list of questions on their countries and areas of expertise and updating them as new information and research become available. The report can be read by topic or, for countries where enough questions have been answered, through country profile pages.
The International Report on COVID-19 and Long-Term Care Users and Providers was published on 06 December 2021 and is available to read here.