The impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Day Services, Respite Care and Short Stay Placements 

Delivering Transformation Grant Work Programme - 2021/22

The Welsh Government’s Social Services and Integration Directorate has requested that, as part of the Delivering Transformation Grant for 2021/22, ADSS Cymru undertakes a monitoring exercise to assess the impact of the pandemic on short breaks, respite services and day services.   

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Key findings:

The impact of the pandemic

Key finding 1

The pandemic led to severe service disruption.

Key finding 2

The pandemic had a serious negative impact on the wellbeing, physical and mental health of the people using services, their unpaid carers and the staff providing services.

Key finding 3

The service response has had an impact on the voice of many people who use services and the degree of choice available to them due to services being retracted and as preparations are made
to fully re-open.

Key finding 4

The anxiety of those who use services and that of their families has been significant and has impacted negatively on their use of services, compounding pre-existing difficulties.

Key finding 5

The consequences of the pandemic combined with the impact of a lack of social support from family, friends and other social support networks, together with a lack of IT literacy and equipment have widened pre-existing inequalities among some people who use day and respite services.

Key finding 6

Service disruption and closures have affected services greatly risking the sustainability of some services.

Key finding 7

Some positive impacts on those who use services have been identified, resulting from changes
and innovations within services.

Steps taken to mitigate the impact of the pandemic

Key finding 8

Services were forced to reconfigure in response to the pandemic, adapting and innovating to continue to offer support despite restrictions.

Key finding 9

Reduced service capacity led to the risk assessment of those who use services enabling the targeting of resources to those in greatest need.

Key finding 10

Innovative practice and the use of technology served to somewhat mitigate the impact of the pandemic for some client groups.

Key Finding 11

Many services across Wales revised their offer to meet individual needs.

Key Finding 12

Services across Wales have reported that efforts to sustain services were aided by staff flexibility and their resilience.

Key Finding 13

The pandemic has required enhanced levels of communication, these have been beneficial.

Key finding 14

Services highly valued the support they received from a range of organisations such as Public Health Wales, the inspectorate bodies, third sector services, the health boards and local authorities.

Barriers to mitigation

Key finding 15

The findings from our service provider/commissioner questionnaires and subsequent focus groups with workforce representatives suggested that logistical constraints such as the suitability of buildings and the availability of IT have constrained service providers’ ability to offer services.

“Taking Stock”

Key finding 16

Many services have commenced reviewing the changes made and innovations introduced to mitigate the pandemic’s impact.

Key finding 17

Services have, and continue to, face challenges in reopening and recovering service provision to pre-pandemic levels.

Key finding 18

The understanding of the importance of family, unpaid carers and peer support roles has been enhanced during the pandemic.

Key finding 19

The recognition of the critical value of respite care in sustaining caring situations has become evident as a result of the closure or reduction in availability of these services.

  • Author: ADSS Cymru
  • Date: 07/12/2021