LTCcovid Country Profiles
Responses to 3.02.01. National or equivalent Covid-19 Long-Term Care taskforce
The LTCcovid International Living report is a “wiki-style” report addressing 68 questions on characteristics of Long-Term Care (LTC) systems, impacts of COVID-19 on LTC, measures adopted to mitigate these impacts and new reforms countries are adopting to address structural problems in LTC systems and to improved preparedness for future events. It was compiled and updated voluntarily by experts on LTC all over the world. Members of the Social Care COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery project moderated the entries and edited as needed. It was updated regularly until the end of 2022.
The report can be read by question/topic (below) or by country: COVID-19 and Long-Term Care country profiles.
To cite this report (please note the date in which it was consulted as the contents changes over time):
Comas-Herrera A, Marczak J, Byrd W, Lorenz-Dant K, Patel D, Pharoah D (eds.) and LTCcovid contributors. (2022) LTCcovid International living report on COVID-19 and Long-Term Care. LTCcovid, Care Policy & Evaluation Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science. https://doi.org/10.21953/lse.mlre15e0u6s6
Copyright is with the LTCCovid and Care Policy and Evaluation Centre, LSE.
The federal, state, and territory governments established a COVID-19 health sector response plan but this plan has been criticized for not specifically addressing the aged care sector. There is a need for a national COVID-19 aged care advisory body to establish protocols between the national and state governments (sources: Aged Care and COVID-19 report; Charlesworth and Low, 2020).
Charlesworth, S & Low, L-F (2020) The Long-Term Care COVID-19 situation in Australia. Report in LTCcovid.org, International Long-Term Care Policy Network, CPEC-LSE, 12 October 2020.
Last updated: December 22nd, 2021
Several task forces were put in place ‘at federal and regional government level’. They only contained two representatives from the LTC sector (Source: https://journal.ilpnetwork.org/articles/10.31389/jltc.54/).
Last updated: November 2nd, 2021
There was no national taskforce because social care/LTC is governed provincially. British Columbia Ministry of Health set up a Health Emergency Command Centre (HECC) structure with the purpose of bringing people together and assisted with communication, but HECC decision making was not well integrated into provincial decision-making and accountability frameworks. The power of HECC was not clearly defined, which led to uncertainties around who should be making key decisions and how to use funds (Source: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/1.25.2021_LTC_COVID-19_Response_Review.pdf).
Last updated: November 6th, 2021
The Ministry of Health (MoH), the National Service of Older People (Servicio Nacional del Adulto Mayor, SENAMA), the Chilean Geriatrics and Gerontology Society (GGS), and the main non-profit organizations started a working group to coordinate the implementation of prevention and control measures (Browne et al., 2020).
Browne J, Fasce G, Pineda I, Villalobos P (2020) Policy responses to COVID-19 in Long-Term Care facilities in Chile. LTCcovid.org, International Long-Term Care Policy Network, CPEC-LSE, 24 July 2020.
Last updated: December 22nd, 2021
There is no task force specifically identified for LTC (Source: https://www.covid19healthsystem.org/countries/denmark/livinghit.aspx?Section=5.%20Governance&Type=Chapter).
Last updated: May 25th, 2023
While it’s difficult to determine a formal Finnish taskforce for social care during the pandemic, it’s clear that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) worked closely to decide certain policies (e.g. regarding LTC home visitation and self-isolation of older people). On May 4, 2020, the government announced a plan to move to a hybrid strategy, ‘test, trace, isolate and treat’. One of the main aims was to protect the elderly and high-risk groups. Their guidelines/press releases are published regularly online.
Last updated: September 8th, 2021
A national Covid-19 social care task force was set up under the Direction Generale de la Cohesion Sociale [Social Cohesion Unit] (DGCS), announced on March 30, 2020. To prepare for the second wave, the DGCS crisis cell reactivated its ‘open crisis cell’, to function in parallel to that held by the Health Ministry (Source: https://solidarites-sante.gouv.fr/soins-et-maladies/maladies/maladies-infectieuses/coronavirus/professionnels-du-social-et-medico-social/article/une-cellule-de-crise-de-la-covid-19-par-la-dgcs). All guidance and information pertinent to older people and people with disabilities and published by DGCS is available online.
Last updated: September 8th, 2021
No national COVID-19 LTC taskforce was established, as health and long-term care largely falls under Länder authority. However, the State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Health has in some cases sought a moderating role highlighting topics of importance (Die Bevollmächtigte der Bundesregierung für Pflege, n.d.). As the new government discontinued the role of the State Secretary for Care and Nursing, these initiatives have ended by the end of the year 2021. Federal agencies like the Robert Koch Institute have not established LTC-specific taskforces and responsibility for different aspects of long-term care is distributed across the agency.
Die Bevollmächtigte der Bundesregierung für Pflege (n.d.) Coronavirus. Available at: https://www.pflegebevollmaechtigte.de/nws-zum-Coronavirus.html (Accessed 11 February 2022).
The Chief Medical Officer in the Department of Health chairs the National Public Health Emergency Team that was established in January 2020 in response to COVID-19. The role of the team is to ‘oversee and provide national direction, guidance, support and expert advice on the development and implementation of strategy to contain COVID-19 in Ireland.’ The Health Information and Quality authority that carries responsibility for inspecting nursing homes is part of the team (Source: https://ltccovid.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Ireland-COVID-LTC-report-updated-13-May-2020.pdf).
Last updated: November 2nd, 2021
Following an outbreak in LTCFs in mid-March and a national outcry for the need of increased attention to LTC-specific needs, Israel’s Government rolled out a national task force and plan entitled ‘The Fathers and Mothers Shielsd’ (Magen Avot V’Emahot) in April 2020 (Source: Ministry of Health). The task force served as a coordination effort catered explicitly to the care and concerns of LTCFs, ‘to ensure national resilience and protect the elderly populations and the population of people with disabilities staying in out-of-home settings, while providing optimal care in a comprehensive national vision’ (Source: Health.Gov). Among some of the top priorities of this project were: increasing the scope of COVID-19 testing in LTCFs, including in those with no identified COVID-19 patients; upgrading protection measures for both staff and residents of LTCFS, including (dis)infection training; prohibiting LTCF staff members from working in more than one facility; and allowing families to visit only in special instances (and subject to rules of social distancing) (Source: Tsadok-Rosenbluth et al, 2021).
Tsadok-Rosenbluth, S., Hovav, B., Horowitz, G. and Brammli-Greenberg, S., 2021. Centralized Management of the Covid-19 Pandemic in Long-Term Care Facilities in Israel. Journal of Long-Term Care, (2021), pp.92–99. DOI: http://doi.org/10.31389/jltc.75
Last updated: December 5th, 2021 Contributors: Shoshana Lauter |
At the end of 2020, three different national «commissions» on the future of nursing homes have been established by the central government. These are: one parliamentary investigation commission on Covid-19 death in nursing homes (Commissione Parlamentare di Inchiesta) that has the aim of assessing mortality during the first and second wave and establishing potential responsibilities of managers and public officials with this respect; one specialized commission promoted by the Ministry of Health (Commissione Monsignor Paglia) with the aim to reform nursing homes sector mainly involving geriatricians and medical experts; one specialized commission promoted by the National Agency for Excellence in Health Care Services (AGENAS) with the aim of defining effective tools for integrated care. These different commissions have a specific focus on residential care, with a medical perspective (social care experts are missing).
A national taskforce (Advisory Committee on the Basic Action Policy on Coronavirus) was established, including experts from the Ministry of Health, Labour & Welfare (that oversees long term care) (Source: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200703123239310). However, it’s not clear to what extent the taskforce focused on long-term care.
Last updated: September 9th, 2021
The following response does not describe a national COVID taskforce, but instead one set up by a nursing home in Singapore in the early stages of the pandemic.
In their recently published study, Udod et al. (2021) describe pandemic measures reported by a nursing home in Singapore. This home set up a nursing taskforce committee and command centre as soon as news of the COVID-19 outbreak was reported in China in January 2020. This taskforce was responsible for reviewing the latest government guidelines and liaising with key stakeholders (such as the Ministry of Health), managing a surveillance system for staff and visitor traffic, and mobilising the necessary resources. Non-nursing administrative staff were assigned to help the taskforce with resource allocation (in the face of supply shortages), data collection, and other administrative tasks. This meant that when cases when widespread community transmission caused cases to spike in May of that year, the nursing home had already established organisational guidelines and vital infrastructure to be able to cope (Udod et al., 2021).
Last updated: January 11th, 2022 Contributors: Daisy Pharoah |
The National Board of Health and Welfare (NBHW) has gradually been assigned new tasks and roles that are handled by a special group that support the regions and municipalities in their work with COVID-19 (Johansson and Schon, 2020).
Johansson L. and Schön, P. (2020), ‘Governmental response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Long-Term Care residences for older people: preparedness, responses and challenges for the future: Sweden’, MC COVID-19 working paper 14/2021. http://dx.doi.org/10.20350/digitalCSIC/13701
Last updated: February 12th, 2022
On June 8, 2020, the Government announced the creation of a social care sector COVID-19 taskforce in order to ensure concerted action to implement key measures taken to date. In particular, the taskforce was intended to support the delivery of the government’s social care action plan, published on April 15, 2020, and its home care support package. The taskforce, which included representatives from across government and the care sector, was intended to “support the national campaign to end transmission in the community, and will also consider the impact of COVID-19 on the sector over the next year and advise on a plan to support it through this period”. The Taskforce published its report in late September 2020, identifying a total of 52 recommendations across a range of domains including PPE, testing, workforce, and controlling infection in different settings (DHSC, 2020). The learning disabilities and autistic people advisory group to this taskforce published 5 key recommendations, which the co-chairs of the advisory group have stated were not reflected in the taskforce report as a whole. These were accessible guidance and communications, restoring and maintaining vital support services, expanding PPE and testing, tackling isolation and loneliness, and seeking and supporting people who may be in crisis.
DHSC (2020). Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce: final report, advice and recommendations. Report, Retrieved from Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce. Accessed on 15/03/2022
DHSC (2020). National action plan to further support adult social care sector. Press Release. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/national-action-plan-to-further-support-adult-social-care-sector. Accessed on 15/03/2022
DHSC (2021). Coronavirus (COVID-19): care home support package. DHSC Guidance. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-support-for-care-homes/coronavirus-covid-19-care-home-support-package
Last updated: March 15th, 2022 Contributors: William Byrd |
Both President Trump and President Biden crafted national COVID-19 taskforces, with experts from varying backgrounds. President Biden’s new taskforce explicitly prioritizes the need to “protect older Americans and others at high-risk.” While this has not resulted in an explicit federal social care taskforce, the President’s program has responded to this need by introducing a COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force to address major inequities which have come to particular light within the LTC sector (Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/priorities/covid-19/).
Last updated: September 9th, 2021
Contributors to the LTCcovid Living International Report, so far:
Elisa Aguzzoli, Liat Ayalon, David Bell, Shuli Brammli-Greenberg, Erica Breuer, Jorge Browne Salas, Jenni Burton, William Byrd, Sara Charlesworth, Adelina Comas-Herrera, Natasha Curry, Gemma Drou, Stefanie Ettelt, Maria-Aurora Fenech, Thomas Fischer, Nerina Girasol, Chris Hatton, Kerstin Hämel, Nina Hemmings, David Henderson, Kathryn Hinsliff-Smith, Iva Holmerova, Stefania Ilinca, Hongsoo Kim, Margrieta Langins, Shoshana Lauter, Kai Leichsenring, Elizabeth Lemmon, Klara Lorenz-Dant, Lee-Fay Low, Joanna Marczak, Elisabetta Notarnicola, Cian O’Donovan, Camille Oung, Disha Patel, Martina Paulikova, Eleonora Perobelli, Daisy Pharoah, Stacey Rand, Tine Rostgaard, Olafur H. Samuelsson, Maximilien Salcher-Konrad, Benjamin Schlaepfer, Cheng Shi, Cassandra Simmons, Andrea E. Schmidt, Agnieszka Sowa-Kofta, Wendy Taylor, Thordis Hulda Tomasdottir, Sharona Tsadok-Rosenbluth, Sara Ulla Diez, Lisa van Tol, Patrick Alexander Wachholz, Jae Yoon Yi, Jessica J. Yu
This report has built on previous LTCcovid country reports and is supported by the Social Care COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery project, which is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Policy Research Programme (NIHR202333) and by the International Long-Term Care Policy Network and the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the funders.