COVID impact on community health and social services across Europe

In the face of the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on community health and social services across Europe, the European Social Network (ESN)’s CEO Alfonso Lara Montero has co-authored a declaration supporting a necessary change in the long-term care model in Spain.

While the declaration was drafted against the difficulties faced by care professionals to support the most vulnerable in Spain, which has become one of the most affected countries, the analysis and the proposals made may be applicable to many other European countries.

The declaration states that this health crisis has revealed the inadequacy of care systems to cope with the vast numbers of already fragile and vulnerable people who have become sick as a consequence of the pandemic. The analysis of this situation should help us identify and assess potential risks to inform future actions in community care. This analysis may include ensuring continuity of care, coordination between services but also between health and social care systems, addressing who is responsible for what, and balancing values and care with people’s health and freedoms.

Among the various recommendations, the declaration fosters the design of environments for a meaningful life:

This involves new models of architectural design, organisational and management formulas that are as close as possible to living in one’s home. These models encourage living environments based on guaranteeing privacy, assuring personalised care, reducing staff turnover, and organising meaningful activities per people’s choice and in contact with the community.

The declaration concludes that the current situation can become an opportunity to achieve better care for the people who need it, progressing towards communities of care that commit to ensure that the participation of the most vulnerable becomes a priority.

Read the full declaration here