Covid survey report highlights health and care struggles during pandemic

The final report from our Covid-19 survey - published today - highlights the health and care struggles of some of the most disadvantaged in our communities across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Our CEO Sandie Smith talks about the Your care during Covid report

Your care during Covid  has learning for all organisations planning and delivering care in our area.

Survey findings have already helped shape local NHS winter and recovery plans.

And Cambridgeshire County Council - which provides social care and runs local support hubs - has thanked us for the “powerful insights” to help it respond better to local needs. 

Our survey ran between 28 May and 31 August 2020 and aimed to find out how changes to health and care services were affecting local people.

A total of 1,131 people from across our area took part.

We listened to the experiences of a wide range of people - in particular, those who are most likely to be affected by Covid-19 and changes to services since the pandemic started.

Before today's final report, we published three survey briefings highlighting key findings to local services.

Our final report shows

  • Older people, those with disabilities or long-term health conditions, carers and those not online were hit hardest.
  • Three in ten people avoided getting help for a health problem. 
  • But of those that did get help, three out of four rated it highly.
  • One in three people told us there was a high or significant impact on their mental health and wellbeing. 
  • The shutdown of dental services worsened existing problems around access to high street NHS dental care.
  • Although some people have taken to online hospital or GP appointments, they don’t work for everyone. Many people don’t have the internet and those with sensory impairments find remote consultations hard to access.

Read the report 

Sandie Smith, our Healthwatch CEO said: 

"We have had an amazing response to our survey and we must thank everyone who took part, shared their stories and trusted us to pass that information on to help services understand what matters to people.

“The pandemic has been a very difficult experience for many people who have been badly affected by disruption to their usual support systems, by the pause in treatments, delayed operations, or by loneliness, isolation and anxiety.

It has been humbling to hear how people have fared and some of the experiences they shared have been tough reads.

Lessons for all

Our Healthwatch is pressing the organisations providing and organising health and social care to take the report's learning points into account when planning and delivering services.

These include:

  • Making sure communication about changes to services and to people’s treatment or care is clear and given at the appropriate time.
  • Tackling health inequalities - especially where people’s needs have not been met under the Accessible Information Standard.
  • Building on the use of technology to communicate with people, whilst finding other solutions for people who cannot manage remote consultations.
  • Understanding the impact of isolation on new families and what the disruption of services has meant for families with children or family members with additional needs.

Your experiences are still wanted

Missed the survey?  You can still share your health and care experiences with us. 

It's easy to share your thoughts online. What you tell us will help improve local services for everyone.

Share your views

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