Covid-19 briefing 2

Our second briefing into people's experiences of health, social care and community support during the pandemic is published today.
healthwatch cambridgeshire covid-19 briefing 2

It contains the views of more than 250 people who filled in our survey between 11 June and 1 July 2020. We heard from people from all over the county and of all ages, with one in ten coming from a minority ethnic community.

It's the second of three briefings and will be followed by a final report in the autumn.

The first of our Covid briefings was published last month -- find it here.

What people told us

We continued to receive many messages thanking NHS staff, care and other key workers.  But we are finding a mixed picture of experiences when it comes to people's health and care and support. 

A mixed picture

  • Most said health care was good or excellent – but communication around changes was less positive 

  • Continuing concerns about paused services and procedures during Covid-19 - and worries about how this will affect future treatment

  • Nearly one in three put off seeking help for a health condition – for minor problems and potentially serious conditions
  • Three out of four people said their mental health or wellbeing had been
    affected in some way 

People at greater risk and shielding

Nearly two out of three considered themselves, or someone they cared for, to be at risk of serious illness from Covid-19. And over a third had been advised to shield. 

Around one in eight asked for support from the countywide, district hub or a local Covid support group. One in three managed without extra support, whilst others got help from family, friends and neighbours. 

We have heard some positive experiences from being in lockdown, whilst others have struggled to get the help they need. 

Very little support for the first few weeks. I care for a disabled young adult family member and the care and support became very onerous because their education was stopped.

Using health services

Nearly two thirds of people needed help with a health problem. And most said health care was good or excellent – but communication around changes was less positive. 

The minor injuries unit at Ely has been excellent, we have been three times during the pandemic. Each time we have felt completely safe and reassured.

Social care and support*

11 of the 22 people who told us of changes to their social care support said these changes were less than good. 

Problems were highlighted where paid carers were cancelled due to risks of catching Covid-19, leaving people to seek help from family or manage on their own.

People told us that where services have stopped, this has caused them difficulties. But this has been eased where services were able to provide email and video support.


Cleaner cancelled for months due to Covid. As I am vulnerable.... I have really struggled as too unwell to do it myself.

Mental health and wellbeing

Three out of four people said their mental health or wellbeing had been affected - around one in eight said the impact was significant.

Of the three quarters of people who sought support, most turned to family and friends. 

Worryingly, just over one quarter of people did not or were not able to access support when they felt they needed it. 

My daughter is with CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) and all sessions were cancelled.

Read the report here

Covid-19 survey briefing 2

Tell us about your care during Covid-19

And help our NHS, public health and social care services protect people.

If you've already completed the survey and you've had a new experience, then you can fill it in again. In fact, you can fill it out as often as you need to. 

It takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

Take the survey

Or call us on 0330 355 1285 if you would prefer a paper copy or would like to do the survey by phone.

*Social care support - we received feedback on a range of social care and support services. Some are funded by the local authorities and some people will be paying for their own support – or giving feedback on services that are part of a package of health and care support.  22 people told us about their experience of social care changes - and this report only represents their experiences, not the experiences of all social care users. 


How services are changing because of Covid 19

Read our advice and guidance on coronavirus and find out how services are changing to meet people's needs. 

Find out more