Summary of report content
Between October 2019 and June 2020, Healthwatch Tower Hamlets carried out four research projects assessing general wellbeing, experiences of COVID-19, and mental health in the local community. This included an engagement event with 90 people from local Chinese and Vietnamese communities (October 2019) and structured interviews with 240 people (December 2019). In-depth interviews with a total of 20 people, in focus groups (February – April 2020) and a survey which 354 completed (March – June 2020) were also conducted.
Key findings from this research:
- People of minority ethnicities had a poorer experience of health and social care than White British residents.
- People of Black ethnicities were more likely to be digitally excluded during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- There were systematic barriers to healthcare for people with language barriers, such as interpreters not always being available and a reliance on telephone appointments or online symptom checkers.
- People facing digital exclusion felt less empowered about their own health and found it harder to stay informed about COVID-19.
No recommendations were made in this report.