COVID-19 – focusing our engagement

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Brent carried out research into local residents’ experience of information, support and services for Covid-19.  During April and May 2020 they gathered feedback from 270 people (including some key workers), 7 care homes and 10 organisations. They focused in particular on black and minority ethnic (BAME) people.

Information about Covid-19 needed to be available in easy-read and community languages.  People often struggled to understand the government’s instructions and work out if or how they were relevant. Many found the support from GPs unclear or unhelpful, and they struggled with online consultations. Some residents received food parcels but didn’t need them as they had other support Others were experiencing food poverty and economic poverty. Families were experiencing ‘burnout’ and anxiety due to the lack of respite from caring or home schooling.  There was concern that mental health services may not meet the demand for services as the crisis continues. Young people concerned both about their future but also in their role as potential ‘super spreaders’ and the public messages about young people not being seriously affected by the disease.

The report sets out 5 recommendations and Healthwatch Brent’s intended actions on the findings.

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General details

Report title 
COVID-19 – focusing our engagement
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Brent
Date of publication 
Thursday, 25 June, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 April, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 31 May, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Food and nutrition
Health inequalities
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service closure
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Social care services 
Nursing care home
Residential care home

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
All care professionals
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.