Covid-19 briefing 3

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have been undertaking a survey about the impact of service changes on their health and care due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  This report is the third briefing in a series and covers the period 2 July to 1 August 2020.  During this time, they received 213 completed responses.

Many messages of thanks and support for NHS staff, care and other key workers continue to pour in from people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Also highlighted are concerns for the health, wellbeing, and safety of staff. Other people asked questions about the reopening of services and concerns about how things will look in the future.

There is a mixed picture for those who need health services. Where people were able to use a service, three quarters of them said their experience was good or excellent. Where healthcare had changed, communication about the changes ranged widely from very poor through to excellent.

Users of maternity services have seen many changes to their care due to Covid-19. New mothers and mums-to-be have had to attend appointments alone. Some have shared experiences of feeling isolated during their pregnancies and after birth - affecting their physical and mental health.

People are concerned that many services have not yet opened, and delays will affect the progress of their illness and prognosis. There are also concerns that there are adequate safety measures in hospitals and at GP premises.

People are having difficulties accessing dental care for both routine care and treatment for dental problems.

A third of people put off seeking help for their health – for minor problems and potentially serious conditions.

There has been continued support for those shielding or isolating with help coming from family, friends, covid hubs and community groups. People have found ways to cope and adapt to the changes.

Four out of five people said their mental health or wellbeing had been affected in some way. Half of all respondents said they had not needed to find support, while two thirds of the remaining turned to family and friends.

Over a quarter of people who needed help for their mental health or wellbeing had not been able to access services.

People have found it harder to keep up to date with the changes to information and advice around how to keep safe.

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General details

Report title 
Covid-19 briefing 3
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Cambridgeshire
Healthwatch Peterborough
Date of publication 
Thursday, 17 September, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 2 July, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 1 August, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Health protection
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service closure
Service delivery organisation and staffing
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
Secondary care services 
Inpatient care

Details about conditions and diseases

What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 
New mothers

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
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? 
Not applicable
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.