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.