Summary of report content
Healthwatch Tower Hamlets has undertaken research into the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on residents. They analysed 445 comments from residents on social media and have carried out a survey to which they had received 110 responses.
Survey respondents were more worried about the health of friends and family members than about their own. Job and financial stability were also an important cause for concern. Residents stay healthy by going out for solitary exercise such as walking, running and cycling, as well as engaging in physical activity at home.
Local people feel reasonably well-informed about how to keep themselves healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak. Local groups on social media raise awareness of misinformation and scams, limiting their spread.
Many residents socialise and keep in touch with loved ones online. Some also use the Internet for finding information about how to keep themselves safe in the pandemic, for exercise at home tutorials or for learning new skills. This highlights potential health inequalities for those who don’t have the skills or online access.
Access to routine healthcare is limited, including GP appointments, antenatal and postnatal maternity care and dental care, and therapy for people with mental health conditions. Provision of domiciliary care is reduced. Users self-isolating at home may need deliveries of medicine from pharmacies; which are over-stretched with high demand and staff shortages.
The report also considers the impact of the pandemic on employment, education, and changes to rubbish and recycling collections.
The report contains 4 recommendations about maintaining mental wellbeing, access to antenatal care, home-working and the impact of volunteering.