Covid-19 Community Briefing

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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.

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General details

Report title 
Covid-19 Community Briefing
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Tower Hamlets
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 8 April, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 1 March, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 31 March, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Digitalisation of services
Health protection
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service closure
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 
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
NHS 111
Secondary care services 
Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Social care services 
Adult social care
Community services 
Community based services for people with mental health needs
Urgent and emergency care services 
NHS 111

Details about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 
Respiratory conditions
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
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? 
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? 
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.