COVID-19 Report: Digital/Alternative Services March-July 2020

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Summary of report content

This report from Healthwatch Knowsley details the themes of alternative methods of treatment and care during the COVID-19 pandemic between March and July 2020. The majority of comments related to the use of telephone consultations and the use of e-consult. Although many people had a positive experience of using the alternative methods, some faced difficulties. The key issues identified in this report includes:

  • Lack of access or knowledge of online services/apps made it particularly challenging for the elderly.
  • Lack of communication or miscommunication by services causing frustration and confusion.
  • Lack of access to certain services, such as smear tests, was upsetting for some people. Others experienced worsening of their condition due to cancelling of services, such as physiotherapy.
  • Lack of information/guidance about e-consultation, such as an easy read version, made it difficult for people to understand and follow instructions.

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General details

Report title 
COVID-19 Report: Digital/Alternative Services March-July 2020
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Knowsley
Date of publication 
Monday, 14 December, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 31 March, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 31 July, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Digitalisation of services
Information providing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
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 
Community pharmacy
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
Optometry services
Secondary care services 
Inpatient care
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Social care services 
Adult social care
Residential care home

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? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
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? 

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.