Summary of report content
Healthwatch Halton wanted to hear how local people were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. They collected 367 responses to two surveys which ran between 1 April and 9 August 2020.
The report looks at information sources during the pandemic. Whilst most people used the Government press briefings as their main source of information, some felt that the messaging was unclear or contradictory. A lot of the information was online, making it difficult for people without access to the internet to keep up to date. The majority of people told us they found it easy to find, understand and act, on the information they needed, although 1 in 5 replied that it was difficult to keep up to date with the changes. One in four people had had difficulties in getting clear information about changes to their health services.
Some people reported that the lockdown had a negative impact on their mental health. But others reported positive outcomes for their mental wellbeing.
Nearly half had experienced changes to their healthcare due to the pandemic. Of these, a third had had an excellent experience. There were mixed views on remote GP appointments. Some found it difficult, whereas others were positive about the experience. Access to dental care was particularly difficult. Post-natal care was also poor and there were concerns about access to cancer services.
Two out of three respondents didn’t consider themselves to be at high risk of Covid. Of those that were, most had pre-existing health conditions. Over two in five supported someone at high risk of Covid. Nearly one in five were working or volunteering to support people affected by the pandemic.
One in five respondents were most concerned with the weak and vulnerable, whilst 12% were keen to get back to normal life. Just over half were concerned for their own and their family’s health and wellbeing during the pandemic. Over two in five were worried about people not following the rules and a third were worried about catching or passing on Covid-19.
Seventeen percent said that they, or the person they cared for, received support to carry out daily activities. Of these, 48% had experienced changes to the care or support received.