Summary of report content
This report explains the findings of the research undertaken looking at people’s experiences of health and social care services in Oldham during the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthwatch Oldham developed a survey to gather information about people's access to appointments, their treatments and/or support services. In addition, they asked about people’s current health and identified areas of support that people felt had gone well and things that could have been improved.
Their key findings are:
- The vast majority of people acknowledge the unprecedented nature of the pandemic and understand that there would be a disruption to service delivery. However, a significant number of responses highlight that a lack of clear and regular communication has been an area of concern for some people.
- Access to services was an issue although most people found pharmacy services the easiest to access followed by remote GP appointments. In contrast, in-person GP appointments, dental appointments and mental health in person appointments were the most difficult to access.
- 50% of the respondents said that they had appointments /treatments cancelled. The highest response on cancelled appointments was dental appointments followed by hospital appointments and routine GP appointments.
- Majority of those who attended in-person appointments felt that adequate guidance was given on minimising risks. However, some stated that the guidance was unclear.
Based on what local people have told, Healthwatch Oldham have provided recommendations around communication, access to services, on patient experience, cancelled appointments and support for those living with COVID-19.