COVID Feedback from Kent and Medway May 2020

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Kent and Healthwatch Medway collected feedback from 130 people about their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and life under social distancing. 

The report found that people had financial concerns involving the impact of furlough and withdrawing cash. People reported confusion about what services they could access as well as confusion about government guidelines. There was also difficulties around shielding, such as getting on the vulnerable list and not receiving letters. Throughout the pandemic, access to food was a major concern, particularly around social distancing, supermarket slots, and free school meals/vouchers. The easing of lockdown has raised concerns and anxiety about going outside. Mental wellbeing has been impacted significantly, particularly around domestic abuse, looking after children, and working from home. Again, Healthwatch Kent heard about difficulties obtaining medication and access to GPs. There have been positive experiences of community care, such as handymen and firefighters delivering meals. Digital consultations have had a mixed response from the public. 

Healthwatch Kent and Medway have shared their findings with the Health and Social Care Recovery Cell and Kent County Council.

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General details

Report title 
COVID Feedback from Kent and Medway May 2020
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Kent
Healthwatch Medway
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 21 July, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 May, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 31 May, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Health promotion
Holistic support
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Unstructured Interview
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
Social care services 
Adult social care
Community services 
Community based services for people with mental health needs

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if 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? 
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? 

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.