COVID Feedback from Kent & Medway April 2020

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Kent and Healthwatch Medway, together with Kent User Forums, have gathered feedback from 180 members of the public about their experiences of the Covid 19 pandemic and life under social distancing during April 2020.  They combined this with anecdotal feedback from 10 organisations who variously support people living with mental health, physical disability, sight loss and impairment, carers and those suffering domestic abuse.

The report explores trends in feedback during this period.  The issue on which they received the most feedback is people feeling a growing sense of isolation.  Feedback about access to food has decreased over the period. Feedback on social distancing and restriction on movement has had a significant impact on key groups of people; those with Autism Spectrum Conditions, Learning Disability and Dementia. Concerns around financial difficulties peaked in the third week of the month.  They also started to hear about how different rules in the Districts around funerals were making this extra stressful for people.

The report also explores feedback about health care.  The biggest issue they heard about were concerns about access to secondary mental health services, including positive feedback about services being delivered by phone.  In the middle of April, they started to hear from staff working in a range of settings from hospitals to community services. Staff raised concerns about their wellbeing and personal safety at work. They have had a consistently high volume of feedback around medication, including being able to collect medication and access pharmacies. In the second week of April, they started to hear issues around people’s concerns about accessing care and support and avoiding hospital appointments, due to fears of contracting Covid 19 or ‘not wanting to bother’ the services. People have reported a negative impact on their health due to being unable to access regular treatment.

The report concludes with an exploration of feedback on social care. In the first week of April, they heard a lot about the impact of reduction and changes to peoples’ planned care packages. People who are caring for others have found that their situation at home is different during lockdown.  In mid-April, they contacted a random selection of care homes in Medway to find out about access to PPE, food, staffing and coronavirus cases. Those care homes reported excellent liaison with Medway Council and in general good access to PPE.

The report sets out the actions that Healthwatch Kent and Healthwatch Medway intend to or are taking to address the issues that they identified in the research.

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General details

Report title 
COVID Feedback from Kent & Medway April 2020
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Kent
Healthwatch Medway
Date of publication 
Thursday, 28 May, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 April, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 30 April, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Food and nutrition
Health promotion
Health protection
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service closure
Service delivery organisation and staffing
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
Secondary care services 
Cancer services
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Counselling/improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT)
Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Social care services 
Adult social care
Home care / domiciliary care
Nursing care home
Residential care home
Respite care
Community services 
Community based services for people with mental health needs
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency
NHS 111

Details about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 
Respiratory conditions
Types of disabilities 
Learning or understanding or concentrating

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
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 
All care professionals
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
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

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.