Summary of report content
Healthwatch in Sussex undertook a short campaign in November and December 2020 to capture public experiences of the second national lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Most people said that once they accessed a service, they received high quality care. A few people felt worried about accessing services due to a fear of catching Covid-19.
Information to patients and public wasn’t always keeping pace with changes being made to services. Mixed messages from the same or different sources on which services were available and how to access them, was a source of confusion. Even when information was available, it wasn’t always detailed enough or tailored to the needs of the individual.
Communication wasn’t always timely, resulting in people feeling anxious. Websites and out of hours phone messages were out of date or didn’t provide the information people were looking for.
A lot of the feedback related to GPs. Access to appointments were challenging for many. In some cases patients reported making in excess of 100 calls to get through to a receptionist. People with autism or learning difficulties experienced particular problems with phone and video appointments.
Access to NHS dentistry continued to be a problem for a large number of patients.
Most people were positive about outpatient appointments, but key issues were identified about timely communications and follow up.
Timely access to specialist support services were problematic due to lockdown and remote support was less effective.
People continued to report concerns about the impact of visiting restrictions on both residents of care homes and their family.
Queries began to be received about Covid-19 vaccines – how distribution would be prioritised and the timeframe for the rollout.