Experiences of health and care during lockdown 2

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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  Websites and out of hours phone messages were out of date or didn’t provide the information people were looking for.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.

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General details

Report title 
Experiences of health and care during lockdown 2
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Brighton And Hove
Healthwatch East Sussex
Healthwatch West Sussex
Date of publication 
Monday, 15 February, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 16 November, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 11 December, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Cost of services
Digitalisation of services
Information providing
Quality of care
Quality of staffing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event
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 
Community pharmacy
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Social care services 
Nursing care home
Residential care home
Community services 
Community based services for people who misuse substances
Community based services for people with a learning disability
Community based services for people with mental health needs
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Not known
Age group 
Not known
Not known
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? 
Not known
Does the information include other people's views? 
Not known
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? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
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.