Experiences of health, care and support services in Sheffield during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Sheffield undertook research about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on health and social care services.  They undertook a survey to which 567 people responded between late May to late July 2020. They also gathered feedback from Zoom meetings allowing them to hear from diverse groups.

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted people’s mental health more than their physical health. Some people were not accessing services due to fear of catching the virus. A quarter had extra or new care and support needs because of the pandemic.

For many people treatment was stopped, postponed or cancelled, resulting in unmet need. Telephone appointments were welcomed by some but were not always a suitable option, particularly for deaf people.

There was lack of clarity around social care support during the pandemic but front-line staff were praised for their good work.

Charities, community groups and organisations provided valuable person-centred support for people during the pandemic. However, some people couldn’t access support, particularly those who had no internet access.

These have been particularly challenging times for carers, for whom there was lack of respite provision. Young carers felt that it had been more difficult to take a break from their caring responsibilities.

The report also looks at the impact of the pandemic on different communities and what changes people wanted to keep.

The report contains 6 recommendations to address the issues raised in the report.

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General details

Report title 
Experiences of health, care and support services in Sheffield during the COVID-19 pandemic
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Sheffield
Date of publication 
Thursday, 19 November, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 25 May, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 31 July, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Health protection
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service closure
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Other information of note about this report 
Young Carers
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
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 
Inpatient care
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Social care services 
Day care (social care services)
Nursing care home
Residential care home
Respite care
Community services 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Other population characteristics 
Homeless people
Refugees or asylum seekers
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? 
Not known

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.