Gateshead resilient communities: Reflections on the impact of COVID-19

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Gateshead wanted to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted on the health and wellbeing of the people of Gateshead. Between September and November 2021, they carried out 17 visits to a variety of community and public venues across two areas of Gateshead and spoke to 131 people.

Most respondents (58%) stated that their health and wellbeing were worse during the pandemic, but a sizeable portion (35%) stated that their health and wellbeing stayed the same and a small number (7%) of people felt better.

A lack of social contact and problems accessing health and care services were the issues that had the most negative impact, closely followed by lack of exercise, and being stuck indoors. For people who were able to get out, exercise (often walking, cycling, or gardening) had a positive impact.

Following the pandemic, people wanted to see increased access to primary care, in particular GP services, but also health visitors and midwives. Increased investment in community and outreach services was also important to many people. A number of respondents felt that services needed to be better prepared for future pandemics and more proactive in their response.

Healthwatch Gateshead found that younger people seemed to have a more difficult time during the pandemic and appeared less resilient. Their everyday lives were impacted more, and they were more likely to have faced financial problems and social isolation.

A number of recommendations were made in the report.

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General details

Report title 
Gateshead resilient communities: Reflections on the impact of COVID-19
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Gateshead
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 16 February, 2022
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 September, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 30 November, 2021
Key themes 
Holistic support
Lifestyle and wellbeing

Methodology and approach

Primary research method used 
Unstructured Interview

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not applicable
Does the information include staff'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? 

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.