Gateshead resilient communities: Reflections on the impact of COVID-19Download (PDF 447KB)
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.