Health and wellbeing during COVID-19

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch East Sussex launched two surveys to explore the direct and indirect impacts of the lockdown, social distancing measures and changes to services on people’s health and wellbeing during May and June 2020. One survey was focused primarily at adults, with a shorter parallel version focused at engaging with children and young people aged between 11 and 18 years of age. The aim of the surveys was to capture a snapshot of people’s experiences, both positive and negative, and share these with service providers and partners across East Sussex to inform the COVID-19 response, but also to identify any longer-term effects resulting from the crisis. The surveys ran in web-based and hard copy format and a total of 2,179 responses were received to both surveys – 1,209 to the main survey and 970 to the CYP survey.

Healthwatch East Sussex found that lack of direct contact with family and friends was identified in both surveys as the most common issue having the greatest impact on daily life from COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions. This was identified by just over half of those responding (56.9%). In both surveys, access to healthcare services, concerns about the future, getting COVID-19 and education were also major concerns. The most commonly identified experience that respondents had ‘more often’ since the COVID-19 outbreak was ‘connected with people virtually’ which was identified by 1,417 (65.0%) respondents. The next most common responses were ‘felt anxious about the future’ (1,382 – 63.4%) and ‘used social media’ (1,248 – 57.3%). 

The issue the greatest proportion of respondents to the main survey were ‘most anxious’ about was ‘Becoming seriously ill with COVID-19’ (485 – 40.1%). The second most frequent response was ‘Impacts on family and friends outside my household’ (453 – 37.5%) and third was ‘Catching COVID-19‘(369 – 30.5%).  The most common issue identified by respondents to the main survey as making it challenging to seek help or support was ‘challenges in accessing services as they were before’ (177 – 14.7%), with 70 respondents (5.8%) ‘Not seeking help or support to avoid bothering anyone’.

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General details

Report title 
Health and wellbeing during COVID-19
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch East Sussex
Date of publication 
Monday, 30 November, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 May, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 6 June, 2020
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Health and safety
Quality of care

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
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 
GP practice
Community services 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
16-17 years
18-24 years
25-64 years
65-85 years
85 +
Prefer not to say
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
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? 

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.