Summary of report content
Healthwatch Luton have reported on their findings after carrying out targeted engagement sessions over Microsoft Teams. The aim of this project was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the residents of Luton’s access to health and social care, and how the pandemic has affected staff in these areas.
This report focuses on the experiences of 7 young people (ages 14-25) who have all had experience of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
The sessions were informal discussions, focusing on positive experiences of CAMHS, any improvements that need to be made, as well as experiences of testing, treatment, and communications.
A key area of this research was the impact of virtual support. There were issues such as poor wi-fi, a lack of confidential space, and not having data available on their phones which negatively impacted the young people’s experiences of support. Seeing other people in the background of video conferences with therapists made one young person feel uncomfortable.
Autism assessments have also been stopped, because these need to be carried out face to face and masks cannot be worn.
However, virtual support also had the benefit of working well for young people who prefer virtual communication.
It was felt that there were not enough communications aimed at young people in the health and social care sector throughout the pandemic.
This report contains a recommendation to continue the research.