The impact of Covid-19 - community feedback on life during lockdown

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Summary of report content

During the first lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic, Healthwatch Islington undertook a survey of 200 residents to capture their experience. The report also contains results of other surveys and engagement they undertook, reaching altogether 287 people. The report outlines their findings and what Healthwatch Islington did about the findings.

The impact of the crisis has been most severe for those who were already worse off, for those in less secure employment, with less financial resources

There has been a disproportionate impact on people from Black and Ethnic Minority background. The Public Health England Disparity report was inconclusive about the reasons for this. There have been suggestions that there could be links with other health conditions.

The digital divide widened. The need for social distancing has meant services can be more safely delivered on-line. They found people who don’t have access to equipment and connections (or had it through libraries but libraries had to close), but also who lack experience of using the internet and therefore lack confidence. These residents have been further excluded during this time. Using the internet to look up information does not necessarily mean someone can easily download an app and start accessing on-line services, there are lots of strands to this exclusion

As lockdown has eased, the messaging on what’s required has been confusing. Hand washing, something people do anyway and they needed to do it more frequently and for longer. Getting tested, people are less clear. In part this is because the communication around this is more localised (ie where to get tested) and still being worked up. Clear, multi-layered messaging is needed. Unfortunately, the policy itself is not straightforward as people can only get a test if they have symptoms, not get a test if they live with someone with symptoms. This could impact on those who are self-employed or on zero-hours contracts.

Residents are worried about catching the virus and worried about the consequences of lockdown, in particular on reducing contact with others and potential financial impacts. But simple things have helped them cope. Spending time with people you live with, connecting with friends and family (by phone/ on-line), cooking and practising Faith.

There has been fear and uncertainty around accessing health care services and support.

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General details

Report title 
The impact of Covid-19 - community feedback on life during lockdown
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Islington
Date of publication 
Thursday, 29 April, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 April, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 31 August, 2020
Key themes 
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Health inequalities
Health protection
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service closure
Service delivery organisation and staffing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
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
Secondary care services 
Inpatient care

Details about conditions and diseases

What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Asian / Asian British
Black/ African / Caribbean / Black British
Mixed / multiple ethnic groups
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? 
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? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

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.