The impact of COVID-19 on Health & Social Care Services in Ealing

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Ealing wanted to hear from local people about whether their access to health and social care services had been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and how they were accessing information in a rapidly changing situation.  They undertook a survey to which 467 individuals who responded during the period from 25th May - 30th June 2020.

Nearly half of respondents considered themselves be at  high risk of contracting COVID-19. Reasons for this mainly included long term health conditions such as, being over the age of 70 and a combination of the two. Members of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minorities (BAME) communities were more likely to receive shielding guidance and identify as an informal, unpaid carer.

Although over half of individuals rated communications regarding changes to health care as good or excellent, there is still room for improvement. Changes to social care are inconsistent in meeting the needs of some people. Although uptake seems high, Individuals’ experience with digital services has been mixed.

Individuals are more likely to ask friends and family for help rather than seeking the help of professional organisations or leading authorities, such as the Ealing council. In some cases, the distribution of food boxes and support in food shopping remain issues that must be addressed to ensure that each individual’s needs are sufficiently met.

People find it relatively easy to access information and stay up to date with how to keep themselves and others safe during the pandemic. However, several specific topics were highlighted as difficult to find clear information or advice on including Covid-19 testing,  changes to regular health and social care support and how to self-manage existing health conditions. A smaller percentage of people have found it easy to actually act on information. The impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on individuals’ mental health and wellbeing has been widespread. The inability to successfully access testing has been a source of stress for many. Individuals are more likely to turn to friends and family rather than professional services for mental health support as some feel forgotten by services.

The report contains eight recommendations aimed at tackling the issues raised by the research.

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General details

Report title 
The impact of COVID-19 on Health & Social Care Services in Ealing
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Ealing
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 6 January, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 25 May, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 30 June, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Information providing
Service closure
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
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
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Social care services 
Home care / domiciliary care
Nursing care home
Residential care home

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
1-15 years
16-17 years
18-24 years
25-64 years
65-85 years
85 +
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? 
Does the information include other people'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? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

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.