Summary of report content
Healthwatch Lewisham conducted an online survey with 1,030 people to collect their feedback about the Coronavirus pandemic during June and July 2020.
The report found that 67% of respondents are worried about spreading the virus in the community. There are widespread concerns about the lack of social distancing within the local community. Patients felt that up to date coronavirus figures, the availability of a vaccine, clear information from services about infection control measures and provision of PPE for staff would encourage them to access services. 20% of respondents were unaware that their GP practice was open for routine appointments. Certain GP practices have disabled their online booking systems which have resulted in congested telephone lines. While there is appreciation of telephone consultations, some people question their effectiveness for supporting issues that require physical examination. Reports of cancelled appointments are common, with some patients receiving limited notification. The COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown has had a substantial emotional impact on residents, with people experiencing issues such as bereavement, financial worries, social isolation and anxiety. 92% of respondents felt comfortable using digital technology, which is an expected outcome when factoring in the nature of the survey. Training and guidance would increase confidence in some people using digital technology to access healthcare. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic respondents are more worried about their job or financial security because of the pandemic. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic respondents found it harder to find information and guidance in accessible formats.
A number of recommendations were made in relation to health service use, mental heatlh, wider community and Black, Asian and Minoity Ethnic communities.