Summary of report content
In order to understand the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable people in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, and to inform local and national responses, Healthwatch Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (HWNN) carried out a short survey between 17th April and 4th May 2020 to find out whether people knew if they were in the risk group of COVID-19; whether those in the highest risk group received an NHS Coronavirus letter; whether people surveyed understood official COVID-19 information; what were the unmet information needs of people surveyed and whether GP and hospital appointments had been cancelled or changed due to the pandemic.
Their findings suggested that most people were aware if they were in the highest risk or increased risk group, however, many of them had not received a letter and didn’t know what to do. People aged 70 and over were least likely to realize they are in the increased risk group. People who found the government’s information most unclear included those with dementia, learning disability, the elderly and the pregnant. Most people also felt that they were unable to get clear information and advice about managing existing health conditions and accessing repeat prescriptions. The survey also found that most people were provided digital consultations when their routine appointments had been changed or cancelled.
The report made five recommendations to the local and national healthcare system which included to ensure people received information about how to manage existing health conditions and access repeat prescriptions and mental health support; publicise more effectively who are at highest risk and increased risk; provide greater clarity for the over 70s about the additional precautions they need to take and prioritise mental health support from the outset of a future pandemic.