Living with COVID-19

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees engaged with local people to find out their views and experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how this impacted on their lives and their health and wellbeing. To gain this information Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees conducted a survey.

Key findings included:

  • NHS 111 had been a good source of advice and guidance for people in relation to COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Overall, clear and understandable information on keeping safe during the pandemic had been easy to find. However those with underlying health conditions found the information to have been conflicting and confusing.
  • Those without access to the internet found it difficult to access assistance or local community support.
  • People felt that their other health conditions have been affected due to delayed or suspended home care services and access to home adaptation equipment, difficulties in obtaining medication, and not being able to access health care appointments and the hospital treatment that they feel they need.
  • Mental health and wellbeing was affected by the pandemic with an increase in levels of anxiety and low mood and worsening of pre-existing mental health conditions.
  • The mental health and wellbeing of women who were pregnant and giving birth during the pandemic had been affected.
  • The mental health of those who have caring responsibilities for family members had been affected by the pandemic.
  • Work related stress and the overall effects of lock down had a negative impact on mental health and wellbeing.

Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made:

  1. North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust to consider providing residents with health and wellbeing guides. The guides in booklet format could be delivered through the post to residents homes.
  2. Those delivering health and social care services need to make it clear why appointments, treatments and service provisions are being cancelled.
  3. Services need to be in regular contact with all women receiving antenatal and postnatal care.
  4. Maternity services should promote and encourage the use of mental health support services and information and guidance to support mothers and those who are expecting with their mental health and wellbeing.
  5. Pharmacies should engage with local voluntary organisations who can support with the collection and delivery of medications for those who are vulnerable, self-isolating or have been asked to shield.

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General details

Report title 
Living with COVID-19
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Stockton-on-tees
Date of publication 
Thursday, 30 July, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 April, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 30 June, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Health protection
Holistic support
Information providing
Quality of care
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 
Community pharmacy
Secondary care services 
Urgent and emergency care services 
NHS 111
Other services 
Equipment service

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
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? 
Not known
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? 

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.