Summary of report content
Healthwatch Gloucestershire wanted to understand the particular experiences of people in Gloucestershire living with long-term conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic. They spoke to 41 people in total.
People said their mental health had deteriorated. They found staying active in their day-to-day lives particularly challenging. Not being able to see friends and family has compounded a sense of isolation. Confidence to engage in outside day-to-day activities has decreased; people are still fearful of being around others.
The fact that some usual health and community services were suspended had a negative impact on people. Some people welcome remote appointments, while others feel that face-to-face appointments work best - one size does not fit all.
For some people facial coverings felt like a barrier to an effective consultation. People are largely carrying on as best they can while health and care services try to catch up and resume; some people were not sure what they could expect.
The report contains four recommendations about remote appointments, managing expectations about changed services; the need to extend appointment times to allow for the challenges of communicating effectively through PPE and enhanced infection control measures, so that people spend less time in waiting areas and about the need to develop plans to tackle the impact that Covid-19 has had on people, including issues of physical and emotional health, physical activity and isolation.
The report contains responses from providers welcoming the report’s findings.