Living with a long-term condition in COVID-19

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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.

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General details

Report title 
Living with a long-term condition in COVID-19
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Gloucestershire
Date of publication 
Thursday, 17 December, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Saturday, 1 August, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 16 October, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service closure
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
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
Other services 
Patient transport

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of long term conditions 
Another long-term condition
Cancer in the last 5 years
Heart disease

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Sexual orientation 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
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? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

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.