The mental wellbeing of residents in Harrow

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Harrow wanted to share what Harrow residents were telling them about their mental wellbeing and how the pandemic has affected them. They undertook a survey to which 147 people responded and held online engagement sessions with local Romanian and Somali groups.

Over two thirds of feedback (70%) is negative in nature. By far, relationships and social networks are the largest topic, accounting for over a third of comments. Access to activities and the living environment are also considered important. Respondents from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background, those of later working age (45-64) or with mental health conditions are least likely to give positive feedback.

They heard about tense household relationships and frustration at not being able to visit family and friends or to socialise generally. While online platforms and support networks have assisted many people, a significantly larger number comment on loneliness and social isolation. Those with hobbies and interests are better able to cope than those without. The ability to be outdoors, or to exercise is considered ‘essential’ by many. Home working or schooling presents a challenge. Job and financial security is also a key cause of concern.

Service quality and access were key topics. Accessing out of hours services is cited as an issue. People were concerned about the consequences of digital exclusion.  People felt that GP services have offered good levels of support on the whole, however, a range of access related issues are reported – including congested phonelines, complicated or the lack of online services, and delays in diagnosis. While some people have been successful in obtaining swift dental treatment, a notably larger number report long waiting times, or inability to secure treatment on the NHS.

The report concludes that there needs to be greater communication of the support that is available and future commissioning of services needs to meet the increasing demand.

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General details

Report title 
The mental wellbeing of residents in Harrow
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Harrow
Date of publication 
Monday, 17 May, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 January, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 31 March, 2021
Key themes 
Digitalisation of services
Health protection
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting times and lists for treatment

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
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 
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Inpatient care
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Community services 

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Mental health
Types of long term conditions 
Mental health condition
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
16-17 years
18-24 years
25-64 years
65-85 years
85 +
Non binary
Not known
Prefer not to say
Asian / Asian British
Black/ African / Caribbean / Black British
Mixed / multiple ethnic groups
Not known
Other ethnic group
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Prefer not to say
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? 
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? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not applicable

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.