Summary of report content
Healthwatch Darlington report on the results of three surveys about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on local people’s access to services. Altogether, they spoke to 606 people.
Before vaccines were available, the concerns of local people were around:
- The ability to access existing services.
- Being excluded from being kept up to date due to lack of access to online services.
- Feeling unsupported when they could not attend appointments with loved ones
- Not having a choice of face to face or online consultations.
- Wearing masks and talking to health care professionals wearing masks and the communication barriers this presents.
Once vaccines were available, the concerns expressed above remained:
- The wearing of masks, primarily around communication barriers a mask represents.
- Future ongoing support for existing health needs as well as Long COVID.
- Digital exclusion concerns remained, with hopes expressed that consideration would be given to this obstacle in future service delivery.
A survey in 2022 indicated that in general communications of vaccines and information was good. The areas where more could be done were:
- Keeping people up to date with changes to existing services.
- The provision of mental health support.
- Ensuring digital inclusion.
The report includes 7 recommendations and responses from service providers.