Summary of report content
In August 2020, Healthwatch Dudley and Dudley Council hosted an online community forum to talk to people with experience of or an interest in adult social care services and needed help since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. 35 people took part.
Individuals reported feeling anxious, isolated and sometimes lonely with worsening physical or mental health. Communications on what support is available to help with everyday living and how to get access to it must work well for people.
It has been possible for individuals to get help with health and care matters using the telephone or by going online. But, some people may be disadvantaged if they are not able to get face-to-face appointments and are not comfortable with the new or alternative ways of getting help. There is risk of some individuals being left behind if they can’t access digital services and are not online. Nobody should feel excluded or left out.
The NHS has done a lot of good work during the pandemic but there is scope for more public engagement learning. The aim should be changed ways of working that means it is better able to help individuals using technology and through improved communications.
It would be good to find ways to make the most of all the growth in community networking and volunteering activity that has occurred since the start of the pandemic and helped people with their health and care or other day-to-day needs. Many organisations have started or are working better together in collaborative and joined-up ways that are benefitting the individuals they help and should be sustained and further developed.
There were no recommendations, but the report contains a response to the findings from the local authority.