Summary of report content
Healthwatch Sandwell undertook research into the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on local residents. They spoke to 68 people between 30 March and 30 May 2020.
Information about COVID - 19 was key to understanding what is happening and how to keep safe during the pandemic. Most respondents stated that they had ample, easy to understand and accessible information. However, there was a general feeling that there was too much information, and that the information kept changing and was at times contradictory, conflicting and not accurate.
It transpires that TV news was the main source of information. Deaf people struggled to access information that was on TV and this may have impacted on their knowledge about COVID - 19. Scotland provided this service throughout their television updates.
One in twenty respondents said that they had had a test which confirmed that they had COVID – 19, however over half of the respondents had symptoms but had not been tested. Over two in five of these did not seek medical advice or care for their symptoms.
Accessing medical advice varied, some struggled to access a GP but others were able to have telephone consultations, nevertheless, contacting surgeries by telephone proved to be difficult for some.
Most people were coping, and they had all the supplies they needed and were getting support from the family and the community. There was a sense that everyone was in the same situation and were doing their best.
Respondents were asked to identify their concerns, the main concerns were loneliness and isolation, getting shopping and receiving social care. There were concerns about getting help for existing and new conditions as treatment/consultation/ appointments/operations had been postponed and it was feared that symptoms could worsen. People also did not want to go to a hospital setting for fear of contracting COVID – 19.