People’s views and experiences of how Covid – 19 has affected them

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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.

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General details

Report title 
People’s views and experiences of how Covid – 19 has affected them
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Sandwell
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 9 September, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 30 March, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 30 May, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Digitalisation of services
Health protection
Holistic support
Information providing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
User stories
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 
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
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? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

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.