Post-Covid syndrome: People's experiences of health care and support in Gloucestershire

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Gloucestershire wanted to understand how post-COVID syndrome (long COVID) is affecting people’s health and wellbeing and to find out what care and support is available in Gloucestershire.

A survey ran in December 2021 and was completed by 50 people. Six people discussed their experiences over the phone.

Key messages

  • People don’t always know which services are available to help them.
  • Most people were helped by their GPs and a smaller proportion were helped in hospitals.
  • People are waiting a very long time to hear from the Post-COVID Syndrome Assessment Service after referral.
  • Patients felt left alone to seek their own treatment options.
  • Being proactive to find support could be challenging due to brain fog and fatigue.
  • People were not often given the opportunity to have face-to-face conversations with clinicians.
  • Long waiting times and disjointed services made mental and physical wellbeing more difficult to treat

A number of recommendations were made in the report.

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General details

Report title 
Post-Covid syndrome: People's experiences of health care and support in Gloucestershire
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Gloucestershire
Date of publication 
Monday, 7 March, 2022
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 10 December, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 24 December, 2021
Key themes 
Access
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Holistic support
Information providing
Integration of services
Referrals
Support
Waiting times and lists for treatment

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
Primary research method used 
Survey
User stories

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Urgent care services

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of long term conditions 
Other

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
56
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Yes
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Negative

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
No

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.