Public views on health and care during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemicDownload (PDF 3.7MB)
Summary of report content
Healthwatch Cheshire West and Chester undertook a survey to find out local people’s views on health and care during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is an update report which covers the period 16 October 2020 to 23 March 2021. During this period, they received 349 responses.
In most cases, people do not seem to be overly negative or critical about the changes to services, and there is a broad acknowledgement that the situation is difficult to manage and that services are doing the best that they can for people. Nearly half of all respondents didn’t comfortable either making, travelling to, or attending appointments, or felt that they would be overburdening healthcare services if they did.
The majority of people are happy to have GP video/telephone appointments dependent on what is it about, but there is still strong sentiment that face-to-face appointments are beneficial. As time has gone on, there has been an increased uptake of face-to-face appointments, but people have been nervous about attending them. Many people felt positive about their experience and safety at their face to face appointment. Issues with prescriptions and medication, particularly with the repeat prescription process have been occurring throughout the pandemic, but as time has gone on these have become far less common.
Feedback regarding the COVID-19 vaccination process has largely been positive about the vaccination process, volunteers and staff. Some people also had queries as to booking arrangements, priority groups, and when they could access their vaccine.
Most people felt that they were coping well. However, respondents also talked about the stress and anxiety they felt, confusion over national guidance and missing family and friends. As time has gone on, people’s anxiety has increased. More people are feeling ‘fed up’ since October 2020. This appears due to stress and confusion over national guidance, along with increased scepticism the longer than pandemic has continued about media reporting and scaremongering. People wanted to be able to go out and have more of a normal life.
Most people are seeking support from family and friends, but people have also been looking to technology, community organisations and mental health providers. A small amount of people who sought support for their mental health found this online or via an app.
Respondents also talked about the importance of family and friends, support from the community and the workplace, exercise and better access to services. This has remained consistent since May 2020. People’s top future concerns include: the observance of social distancing, and the mental and physical health of themselves and others.
Some people said that their care had not changed, others formed support bubbles with family members, and others mentioned different carers coming to support them.