Public views on health and care during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

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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.

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General details

Report title 
Public views on health and care during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Cheshire West and Chester
Date of publication 
Thursday, 10 June, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 16 October, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 23 March, 2021
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Health inequalities
Health protection
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service closure
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting times and lists for treatment

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
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 
Community pharmacy
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Inpatient care
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Social care services 
Home care / domiciliary care
Nursing care home
Residential care home

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? 
Not known
Does the information include staff'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.