Reading people’s experiences of health and social care services during the first Covid-19 lockdown

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Reading conducted a survey between June and August 2020 with 153 people to understand people's experiences of health and care services during the first COVID-19 lockdown. 

The report found that whilst people appeared to accept new ways of working, a third of respondents had stayed away from services due to the pandemic, potentially delaying the early diagnosis and treatment of health concerns. Services changed greatly at this time to cope with treating people with the virus safely and there was a strong message from findings that clearer and more up-to-date communications would have helped support people to navigate and use services.

6 recommendations were made in this report relating to accessibility of information, regular communications from services, and better support for mental health.

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General details

Report title 
Reading people’s experiences of health and social care services during the first Covid-19 lockdown
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Reading
Date of publication 
Monday, 22 February, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 1 June, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 31 August, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Staff training
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Specific ethnicity if 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? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

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.