Research into people's covid-19 lockdown experiences

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch County Durham undertook research to understand people’s experiences of using health and social care services during the COVID-19 lockdown. They undertook an online survey to which 257 people responded

Nearly seven in ten people found it easy or very easy to find advice or information about COVID-19.  The most popular way to find advice and information was online via national websites. Thirteen people with additional communication needs were not able to find advice and information in the appropriate format or language.

Of the respondents who had accessed a health or social care service during lockdown, 177 had a telephone consultation. Although only a few respondents had a video consultation 156 of them thought that they should be offered in the future.

Many respondents experienced change or disruption to their services or treatments during lockdown, with 91 experiencing significant changes, 89 experiencing minor changes and 45 experiencing no changes. In addition 123 respondents had planned health and social care services cancelled as a result of COVID-19. When asked why people hadn’t used health and social care services during lockdown, 56 people had their appointment postponed due to COVID-19, 38 thought their problem could wait until services were back to normal, 30 didn’t want to bother services as they were so busy with COVID-19, 27 were worried about catching COVID19.

When asked about mental health wellbeing 153 stated that they experienced both positive and negative emotions, 67 people ‘felt generally happy most of the time’; 131 respondents didn’t feel the need to access any mental health support whilst 96 respondents accessed support from family and friends.

The report includes observations on communication, digital and online services, access to services and training.

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General details

Report title 
Research into people's covid-19 lockdown experiences
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch County Durham
Date of publication 
Friday, 20 November, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Building and facilities
Communication between staff and patients
Health promotion
Health protection
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of staffing
Service closure
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff training
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 
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 
Community pharmacy
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Inpatient care
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Social care services 
Nursing care home
Residential care home

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
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? 
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.