Rethink service users talk about their experiences of the pandemic

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Milton Keynes and Rethink Milton Keynes worked together to engage with people supported by Rethink services. They collected 45 people's experiences of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The report found that loneliness and isolation were most impactful on mental health and wellbeing. Routine is an important part of recovery for many and the constant change has been difficult for some. People experienced difficulties in contacting GPs and other health professionals, or the fear of contracting the virus when having to attend health appointments. Hobbies and outdoor activities were some of the coping strategies used by service users.

People suggested that communication and staff training could be improved.

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General details

Report title 
Rethink service users talk about their experiences of the pandemic
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Milton Keynes
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 3 March, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 1 November, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 31 December, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Health promotion
Holistic support
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff training
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Voluntary and Community Sector
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Rethink Milton Keynes
Primary research method used 
Unstructured Interview
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

Community services 
Community based services for people with mental health needs

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Mental health
Types of long term conditions 
Mental health condition

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
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? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

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.