Summary of report content
Healthwatch Devon, Plymouth and Torbay carried out research into people’s experiences of shielding in Devon. To do this, they created a survey which was promoted online. 170 people filled out the survey between4 August and 20th September 2020. Over half of the respondents (54.17% or 65 people) lived in the Torbay area, 12.50% (15 people) lived in Plymouth, and a third (33.33% or 40 people) lived in other areas of Devon.
The main findings focussed on effect on quality of life, using services, communication about shielding could be improved and concerns about the future. Many respondents struggled with social isolation and loneliness while shielding, which had a negative impact on their mental health. People who had more positive experiences cited social support and virtual contact. Many respondents had negative experiences with supermarket delivery and food parcels; several struggled to get delivery slots or said food parcels were inadequate or inappropriate. Nearly a third of respondents said they had not enough or none of the information they need to help them make decisions about shielding. Many respondents mentioned being anxious or nervous about going out in public after shielding ended.
Healthwatch Devon, Plymouth and Torbay made some considerations. Namely, that communication with people who were shielding could be improved and that there could be better community support to help people with the use of virtual and online resources.