Shielding report: experiences and views of people in Devon

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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.

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General details

Report title 
Shielding report: experiences and views of people in Devon
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Devon
Healthwatch Plymouth
Healthwatch Torbay
Date of publication 
Monday, 11 January, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 4 August, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 20 September, 2020
Type of report 
Patient experience
Key themes 
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Quality of care
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
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 
GP practice
Community services 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Prefer not to say
Asian / Asian British
Specific ethnicity if known 
English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British
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? 
Not known
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.