Snapshot study: Feedback Forums with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities in Lewisham during COVID-19

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Lewisham held Feedback Forums aiming to understand the experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities in Lewisham during COVID-19. Carried out in June and July 2020, the four engagement sessions focused on a number of themes including access, communication and impact on mental health and emotional well-being.

Healthwatch Lewisham made a wide range of findings across these topics. Concerns on access centred on staff training, staff attitudes, language barriers, privacy and confidentiality, health concerns. Concerns included that when triage is completed by receptionists, their lack of clinical expertise might cause them to not recognise concerns which would otherwise be seen as a priority to clinicians and a lack of culturally appropriate services and staff training for stigmatised conditions such as HIV. Concerns about communication and information focussed on access to technology, lack of information and complex language. Such as, people finding online GP systems difficult to navigate, especially for those not digitally confident or who don’t have written and spoken English. Finally, there were concerns over access to mental health support especially during COVID-19.

Healthwatch Lewisham made the recommendation that public facing information should be provided on the following topics: the digital triage model with a focus on the role of receptionists, what health services are available during the COVID-19 training, how services are supporting residents who are digitally excluded either due to technology or language barriers, access to mental health support, local bereavement support, shielding eligibility, translation services on the NHS app. They also recommended that there should be investment by health services to provide culturally appropriate services and the offer of a borough wide training programme to support staff engage with patients with stigmatised conditions such as HIV. Finally, they recommended further engagement with Lewisham’s BAME communities to understand their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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General details

Report title 
Snapshot study: Feedback Forums with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities in Lewisham during COVID-19
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Lewisham
Date of publication 
Friday, 29 January, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 29 January, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 29 January, 2021
Type of report 
Patient experience
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Quality of care
Staff training
Other information of note about this report 
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 
Engagement event
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event
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
Mental health services 
Psychiatry / mental health (other services)

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Mixed / multiple ethnic groups
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
Not known
Does the information include other people's views? 
Not known
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.