What care and support did Birmingham citizens need during the Covid-19 lockdown?

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Birmingham reports on the engagement and a survey that they did during the Covid-19 pandemic, to identify where help was needed. In total they spoke to 974 people during the period April to June 2020.

They identified that support was needed for people caring for adults without any help or PPE.  Healthwatch Birmingham shared this information with the City Council, who responded with details of how carers could contact them for support or PPE.

People told them that they were unable to get their medication during lockdown.  Healthwatch Birmingham worked with the local pharmaceutical committee on the best course of action for people in these circumstances.

People praised individual services, particularly GP surgeries and pharmacies working well together to support their patients.

The research also identified what needs to change if there is another lockdown, including better access to supplies of healthy food, everyone eligible for a shielding letter getting one, improved access to medication, treatment and appointments, improved communication about access to services, improved hospital discharge procedures and emotional support.

The report contains the findings from a focus group with the local African-Caribbean community.  Issues discussed included good access to services for vulnerable and elderly African-Caribbean community; addressing the impact of Covid-19 on minority ethnic communities and co-morbidities.

The report ends with a statement of how Healthwatch Birmingham intends to support residents and help improve services over the next couple of months.

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General details

Report title 
What care and support did Birmingham citizens need during the Covid-19 lockdown?
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Birmingham
Date of publication 
Monday, 2 November, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 April, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 30 June, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Food and nutrition
Health inequalities
Holistic support
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Other information of note about this report 
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
User stories
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
Secondary care services 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not 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? 
Not known
What type of impact was determined? 
Tangible impact (not cost related)

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.