What people have told us about health and social care during the pandemic

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Surrey undertook a survey of local residents about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on local residents during May 2020.  They received 151 responses.

Most people are satisfied with the information and care received during the pandemic. However, many have experienced changes including cancellations and delays in secondary care. While people accept this as inevitable, it is having a real impact on their wellbeing.

Four out of five found it easy to keep up to date with information about how to stay safe during the pandemic Those finding it hard to keep up with information were mostly vulnerable.

 Of those accessing health and care, 70% were satisfied with the service they had received Where information has been hard to access it has most often been about physical or mental health concerns.

Phone, video or even email consultations were frequently considered an improvement on face to face services.  However, people’s expectations of services are low and they are stoical in the face of uncertainty and delays.

Some people have had good experience with necessary appointment changes – there have been good alternatives and clear communication.  On the other hand, many people with cancelled appointments have had no further contact from their healthcare providers: they do not know if or when their care will resume Some are facing health problems that impact on their quality of life, and do not know how or when help will be available.

There were three recommendations about the need to establish ongoing contact with those whose treatments and services have been cancelled or delayed; building on new processes that are working well, and identifying and understanding those who can’t access online access to health care.  

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General details

Report title 
What people have told us about health and social care during the pandemic
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Surrey
Date of publication 
Friday, 19 June, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 May, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 31 May, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Health inequalities
Health protection
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
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 
Community pharmacy
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
NHS 111
Secondary care services 
Inpatient care
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency
NHS 111

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
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? 
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

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.