30th Oct, 2020

'Findings show people were failed when it came to Covid information during first wave' - Healthwatch Worcestershire

Ross Crawford 17th Oct, 2020

LOCAL health providers failed in their efforts to keep people fully informed of changes to services during the height of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

That’s just one of the findings from a new report by Healthwatch Worcestershire based on a survey carried out between April and July across all of Worcestershire.

More than 2,400 people of all ages and from across the county responded and shared their experiences of finding information, accessing health and care services and the impact of the pandemic on their mental health and wellbeing.

The survey found people had mixed experiences of communication about changes to services and how to access them during the pandemic.

The topics they wanted information about changed over time, with mental health and wellbeing, how to access health services and managing existing health conditions becoming the three main areas people were struggling to find out about.

The survey also indicated the impact of the pandemic on people’s mental health grew steadily as the months wore on.

Worcestershire Healthwatch chair Peter Pinfield said findings showed county residents recognised the unprecedented challenges presented to health and care services by Covid-19 and were appreciative of the care they and their loved ones received.

“Nevertheless, the findings from the survey have identified some issues that need to be addressed as we move forward.”

Healthwatch Worcestershire has also published a separate Covid-19 Learning Disability and Autism report.

The feedback they received from more than 100 people with a learning disability and autism highlighted the importance of ensuring information and communication was accessible and the impact changed to routine and face-to-face contact had an emotional toll.

Both reports carry a number of recommendations for local NHS services and Worcestershire County Council on issues which need to be addressed.

Visit healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk to view the reports.

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