26th Oct, 2020

Local health providers 'failed to keep people informed' during pandemic

Ross Crawford 18th 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 that 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 that the impact of the pandemic on people’s mental health grew steadily as the months wore on.

Peter Pinfield, chair of Healthwatch Worcestershire said: ‘Our findings show that people in Worcestershire recognise the unprecedented challenges presented to health and care services by Covid-19 and are 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 also highlighted the importance of ensuring information and communication is accessible and the impact changes to routine and face to face contact has 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.

Both reports are available at http://www.healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk

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