The health and care struggles of some of the most disadvantaged in our communities during the Covid-19 pandemic are highlighted in a new report from Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Healthwatch Peterborough.
Report shines a light on Covid health and care struggles
A Healthwatch report has highlighted the health and care struggles of some of the most disadvantaged in our communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Your care during Covid, published in October by health and care champions Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Healthwatch Peterborough, has learning for all organisations planning and delivering care across our area.
It's the final report from a three-month survey capturing people's experiences of health and care during the pandemic.
The survey, ending in August, aimed to find out how changes to health and care services were affecting local people and 1,131 people took part.
Healthwatch listened to the experiences of a wide range of people - in particular, those who are most likely to be affected by Covid-19 and changes to services since the pandemic started.
The report found:
Older people, those with disabilities or long-term health conditions, carers and those not online were hit hardest by the pandemic and subsequent service changes.
Three in ten people avoided getting help for a health problem.
Out of those that did get help, three out of four rated it highly.
One in three people told us that the pandemic had a high or significant impact on their mental health and wellbeing.
The shutdown of dental services worsened existing problems around access to high street NHS dental care.
Although some people have taken to online hospital or GP appointments, they don’t work for everyone. Many people don’t have the internet and those with sensory impairments find remote consultations hard to access.
"It has been humbling to hear how people have fared and some of the experiences they shared have been tough reads," said Healthwatch CEO Sandie Smith.
We are the independent champion for people who use health and social care services. We’re here to make sure that those running services, put people at the heart of care.
Our sole purpose is to understand the needs, experiences and concerns of people who use health and social care services and to speak out on their behalf.
We focus on ensuring that people’s worries and concerns about current services are addressed.
We work to get services right for the future.