During the COVID-19 lockdown we saw a drop in the amount of feedback we were getting via our usual channels, such as phone calls, emails or social media. With non-urgent treatments being canceled and health and social care services moving to online support as much as possible, we were anticipating a decrease in people sharing their experiences of health and social care.
We invited people to let us know their experiences of care during this period, as well as asking an array of other questions, such as how easy was it for people to find, understand, act upon and keep up-to-date with information about COVID-19 and how the pandemic has impacted their mental health.
Here is a snapshot of what people told us:
- The majority of people who responded to this survey told us that the COVID-19 pandemic had affected their mental health and wellbeing, with 26 (58%) people saying it has had ‘some impact’ and 13 (29%) saying that it has had a ‘significant impact’.
- A higher proportion of people found getting, understanding, acting on and keeping up-to-date with information about COVID-19 either ‘very easy’ or ‘easy’. The number of people finding it ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’, however, increased when it came to acting on and keeping up-to-date with changes.
- The topics people found most difficult getting information about were: Changes to the health care services they usually access (e.g. GP practice, pharmacy, hospital outpatient appointments, community nursing visits), testing for COVID-19 and accessing help in their local community (e.g. getting groceries or picking up medication).
- There was positive feedback about phone and video consultations, with most people saying that it had worked well for them and understanding the need for remote consultations.
- Most people were able to access the medication they needed. Nearly half of the respondents found getting their medication ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’ versus just over a quarter who found it ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult.