Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees has engaged with local people to find out their views and experiences of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, and how this has impacted on their lives and their health and wellbeing.
To gain this information we conducted a Coronavirus/COVID-19 survey. Engagement with Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees volunteers and the use of social media, telephone and email contact with support services in the local area enabled us to promote the survey. Two hundred and five people completed the survey.
The overall findings of this engagement, based on what people have told us, show that:
- NHS 111 has been a good source of advice and guidance for people in relation to COVID-19 symptoms.
- Overall, clear and understandable information on keeping safe during the pandemic has been easy to find. However those with underlying health conditions found the information to have been conflicting and confusing.
- Those without access to the internet found it difficult to access assistance or local community support.
- People felt that their other health conditions have been affected due to delayed or suspended home care services and access to home adaptation equipment, difficulties in obtaining medication, and not being able to access health care appointments and the hospital treatment that they feel they need.
- Mental health and wellbeing has been affected by the pandemic with an increase in levels of anxiety and low mood and worsening of pre-existing mental health conditions.
- The mental health and wellbeing of women who are pregnant and giving birth during the pandemic has been effected.
- The mental health of those who have caring responsibilities for family members has been effected by the pandemic.
- Work related stress and the overall effects of lock down have had a negative impact on mental health and wellbeing.
- There are other factors relating to the pandemic that that have had an impact on health and wellbeing.
Based on the findings, the following recommendations have been made:
- North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust to consider providing residents with health and wellbeing guides. The guides in booklet format can be delivered through the post to residents homes.
- Those delivering health and social care services need to make it clear why appointments, treatments and service provisions are being cancelled.
- Services need to be in regular contact with all women receiving antenatal and postnatal care.
- Maternity services to promote and encourage the use of mental health support services and information and guidance to support mothers and those who are expecting with their mental health and wellbeing.
- Pharmacies to engage with local voluntary organisations who can support with the collection and delivery of medications for those who are vulnerable, self-isolating or have been asked to shield.
You can download our full report below, including responses from:
- Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group
- North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust
- Jhoots Pharmacy