The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which began in March 2020, has meant that health and care services have had to rapidly change and adapt their services. This report looks at what local people thought about information, health and care services, community support and their wellbeing during this time.
What did we do?
Face-to-face engagement was not possible at this time, so we gathered information by:
- Running an online survey, in collaboration with Healthwatch Swindon and Healthwatch BaNES (Bath and North East Somerset).
- Asking our volunteers, who are spread across Wiltshire, to share our survey and the feedback they heard.
- Using our website feedback, social media and responding to calls and emails via our Helpdesk Hub Team to gather people’s experiences.
- Subscribing to Care Opinion (an online platform where people can post their feedback on services) and monitoring feedback left there by people living in Wiltshire.
- Most people could find and understand the information they needed about Covid-19 but acting and keeping up-to-date with changes was more difficult.
- There was a need for clear information about testing and looking after health and wellbeing.
- Virtual appointments with healthcare professionals had worked well for many people, but there were some circumstances and individuals where these were difficult or not possible.
- Some people were not accessing services due to fear of Covid-19, or fear of ‘overloading’ the service.
- There was understanding of the pressures on services. Appreciation was given of the commitment, dedication and kindness of health and care workers.
- As time has moved on, there has been more frustration expressed about delays to routine treatment and dentistry.
- The pandemic has affected people’s mental health and wellbeing.
- Community groups, voluntary organisations and volunteers have been a valuable source of support to local people.
Conclusions and recommendations
The report draws conclusions from the views and experiences that have been shared with us and makes recommendations based on these. We recognise that services had to adapt rapidly.
The recommendations make suggestions that aim to improve local people’s experiences of health and care services going forwards, based on what they have told us.