Agenda item



The Manager of Healthwatch Bradford and District will provide a verbal report on the findings of a patient survey detailing people’s experiences and challenges of accessing NHS health and care services during the Covid-19 outbreak.  The survey took place between May and August 2020


(Helen Rushworth - 07841 565467)



The Manager of Healthwatch Bradford and District provided a verbal presentation on the findings of a patient survey detailing people’s experiences and challenges of accessing NHS health and care services during the Covid-19 outbreak.  The survey took place between May and August 2020.


The presentation explained that Healthwatch helped people find the information they needed to make choices and get the most from health and social care services. It guided people through a system which can be confusing and put people in touch with services that could help. It endeavoured to find out what people thought about health and social care services; recorded the views which were heard and considered patterns to see what needs to be improved.


It also ensured that the people in charge listened to those views when they were making decisions and showed people how their views could make a difference. The rationale for undertaking the survey was the recognised need to respond to COVID-19; to understand what patients and the public’s experiences were and to improve services and the response.


It had not been possible to conduct face to face interviews so an online survey with an option to phone was undertaken between 30 March and 29th June.  The survey had been promoted via social media and networks and had a BAME focus.


The level of response was provided and included how easy it had been  for people to get information.  Key issues which had been revealed included communication needs and challenges; uncertainty around the of COVID-19 impact on pre-existing conditions; confusion around shielding and anxiety around a lack of clear information.


Statistics on the volume of people seeking treatment and medical advice; the numbers of people assessing services and people’s experiences of health and care were reported.


The percentage of people accessing care for advice of treatment for other health issues together with their experiences of those services were also presented.

The survey included details of the impact of COVID-19 on mental health; information on the numbers of residents who had accessed mental health services; the challenges people faced and the ways they had built resilience.


The levels of community support had been assessed and it was reported that most people who had asked for help felt that the pandemic had had a negative effect on them and their wellbeing through feelings of loss of control, helplessness and loss of independence.  An area to be revisited would be to consider if solutions had been found or issues still existed. 


It was reported that the survey had been shared with the CCG and WYHHCP (West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership); the full report was shared with key delivery partners including the Voluntary and Community Sector and the report and operational changes had been shared with the public.


The presentation concluded with recommendations to increase the demographic reach of surveys; to increase access to mental health support services; to ensure health messages were communicated in a full range of formats and to provide timelines of changes to services


Following the presentation concerns were expressed about residents, not previously known to Mental Health Services, with low level depression or anxiety who may not know how to access support.  It was hoped that surveys such as that conducted by Healthwatch would raise awareness of the support available.  The Manager confirmed that information was presented on social media and via a mailing list of all contacts to the service. It was also cascaded to disease specific groups; carers resources and the service had tapped into all contacts to try and spread the message far and wide.


A Member acknowledged the growing concern the survey had found about access to mental health services.  He feared that the pandemic had impacted on people’s mental health due to job losses; debt and family problems and he questioned how greater access could be developed for marginalised groups.


It was agreed that pregnancy and childbirth had been difficult during the pandemic and it was questioned if information had also been gathered on that topic.  It was explained that a report on mental health was due to be considered at the next meeting, to be held on 22 October 2020, and that the issue could be discussed at that time.


It was suggested that the Committee keep in touch with Healthwatch Bradford and District as they had access to useful intelligence.  The Manager was thanked for the provision of an informative report and it was agreed that she would circulate a copy of the report on the survey to all Members.


Resolved –


That the Manager, Healthwatch Bradford and District, be thanked for the provision of an informative report.


ACTION: Overview and Scrutiny Lead