News

17.06.2020

East Sussex people in the Coronavirus crisis: First findings released

17th June 2020

Over 2,000 East Sussex residents responded to a Healthwatch survey in May and June which sought their views on life under lockdown, with responses coming from people living all over the county.

Over 1,200 people took part in our adult survey, with the highest number of responses received from women and people aged 50 or over.

Early findings from the responses show:

  • One in ten respondents were ‘Having some difficulty coping’ or ‘Not coping at all well’.
  • Approximately half the respondents had experienced changes or disruption to health services or treatment. A quarter of these identified it had no impact, but a fifth indicated it had a significant impact.
  • Approximately one in five respondents had used a video link or mobile app to access health or care services. Of these, four out of ten would be happy to use it as their main means of accessing services in the future.
  • Nearly half of those responding felt ‘Unsure’ or ‘Not confident at all’ about accessing health or care services for any treatment or worries that are not Covid-19 related.
  • A third of respondents had found it difficult to get clear information and advice about was Government guidance on actions to take on Covid-19.

Through collaboration with East Sussex County Council and the East Sussex Youth Cabinet, Healthwatch also heard from nearly 1,000 young people (aged 11 to 18) from across the county about their experiences under lockdown.

The headline issues they raise are:

  • Four out of five young people felt they were coping during the pandemic, but nearly one in five indicated that they were ‘Having some difficulty coping’ or were ‘Not coping at all well’.
  • Approximately a quarter of young people had experienced changes or disruption to health services or treatment due to Covid-19, with a third of these indicating it had ‘no impact’ and two thirds that it had ‘some’ or a ‘significant impact’.
  • Approximately one in ten young people had used a video link or mobile app to access health or care services. Of these, half said it met their needs but they would rather see someone face-to-face in the future, with a quarter indicated they would be happy to use it as their main means of accessing services.
  • Eight out of ten young people were ‘Very’ or ‘Quite confident’ about accessing health or care services for any treatment or worries that are not Covid-19 related, with just over one in ten being ‘Unsure’ or ‘Not confident at all’.

People didn’t hold back in sharing their experiences with over 10,000 individual comments made in the completed surveys received. This rich source of information about how East Sussex residents experience the lockdown in June is now being analysed.

Healthwatch East Sussex reached out to a range of individuals and groups to ensure that a wide variety of adults and children had the opportunity to share their views. Healthwatch sought the views of people Shielded under the government scheme receiving food parcels, older people, homeless people and those with multiple and complex needs who make up some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

John Routledge, Director of Healthwatch East Sussex, commented:

We are delighted and amazed by the overwhelming public response to our life under lockdown survey. Our priority now is to make sure that we show our gratitude to the people of East Sussex by ensuring their views are reflected in recovery and restoration plans now being implemented by health and social care leaders in the county.

The mammoth task of analysing all the rich intelligence we have received has begun in earnest and will keep our brilliant staff and volunteers very busy for the next few weeks!”

Healthwatch East Sussex will release more findings over the coming weeks, including:

  • More detailed analysis of what people told us
  • Case studies of Life in Lockdown
  • How children and young people responded to the crisis

In addition, Healthwatch will be publishing:

  • Our Care Home Story – a chronological account of how our care homes experienced the crisis; and
  • The impact of the virus on people with multiple complex needs

Taken together, our findings will be the most comprehensive Healthwatch reporting of public experiences of health and care since being established in 2013.

Healthwatch East Sussex, the local independent Watchdog for people who use health and care services in East Sussex, ran a public survey during May and early June 2020 to capture local views and experiences of life under lockdown.

2,179 people responded to the survey, including 970 children and young people aged 11 – 18 years.

For media enquiries about Healthwatch East Sussex, please contact John Routledge, Director, on 07794 100 291 | 01323 403590 | John.Routledge@healthwatcheastsussex.co.uk

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