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Healthwatch COVID-19 survey shows a third of people put off seeking help for health problems

A new survey published this week by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Healthwatch shows over a third of respondents had put off seeking help for health problems as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.

That was the outcome put to members of the board of Healthwatch at their online meeting lasts week.

Addressing fellow members Healthwatch CEO Sandie Smith said: “The survey was designed with input from partner organisations, including the CCG and local authorities.

Sandie Smith CEO of Healthwatch. (38898797)
Sandie Smith CEO of Healthwatch. (38898797)

“The aim is run the survey continuously until September 2020, with regular published briefings of the findings.

“Our current results have been based on 535 responses with the main themes of what people have said being that a third have put off seeking help for their health, for both minor and potentially serious conditions.

“Three out of four people said their mental health or wellbeing had been affected in some way by the coronavirus crisis. Most people who had used health services had had a good or excellent experience, while others expressed concern about services suddenly stopping and poor communications about changes.”

Chairman of Healthwatch, Val Moore, added: “Our findings have been shared with senior leaders and received excellent feedback about the usefulness of the insight gathered.

“The need for good communications to patients is being actively highlighted to our partners and the next tranche of data is being analysed at the moment with a briefing expected for publication on 27 July.

“The final report is anticipated to be published in late September and will present full analysis of all the date we have collected.”

Board members applauded the survey and looked forward to the next published report.

Healthwatch England is a body established under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, made of up of local Healthwatch groups across the 152 local authority areas.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Healthwatch can be contacted on the following websites for more information:

Peterborough: www.healthwatchpeterborough.co.uk

Cambridgeshire: www.healthwatchcambridgeshire.co.uk

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