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13/11/2020   Healthwatch asks: "COVID-19 - How are you coping?"

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on residents, family and staff within Care Homes along with those accessing care in their own homes.

As Healthwatch continues to deliver its core function of gathering the current public views and experiences of Lincolnshire residents, it shares in this document the feedback from a short campaign where we asked for experiences of social care during the pandemic.

Healthwatch Lincolnshire wanted to understand and capture the experiences of the public, looking at how supported they felt by their social care services.
The short campaign ran from 27th April to 22nd June 2020 and sought to understand the experiences within social care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Summary

The following areas were identified as key findings:

· Many of the comments we received praised the level of care received from both domiciliary and care home staff.

· Overall, 23% (16 people) said they believed the quality and safety of care had affected them positively, equally another 23% (16 people) felt it had affected them negatively.

· Many acknowledged how quickly the care homes reacted to the pandemic which in turn provided them with a more reassuring environment and kept them safe.

· 3 out of 4 people we spoke to said they felt every effort was made to encourage communication between them and their loved ones during this time.

· Service users as well as family and friends told us they were craving for face to face visits to improve their overall wellbeing. It is clear this does have emotional effects on both the family and the care home resident, especially for those suffering with dementia or other sensory or learning difficulties.

· Digital technology has been embraced to keep people connected using software such as Zoom, Skype etc. However, it is acknowledged that these digital solutions are not always suitable as some find it difficult to interact with, or do not have the equipment or resources to maximise this option.

· We heard from people that were feeling more isolated and lonelier due to the lockdown and social distancing restrictions than they would do normally.

· Some care staff and family carers felt personal protective equipment (PPE) was difficult to obtain, especially masks and gloves, this affected domiciliary care more than care homes.

You can read the report here.

If you would like any further information or to sign up to receive regular Healthwatch updates, please contact info@healthwatchlincolnshire.co.uk or call 01205 820 892