This report outlines the main issues that local people reported to us and summarises the support they want.
The information will be important when planning for the ‘new normal’, as we continue to recover from the peak of the outbreak. It should also inform preparation for a potential second wave, or more localised lockdowns.
Our evidence base suggests that themes previously raised about access to services have been compounded by the current situation, particularly concerns around mental health and social isolation, communication and support for long-term conditions.
- 1 in 3 individuals told us the main issues impacting them related to problems with mental health and/or not seeing family and friends. Other issues include isolation, shielding, difficulties accessing healthcare for long term conditions and/or stopping normal activities and routines.
- Half the people we spoke to, told us that they have experienced changes to their healthcare during the Coronavirus outbreak. Just under half of this group felt that these changes were not clearly communicated.
- On a positive note, most local people reported being able to find the information they need (86%). 1 in 3 told us that they are not getting the information they need about how to access ‘normal’ health services (33%). 13% feel they need more information about Coronavirus that is specific to individual health conditions.
- It was also re-assuring that the majority of this group of Enfield residents felt they were getting the support they need during the Coronavirus outbreak (80%). Of the 20% who did not believe they were getting the right support, almost 1 in 3 of them told us they are not getting the health support that they need for their general health (31%). Local people and specifically Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities (17%) also felt they were not getting enough support and information from the Government about public health and the management of Coronavirus.
- 1 in 2 felt that in future, they would need further information and support on issues such as:
- more public health advice and government guidance (23%)
- when ‘normal health services’ are to resume (20%)
- mental health support (14%).
- Local people also told us they wanted more accessible information in different languages and formats.
Given the above we recommend that commissioners:
- Develop clear, simple, transparent and accessible information to inform local communities about the ‘new normal’, outlining any developments and changes.
- Put systems in place to identify local people’s priorities, particularly among disadvantaged groups and Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.
- Proactively engage with local residents and the voluntary sector to develop sustainable, effective community support and strategies.
We recognise the challenges that health and care services will face in delivering “normal” services alongside looking after individuals with Coronavirus, as well as the potential rise in demand with already overstretched services working to full capacity. In preparing for the future it will be important to take note of key messages from local residents. There is a clear need to better communicate and manage people’s expectations around access to and availability of services, especially when it comes to the management of long term conditions.
Our evidence suggests that the positive comments around community support and the community helping one another, as well as support with prescription pick-ups and emergency food parcel deliveries should be maintained or recommenced should we enter a new wave of infection or localised lockdown. The various local initiatives were welcomed and made a difference to how people felt they were being supported.