The survey was carried out to understand how local residents where coping during the Covid - 19 pandemic and to gather information about what would make the situation easier to live with.
The survey ran from 22 May to 30 June 2020 to gather local views about the impact of the pandemic on health and wellbeing and experiences of health and care services. A total of 673 residents completed the survey. In September, Healthwatch Rochdale also ran 17 focus groups to allow residents to share their more individualised experience. From these focus groups 37 responses were collected and analysed.
Survey findings included:
What worked well for local residents-
Daily walks, cycling, and online exercise classes.
Online platforms such as Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp and Facebook have combatted loneliness.
Supermarkets prioritising the vulnerable and good social distancing measures.
Remaining positive and encouraging good community spirit, specifically with the unity of the “clap”.
Remaining in work and having the ability to work from home. Those furloughed were thankful for the 80% pay.
The weather, keeping busy, doing repairs and home improvements.
Food vouchers and food parcels received from the council
Regular updates from the council’s website and social media.
Access to GPs through phone consultations
Carers, community support and district nurses that continued to provide care
Residents suggestion for improvement –
Increased testing, antibody testing and ultimately find a vaccine.
Relevant accurate messages are delivered to all, by targeting communities and vulnerable groups.
Help with data/internet costs for families struggling to get online for home schooling and work meetings.
Enforcing clear rules on social distancing, compulsory face masks in public places, access to hand sanitizer and suggestions on where to buy PPE.
Mental health services offered to the public and guidance on how to cope at home.
Support for parents, better services for disabled children.
Help for people with a life limiting illness and physically disabled, but who the government do not class as clinically vulnerable, so do not qualify for help.
Support groups and activities for those who don’t use any social media and online skills for the most vulnerable.
Residents suggestions – The future
Provisions for face masks for those living in poverty
Calls for tougher policing when breaking Covid-19 rules
Access to a dentist has been particularly poor, especially when dealing with children or the disabled.
Difficulty in shopping with children, suggestion of time slots for single parents to shop with younger children
Criteria for food packages be reassessed as groups of lone vulnerable people were missed.
Encourage local communities to support one another
Local updates from councillors were helpful.
Sharing local stories of Covid-19 patients could help lower anxieties.
Re-establishing Council run ‘Meals on Wheels’ Services once again to ensue nutritious hot food can be delivered to the Boroughs poor, elderly & vulnerable
The findings were shared with the #TogetherRochdale communications group to give services and providers the opportunity to share with the public any changes that have been made and what has been done following these findings. Responses were given by Healthwatch Rochdale, Action Together Rochdale, Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group (HMR CCG), HMR Circle and Rochdale Borough Council.
Healthwatch Rochdale have also made a series of recommendations following the survey and focus group findings which will be presented to Rochdale Local Care Organisation on 4th November.