The waiting game
Since March 2020 we have had a lot of feedback from the public telling us about delays, difficulties and changes in NHS and social care services, due to the Covid-19 pandemic affecting how these services were run. Healthwatch Kirklees and Healthwatch Calderdale worked collaboratively during 2021 to collect the experiences of people living in Calderdale and Kirklees during the Covid-19 pandemic who had experienced delays to health and social care for non-Covid related conditions since March 2020.
We wanted to get a clear picture of how those delays had been impacting on people’s health and wellbeing, and what kind of support they had been able to access. We asked people about the kind of support they would have liked, how effective they had found video and phone appointments, and how they would feel if they were offered NHS treatment further away from home, or at a private hospital (as an NHS patient, if that meant they would be seen sooner).
We also took the opportunity to ask whether people would seek medical help for a serious or worsening condition during the pandemic, if they could change one thing about the NHS what that would be and finally, we asked people to tell us one thing they needed to help improve their health and wellbeing.