Frustration turns to hope as half of Lincolnshire’s residents feel good about the chance to return to normal when lockdown measures lift but almost a quarter of people feel anxious leaving the house
In the latest COVID-19 survey by Healthwatch Lincolnshire, half of the 610 respondents said they were looking forward to the opportunity for normality.
Some residents are less enthusiastic but feel they have adapted, with 22 per cent of people saying they have developed new coping mechanisms that make them feel more resilient.
Healthwatch Lincolnshire Contract Coordinator Dean Odell said,
“This was an encouraging statistic and what we had seen in previous lockdown reports in terms of people’s frustration appeared to be remodelling as hope and strong steps forward.”
However, almost a quarter of those who responded (22 per cent) said they feel anxious about leaving the house and feel they would benefit from support to help them transition back to being in public.
Changes in the health services continue to be a concern for Lincolnshire residents. And many people want more access to face-to-face appointments with their GPs and dentists.
Dean said there is work to be done by service providers in this area as many of the changes made over the past year are set to remain:
“We know that services are not likely to return to the consistent approach of face-to-face consultation for any service. However, what is evident is that this needs to better communicated with patients and residents of Lincolnshire about what they can expect from these services and the options available to them in terms of access and to improve understanding that not all appointments require a face to face in person interaction as much as we are used to it.”
The survey found people want more support and communication around the options available and that digital access is a problem for some.
Dean: “This aspect is critical to the continuing development of delivering excellent care. People need support to use the tools, which for some are alien, but be clear that whether the tool to accessing services is face-to-face, text or virtual the experience must be about the impact on the persons reason for contact.”
Some changes have been embraced, however, with almost 80 per cent of people stating they found access to NHS prescription easier than it was before the pandemic.
Dean said: “This was an outstanding highlight and one which really demonstrates where the changes and shift to digital services have had a significant impact on good patient experience. It demonstrates where digital can be adopted and accepted to make a real difference to the lives of patients, their families, and carers.”
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