People with long-term health conditions most likely to avoid care services due to Covid-19

People with long-term health conditions most likely to avoid care services due to Covid-19

Research by CQC has shown that those with a long-term condition were highly likely to avoid health and social care services due to risk factors around Covid-19 – 51% of people with a long- term condition avoid health and care services compared to 29% of the average population. 81% of people with long term health conditions report issues when trying to access health and social care services, such as longer waiting times.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), Healthwatch England and local Healthwatch Lincolnshire are calling for feedback from people with existing long-term conditions on their care throughout the Covid crisis.

Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at CQC said, “We are listening to people with long-term health conditions and their families to help us improve the quality of care. It is only by hearing the voices of people who use services that we can understand what changes need to be made and how to support those services to improve and ensure people receive the care they need at this time.  By giving feedback on your care you can make a real difference not just to your own care, but to the care of others.” 

The research commissioned by CQC and Healthwatch England for the Because We All Care campaign also showed that:  

  • 81% of people with long term health conditions report issues when trying to access health and social care services, such as longer waiting times. This is 17% higher than the general population.
  • 52% of patients with long term health conditions  did not want to put additional pressure on Health and Social Care services by giving feedback. 
  • 32% of people with a long-term health condition got more support from family and friends over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Healthwatch England National Director Imelda Redmond CBE said: “It is a cruel irony that people with long-term health conditions who need our health services the most avoided seeking treatment during the pandemic, and often encountered problems when they did. By utilising the expertise of local Healthwatch and the relationships they have with their communities, we will be able to better understand the reasons behind these issues and other challenges people have faced. 

“We will then use this learning to help health and social care leaders understand which changes and additional support measures may help, both now and through any potential future developments. Around 15 million people in England are living with a long-term health condition and they are likely to be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, so this is vital work and it is essential that people come forward to share their stories with us so we can help drive improvements.” 

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