We need to hear from people with long-term health conditions

People with long-term health conditions are urged to share experiences to help improve support after research indicates that some avoided health and social care services throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
A Male Doctor

Do you have a long term condition?  If so, how have you been managing your condition during COVID19?

Tell us about your experience

Feedback is crucial for creating safe conditions for people in care and particularly for people with long-term conditions, their friends, family, and carers who are often in contact with the health and care system. Giving feedback can help to identify unsafe conditions and practices so that these can be improved.

This is particularly important since research (see box below) 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 avoided health and care services compared to 29% of the average population.

What have people with long-term conditions said?

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.

Explaining why people's views are so important, our 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 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.
— Imelda Redmond, Healthwatch England National Director

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You can help make health and care services better by sharing your experiences and ideas.

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