From May to July 2020, 567 people across Sheffield completed our survey. People took part online, over the phone, with the support of voluntary sector organisations, or via a paper form sent out by food banks.
We have also analysed feedback shared with us through our information and advice line (see here for the previous briefings which have informed this report), and intelligence shared with us by voluntary sector colleagues, who are working to support clients across the city.
The key messages:
- The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted people’s mental health more so than their physical health.
- Some people were not accessing services due to fear of catching the virus.
- Telephone appointments were welcomed by some but were not always a suitable option.
- There was lack of clarity around social care support during the pandemic but front-line staff were praised for their good work.
- Charities, community groups and organisations provided valuable support for people during the pandemic.
- These have been particularly challenging times for carers, for whom there was lack of respite provision.
We have made several recommendations to the people who design, pay for, and deliver services. Services will need to continue adapting as we move through the next stages of the pandemic, and we hope that these findings will help them to consider and mitigate the impact of future changes on those who are most affected.
We also hope that the findings will be helpful more broadly - some issues, though made worse by the impact of Covid-19, have existed for some time now, and there is a real chance to address these while services are already thinking about the future.