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Two-thirds of people in England ready to help improve health and social care post COVID-19

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Alliance of care organisations calls on public to give feedback to shape future care.

“Because we all care”, a new campaign from the Care Quality Commission and Healthwatch England, launched today as new research shows that more than two-thirds (67%) of people in England say they are more likely to act to improve health and social care services since the outbreak of COVID-19. The two organisations have joined forces with other health and care partners to call on all people who access services to help shape future health and social care.

According to the research, close to two thirds (57%) of people said they would be more willing since COVID-19 to support NHS and social care services by actively providing feedback on their care. The results also show that people say they are more grateful for the healthcare services they receive – particularly GP and hospital services – since the outbreak.

This sentiment was strongest among young people (aged 18-34), who are now even more likely to take more action to support the work of health and social care services than other age groups. With the public already giving generously to health causes, the polling suggests that this age group is now significantly more likely to feedback on care (72%), and to donate to or fundraise for a relevant health cause (52%).

Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector Adult Social Care, Care Quality Commission said:

“People working in health and social care have been going to extraordinary lengths to deliver good, safe care during this global crisis. They have never had a more crucial – or a more challenging – role to play.

“This research clearly shows the public’s appreciation for the care and support they and their loved ones have received and it’s inspiring that people are now looking for ways to channel this into practical action.

“Now more than ever, every voice really does matter. It’s only by hearing what’s working and what’s not, that health and social care providers can improve the quality of care and support that they are delivering.”

Sir Robert Francis QC, Chair of Healthwatch England said:

“These findings are good news. As the UK looks to the future after COVID-19, it’s never been more important for people to share their experiences of care.

“Services won’t bounce back overnight. There’ll be problems to tackle but also opportunities to make care better.

“You can help doctors, nurses and care workers find ways to improve support by sharing your experience.”

The research conducted following the start of the COVID-19 crisis has revealed a fascinating snapshot of how people view feedback on care:

Three-quarters (76%) of people surveyed said that feedback is an important way to improve services, yet despite greater public willingness to contribute, some barriers do remain.

A third of respondents (36%) said they would be reluctant to provide negative feedback in case it increases pressure on services or staff.

A fifth (18%) of people now consider themselves even less likely to provide negative feedback on care. Among the key reasons cited were a recognition of the challenging circumstances health care staff face (56%) and not wanting to cause further issues for services to deal with (42%).

“Every piece of information is valuable for those delivering health and social care services, so it’s vital that people don’t hold back from giving feedback – whether it’s big or small, good or bad. It takes only a few moments, but it could make a real difference to the care that you, your loved ones and your community receives.” adds Sir Robert Francis.

The new campaign, which will run extensively on social media, aims to help services identify and address quality issues and support patients by encouraging people to share feedback on individual experiences of health and social care services in England.

People can give feedback on their experiences of care, or those of someone they care for, on the CQC website or through their local Healthwatch. Local Healthwatch organisations can also help you with advice and information to access the support you need.

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