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Our blog

Tuesday, 24 November, 2020 - 15:29

Families of children with SEND ‘felt stranded’ during the first lockdown

Our guest blogger this month is Rachel Dixon. Rachel is a mother of a child with autism and a severe learning disability. Rachel also runs the Camden Special Parents Forum where she provides support and resources for families of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

 

Thursday, 19 November, 2020 - 15:34

Older residents say digital healthcare must not be one size fits all

In October 2020, Healthwatch Camden spoke with 23 members of Age UK Camden’s Older Peoples Advisory Group (OPAG). Members of OPAG are 65 years and older. We asked them about their experience of using digital services to access health and social care.

Wednesday, 11 November, 2020 - 11:14

Marjorie's Story

Eight Camden residents were invited to participate in the Healthwatch Camden work to collect case studies about life under lockdown. This blog highlights the experiences of Marjorie, an active 84 year old trying to make the most of lockdown while stuck at home.

All names have been changed to protect identities and all participants have given permission for their stories to be published.

Wednesday, 4 November, 2020 - 12:37

Jamila's Story

Eight Camden residents were invited to participate in the Healthwatch Camden work to collect case studies about life under lockdown. This blog highlights the experiences of Jamila, a mother of two young sons, one of whom is severely autistic. 

All names have been changed to protect identities and all participants have given permission for their stories to be published.

Tuesday, 27 October, 2020 - 10:14

Abreshmina's Story

Eight Camden residents were invited to participate in the Healthwatch Camden work to collect case studies about life under lockdown. This blog highlights the experiences of Abreshmina, an 81 year old Iranian born creative writer who is navigating lockdown while her beloved husband lives in a care home.

All names have been changed to protect identities and all participants have given permission for their stories to be published.

Wednesday, 21 October, 2020 - 13:14

Harry's Story

Eight Camden residents were invited to participate in the Healthwatch Camden work to collect case studies about life under lockdown. This blog highlights the experiences of Harry, a transgender student living in Camden's student halls.

All names have been changed to protect identities and all participants have given permission for their stories to be published.

Monday, 21 September, 2020 - 12:35

Ageing of BAME communities during Covid

Healthwatch Camden was invited to speak at the national launch of the report ‘Ageing in Place for Minority Ethnic Communities: The importance of social infrastructure’ in August 2020. This national research was developed to explore the types of social infrastructure that people aged 50 and over from Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic communities (BAME) use in specific places. As part of this programme, Healthwatch Camden explored the types of social infrastructure that people aged 50 and over from the Bangladeshi community access and to understand how organisations working with ethnic minority groups engaged with older members from their community. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting social distancing measures have added increasing pressures to already stretched communities and community services. Our findings highlight the importance of local voluntary organisations working with minority ethnic groups.

Thursday, 17 September, 2020 - 14:58

Building Equal Foundations in Camden

Guest blogger this month is Abdul Hai, Cabinet Member for Young People, Equalities, and Cohesion.

Whilst there will be difficult challenges ahead, we must ensure that the lasting impacts are not felt disproportionately by Camden’s ethnic minority communities. Covid-19 has exposed the deep structural inequalities in the UK.  We recognised that urgent action was required.  I worked with Juliet Billet, Director of Public Health for Camden and Islington, to establish a working group to implement a six week programme to review the disproportionate impact.

Wednesday, 2 September, 2020 - 13:42

Refugees finding Covid-19 information ‘very difficult’ to understand

Refugees and asylum seekers have been forced to face the Covid-19 crisis far away from families and friends, having to contend with housing issues, difficulties with asylum procedures, anxiety, cultural differences and language barriers. This blog highlights some of the findings from 12 refugee and asylum seekers who shared their experiences with us through the survey and through follow-up interviews. They told us that their most common concerns regarding COVID-19 were: a) a fear of contracting the virus; b) feeling worried about the future or the inability to make plans; and c) “life coming to a halt.” Other common issues with most interviewees were lack of social and community interaction, concerns of the health of loved ones, and experiencing boredom. In addition, the majority found understanding information and guidance from COVID-19 “difficult” or “very difficult.” This is in stark contrast to the responses from all respondents to our survey, only 18% of whom had difficulties understanding guidance.

Monday, 24 August, 2020 - 11:54

No more ‘please hold’: the NHS App and online triage are changing the way we make GP appointments

The Covid-19 crisis has accelerated the implementation of numerous digital GP services including online booking systems. Healthwatch Camden volunteers called 25 GP practices in Camden and reported back on whether or not patients were being directed to an online triage system and, if so, the clarity of instructions given on the answerphone messages. Their experiences and the pros and cons to online booking are outlined in this blog. While we welcome innovation that will improve the patient experience and make better use of GP resources, we will continue to argue that new online options for accessing care must not risk excluding patients who are unable or unwilling to use online platforms to book appointments at their GP practice.