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Our blog

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.


Monday, 17 August, 2020 - 11:49

The switch to digital care - a GP's perspective

Dr Kevan Ritchie is a GP partner at the Bloomsbury Surgery in the heart of Camden. In this blog he reflects on the pandemic's impact on GPs. This includes the benefits and drawbacks of the sudden switch to a 'Digital First' model of care.

Wednesday, 15 July, 2020 - 18:48

Parents and children with SEND need additional support

With schools and day-care shutting down during Covid-19 lockdown, parents became fulltime teachers and carers, while many also balanced working from home and managing day to day life. Families have had to adapt to this new way of living and it has been especially challenging for parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Practically overnight, parents of children with SEND went from having high levels of support to having virtually none and many are struggling to cope at home.

Thursday, 2 July, 2020 - 15:36

BAME communities express fear of ending “lockdown”

The impact of Covid-19 has not been evenly spread. Across the UK, people who are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) have experienced a disproportionate impact, both in numbers contracting the virus and the likelihood of more serious outcomes once sick. 360 Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) residents have told Healthwatch Camden about life during Covid-19.

Monday, 22 June, 2020 - 12:46

Changing the ways we access health and care services

For those who rely on health and care services, Covid-19 has brought sudden and significant changes to the way those services work. Many patients have been willing to adapt to different ways of getting support and most people shared very positive feedback. However, people have made it very clear that health services delivered over the phone or online are not right for everyone and everything. Over 200 residents shared their experiences with online and digital offers with Healthwatch Camden.

Holding Hands Image

Friday, 12 June, 2020 - 15:03

“We all live in fear now” - what we can learn from Camden’s Carers

Carers have an important story to tell us about the impact of Covid-19.

Thursday, 4 June, 2020 - 16:18

The dentist’s chair: lockdown in the life of a local dentist

The government announced that dental surgeries can reopen from Monday 8th June. In this blog post, Camden dentist Jiten Raval talks about his experience providing dental care during lockdown and tells residents what they can expect once they return to the dentist office. 

Thursday, 21 May, 2020 - 16:55

‘Lockdown’ not good for our emotional wellbeing

Camden residents have shared their views on the impact the pandemic is having on health and wellbeing. A striking theme has emerged: many of the residents we have heard from are more stressed, anxious, isolated or depressed as a result of COVID-19. Our Director reflects on what residents are telling Healthwatch Camden about the impact of Covid-19.

Thursday, 21 May, 2020 - 16:44

Wide range of services in Camden to support mental health

If you are experiencing depression, anxiety or other mental distress, you may need some support to stay well. A range of services and online support are available in Camden for people with mental health issues. Do not delay seeking help. This blog offers a large list of mental health resources at the bottom.