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NHS care during Covid-19



Next steps following public engagement

During autumn 2020 NHS Liverpool CCG asked people to share their experiences of accessing NHS services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This engagement was intended to provide a better understanding of how people had used services during the pandemic, so that the health and care system can use this information to improve services for the future.

During this engagement we collected the views of more than 1,400 people. You can read a full report into the engagement here, but some of the key things we heard were:

  • The feedback paints a diverse picture of people’s experiences of accessing NHS services throughout the first part of the pandemic. Although a number of strong themes emerged – including the physical and emotional impact of delays and uncertainty around planned care; people’s reactions to an increase in remote consultations and altered access arrangements for GP practices; and views about how the NHS has performed during the pandemic – there was significant and sometimes striking variation in how people felt about these issues.
  • Unsurprisingly, people’s opinions about the NHS during the pandemic are heavily influenced by the outcome of their own experience. There was a sense from many – although not all – of those who took part in the engagement, that they understand why changes to the way that care is accessed and/or provided have been necessary, although views about how this felt from a patient perspective span a wide spectrum.
  • The move away from face-to-face appointments received considerable attention in the feedback. For some, this was not a welcome change, and there are concerns about the effectiveness of receiving advice over the phone (or in some cases via video); however, there are also others who have found this a more convenient way to manage their health concerns.
  • Communication-related issues cut across a number of the themes which emerged from the feedback. On one level this was about how patients received information; including a belief from some that there were not enough updates on when their delayed care would take place. It also appeared that in some instances the processes for accessing care were not fully explained or understood. Finally, some people reported disconnection or inconsistencies between the different services or organisations involved in their care, which they found frustrating.

Some of the steps we are taking to build on the insights this piece of work gave us are:

  • A report into the engagement has been presented to NHS Liverpool CCG’s People & Community Voice Committee, the committee which instigated this piece of work during summer 2021. The People & Community Voice Committee reports to the CCG’s Governing Body. The CCG’s Patient Experience & Engagement Group, which helps to inform and develop our involvement plans, has also received the report.
  • The report will be shared with the Chairs, Chief Executives, and engagement & communications teams at each of our provider trusts, and also with local primary care networks (groups of GP practices) via Liverpool Network Alliance. We will invite more detailed discussions with these groups about where there might be opportunities to build on this engagement.
  • One area in particular that has already been identified for further work is remote access to GP services, including use of digital services, so we will explore whether there would be benefit in doing a more in-depth piece of work around this theme in particular.
  • As a communications and engagement team we have gained lots of useful experience about engaging with people remotely when face-to-face options (such as in-person meetings and sharing printed materials) aren’t practical. We will continue to look for ways to learn from this. For example, we found that small focus groups held over video calls provided some really rich feedback, and we’re hoping to use this again for future engagements.
  • Some of the feedback received highlighted the fact that some people weren’t aware that face-to-face GP appointments are available to those who need them. We’ve rolled out a toolkit for Liverpool GP practices so that they can use their websites and other patient channels to explain the different ways of getting in touch, and how their appointment systems work.

If you have any further feedback or questions, please get in touch by emailing us at


Background on this engagement

This engagement ran from Thursday 17 September to Friday 13 November 2020.

People could feedback on experiences of accessing - or trying to access - any type of health service in the city since March 2020. This includes any care provided by GPs, walk-in centres, hospitals, community and mental health services. It could have been about the care you received for yourself, a family member, or someone you help care for.



People could share their views by filling out a short online survey. People also had the opportunity to request a paper version of the questionnaire by calling: (0151) 247 6409, texting: 07920 206386 or emailing:

These contact details could have also been used to request the survey, and information about the engagement, in another language or format if needed.


Public events

We also held a series of public events in November 2020 which were held virtually in Microsoft Teams:

Date and time

Discussion title

Tuesday 3rd November, 10am  11am

Primary Care – accessing support from your GP or Nurse during the pandemic

Friday 6th November, 11am – 12pm

Mental Health – accessing mental health support in Liverpool during the pandemic

Friday 13th November, 11.30am – 12.30pm

Primary Care – accessing support from your GP practice during the pandemic

Friday 13th November, 1pm – 2pm

Hospital Care  accessing any hospital services during the pandemic

Conversations were held as small group discussions (6-8 people) and were led by a member of the communications and engagement team.

Participants could tell us about their own experiences or that of a family member or someone they cared for.


VCFSE Involvement

In addition, the CCG worked with local voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) partners to gather the views of people across the city’s diverse communities. 



Below are materials that were used to promote this engagement.