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No 5 Coronavirus Street

Jenny is in her mid 60s and lives with her daughter Nicky.
Jenny is retired and doesn’t drive. Nicky works for a local lettings agency and travels 20 miles to work.

In the pandemic, she has been told she has to go to work but has had to adjust her hours so there are less people in the office at the same time.

Jenny had some surgery following a fall last year and is still having physiotherapy but is looking forward to being able to go back to town on the bus when she is able to mobilise better. In the meantime, she has relied on Nicky for shopping and lifts.

Nicky has a boyfriend, Gary that she stays with every other weekend. Nicky has had a couple of abnormal smears in the past, she hasn’t told her mother or Gary about this. She is due a repeat smear soon and needs a contraceptive review appointment.
 
What the pandemic has meant for them:
  • Jenny hasn’t completed her full course of physiotherapy and is worried that this will prevent her from recovering properly. She does her exercises at home but doesn’t know when she will be seen by a physiotherapist next and isn’t sure if she is doing all the exercises correctly.
  • Lockdown meant that Nicky had to decide whether she should stay with her boyfriend and leave her mother on her own or whether Gary should move in with her and her mother. Gary moved in with Nicky and Jenny but this meant that his mother was now on her own.
  • Nicky’s planned smear appointment has been cancelled. She is worried about this but she can’t share her worries with Gary or her mum. She has been having some spotting in between her periods and doesn’t know if this is because she needs a contraceptive review or because there is a problem she should seek help for.
What we did in this kind of situation
  • CHCs across Wales asked Public Health Wales (the body responsible for screening) about their plans for starting screening services again. We knew some things had to be stopped for a short time, but people couldn’t wait indefinitely. Patients with more urgent need for screening needed some priority. 
  • We asked Public Health Wales to identify how it would manage the backlog of screening cases for all sorts of screening matters across Wales.
  • We provided comments to Public Health Wales when it provided CHCs with details of how the screening service would work. They told us they needed to ensure social distancing in their premises and they would aim to keep numbers low. We reminded them that some women attending for screening might really need to be accompanied because of specific needs for support and that plans had to allow for this.
  • CHCs asked the Health Board how they were going to be managing therapies. People still needed physiotherapy and speech therapy in order to support their recovery. We heard that these services were sometimes being provided in different ways. Moving forward we want to find out what people have thought of these new ways of delivering care and have reminded the Health Board that patient feedback on these matters is important.

Read about Number 6 Coronavirus Street >>


Hywel Dda Community Health Council, Suite 5,1st Floor, Ty Myrddin, Carmarthen, SA31 1LP. 
Phone: 01646 697610 Email: hyweldda@waleschc.org.uk

Hywel Dda Community Health Council welcomes correspondence and telephone calls in Welsh,
and that communicating with us  in Welsh will not lead to delay