Table 1

Quotes for influencers of decision to seek care

1.1 Lack of signpostingThat was another thing I had to kind of hunt online and didn't know what information was accurate or not, so that was another kind of upsetting situation on top of everything.”
1.2.1 Fear of exposure “I was actually quite adamant that I don’t want to come into A&E…And what was your reason you didn’t want to go to A&E? I just felt like he might be exposed to too much there”
“I was worried regarding this virus as well, if I go hospital, I might catch it from there”
“Am I exposing myself and my child to COVID-19, are we going to be at a higher risk because were going in… but maybe in retrospect, had COVID-19 not been a thing, maybe when he had his first episode a week and a half ago, maybe I would have brought him in then.”
“So, my husband didn’t want to bring him given everything that’s going on, you know worrying that he might catch something more serious. And I was scared too, to bring him in because obviously there are other people and there might be a few people who are infected with COVID-19.”
1.2.2 Fear driven by community “He (father) literally said to me people are going in there and not coming out and it was really hard because he’s lost a lot of friends…he said he’d rather die at home than going to hospital and dying alone.”
“I have a friend here, she told me not to come, she was like don’t do it, don’t do it you know, there’s COVID-19, don’t do it and also do you really want to go to A&E, it’s going to be horrible. Yeah, so told me not to come.”
1.2.3. Fear driven by media “especially on the news yesterday at some point, so I asked them (paramedics) where are we going, and he said Northwick Park and I said I thought Northwick Park was at full capacity”
“I think there’s just too much crap in the media, I think it’s doing people’s heads in, I think people are confused, worried”
“Well normally in the media, even if you dial the number like the GP number or hospital number the first thing is about corona, if its corona don’t come or you know stay home. So it gives you the impression that the corona is coming from the hospital, so I feel like the media are pushing the people not to make the right decisions by coming when they need to come and to stay home if they needed the treatment.”
“You do hear a lot of things about this particular hospital, the mortality rate and it’s been in the media a couple of times surrounding COVID-19”
1.3 Knowledge and signposting “Because when I went to my antenatal classes and they suggested I download the ‘mum and baby app’ and read everything there, which I did. There’s lots of information which was quite good because then I knew I had to come so, I read it on the NHS website… And they have different articles and they say if it’s (temperature) over 38°C just come in”
“My midwife came on the fifth day to do the checks and blood spots and notice that he was still jaundice and to keep observing and said if there was any change in behaviour, if I notice he was lethargic or not feeding properly then to go to A&E”
“When the midwife discharged us from the hospital when I delivered him, she said if the baby gets fever just to come to A&E, so I done that”
1.4 Support and advice from others “It was nice hearing a friend as well, because she’s a mother of two, so obviously she has a bit more experience than I do
“My brother said that I had no choice but to come”
1.5 Significant parental concern about child’s health “I didn’t think twice about it, I thought my child’s unwell. I didn’t even think about coronavirus when I was coming in.”
“I knew that numbers were going down. Even if they weren't going down, his health is more important, so I would have come to the hospital anyway. I can't risk it, because I'm not a doctor, so I can't. I can only give him Calpol and that’s about it, but I didn't want to risk any complications.”
“Even without the pandemic I would have done the same thing, his health is more important”
“It wasn't, ‘I would avoid coming in just cause of the pandemic’, for me it was so important, it was worth taking the risk.”
“It was clear. I’m a mother, my son was in pain I had to make a decision.”
1.6 Positive experience from NHS 111 directing care “To be fair, 111 I think they give good advice in the way they triage is amazing because they kind of go through their tick boxes and put people whether it’s Urgent Care or whether it’s an ambulance.”
“I said to myself, to be honest I need to make a move, I need to call 111 which you know they assist me, they advised me. They were really good on the phone.”
“It was actually quite quick. I phoned and they picked up straight away and they told me the doctor will call me in 10–15 min. They called me in 3 min actually, they just call me right back because he is 2 months old. It’s because of an emergency so.”
  • A&E, accident and emergency; GP, general practitioner; NHS, National Health Service.