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BBC reveals results following survey of over 3000 disabled people

Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,097

Scope community team

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Disabled people forgotten during Covid, BBC research reveals

Thousands of deaf and disabled people across the UK have told the BBC of the devastating impact the pandemic has had on their lives. 

Most said their disability had worsened and more than 2,400 said routine, often vital, medical appointments had been cancelled.

More than 3,300 people took part in the research carried out by the BBC.

Disability charity Scope said the findings confirmed that disabled people's needs "had been forgotten".

The findings paint, for the first time, a comprehensive picture of a hidden fallout of Covid-19.

Nearly 100 more disabled people also contacted the BBC wanting to share their stories. Many of them had experienced huge physical and mental decline since March 2020.

Out of 3,350 people surveyed:

  • 2,604 said mental health had got worse
  • 2,427 said their disability had deteriorated
  • 683 had seen all of their appointments cancelled/unable to attend
  • 241 had not left house at all

There were young people with autism who had attempted suicide because they could no longer cope with drastic changes, others were isolated and alone, their support networks gone or hours of care cut.

Access to healthcare was a huge issue - one woman was told not to go to hospital if she contracted Covid as this might put her more at risk.

A family told how care had been almost stopped for their disabled daughter, while her father, who had had Covid, was offered a range of treatments.

Nikki Fox - Disability correspondent, observed:

All the people we have spent time with over the past few months have shared their own, heart-breaking stories. Considering everything they have had thrown at them this past year, they have managed to get through it the best they can, almost entirely on their own.

But what really hit me is that none of them kept a "who had it worse during Covid" scorecard.

Yes, they all pretty much described themselves in one way or another as "the forgotten ones", but they were all incredibly measured and understanding of the fact that the pandemic has touched us all in very different ways, disabled or not.

One of the biggest disability charities in the UK, Scope, has said the BBC's findings "confirm the government's failure to provide support for disabled people throughout the pandemic."

"Millions spent months shielding, having to battle for basic support like healthcare, supermarket deliveries, financial support and social care," said James Taylor, executive director at disability equality charity Scope. "Horrifying reports of DNRs [do-not-resuscitate orders] being placed on people without their consent left many fearing they'd not get treatment if they caught the virus.

The government "must take bold action now to put disabled people at the heart of the recovery, and end the growing inequality".


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Replies

  • waynepcvwaynepcv Member Posts: 1 Connected
    not left the house for 14 month's not been able to go to hospital for my need'sfor 18 months it's been bad 
  • pammy1969pammy1969 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Was working 16 hours for the co operative, through 3 lockdowns on the frontline, but they did not help with my needs being disabled, all I wanted was a stool to sit on now again, and was not aloud .
    I suffered , panic attacks, anxiety, and alot of pain every day.
    It got to a stage on the 14th June I left my job after a year and a half, as it was too much for me. 
  • SupernanmaSupernanma Member Posts: 38 Connected
    I didn't mind the lockdown. I am a person who chooses to not really mix anyway. I enjoyed the silence that it brought. I even braved it out into my back yard which was quite nice. I choose to stay in so I don't have to interact with many, if any. I enjoyed hearing the birds singing etc. The only thing I didn't like was not being able to get shopping in the beginning. Terrified me. I don't buy a lot but it still scared me, so had a couple of meltdowns. I do miss the structure of working, but get far too scared now too complete tasks, because I don't understand things do much anymore. I haven't worked for a few years now. 
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,097

    Scope community team

    waynepcv said:
    not left the house for 14 month's not been able to go to hospital for my need'sfor 18 months it's been bad 
    I'm sorry to hear this, will you be able to go back to the hospital soon?

    pammy1969 said:
    Was working 16 hours for the co operative, through 3 lockdowns on the frontline, but they did not help with my needs being disabled, all I wanted was a stool to sit on now again, and was not aloud .
    I suffered , panic attacks, anxiety, and alot of pain every day.
    It got to a stage on the 14th June I left my job after a year and a half, as it was too much for me. 
    Thanks for your comment and I'm sorry to read about what you went through at your former job. Can I ask, how are your anxiety levels now? Have they eased since leaving the job? And are you receiving support to manage your mental health from your GP?
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  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 713 Pioneering
    Is there a union? Employer should have made reasonable adjustment of permitting occasional sit down. Refusal to do that resulted in unfair constructive dismissal.   I don't suggest you 'sue the pants off them', but the court/industrial tribunal would be particularly sympathetic  if you ask for a token penalty (a ten pound cheque made out to Scope, for example, and an undertaking that the firm will ensure no similar disability discrimination to other employees), just to establish that employers ought to obey the law.  
  • Willow1962Willow1962 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    I’ve not left my home since March 2020! My mental health has deteriorated to an all time low.  I’ve seen my GP 4 times to have blood test necessary for the medication I take, (they stop my meds if I don’t have them done every 6-8 weeks) I suffer with agoraphobia, anxiety, panic attacks and depression and have to take Diazepam before I can even leave the house.  I’ve not seen my family in all this time I have twin grandsons whom I’ve seen only via a video call and they turn 1 years old on 6/7/21.  I lost my fur baby in November 2020 she was just 8, since then I’ve not been able to go into the garden as it causes me too much distress.  I’ve been on my own since then slowly losing the will to live, not only because of my mental health but because of the physical pain I’m in day after day even morphine doesn’t even help much. My hospital appointments have been cancelled, I’m scared of catching covid being vulnerable, and I definitely do not want to be admitted to hospital I’m scared I wouldn’t come out again!
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,097

    Scope community team

    Hello @Willow1962

    I've seen your comment here and your one over on this thread, thank you for being so honest about how you feel and what you're going through. 

    Can I ask, do you receive any support from your GP to manage your mental health? You seem to be in quite a low place at the minute and I hope you are in contact with them, or another health professional, about how you feel.

    I think this page from Mind is quite useful, as it offers numerous coping techniques for the moments when you are struggling. Do you have any hobbies or interests that you can indulge in to take your mind off of things and enjoy yourself?

    I'm sorry to read of your isolation, that's a very long time not to have seen anybody and I'm not surprised that it has impacted you. Is there anybody that sees you regularly to help you with daily tasks and mobility? Are those things something you need support with? Do you mind me asking if you've ever had a needs assessment from your local authority to try and get some support in place?

    I can assure you that you are amongst friends on this online community and while it may not be as comforting as seeing somebody in person, everybody here is very supportive and will always try and make you feel better. You likely aren't alone in how you feel, so I hope it brings you some comfort that others on the community will have shared experiences of the past 18 months.

    Furthermore, , you are always welcome to give our helpline a call if you want to have a chat with a friendly voice. And befriending schemes might be something to look into, the popularity of those has grown over the past 18 months for sure.
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