Research led by Inclusion London reveals that the COVID-19 crisis has impacted thousands of disabled people.
As reported by Disability News Service who have seen a draft version of an interim report based on the research titled Abandoned, Forgotten and Ignored.
The report conducted by Inclusion London is based upon more than 300 online survey responses from across England including a small number of people living in Scotland and Wales.
The report concludes that “Despite the government’s rhetoric about protecting and supporting Disabled people, the reality is that they have been treated less fairly and discriminated against across all areas of their lives.”
The report also warns that many disabled people most affected by the pandemic will not have had access to its online survey resulting in the findings of the report likely to represent only “the tip of the iceberg” due to lack of access to the internet for many disabled people.
Inclusion London have reported that disabled people have been suffering from increasing levels official isolation, mental distress, lack of decent if any care and support during the pandemic, also finding that there has been difficulty for many to access food and also difficulties accessing healthcare such as prescriptions and suchlike.
The report discloses that the actions of central government, local authorities and service-providers have continued to fail exclude and marginalise disabled people which in turn has resulted in discrimination.
It also finds that disabled people in high-risk groups have been unable to obtain personal protective equipment (PPE), and have also had had their vital care packages cut and important social care assessments delayed.
Indeed it reports that a quarter of the people that have responded that receive direct payments for their care were left unaided to cope with staff issues and sourcing their own PPE.
One disabled person responding said of their experience “My care agency are not getting adequate PPE, and they are so short-staffed at present that I’ve been lucky to get a shower once a month (and cannot have a strip wash at all due to them sending male care workers to me eight times out of 10 instead of female), and am not getting one in three of my daily care calls.”
More than three-fifths of people that responded to the survey said they had struggled to access food, medicine, and other necessities.
Respondents described how supermarkets had refused to make reasonable adjustments for them when they tried to shop in-store and how they were unable to order home deliveries.
Many have not received the support they vitally need to prepare meals for themselves also, this resulting in being forced to spend more money on food by having to shop in more expensive stores or having to order their meals online.
More than a third of those surveyed spoke of increasing levels of mental distress during the pandemic.
One respondent saying that they had been inside their home for three-and-a-half weeks without going out resulting in them feeling that they were losing their mind, going on to say that have a pre-existing mental health condition, and it is causing a big relapse.“I feel trapped and controlled and claustrophobic.
This had left them too scared to leave the house because if they get sick that they knew that, as someone with pre-existing conditions the doctors will leave them to die in favour of someone who has a better chance of surviving.
Several people that responded to the survey also said they had been asked to agree to having ‘do not attempt resuscitation’ orders placed in their medical records. Others told they would not be admitted to hospital if they fell ill or would be denied life-saving emergency treatment.
One person responding said: “I can’t access the government scheme for support because apparently I’m not disabled enough.“However I’m disabled enough to get suggested to sign DNR [Do Not Resuscitate], and inferred I’d be left to die if hospitalised.”
Inclusion London concluded the report by warning that there will be a much higher demand for advice and support from disabled people after the lockdown is lifted. This leaves many organisations needing to increase their funding to provide these essential services.
Its a terrible indictment upon the government that disabled people have had to resort to legal action because of the discrimination that they have faced from the government.
This report has reinforced the view that the government and society looks upon disabled people as a burden on the state and are second class citizens.
It is very disturbing however not surprising that disabled people have been treated in this manner throughout the pandemic. The government clearly regards them as unimportant and not deserving of any quality of life, which to be honest is very clear to see. We cannot allow this inhumane treatment of the most vulnerable in society to continue.
For sources of information and support during the coronavirus crisis, visit the DNS advice and information page18 June 2020 over at http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com
Inclusion London https://inclusionlondon.org.uk
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share really makes a difference to get the truth out there, which is extremely important at the moment.
I receive no payment for any of the work that I do, I’m trying to improve my content and to increase the amount of blogs that I publish each week.
Along with the death of my son I’m finding things really difficult at the moment.
For anyone that would like to donate to keep both my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog.
A huge thank you to everyone that does and has supported my blog and campaign, it really does mean the world to me and it keeps me going.