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ONS releases new Coronavirus and disability data

26 August 2020

The ONS has released its third set of data showing the impacts of Coronavirus on disabled people during July.

The ONS’ David Ainslie said: “At a time in which lockdown restrictions began to ease in parts of the UK, disabled adults’ experience was different from that of the wider population. Their concerns about well-being and accessing healthcare were higher than among non-disabled people. We saw differences too, in behaviours. Disabled people were more likely to go out to attend medical appointments or take care of others than non-disabled people, and less likely to be socialising and eating out.”

For the first time, the data includes insights from qualitative research commissioned by the Cabinet Office Disability Unit, conducted by Policy Lab.

Key findings include:

  • Disabled people were more likely than non-disabled people to report being "very worried" or "somewhat worried" about the effect that the coronavirus (COVID-19) was having on their life: 75% compared with 66%.
  • Of worries reported at this time, 24% of disabled people were most concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on their well-being, compared with 13% of non-disabled people.
  • Disabled people were more likely than non-disabled people to report that the pandemic is affecting their well-being because it makes their mental health worse (46% compared with 18% for non-disabled people), they are feeling lonely (42% and 29%), they spend too much time alone (36% and 25%), they feel like a burden on others (25% and 8%), or have no one to talk to about their worries (17% and 10%).
  • As lockdown restrictions continued to ease in some parts of the country, disabled people were more likely to leave their homes for medical needs or to provide care than non-disabled people: 19% compared with 7%. They were less likely than non-disabled people to leave home to eat or a drink at a restaurant, café, bar or pub: 8% compared with 14 % of non-disabled people at this time.
  • 37% of disabled people reported they had not met up with other people to socialise this week, a higher proportion than that reported by non-disabled people (29%). Feeling unsafe when outside their home because of the COVID-19 outbreak may have contributed to this finding, 9% of disabled adults reported this compared with 3% of non-disabled people.
  • 13% of disabled people were most concerned about their access to healthcare and treatment, compared with only 3% of non-disabled people. Around a quarter (25%) of disabled people who were receiving medical care before the pandemic indicated they were currently receiving treatment for only some of their conditions. This compared with 7% of non-disabled people reporting a similar situation.

You can read the full data here: