New ONS figures have revealed that disabled people were more likely than non-disabled people to report being “very worried” or “somewhat worried” about the effect that the coronavirus was having on their life.
Figures show that 75% of disabled people were in comparison to 66% of non-disabled people.
This is the third in an ongoing ONS series analysing the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the lives of disabled people in Great Britain.
For the first time, it includes insights from qualitative research commissioned by the Cabinet Office Disability Unit, conducted by Policy Lab.
Findings show that in July 2020, a time at which numerous lockdown restrictions were being lifted in different parts of GB, 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.
Commenting on the findings, David Ainslie from the Office for National Statistics said: “This is our third look at how the pandemic is affecting an estimated 13.7m disabled people. We recognise that everyone’s experience is different, and the term ‘disabled’ is a very broad one.
“Nevertheless, 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.”