What Are the Insight Panels?
From January to May 2021, BuDS had 2 two Insight Panels, made up of both shielding and non-shielding disabled people in Buckinghamshire and across the UK. Panel members helped us understand the impact of the pandemic on disabled people. We sent a weekly questionnaire to panel members. While these panels can’t be statistically representative of all disabled people, we feel they gave a valuable insight into how disabled people coped in these very difficult circumstances. BuDS has now closed the Insight Panels – thank you to everyone who helped take part in the polls.
The Position in Week Beginning 12 April
ISOLATION AND LONELINESS.
In the week of the 12th of April, social isolation and loneliness remained a significant issue among all panel respondents, all non-shielders stated that they were socially isolated as well as an increasing number of shielders.
FOOD AND MONEY
This week, fewer shielders, and no non-shielders, struggled to get enough food. This is an encouraging improvement; however, it is still worrying that there continues to be respondents without proper access to food. In regard to online food deliveries, the same number of shielders as last week reported continuing difficulties with booking a delivery slot. This was not an issue with non-shielders, who all reported that they were able to order an online delivery if they needed to. Financially, non-shielders reported that while some may have struggled to pay bills, respondents were largely able to afford their payments. This is an improvement on last week and a contrast to shielding respondents, some of whom had to cut down on essentials in order to pay their bills.
Unlike last week, no shielders required professional help with their physical health. A few respondents reported that they struggled – although fewer than last week – but the majority stated that they either managed or needed no assistance. Among non-shielders, professional help was accessed in the form of A/E and an ambulance – from which good care was reported. The majority of non-shielding respondents did not require any assistance with their physical health. In regard to mental health, fewer shielders reported needing professional help and fewer reported struggling. In comparison, fewer respondents claimed that they were managing their mental health and professional help via a therapist was accessed.
Some non-shielding respondents commented that life events were impacting on their physical and mental health – including marital breakdowns and related financial difficulties; the impact of ADHD on their daily lives, and of caring for autistic children during lockdown. The closure of community health support services also had a negative impact and some respondents had to access private therapy, despite potential financial implications.
This week, fewer shielders reported that they worked from home than last week, while the only non-shielders who reported being in employment worked from home. Shielders, unlike non-shielders, reported a continued uncertainty regarding returning to the workplace and commented that some employers were pressuring them to return, despite them being Clinically Extremely Vulnerable. All non-shielders stated that they were planning on returning to external working environments.
Among shielders, some respondents received a coronavirus test as a result of being in support bubbles with school-age and teenage children. Among non-shielders, some respondents received a coronavirus test as a result of being admitted into hospital. No respondent, whether shielding or non-shielding, received a coronavirus vaccine this week. Some shielders raised concerns about the effectiveness of the vaccines available.
Download The Reports For The Week Beginning 12 April
Shielders Panel – Report
Non-Shielders Panel – Report
Download Past Reports
BuDS Is Here For You
Finally, remember BuDS is here for you. If you need support, please email us [email protected] or ring 01494211178