What Are the Insight Panels?
BuDS has two Insight panels, made up of both shielding and non-shielding disabled people in Buckinghamshire and across the UK. Panel members are helping us understand the impact of the pandemic on disabled people. We send a weekly questionnaire to panel members and the results for the week commencing 8th February are now in. While these panels can’t be statistically representative of all disabled people, we feel they give a valuable insight into how disabled people are coping in these very difficult circumstances. Thank you to everyone who’s signed up for the panels so far – if you’d like to join them, please use this link.
The Position in Week Beginning 15 February
ISOLATION & LONELINESS
In both panels, a high level of social isolation was reported. Some people reported they had never experienced such loneliness, with comments made indicating that people felt they were in prison. Some people reported not going out much or having many visitors before the pandemic, but now not meeting anyone was so hard. Some were unsure about plans around arranged holidays, while some people in the shielding panel reported feeling invisible and forgotten. Missing family birthdays and family members was taking its toll on both groups of panel members. Some people expressed anxiety now about going out.
FOOD & MONEY
From the People’s panel, everyone got food. However, some people on the Shielding Panel struggled to get food owing to issues getting online shopping slots, which was an issue for respondents in both Panels. Those who were able to get slots tended to book them up early. Some people used the local church for food. Some Supermarkets do have slots available, so it may be worth looking at other supermarkets.
In both Panels some people struggled financially. Some people in the People’s Panel had to cut down on essentials.
Many people on both Panels had physical and mental health problems. Some managed, for some it was a struggle, while some needed outside help from GP, Pain clinic, 111, Mental Health services, Healthy Minds, local volunteers. Some people were struggling to make contact with their GPs or were afraid to ask for help. Some people were able to get ongoing treatments while others struggled to get blood tests. Some people were feeling demotivated to do things. For others sleep was becoming difficult.
There was a mixed response from both Panels regarding employment. Some people working from homes, others were not. Covid guidelines were being observed, with extra cleaning taking place. Some people expressed concern about having to return to a working environment, which for some was imminent. Some people remain unsure about future plans. Previous redundancy and future employment opportunities was causing some concern.
People from both panels had had covid tests, due to track and trace or because of having symptoms. Several had also had the vaccination. For some, the vaccination seemed very slow in being offered, which caused anxiety.
For some people in both Panels, support from Friends and family was important. Some used Social Services. For some, help was very slow in coming, leaving some people struggling with practical issues.
Download The Reports For The Week Beginning 15 February
Shielders Panel – Report
Non-Shielders Panel – Report
Download Past Reports
If You’d Like To Join Either Of Our Panels
We welcome more members of our panels. If you would like to become a panel member and help us understand the pandemic better, please use this link.
BuDS Is Here For You
Finally, remember BuDS is here for you. If you need support, please email us [email protected] or ring 01494211178