Community insights on disabled people

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Barking & Dagenham, Healthwatch City of London, Healthwatch Hackney, Healthwatch Havering, Healthwatch Newham, Healthwatch Redbridge, Healthwatch Tower Hamlets and Healthwatch Waltham Forest undertook research about the impact of Covid-19 on disabled people.  They spoke to 580 people over the period January to June 2021.

They found that there was no “one size fits all” solution to people’s communication and information needs – these would have to be tailored to different people. GPs could play a crucial role in disseminating information and personalised outreach can make information more accessible.

Covid-19 related disruptions have created a backlog of untreated cases in non-urgent healthcare; especially affecting secondary and specialist care.  To manage this, a fair and transparent prioritisation system is needed.

Most people had experienced telephone or online consultations.  These can be beneficial for some disabled people who find it difficult to travel, but those with sensory impairments, learning disabilities or a language barrier are most likely to struggle.

Respondents were diverse in terms of care needs and living circumstances, ability to leave the house and use online services.

The report contains an analysis of the findings by a number of demographics and raises questions for service providers about the best way of meeting disabled people’s needs.


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General details

Report title 
Community insights on disabled people
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Barking And Dagenham
Healthwatch City of London
Healthwatch Hackney
Healthwatch Havering
Healthwatch Newham
Healthwatch Redbridge
Healthwatch Tower Hamlets
Healthwatch Waltham Forest
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 24 August, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 January, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 30 June, 2021
Key themes 
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Health inequalities
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Waiting times and lists for treatment

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Inpatient care
Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Social care services 
Day care (social care services)
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency
NHS 111

Details about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 
Diabetes and other endocrinal, nutriotional and metabolic conditions
Types of disabilities 
Learning or understanding or concentrating
Mental health
Social / behavioural
Vision impairment
Types of long term conditions 
Blindness or severe visual impairment
Deafness or severe hearing impairment
Learning disability
Mental health condition
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.