Community insights from people with disabilities

Download (PDF 559KB)

Summary of report content

In December 2019, Healthwatch Tower Hamlets asked 240 people what could make their neighbourhood a better place for them. 12 of those people lived with a disability.

Between July and September 2020, Healthwatch Tower Hamlets carried out in-depth interviews with people who received domiciliary care from professional carers. They talked about their experiences with health and social care services, as well as about the wider impact that living with a disability and/or their care needs had on their well-being. 13 people shared their experiences.

Key Findings:

  • Residents with disabilities were less likely to feel supported to make healthy choices and feel safe in their local area than residents not living with disability.
  • Residents with disabilities reported lower levels of happiness and wellbeing than residents not living with disability.
  • Supporting patients with disabilities in accessing the right medical treatment can be a trial and error process and they don't always feel they are receiving the right treatment.
  • Innovations in access to GP services, which may make them easier and more efficient to use for the general population, can be challenging for residents living with disabilities.  This is particularly true for those with learning/ sensory/ processing disabilities that impact reading comprehension (such as dyslexia) and those who face further barriers such as language barriers.
  • Some of the respondents to in-depth interview experienced poor mental health. They felt able to talk about their mental health with the professionals treating them, but felt that the scope of the help they can realistically receive was limited.

A recommendation to continue this research and reach out to more people living with disability was made in this report.

Would you like to look at:

General details

Report title 
Community insights from people with disabilities
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Tower Hamlets
Date of publication 
Friday, 4 December, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 1 December, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 30 September, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Digitalisation of services
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Unstructured Interview
How was the information collected? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Mental health services 
Depression and anxiety service
Learning disability service
Psychiatry / mental health (other services)
Social care services 
Adult social care
Community services 
Community based services for people with a learning disability

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
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? 
Does the information include other people'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? 

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.