Coronavirus: Government ‘has abandoned’ disabled people and their carers

Once again the Tory government’s behaviour betrays its real attitude to people with disabilities.

People with disabilities who rely on carers who come to their homes are being forced to make a “hobson’s choice” between their health and their care – the loss of which would also harm their health.

The government can protest all it wants that it has given guidance for the social care sector on coping with coronavirus – but this does not cover individual disabled people who use their direct payments to employ their own carers.

There are also concerns over how disabled people employing their own PAs can secure supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, aprons and masks.

Disability News Service provides details of the NHS’s confused and contradictory response to one such person’s inquiries.

“She began showing flu-like symptoms this week and said she was originally advised by NHS 111 to “self-isolate”, after she described her symptoms over the phone.

“But when she explained that she relied on care workers visiting her twice daily, she was put on hold by the telephone adviser, before eventually being told that it was OK for her care workers to come in as usual, as long as appropriate hygiene measures were taken.

“She ignored this advice and is instead attempting to self-isolate without any support from care workers.

“She said the information she received could mean that other disabled people could be receiving care from a care worker who has come “directly from houses of people in self-isolation, on direct instructions from 111.”

It seems clear that the government does not have a clue about how to ensure these people get the support they need.

Worse still, This Writer is concerned that ministers may be sitting on solutions rather than putting into practice actions that might cost money.

It says everything about Tory priorities that £330 billion is splurged on policies to protect the economy from coronavirus – but the workers who fuel that economy, and people who are already suffering from long-term illnesses and disabilities, are left to choke on it.

Source: Coronavirus: Government ‘has abandoned’ disabled people on direct payments – Disability News Service

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11 Thoughts to “Coronavirus: Government ‘has abandoned’ disabled people and their carers”

  1. The Toffee (597)

    Mike, I’m getting a load of ads (bear grylls, ebooks etc) on your site?

    NOT joking. Are you advertising, now?

    1. Mike Sivier

      There have always been ads on the site. The subject of those ads will have been determined by your browsing preferences.

  2. my carer is my daughter ,has low immunity and is self isolating as much as she can. i have a cleaner. i have to have the vaccing and dusting done so i am less likely to have asthma attacks or COPD exacerbation. i have diabetes too among other conditions. the cleaner is 3 months pregnant so really shouldn’t be doing any cleaning for others. i have 2 dog walkers. either will get me any bits n pieces i need but neither has time to do a full shop for me. having families of their own and jobs still to go to. i have tried and tried to get a slot online to do my normal weekly shop. but on the odd occasions i found one on one or other of the main supermarkets, it wont take my cards, be it debit or credit cards. bank says no reason from their point of view for the bank cards to fail. i tried ordering something from eBay for £1 last night and it went through no problem using my credit card. so its not my cards. yet all 4 of those main stores are not accepting the cards. just been told by the man at my bank that all supermarkets are suspending shopping delivery slots. im 77yrs old. and feel like im losing control. which i know will be alleviated if i could only be sure of getting the food i need.

  3. Dez

    Business as usual then from the Cons, Just look at the priority of the cash ie businesses first, as with the Bankers, then front liners and key staffs and last in line real workers in the gig, self employed and unemployed etc. The Nasty party is in the Cons DNA for life or until they are removed from power and the purse strings. Waiting for the prime ministers Finance Ministers package for the rest of the UK to be announced …. but not holding breath.

  4. Neilth

    This government’s response is to try to minimise the pressure on the NHS by attempting to reduce the number of patients at any one time but extending the months the crisis will last.
    They started banging on about “ herd immunity” without understanding what this is. Herd immunity is what happens when you vaccinate 95% of the population which means it is unlikely that people in the last 5% who maybe can’t be vaccinated are unlikely to come in contact with the active disease.
    What they are actually describing is 80% of the population getting CoVid 19 of which we can expect approx 1% dying and the vast majority feeling ok or being symptomless. This means the disease will be endemic until an effective vaccine is developed and deployed. What this is is not herd immunity it is tantamount to culling the herd. It’s callous and misleading but absolutely deliberately planned.

    1. NOT TO MENTION A LOAD OF ELDERLY PEOPLE ESPECIALLY DYING ALONE AND WITHOUT PROPER CARE. (IVE BEEN TOLD TODAY THE FIRM MY CLEANER WORKS FOR IS CLOSING TEMORARILY… I CAN APPRECIATE THEY NEED TO,. ITS NOT THEIR FAULT,. A LOT OF THEIR CLEANERS ARE YOUNG MUMS.. AND MINE IN PARTUCULAR IS PREGNANT……. BUT IT ACTUALLY LEAVES US WITH NO ONE TO HELP US KEEP OUR HOMES CLEAN.AS SOMEONE WITH ASTHMA/COPD AMONG OTHER THINGS, MY HOME NEEDS TO BE AS DUST-FREE AS POSSIBLE. ,, ON TOP OF THAT I STILL HAVE NOT GOT A SLOT FOR MY USUAL ONLINE SHOP, AND OFFERS OF (I CAN GET YOU SOME BITS N PIECES… (WHAT ARE BITS N PIECES? WHAT ON EARTH DO PEOPLE THINK OLDIES EAT? ) MY FOOD WILL RUN OUT IN 10 DAYS TIME, UNLESS I HAVE AN ARMY OF FOLK COMING TO MY DOOR BRINGING “BITS N PIECES” EVERY OTHER DAY.. WHICH IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN AND NOT A GOOD IDEA IF IT DID IF IM SELF ISOLATING………. SO ITS A CASE OF DO I DIE FROM STARVATION OR A CASE OF DUST MITES ATTACKING MY CHEST ETC…… ENDING UP DEAD COS THERES NO ONE TO SEND FOR AN AMBULANCE IF IM UNABLE TO….. GREAT CHOICE INIT? THE GOVT NEEDS TO STOP THINKING OF THEIR OWN POCKETS AND START MAKING SURE THE PEOPLE WHO WILL PUT MONEY INTO THE COFFERS ONCE THIS IS OVER REMAINS AS HEALTHY AS POSSIBLE AND NOT KEELING OVER THRU LACK OF FOOD OR IN A DIABETIC COMA THROUGH NOT GETTING THE RIGHT FOOD. TELL THE SUPERMARKETS TO SORT THEIR ONLINE SYSTEM OUT SO WE CAN USE OUR BANK CARDS ONCE WE CAN GET A SLOT. NO GOOD DOIN ONE WITHOUT DOIN THE OTHER.
      (SORRY RANT OVER..for now)

  5. I have just sent this email to the CEO of Tesco and Liz Truss who is my parents MP. I have sent this on behalf of my parents:

    Dear Mr Lewis,

    We were very pleased to get your email about the hour being set aside for pensioners and vulnerable people to do their shopping on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
    We are both nearly 80 years old and I am also disabled and reliant on a walker to help with my mobility.
    We attempted to shop at your Kings Lynn Hardwick store this morning .We had trouble getting in at just gone 9.00 am due to the large number of people obviously under 70 and not vulnerable. There was no staff at the door to make sure only pensioners and vulnerable people got in.
    My wife was pushed around by younger and far more able shoppers while trying to shop .With this and the sheer greed of these youngsters it was impossible to do anything like a reasonable job and we were unable to get most of the things we needed.
    While we are grateful for your intentions for us senior citizens would it be possible to do more to assist with this great idea to make sure that those who need this hour get it without being pushed around and deprived of the things they need.
    Incidentally the staff were brilliant under very stressful circumstances
    We have been very loyal customers of Tesco’s for over 20 years and we are among the few that are just trying to do our normal weekly shop and not hoard goods.

  6. Pip

    Mike, while there are no face to face assesssments, it seems the DWP don’t get why they have had to stop.

    I am in the support group, and in a group that has to stay inside for 12 weeks, and the DWP have now sent me an ESA 50 form to fill in within a month.

    Obviously, there are no places to go for advice due to social distancing, and I know my advisor will definitely not be working as he himself is in a vulnerable group as he had had an organ transplant.

    So I shouldn’t go out. If I do go out, I can’t get help. And I am also expected to go out to post this form in a month, probably at the peak of infection.

    I’m sorry but this is a complete scandal.

    1. Mike Sivier

      You should be able to telephone or email your local Citizens Advice office for help with the form.

      As for posting it… theoretically there should be very few people out and about, so you should be able to keep your distance from anybody else on the way to the postbox.

      Alternatively, some kind-hearted people in my locality are organising pick-up and drop-off services for people who are self-isolating, with the housebound people leaving instructions in their porch to be picked up and the helpers carrying them out. Perhaps something like that is happening or can be arranged where you are?

      1. Pip

        Thank you, Mike. I am sorry. I guess I am just already so terrified, and I don’t want anyone else to get this as well.

      2. Mike Sivier

        I think we can all sympathise with that feeling!

        The best thing for us all to do is circulate good advice, debunk bad advice, and be there for each other – locally and nationally.

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