Coronavirus: information and updates

Disabled people's Covid-19 death rate as much as 11 times higher than non-disabled people

New stats published today by the ONS (Office for National Statistics) reveal disabled people's death rate involving Covid-19 is as much as 11 times higher than non-disabled people.
“Males whose activities were limited a lot in 2011 had a rate of death involving COVID-19 6.5 times greater than those not disabled, while for females it was 11.3 times (Figure 1).”

Disability equality charity Scope's #WontBeForgotten campaign is highlighting the disproportionate way disabled people have been affected by the pandemic, and urging government to act.

Scope research found:

  • 63 per cent of disabled people concerned they won’t get the hospital treatment they need if they become ill with coronavirus 
  • Over a quarter of disabled people (28 per cent) feel forgotten or ignored by the government
  • A fifth (21 per cent) ranked the need for more PPE for carers and personal assistants as their most important concern. A fifth (19 per cent) of disabled people who are receiving social care or support from a Personal Assistant (PAs), are worried about catching the virus from a carer 
  • This situation is taking its toll on mental health. Over half (59 per cent) are concerned for the future, and 57 per cent feel more stressed and anxious

In a separate study the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers [2] found that just over 30 per cent of health care professionals and nearly half (48 per cent) of personal assistants had not worn PPE when making home visits. 

Responding to today's ONS stats, James Taylor, executive director of strategy, impact and social change at disability equality charity Scope, said:
“The vastly higher mortality rate of disabled people is a damning result of disabled people being forgotten about and not adequately protected during this crisis. 
“This inequality cannot be allowed to continue. Making sure disabled people do not bear the brunt of the pandemic needs to be a top priority for the government.”

For more information, contact the Scope press office on 0207 619 7200 or email
[1]. Savanta ComRes interviewed 585 disabled people aged 18+ in the UK online from the 17th to 20th April 2020. This sample fell out naturally via a larger sample 2,025 UK adults aged 18+ demographically representative of UK adults by age, gender, region and social grade. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables.
[2]. RiDC Covid-19 Survey - UK-wide, survey by Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RiDC) of 816 of its panel members (conducted between April 27 and 1 May 2020)

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