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Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Dr Brian Sloan has worked as part of a group of leading academics working on disability law to produce a policy report which describes the impact of coronavirus related law, policy and practice on people with disabilities in the United Kingdom, which has been published by The Oxford University Disability Law & Policy Project and the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights.

This Report is based on material the authors submitted to the House of Commons Women and Equality Committee inquiries on the unequal impact of Covid-19 and the Coronavirus Act 2020 on People with protected characteristics and papers given at a University webinar on Disability in the Context of the Coronavirus Crisis. The unequal impact of the coronavirus crisis, charted in the essays, in this report is startling. In June, the Office for National Statistics Data revealed that almost 60% of deaths from coronavirus in the UK have been people with disabilities. Disabled women are 2.4 times more likely to die from Covid-19 and men with disabilities 1.9 times more likely to die. These risk levels rise to 11.3 times for disabled women aged under 65 and 6.5 times for men.

The Report makes twenty-two recommendations, including on the need for a national inquiry to understand the scale of Covid-19 related deaths and to examine why this groups have carried such a heavy burden for the pandemic.

In Brian’s contribution, he critiques the so-called "easements" of local authorities’ duties on the provision of care and support to disabled and older people under the Care Act 2014.  Among other things, he calls for the “easements” to be repealed as soon as is feasible, and for the Coronavirus pandemic to prompt reform of the social care system.

The report has recently formed the basis of a question to Parliament from Lord Alton of Liverpool.

For more information including the full report and more videos, see the Oxford University Disability Law & Policy Project website.