The new Covid-19 report by MPs shows we must include disabled people in the public inquiry

Lizzie looks after campaigns at Sense. She explains what the new report by MPs is all about, and how the Government must make sure disabled people are involved in next year’s public Covid-19 inquiry.

Yesterday saw the release of a new report from MPs about the way the government handled the first wave of the pandemic.

I look after campaigns at Sense, and at the moment, we’re calling for disabled people to be included in the public Covid-19 inquiry.

With that in mind, I was keen to see what the report was all about. The investigation looks at key issues about the initial handling of the pandemic. It suggests too little was done to stop Covid-19 spreading right at the start. It criticises delays to the Test and Trace system. And it highlights the impact on an already stretched social care system.

The report is a step towards recognising some of the existing social, economic and health inequalities that need fixing. But while it references people with learning disabilities, we need the full public inquiry to examine the wider experiences of disabled people.

Disabled people are one of the hardest hit groups of the pandemic. Our research shows it. And so do the experience of disabled people. Disabled people still feel forgotten, like their needs aren’t a priority any more.

Next year’s public inquiry is a chance to change this. After yesterday’s report, we can see the catalogue of errors during the pandemic even more clearly.

Now, the government must recognise that disabled people have been affected more than other groups. They need to prioritise investigating and addressing disabled people’s experiences. That way, we can truly learn from this time.

Join us in calling for disabled people’s experiences to be investigated

Over 15,000 people have already supported our petition calling for disabled people to be at the heart of the public inquiry next year. But we need your help to make sure this is an issue that can’t be ignored.