Lack of food security results in disabled man’s death
Charities say that disabled man starved to death as he was unable to access food supplies.
A disabled man has died during lockdown because he was unable to access food essentials, according to Disability Rights (DR) UK.
The UK pan-disability charity, along with three other witnesses, provided evidence on 24 June 2020 to the Women and Equalities Committee.
As part of its evidence, DR UK suggested a Government failing to engage with disabled people during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes “the inaccessibility of information for disabled people and inadequate communication”, among others.
Back in May 2020, Mencap warned that those with learning disabilities are “being forgotten in this crisis”. Their plea followed the results of NHS England data that revealed a startling number of people with a learning disability were dying as a result of covid.
“The devastating impact of COVID-19 on our community is shocking, but sadly not surprising, when we have long been warning that the healthcare rights of people with a learning disability are under threat like never before,” said Edel Harris, Chief Executive of Mencap.
According to The Independent, during the formal discussions, Labour MP, Bell Ribeirdo-Andy pointed to research that 38 percent of disabled or vulnerable people were unable to get online shopping slots, while 26 percent were concerned they would contract the disease during a supermarket visit.
There has been “cynicism and a suspicion that people are somehow trying to work the system by somehow declaring a vulnerability” contended DR UK’s Head of Policy, Fazilet Hadi.
She added that society should be past this “way of thinking about human beings” and that there is “no promotion of what their reasonable adjustments are.
“We’re all getting very, very different experiences depending on the kindness and helpfulness and training of the staff in our particular supermarket.
“I think it’s been (an) appalling catalogue, I understand why there was a disaster in the first couple of weeks, but I do not understand why the supermarkets are failing to take responsibility for their own disabled customers.”