Governments across the world have been slow in reacting to meeting the needs of disabled people during the pandemic. This has exposed existing inequalities in social policies, as well as new support barriers. Debates over social care have focused on Covid-19's impact on those living in residential care. Little is known about the experiences of disabled people who rely on daily support in their homes. This article reports on a year-long study examining the experiences of disabled people during the pandemic in England and Scotland. It focuses on the crisis in social care and offers evidence of how lives have been disrupted. For many, this resulted in a sudden loss of services, delayed assessments and break down of routines and communities. Findings underline the weakness of social care in its wider relationship with the NHS and show how the social care crisis has challenged the goal of independent living.


This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Cite as

Pearson, C., Watson, N., Brunner, R., Cullingworth, J., Hameed, S., Scherer, N. & Shakespeare, T. 2022, 'Covid-19 and the crisis in social care: exploring the experiences of disabled people in the pandemic', Social Policy and Society. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1474746422000112

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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