Disabled activists Liz Carr and Dennis Queen have joined with other disabled people in expressing their outrage at the ‘frailty scoring system’ which is being used to determine whether disabled people who are admitted to hospital with Covid-19 are to be offered the same level of care as non-disabled people.
Issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as part of their updated guidelines for the government and NHS, the scoring system will take into account “comorbidities and underlying health conditions”.
They suggest that those with a score as low as five – those seen as “mildly frail”, who often need help with transportation, heavy housework and medication (nine represents someone who is terminally ill) – might not be considered appropriate for intensive care treatment and might be steered towards end-of-life care instead if their condition deteriorated. The guideline said that decisions to admit patients for “critical care” should be based on how likely they were to recover.
Liz Carr said on Twitter that the guideline suggested she and many other disabled people would be “pretty much denied [the] same access to ventilation/critical care support as non-disabled people based on the fact we require some assistance in our daily life, because we’re disabled”.
She added that this was “terrifying and discriminating”.
Dennis Queen told NICE: “It’s not just about how we feel – you are denying us our basic human rights.”
An article on the Disability news Service offers more information about this issue.
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