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These analyses were drawn together to support the work of a steering group commissioned by the Welsh Government’s Disability Equality Forum to consider and report on the impact of COVID-19 on disabled people in Wales. This article summarises the analyses available to the steering group up to 18 February 2021. However, new statistical analyses continue to be published regularly on a range of relevant topics.

The analysis below presents the data that is available for Wales and sets the context within which wider England and Wales or UK evidence can be considered. 

Annex A details some of the wider UK information on the impacts of COVID-19 on disabled people including analysis undertaken by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), from Public Health Wales (PHW) and from the Intensive Care Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC).

In 2002 the Welsh Government adopted the Social Model of Disability. This model sets out a different way to view disability – rather than defining people as disabled by their impairment (i.e. the medical model of disability), people with impairments are considered to be disabled by physical, attitudinal and organisational barriers created by society.

The data reported in this article are derived from a range of sources, and refer to differing time periods, reflecting from where and when the most reliable, recent data are available. These sources employ varying definitions of disability, some of which are informed by the medical model. The data on disability are reported in this paper along with information to clarify the definition of disability being employed for each source.

Notes on the use of statistical articles can be found at the end of this document.

Background demographics

The 2011 Census reports that:

  • there were nearly 700,000 individuals in Wales with some form of limiting long-term illness or disability in Wales, representing 22.7% of the population
  • of these, 10.8% reported that their day-to-day activities were limited a little, and the remaining 11.9% were limited a lot

More recent estimates from the Annual Population Survey (APS) (year ending September 2020) show that:

  • there were 415,600 disabled people (Equality Act 2010 definition(a)) aged 16 to 64 in Wales, representing 21.9% of the 16 to 64 population
  • of the 1,392,000 people currently in employment in Wales, 14.5% are disabled (Equality Act 2010 definition)

(a) In the Equality Act 2010 a disability means a physical or a mental condition which has a substantial and long-term impact on your ability to do normal day to day activities

Employment

For the year ending September 2020 the employment rate among disabled people in Wales aged 16-64 was 48.5%, with the equivalent figure for those not disabled being 80.6%, equating to a disability employment gap of 32.1 percentage points (pp).

The disability employment gap was lower for women than for men (28.9 pp compared with 35.4 pp).

Chart 1 below shows that the disability employment gap has narrowed in recent years.

Image
Chart 1 shows employment rate trends for disabled and non-disabled people in Wales, from year ending 31 March 2014 to year ending 30 September 2020. The chart shows that the employment gap has narrowed from 35.2 percentage points to 32.1 percentage points.

Further analysis by sex shows that the disability employment gap has decreased more for women compared to men (i.e. from 33.6 pp to 28.9 pp for women compared with 36.4 pp to 35.4 pp for men).

Analysis published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 2 December 2019 shows that the disability pay gap in Wales was 9.9% in 2018. This means that disabled people in Wales earned, on average, 9.9% less per hour than non-disabled people. The pay gap in Wales was smaller than for the UK as a whole (12.2%), and was the fifth smallest of the twelve countries and regions of the UK. The lowest disability pay gap was in Scotland, at 8.3% and the highest was in London (15.3%).

Employment patterns can have a variety of impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic. People working in certain occupations, such as key workers, could be at higher risk of infection through the jobs that they do.

Other people are self-employed or are working in insecure jobs, for example within industries told to close during the lockdown period, and may be at greater risk of the economic consequences of
COVID-19.

Critical (Key) Workers

Analysis of the critical (key) worker cohort in Wales (2019) by disability status (Equality Act definition) has been produced from the APS.

Note that this analysis is based on occupations that could be directly matched to those listed in the Welsh Government guidance. It is up to employers on the ground to determine which employees are key workers.

Further to this, some occupations could not be matched to a specific occupation, for example, cleaners or caterers that work in health and social care.

Main points for Wales

  • 15.4% of the estimated 491,000 critical workers in Wales were disabled. This was broadly equivalent to the proportion of disabled people in all employment (15.0%).
  • The proportion of employed disabled people who were critical workers was slightly higher than the equivalent proportion of employed non-disabled people (34.7% compared with 33.6%).

Employment in industries told to close

Analysis to estimate the numbers of people in Wales employed in industries told to close from 23 March 2020 (for the period that the initial COVID-19 restrictions were in place) has been produced.

This analysis uses the initial UK government list of types of business that should remain closed during the current crisis. The same list has been used by the Welsh Government.

Note that this analysis uses the latest available data about businesses operating within certain industries. It does not necessarily reflect businesses that have actually stopped operations. Although it is highly likely that most will have closed, some will have changed their business models to continue to operate (i.e. selling takeaway food instead of operating as a restaurant).

Main points for Wales

  • Around 230,000 people were employed in industries in Wales in 2019 that were told to close after the initial COVID-19 outbreak, representing around 16% of the total workforce. Employees in those industries are more likely to be women, young and from a minority ethnic background.
  • 36,400 (15.9%) of the people employed in industries told to close due to COVID-19 identified as disabled (Equality Act 2010 definition). This is slightly higher than the 15.0% in all employment.
  • A higher proportion of employed disabled people work in industries told to close (16.6% compared to 14.7% of non-disabled employees).

Self employment

Whilst the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) provided income for many of those employed in sectors told to close, the Self- Employment Support Scheme (SEISS) provided support for those who were self-employed before the pandemic. The delay in availability of those funds until late May 2020 may have impacted those who are self-employed to a greater extent than those eligible for the JRS.

Analysis of self-employment by disability sourced from the APS (year ending September 2019) shows that:

  • 15.3% of self-employed people in Wales were disabled whereas 77.1% of self-employed people were not disabled (note that disability status was not specified for 7.6% of self-employed people)
  • of the 32,200 self-employed, disabled people in Wales, 64% were men and 69% were aged 45 and over
  • the proportion of disabled people in employment who were self-employed was 14.7% - slightly higher than the proportion of non-disabled people in employment who were self- employed (13.5%)

Employment in occupations at higher risk of COVID-19

The ONS have published a series of bulletins detailing analysis of COVID-19 related deaths by occupation. This analysis highlighted some specific groups of occupations that could be considered to be at higher risk of COVID-19 or which, in their analysis for England and Wales, were found to have higher mortality rates involving COVID-19 than people of the same age in the general population.

Welsh Government have undertaken and published additional analysis of those people employed in high risk occupations by protected characteristics.

Tables 1 and 2 below shows the numbers of people employed in the high and highest risk categories split by disability status. Details of the high and highest risk categories can be found via the above link to the analysis.

Table 1: Disability status of those employed in occupations which have a high potential exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19), 2019 (a)
  High risk occupations  
Disability status
(Equality Act definition)
Level Proportion of all occupations Proportion of all employed All
occupations: proportion of all employed
Disabled 72,700 33.2% 16.2% 15.0%
Not Disabled 367,700 30.6% 81.8% 82.1%
Does not apply or no answer 9,000 20.8% 2.0% 3.0%
All employed 449,400 30.7% 100.0% 100.0%

Source: Welsh Government analysis of the Annual Population Survey

(a) People in employment aged 16 and over.

Table 2: Disability status of those employed in occupations which have the highest potential exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19), 2019 (a)
  Highest risk occupations  
Disability status
(Equality Act definition)
Level Proportion of all occupations Proportion of all employed All
occupations: proportion of all employed
Disabled 9,100 4.2% 16.6% 15.0%
Not Disabled 44,800 3.7% 81.7% 82.1%
Does not apply or no answer (b) 900 (b) 2.1% (b) 1.7% 3.0%
All employed 54,900 3.8% 100.0% 100.0%

Source: Welsh Government analysis of the Annual Population Survey

(a) People in employment aged 16 and over.
(b) The data items are based on small sample sizes (10 to 25 responses) and should be treated with caution.

This analysis shows that:

  • 33.2% of employed disabled people in Wales were employed in high risk occupations and 4.2% were employed in the highest risk occupations; this compares to 30.7% and 3.7% of employed non-disabled people respectively
  • 16.6% of people employed in the highest risk occupations were disabled (compared to 15.0% of people employed in all occupations)

Further analysis by sex shows that:

  • women are more likely to be employed in high risk occupations than men; 39.7% of employed women in Wales were employed in high risk occupations and 5.3% were employed in the highest risk occupations; this compares to 30.7% and 3.7% of employed men respectively
  • proportions of disabled and non-disabled employed women in high risk occupations were similar (41.0% and 39.8% respectively) but markedly higher than the proportions of disabled and non-disabled men (23.6% and 22.9% respectively)

Housing

Housing tenure

Ad hoc analysis of housing tenure by protected characteristics (year ending December 2019) published by the Welsh Government shows that:

  • 46% of disabled people live in rented properties, compared to 28% of non-disabled people
  • disabled people who rent are more likely to live in socially rented properties than privately rented properties (whereas non-disabled renters are more likely to live in privately rented properties)

In March 2020 the Bevan Foundation reported on what type of households in Wales might have sufficient liquid assets to replace regular income, should income be lost for 1, 2 or 3 months. Based on an analysis of the Wealth and Assets Survey, they reported that renters would be particularly badly hit if their income suddenly stopped. only 44% of private renters and 35% of social renters in Wales have enough savings to cover one month of their regular income. 

The Resolution Foundation reported in April 2020 that those who live in social rented housing or private rented housing are more likely to be impacted in their ability to work (UK Labour Force Survey analysis) than those who are owner occupiers.

Overcrowded housing

The bedroom occupancy rating from the 2011 Census provides a measure of overcrowding in housing by disability status.

Respondents reporting a limiting long-term health problem or disability (including those related to age) that limited their day-to-day activities and that had lasted, or was expected to last, at least 12 months, were asked to assess whether their daily activities were limited a lot, a little or not at all by such a health problem.

The proportion of those who are limited in their day-to-day activities (whether by a little or a lot) who live in overcrowded households is lower than for the population in Wales overall, and those not limited.

However, because the age profile of those whose activities are limited (a little or a lot) is older, and because older people are less likely to live in overcrowded households, this picture changes if the data are considered separately by age group.

Table 3 below shows that:

  • in each age category, those whose activities are limited (a little or a lot) are more likely to live in overcrowded households than both those who are not limited and the population overall
  • the highest proportion (11.5%) was for children (those aged 15 and under) whose activities are limited a lot
Table 3: Percentage living in households with an occupancy of -1 or less, by age group and disability status, Wales 2011 Census
Age group Day-to-day activities limited a lot Day-to-day activities
limited a little
Day-to-day activities not
limited
Percentage total
Age 0 to 15 11.5 10.9 9.0 9.1
Age 16 to 49 10.1 9.6 9.3 9.3
Age 50 to 64 4.6 3.5 2.6 3.1
Age 65 and over 2.9 2.1 1.6 2.1
Total 5.0 4.7 7.3 6.8

Source: Office for National Statistics

Homelessness

During 2018-19, a total of 2,631 households were accepted as being eligible, unintentionally homeless and in priority need and owed a duty to provide accommodation (under Section 75 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014). Of these 2,631 households:

  • there were 294 cases (11% of all Section 75 assessments) where a household member was vulnerable due to a physical disability; the proportion was the same as that recorded in 2017-18 but slightly higher than the 10% recorded in 2016-17
  • a further 546 cases (21% of all Section 75 assessments) involved a member of the household who was vulnerable due to mental illness, a learning disability or learning difficulties, an increase on the 18% recorded in both 2017-18 and 2016-17

Relative income poverty

Someone is defined as living in relative income poverty if he or she is living in a household where the total household income from all sources is less than 60% of the average UK household income (as given by the median).

Analysis of the most recent Households Below Average Income (HBAI) dataset shows that living with a disabled person makes relative income poverty more likely for children and working age people, specifically: 

  • 37% of children who lived in a household where there was someone with a disability were in relative income poverty compared with 24% of children who lived in households where no-one was disabled
  • similarly, 31% of working-age adults who lived in a household where there was someone with a disability were in relative income poverty compared with 18% of those who lived in a household where no-one was disabled

Note that, in the HBAI dataset, disabled people are identified as those who report any physical or mental health condition or illness that is expected to last 12 months or more, and which limits their day-to-day activities a little or a lot. This aligns with the Equality Act 2010 definition.

A recent report by the Bevan Foundation looking at experiences of poverty in Wales in Winter 2020 found that disabled people were among the groups especially affected by both a squeeze on living standard and the growing personal debt crisis in Wales.

Deprivation

The Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) is the official measure of deprivation for small areas in Wales.

The Welsh Government has recently published an analysis of protected characteristics by area deprivation. This analysis compares data produced from the latest pooled APS dataset (2017 to 2019) alongside the WIMD 2019 data. The resulting analysis showed that disabled people were more likely to be living in deprived areas, specifically:

  • a third (32.3%) of people aged 16 to 64 living in the most deprived 10% of small areas were disabled, whereas 18.2% of people aged 16-64 living in the least deprived 50% of small areas were disabled; these figures compare with 21.8% of disabled people in the total population
  • 13.8% of disabled people aged 16 to 64 in Wales were living in the most deprived 10% of small areas; this compares with 8.1% of non-disabled people aged 16 to 64 in Wales
  • 57.2% of disabled people aged 16 to 64 were living in the most deprived 50% of small areas compared with 46.3% of non-disabled people

In August 2020 the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published an updated analysis of deaths involving COVID-19 by local area and socio-economic deprivation for deaths occurring between 1 March and 31 July 2020.

This analysis showed that the most deprived areas of Wales had a mortality rate for deaths involving COVID-19 of 121.4 deaths per 100,000 population, almost twice as high as the mortality rate for the least deprived areas of Wales (65.5 deaths per 100,000 population).

The ONS also publish more recent data on COVID-19 deaths by local area and deprivation in their Monthly Mortality Analysis bulletin. However note that this data differs as it refers to deaths due to COVID-19 (underlying cause of death only) and is based on month of death registration (rather than month of death occurrence).

Transport

As part of the 2016-17 National Survey for Wales, disabled people were asked about their use of various forms of public transport. Results were published in the statistical bulletin Barriers Faced by Disabled People (National Survey for Wales): April 2016 to March 2017.

Main findings

  • A taxi was the mode of public transport most likely to have been used. 44% of disabled people had used a taxi in the previous year. This compares with 43% who had used a local bus and 31% who had used local trains. 
  • The modes of public transport used least were long-distance buses or coaches and long-distance or intercity trains, which were used by 16% and 19% of disabled people respectively.
  • By far, the most common reason given for not using public transport was ‘not needing or wanting to’. The second most common reason given for not travelling by local buses or local trains was the transport not being available, while cost was the second most common reason for not travelling by taxi or a long-distance train.
  • Respondents were also asked whether a car or van was normally available for them or other members of their household to use. 79% of respondents with a disability had access to a car, compared with 89% of people without a disability.
  • With the exception of inter-city trains, the availability of a car reduced disabled people’s use of other modes of transport. This was particularly noticeable for local buses and taxis. 66% of disabled people without access to a car had used local buses, and 59% had used a taxi (compared with 37% and 41% respectively of those with access to a car).
  • Use of all of these modes of transport gradually declines with age. Younger disabled people were more likely than older people to have used all of the modes of transport in the last 12 months. Although people aged 65 or over were more likely to have travelled by coach than those aged 35 to 64.

Domestic abuse

In November 2020, the ONS published a statistical release detailing the characteristics of victims of domestic abuse based on findings from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and police recorded crime.

For the year ending March 2020, the CSEW showed that adults aged 16 to 74 years in England and Wales with a disability (Equality Act 2010 definition) were more likely to have experienced domestic abuse in the last year than those without. This was true for both men (7.5% compared with 3.2%, respectively) and women (14.7% compared with 6.0%, respectively).

Annex A: Wider published UK data on the Impact of Covid-19 on disabled people

This Annex presents a range of published analysis related to the impact of COVID-19 on disabled people.

Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths by disability status, England and Wales: 2 March to 14 July 2020

On 18 September 2020, the ONS published a statistical article presenting provisional analyses comparing the risk of death involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) according to a person's disability status as recorded in the 2011 Census.

People are counted as disabled if they said their daily activities were limited a little or limited a lot by a health problem or disability lasting or expected to last at least 12 months (as at the 2011 Census). The analysis includes deaths that occurred between 2 March and 14 July 2020, which were registered by 21 July 2020.

The analysis, for England and Wales, showed that disabled people (as defined) made up almost 6 in 10 (59%) of all deaths involving COVID-19 in this period; disabled people made up around 16% of the study population in England and Wales followed from the 2011 Census.

The figure was slightly higher for Wales, where disabled people made up almost 7 in 10 (68%) of all deaths involving COVID-19 in this period.

Updated estimates of coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths by disability status, England: 20 January to 24 November 2020

On 11 February 2021, the ONS published updated estimates of differences in COVID-19 mortality risk by self-reported disability status and diagnosed learning disability status. This analysis focussed on deaths in England occurring between 20 January 2020 and 20 November 2020 and used linked data from the 2011 Census, death registrations, and primary care and hospital records.

Note that, in this article, learning disability is based on a clinical diagnosis by a medical practitioner, whereas disability was defined based on responses to a question on the 2011 Census, which will vary according to individuals’ own interpretations and experiences. Consequently, it is not possible to make direct comparisons between the estimates of COVID-19 mortality for people with a learning disability and disabled people according to the 2011 Census.

In addition, rates reported in this release should not be compared with those published elsewhere by the ONS. This analysis is based on 30- to 100-year-olds and it has not been adjusted to allow for comparisons with annual mortality rates.

Main points

  • Between 24 January and 20 November 2020 in England, the risk of death involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) was 3.1 times greater for more-disabled men and 1.9 times greater for less-disabled men, compared with non-disabled men; among women, the risk of death was 3.5 times greater for more-disabled women and 2.0 times greater for less-disabled women, compared with non-disabled women.
  • Disability status was self-reported as collected in the 2011 Census; those who said in the Census that their day-to-day activities were “limited a little” or “limited a lot” are referred to here as “less-disabled” and “more-disabled” respectively, whereas people reporting no limitation to their activities are referred to as “non-disabled”.
  • After using statistical models to adjust for personal and household characteristics, including residence type, geography, demographic and socio-economic factors, and pre-existing health conditions, a smaller but statistically significantly raised risk of death remained unexplained for more-disabled and less-disabled women (1.4 and 1.2 times respectively) and more-disabled men (1.1 times) but not for less-disabled men.
  • This means that no single factor explains the considerably raised risk of death involving COVID-19 among disabled people, and place of residence, socio-economic and geographical circumstances, and pre-existing health conditions all play a part; an important part of the raised risk is because disabled people are disproportionately exposed to a range of generally disadvantageous circumstances compared with non-disabled people.
  • Looking at people with a medically diagnosed learning disability, the risk of death involving COVID-19 was 3.7 times greater for both men and women compared with people who did not have a learning disability; after using statistical models to adjust for a range of factors, a raised risk of 1.7 times remained unexplained for both sexes.
  • All the socio-economic and geographical circumstances and pre-existing health conditions considered made some difference to the risk for people with learning disabilities, but the largest effect was associated with living in a care home or other communal establishment.
  • Patterns in excess COVID-19 mortality risk experienced by disabled people remained largely unchanged between the first and second waves of the pandemic.

Coronavirus and the social impacts on disabled people in Great Britain: September 2020

On 11 November 2020, the ONS published an article exploring the social impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on disabled people in Great Britain based on indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey.

This is the fourth article in the series (including data from 2 waves of the survey from 24 September to 4 October 2020), and provides an update to the previous July article, and allows for further comparison over time.

Main points

  • Over 8 in 10 (83%) disabled people compared with around 7 in 10 (71%) non-disabled people said they were “very worried” or “somewhat worried” about the effect that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was having on their life in September 2020; for disabled people, but not for non-disabled people, this is a similar level to that reported earlier in the pandemic (86% and 84% respectively in April 2020).
  • Being in a local lockdown area or not did not seem to have affected the level of worry (“very worried” or “somewhat worried”) reported by disabled people in September 2020, with similar levels reported by disabled people in a local lockdown area (81%) compared with those who were not (84%).
  • Around 5 in 10 (50%) disabled people who were receiving medical care before the coronavirus pandemic began, indicated that they were either currently receiving treatment for only some of their conditions (29%), or that their treatment had been cancelled or not started (22%), compared with less than 3 in 10 (27%) of non-disabled people who had a physical or mental health condition or illness and were receiving care before the pandemic.
  • Over 4 in 10 (45%) of those disabled people who had reported receiving a reduced level of treatment or had their treatment cancelled in September 2020 reported that they felt their health had worsened in this time; in July 2020 this proportion was one-quarter (25%).
  • All well-being ratings of disabled people remained poorer in September 2020 compared with a similar period prior to the coronavirus pandemic; almost half (47%) of disabled people reported high anxiety (a score of 6 out of 10 or higher) in September 2020 compared with less than a third (29%) of non-disabled people.
  • Disabled people reported more frequently than non-disabled people in September 2020 that the coronavirus pandemic is affecting their well-being because it makes their mental health worse (41% for disabled people and 20% for non-disabled people), they are feeling lonely (45% and 32%), they spend too much time alone (40% and 29%), they feel like a burden on others (24% and 8%), or have no-one to talk to about their worries (24% and 12%).
  • Worries about the future is amongst the most frequently cited ways well-being has been affected for both disabled (68%) and non-disabled people (64%) in September 2020; however, disabled people were less optimistic about the future than non-disabled people, with 1 in 10 (11%) of disabled people thinking life will never return to normal compared with only 1 in 20 (5%) of non-disabled people.
  • A larger proportion of disabled people (83%) than non-disabled people (77%) supported “strict” or “very strict” enforcement by police of government rules aimed at combatting the coronavirus such as social distancing; disabled people were less likely to socialise within large groups than non-disabled people; only 5% of disabled people mixed with groups exceeding five (from outside their household), compared with 9% of non-disabled people.

Outcomes for disabled people in the UK, 2020

On 18 February 2020, ONS published a release exploring the disparities faced by disabled people across different aspects of life: education, employment, social participation, housing, well-being, loneliness and crime.

Main points

  • 23.0% of disabled people aged 21 to 64 years in the UK had a degree as their highest qualification compared with 39.7% of non-disabled people; 15.1% of disabled people had no qualifications compared with 5.4% of non-disabled people (year ending June 2020).
  • Around half of disabled people aged 16 to 64 years (52.1%) in the UK were in employment compared with around 8 in 10 (81.3%) for non-disabled people (July to September 2020); disabled people with autism were among those disabled people with the lowest employment rate.
  • Disabled people aged 16 to 64 years in the UK were less likely to own their own home (40.9%) than non-disabled people (53.4%), and more likely to have rented social housing (at 24.9% compared with 7.8%) (year ending June 2020).
  • Disabled people’s (aged 16 to 64 years) average well-being ratings in the UK were poorer than those for non-disabled people for happiness, worthwhile and life satisfaction measures; average anxiety levels were higher for disabled people at 4.47 out of 10, compared with 2.91 out of 10 for non-disabled people (year ending June 2020).
  • Around 1 in 7 (14.3%) disabled people aged 16 to 59 years in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse in the last 12 months, compared with about 1 in 20 (5.1%) non-disabled people; disabled women (17.5%) were more than twice as likely to experience domestic abuse in the last year than non-disabled women (6.7%) (year ending March 2020).

Public Health Wales (PHW)

COVID-19 related deaths in Wales amongst people with learning disabilities

Public Health Wales published a paper in September 2020 which looked at COVID-19-related deaths in Wales amongst a subset of people with learning disabilities and considered whether there is evidence of a disproportionately high number of deaths in this group.

Using information routinely collected by NHS Wales on the diagnoses people receive as inpatients, PHW identified approximately 15,000 people with a learning disability who were either resident in Wales or registered with a Welsh GP on the 29th February 2020. Those identified were likely to be individuals with relatively severe learning disabilities and those with relatively poor physical health statuses.

According to death registration data, at least 31 of these people had died from COVID-19 between 1st March and 26th May 2020.

Comparison with deaths amongst all Welsh residents, suggests that the age-standardised rate of deaths involving COVID-19 is around 3x to 8x higher in this cohort than the population as a whole.

Despite this, the proportion of deaths in this cohort involving COVID-19 remains similar to that in the population as a whole. This is because this cohort has a persistently higher mortality rate from causes other than COVID-19.

Intensive Care Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC)

ICNARC reports on COVID-19 in Critical Care (12 February 2021)

The Intensive Care Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC) has been reporting weekly on cases in critical care units in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The latest report includes data reported up to 11 February 2021.

The weekly reports include data on patients’ “dependency prior to admission to acute hospital” which is assessed as the best description for the dependency of the patient in the two weeks prior to admission to acute hospital and prior to the onset of the acute illness, i.e. “usual” dependency. It is assessed according to the amount of personal assistance they receive with daily activities (bathing, dressing, going to the toilet, moving in/out of bed/chair, continence and eating).

The latest report for England, Wales and Northern Ireland shows that 11.1% of patients admitted since 1 September 2020 needed some assistance with daily activities prior to admission and 0.3% of patients needed total assistance with daily activities. This was broadly comparable with the equivalent proportions of patients admitted up to 31 August 2020 (10.3% and 0.4% respectively).

However, the latest report detailing data just for Wales shows a higher proportion of patients admitted since 1 September 2020 needed some assistance with daily activities prior to admission (14.6%). This was higher than the equivalent proportion of patients in Wales admitted up to 31 August 2020 in Wales (10.9%).

Notes on the use of statistical articles

Statistical articles generally relate to one-off analyses for which there are no updates planned, at least in the short-term, and serve to make such analyses available to a wider audience than might otherwise be the case. They are mainly used to publish analyses that are exploratory in some way, for example:

  • introducing a new experimental series of data
  • a partial analysis of an issue which provides a useful starting point for further research but that nevertheless is a useful analysis in its own right
  • drawing attention to research undertaken by other organisations, either commissioned by the Welsh Government or otherwise, where it is useful to highlight the conclusions, or to build further upon the research
  • an analysis where the results may not be of as high quality as those in our routine statistical releases and bulletins, but where meaningful conclusions can still be drawn from the results

Where quality is an issue, this may arise in one or more of the following ways:

  • being unable to accurately specify the timeframe used (as can be the case when using an administrative source)
  • the quality of the data source or data used
  • other specified reasons

However, the level of quality will be such that it does not significantly impact upon the conclusions. For example, the exact timeframe may not be central to the conclusions that can be drawn, or it is the order of magnitude of the results, rather than the exact results, that are of interest to the audience.

The analysis presented does not constitute a National Statistic, but may be based on National Statistics outputs and will nevertheless have been subject to careful consideration and detailed checking before publication. An assessment of the strengths and weaknesses in the analysis will be included in the article, for example comparisons with other sources, along with guidance on how the analysis might be used, and a description of the methodology applied.

Articles are subject to the release practices as defined by the release practices protocol, and so, for example, are published on a pre‑announced date in the same way as other statistical outputs.

Contact details

Scott Clifford
Telephone: 0300 025 3234
Email: stats.inclusion@gov.wales

Media
Telephone: 0300 025 8099

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