Resetting Services to Disabled Children


At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic many services for disabled children paused. When they restarted, services were often provided in a different way, usually online. Many families of disabled children have struggled to cope during the pandemic.

This research study aims to find out what impact the changes in services have had on children’s health and wellbeing. We want to find out which changes worked well, which changes were not supportive for families and disabled children, and why. We are working with families and professionals from the NHS, social care and education to show how services could be delivered better to provide high quality care to disabled children as the NHS is remodeled. We also want to define minimum acceptable, effective core health service provision for future emergencies and lockdowns.

The study is running from September 2021 to October 2022. It has several stages.

Mapping the evidence - We will review reports on the effects of changes to services in the UK and abroad, to bring all current evidence together. Click here to find out more.  

Changes in contacts with services - We will work with five areas across England to find out how services have changed and what impacts the changes have had on children’s health. To do this we will examine information on children’s contacts with NHS and social care before and during COVID-19. We will also interview children, parents and professionals about their experiences of changes to services. 

Impacts of changes -  We will bring all the information together to see what changes have been made, who they have worked well for, who they haven’t worked well for and why this might be. We will then use the summaries to develop a draft set of recommendations for how services for disabled children could be remodeled to provide high quality care for all.

Agreeing the way forward - There will be a national survey of parent-carers, young people and professionals to find out their views on the draft recommendations and agree key guidance for policy makers. ‌

Our website can be found at: 

Resetting Services to Disabled Children | Resetting Services to Disabled Children | Newcastle University (