AIM: To evaluate clinicians' perspectives on the impact of "lockdown" during the COVID-19 pandemic for children and young people with severe physical neurodisability and their families.
METHOD: Framework analysis of comments from families during a recent service review was used to code the themes discussed according to the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and interpreted into emergent themes to summarise the impact of lockdown (Stage 1). They were presented to a clinician focus group for discussion (consultants and physiotherapists working in a specialist motor disorders service, [Stage 2]).
RESULTS: Three overarching themes 'Uncertainty and Anxiety', 'Exacerbation of Existing Inequalities', and 'Care Provision: Reaction, Adaptation, and Innovation' summed up the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health and well-being in children and young people with neurodisability and their families. All themes were influenced by time.
INTERPRETATION: This study reflects clinician's perceptions of family experiences of the pandemic and lockdown. Significant impact is apparent in the entire UK population, but the complexity of care needs for children with physical neurodisability exacerbates this. Lobbying for government policy is vital to ensure that all children, and in particular those with significant health and social care needs, are protected and continue to access services. During the restoration and recovery phase of the pandemic there is a need for service re-configuration that utilises what we have learned and is adaptive to individual family circumstances.