A new national survey has launched aiming to collect information on the lived experiences of the 1.2 million families who are still shielding or living restricted lives due to Covid-19.

Led by Dr Jo Daniels, clinical psychologist at the University of Bath, with Dr Luca Bernardi, Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool, in collaboration with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vulnerable Groups to Pandemics, the survey will look at how a continuing vulnerability to Covid-19 affects mental health and political engagement and gain a better understanding of how the ongoing implications of Covid-19 compare with those of the general population.

Dr Daniels and her team conducted research over the course of the pandemic which showed that those who were shielding themselves or others experienced significantly higher levels of psychological distress in comparison to the general population. See study.

The work also builds on Dr Bernardi’s 2020 longitudinal study investigating how Covid-19 stressors are associated with mental distress and political engagement in the UK. See the APPG briefing.

The objective of this latest research is to provide data which will raise awareness and develop policy interventions to improve the care and provision received by immunocompromised people. The APPG VGP has previously published evidence of multiple and significant failures by Government in its handling of the pandemic for this group of families.

Dr Jo Daniels from the University of Bath specialising in clinical psychology said: "It is important that we continue our work to understand those who are clinically vulnerable and continue to shield from Covid-19; although many have continued their lives to post-pandemic, it is important to remember that there are 500,000 people who feel forgotten and left behind as they continue to shield in their homes.

"By doing this work we can begin to think about how best to support those who have been amongst the most affected by the pandemic and are continuing to live in very restricted ways."

The results will be published at a meeting in Parliament in November.