… and still no word from the bald one.

Four days after the issue of the report giving details of the mortality statistics by DWP and still not a peep from Iain dunked in sh*t…

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/mortality-statistics-esa-ib-and-sda-claimants

or his boss CaMORON.

If either of them had a shred of decency in them, they would, at the very least have made a media statement expressing concern and take steps to launch an investigation into the deaths.

But no, both of them are lying low. Do they think that if they hide from view for a bit people will just forget about the fact that PEOPLE HAVE DIED AS A RESULT OF THEIR POLICIES!!! (sorry for shouting)

Maybe the tories think that there is nothing wrong with killing people and that it is just an acceptable consequence of welfare reform.

Of course the DWP say there can be no link to someone being found fit for work, when that person had previously been told by their GP and NHS Consultant that they were not and then dying a short time after.

Mike Sivier (the original requester for the statistics via FoI) says the figures supplied  by the DWP don’t seem to add up

http://wp.me/p4Sru1-3yW

Nick at the myLegal forum website (who regularly analyses the stats that DWP produce) has this to say. You can see more of Nicks excellent work here

http://ilegal.org.uk/thread/7258/serious-flaws-governments-statistics?page=23&scrollTo=22933

I am going through it with a fine tooth comb, absolutely loads of incorrect reporting on this. Full Facts are wrong.

The other thing to remember is this so called “welfare reform” has cost an inordinate amount of money (from the public purse)

most of the problems lie firmly within the DWP. The Department has outsourced this work since 1998 and in 2011-12 paid its contractor, Atos Healthcare, £112.4 million to carry out 738,000 assessments. (extract from link below)

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/public-accounts-committee/news/contract-management-of-medical-services/

I’ll leave you with this sobering thought from the Bishop of Manchester

To be precise 2013/4 figures show UK has about 52 murders victims a month. DWP figures show 80 “fit for work” deaths each month.

Posted in DWP | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Mens Rea, Actus Reus.

Now, I’m not being pretentious or anything, but some things just sound better in Latin and this is one of them.

Mens Rea, Actus reus, simply means guilty mind, guilty act.

We’ve all committed the Mens Rea at some point or another, you know, those thoughts you have about strangling your boss or stabbing Iain dunked in sh*t.

ids[1]

Of course most of us don’t strangle our boss or stab IDS – we don’t carry out the Actus Reus. The guilty act.

Sometimes you can also have the actus reus without the mens rea. If someone was trying to kill you for example and you killed them in self defence, well you’d certainly have carried out the actus reus but without the mens rea.

So what about IDS. Has he committed mens rea, actus reus.

Well there can be no doubt now, following the publication of the mortality statistics yesterday, that thousands of ill, disabled and vulnerable people have died as a result of his departments policies (although a DWP spokesperson has stated that there is no causal link – I’ll come back to that in a minute)

The link to the mortality statistics report is here  https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/mortality-statistics-esa-ib-and-sda-claimants

Even if IDS tried to say he wasn’t aware of what Atos/Maximus or the decision makers were doing when carrying out the work capability assessments or mandatory reconsiderations there’s a thing called vicarious liability. This is where the employer (IDS) can be held responsible for what his employees (DWP) or contractors (Atos/Maximus) have done on the grounds that he knew or ought to have known what they were doing.

Click on the link below for a case which illustrates vicarious liability.

http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKHL/2001/22.html

So it can be shown that IDS certainly had the mens rea, he after all signed off the policies that DWP and Atos/Maximus carried out and we know that he committed actus reus because the report bears that out.

So back to causal link – if there is a relationship between two things (fit for work decision and death of claimant) one thing (fit for work decision) is responsible for the other (death of claimant)

So to recap, IDS knew or ought to have known that finding somebody fit for work when they clearly were not, because they died soon after being found fit for work, makes him mens rea and he committed actus reus by not ensuring they were put in the correct group as regards their benefits. Much as he likes to do so, he cannot blame DWP employees or Atos/Maximus  because he is vicariously liable for their actions.

What next?

Well for a start, IDS MUST resign. If he won’t go willingly, then CaMORON must oust him from his post.

There should be a full public enquiry into the deaths and it must be done expediently.

If the enquiry proves that the government were at fault, then the families of the deceased should be allowed to sue the government and be allowed legal aid to do so.

Going forwards, if a GP or NHS consultant or specialist tells a person that they are not fit for work because of their health condition, that should be it. These doctors go to medical school for 4 – 5 years, do 2 years post graduate training in their specialism and then consolidate that for another couple of years.

Who would you be inclined to listen to, a Dr/Consultant with years of training and modern diagnostic tools at their fingertips or a Atos/Maximus “health care professional” who ticks boxes?

Out of interest, here’s a copy of the FoI request I sent to DWP asking them if DWP or their contractors find a person fit for work when a qualified Doctor has said they are not, why don’t the DWP prosecute the Doctor for fraud.

“Does the DWP have a procedure in place for taking any action
against the GP/NHS specialist of those claimants who were
originally told they were not fit for work who subsequently (as a
result of the work capability assessment) are found to be fit for
work. If such a procedure exists, please provide me with a public
print.”

This was the DWP response

“The DWP has no procedure for taking action against medical clinicians who have advised that a claimant is unfit for work where the claimant subsequently does not meet the criteria for Limited Capabililty for Work or Work Related Activity for Employment and Support Allowance. “

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A good day to bury bad news …?

Well, well lookie here … on the very same day that the DWP finally release the mortality statistics in respect of ESA, IB and SDA  ;

Iain Duncan Smith’s top special adviser has been awarded a peerage — on the same day that the DWP finally admitted that thousands of people have died shortly after being declared ‘fit for work’.

Philippa Stroud has been at IDS’ side for years and shares the blame for many of the Tories’ social policies. The department had fought for months to prevent release of the damning stats — at one point telling parliament that they didn’t exist:

“between December 2011 and February 2014, 2,380 people died after their Work Capability Assessment told them they should start looking for work.”

The publication of this information on the same day of the biggest on-diary political event of the summer — the dissolution peers list — is, of course, no coincidence.

This is surely the first time a department has buried bad news under an announcement including a peerage for one of their own SpAds.philippa stroud iain duncan smith

Not a word from the bald one yet … bearing in mind that the statistics were posted on the Gov.UK website at 9.30am this morning.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics?keywords=&topics%5B%5D=welfare&departments%5B%5D=department-for-work-pensions&from_date=26%2F08%2F15&to_date=

Other people however have had plenty to say:-

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jeremy-corbyn-says-iain-duncan-6332712

Even the Torygraph and BBC (normally staunch supporters of tory policies) reported on it;

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11828097/Thousands-of-benefit-claimants-died-after-being-declared-fit-for-work.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34074557

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/27/death-britains-benefits-system-fit-for-work-safety-net

2300 people died after being found FIT FOR WORK.

Think about that for a moment.

as Mike Sivier at Vox Political says;

The Department for Work and Pensions has admitted defeat in its attempt to hide the number of people who have died while claiming incapacity benefits since November 2011 – and has announced that the number who died between January that year and February 2014 is a shocking 91,740.

This represents an increase to an average of 99 deaths per day or 692 per week, between the start of December 2011 and the end of February 2014 – compared with 32 deaths per day/222 per week between January and November 2011.

The DWP has strenuously asserted that “any causal effect between benefits and mortality cannot be assumed from these statistics”.

It is correct to make this point.

The DWP has also claimed that “these isolated figures provide limited scope for analysis and nothing can be gained from this publication that would allow the reader to form any judgement as to the effects or impacts of the Work Capability Assessment”.

However, the increase in the frequency of these deaths is enough to raise questions about the way the incapacity benefit system is being run – questions that demand full, frank and immediate answers.

For example, the work-related activity group is composed entirely of people who are expected to recover from their illnesses and be well enough to return to work within a year. In that group, there should be no deaths at all – barring accidents. Why have nearly 10,000 people lost their lives after being assigned there?

Read more here   http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/08/27/known-number-of-deaths-while-claiming-incapacity-benefits-nears-100000/#comments

In the report published by the DWP today it is stated that 

DWP does not hold information on the reason for death, therefore no causal effect between the WCA decision and the number of people who died within a year of that decision should be assumed from these figures” (bolding mine)
That is rubbish, when someone dies the Registrar offers the Tell us once service; all government departments are notified DWP, HMRC Local Authority and so on.
A copy of the death certificate will be forwarded to DWP. The Registrar has had sight of the original and forwards scanned copies to the DWP.
All death certificates have to record the cause of death.
It’s only if the death is sudden or unusual will the death be referred to the Police/Coroner, but the end result is that following an inquest, a cause of death will be ascribed.

So IDS who is supposed to be a Christian, Catholic, Buddhist or whatever he bloody is this week, has not got the balls to make any comment to the media about this … Is that because he has lied about these figures and now his lies have caught up with him (ain’t Karma a bitch) Also, the DWP have spent vast amounts of taxpayers money on Lawyers and specialist Barristers in attempting to stop these figures being released after being told to do so by the Information Commissioners Office.

Special mention must be made to Mike Sivier who made the original request for these statistics over 2 years ago and has already been to one tribunal hearing to try and get the details released, all funded by himself I might add; no dipping in to the public purse for him!

Finally, I’d just like to point out (although I’m sure you know) that behind the figure of deaths is a person, a real person, who because of illness or disease had to rely on the state who punished them for being ill and diseased. It could have been any one of us.

Posted in DWP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The brutality of the bedroom tax

Reposted from The Mirror on line

Tomlinson/Sunday MirrorRob being washed in a paddling pool, in the living room
Stripped of dignity: Rob is bathed in a paddling pool in the living room

This shocking picture exposes the brutal reality of David Cameron’s Bedroom Tax – a severely disabled man forced to bathe in a paddling pool in his living room.

The Sunday People is today publishing the photograph at the request of the family of Rob Tomlinson after he was driven out of his specially adapted home by the hated Tory tax.

For years Rob, 48, happily used a purpose-built walk-in shower at a four-bedroom house specially converted for him and his caring ­relatives by the local council.

But after Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith imposed the Bedroom Tax, Rob’s family fell into debt as they struggled to pay the cost of being penalised for two spare rooms.

They were forced to move and ended up in a privately rented ­bungalow with no ­bathroom facilities for the severely disabled.

Tomlinson/Sunday MirrorGary's brother Rob, in 1997
Old home: Rob was happy in his original house

There, Rob had to regularly endure the humiliation of being washed in a paddling pool in scenes reminiscent of the Third World rather than one of the richest nations on the planet.

His devoted brother Gary, 47, who with his partner Joan are Rob’s full-time carers, said: “We had to fill the pool with a hosepipe. Then I would have to lift Rob in. I would use buckets to wash him.

“It was easier when I was younger. As I got older it was hard work.

“This is a disabled man. There was no dignity in it for him or us.

Julian Hamilton/Sunday MirrorGary and Joan are pictured outside their bungalow, in Southport Lancashire
Carers: Gary and Joan outside their Southport bungalow

“The Bedroom Tax is unfair. There are thousands of disabled people who have suffered because of it.

“But all Iain Duncan Smith does is sit in Parliament, smug and laughing and claiming his expenses.”

And in a final insult, their old home is now occupied by an elderly couple who are exempt from the tax while Rob and his family have been forced to move THREE times.

Rob suffers from cerebral palsy, epilepsy, double incontinence and has a mental age of four.

Julian Hamilton/Sunday MirrorGary and Joan in the tiny converted bedroom in their bungalow, in Southport Lancashire, were Rob now sleeps
Cramped: Rob now sleeps in this tiny converted bedroom

He lived in his family’s four-bedroom home for 24 years and the local council spent £70,000 adapting it.

Since the death of his mum Betty aged just 49 from cancer in 1995, Rob has been cared for by Gary and Joan. Each had a daughter from previous relationships who also lived in the house in Bootle, Merseyside.

In 2000 the council built an ­extension, providing a fourth bedroom, a shower room, an extended kitchen, overhead hoists and ceiling straps, plus patio door access to the garden.

Gary said: “It was ­fantastic. They built the house around Rob – everything he could have needed.”

Tomlinson/Sunday MirrorRob in the tiny bedroom of Gary's bungalow home in Southport
Hardship: Rob in the tiny new bedroom

When the couple’s girls grew older they moved out.

Then in early 2013 Gary and Joan ­received a letter from their housing ­association, One Vision.

It revealed that the tax – a cut in housing benefit for council and housing association tenants if they are deemed to have spare bedrooms – was being introduced and their property was “under-occupied” by two bedrooms.

Gary said: “At first I thought it wouldn’t affect us because the house had been specially built for Rob’s needs. Plus where else could they put us that was suitable?”

Julian Hamilton/Sunday MirrorGary Tomlinson's old specially converted semi-detached home
Customised: Gary Tomlinson’s old home in Bootle was given a £70k conversion for Rob’s needs

They filled in forms asking for “discretionary measures for people with special requirements” but were shocked when they were turned down.

Gary said: “We were told we would have to pay £24.60 a week. We didn’t need four bedrooms but we did need something suitable for Rob. But we were told, that doesn’t matter, you still have to pay.”

They were told One Vision didn’t have a suitable adapted property.

The couple then received a “notice to seek intention to evict” as they were in arrears of over £300 because of the tax.

Tomlinson/Sunday MirrorGary's brother Rob, in 1987, with their mum, Betty Tomlinson
Family: Rob in 1987 with his mum Betty Tomlinson

Joan said: “It scared the life out of us. We started looking at the private sector but the problem there is that in private properties we couldn’t make the changes needed for Rob.”

They moved to a private bungalow in Southport, Merseyside, in December 2013 but Rob was hit with pneumonia.

Two days after he was well enough to leave hospital, the bungalow owner died and her children decided to sell.

In March last year Rob’s family moved to yet another place but this didn’t have a suitable bathroom and they had to use the paddling pool.

GettyIain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Regime: Rob had to move because of Iain Duncan Smith’s hated bedroom tax

Last September NHS staff came to assess Rob after Gary applied for CHC (continuing health care) funding. He said: “This is meant to transfer Rob’s care from social services to the NHS and he ticked every box.

“But they told us we had to stop ­lifting him because if there was an ­accident we would be liable.

“After that we had to give him bed baths. It was pretty awful. He started getting bed sores.”

GettyBritish Prime minister David Cameron
Austerity: Rob is suffering under the cuts imposed by David Cameron’s government

In desperation the family turned to their local MP John Pugh.

Mr Pugh told One Vision: “It is clear that Robert has not only lost his quality of life but also the basic human right of a decent home.”

In March this year they got a new bungalow with a suitable bathroom. But Rob’s bedroom is tiny and he has hardly any view.

As a result of the NHS assessment, Rob will get home nursing care several times a week.

GettyJohn Pugh, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Southport
Concern: Southport MP John Pugh says Rob was stripped of a basic human right

But Gary said: “It has taken two years of misery to get to this point.

“To make it worse, a few months ­after we left our adapted house we were told we shouldn’t have had to go. Rob did meet the criteria to stay where he was.

“We’ve since found out an old couple have moved into the house and they’re only using one bedroom.

“If you’re over 65 you are exempt from the tax. It’s not their fault, but it shows how wrong it is.”

Julian Hamilton/Sunday MirrorRelocation: Gary and Joan's bungalow in Southport
Relocation: Gary and Joan’s bungalow in Southport

One Vision said: “In a bid to reduce the impact of welfare reform we have increased our benefits advice.”

A spokesman for Sefton Council, which oversees Bootle, said: “We cannot comment on any individual case.”

A DWP spokesman said: “We have provided nearly £500million to local councils to support vulnerable people through the changes.

“They can make discretionary payments for people to stay in their accommodation.”

Posted in bedroom tax | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

#DWP calls grieving mum and demand to know where her son is – day after he is buried | DWPExamination.

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Labour leadership elections 2015

GB - WIN_20150619_165411

Please note, that I am in NO WAY telling you who you should vote for, if indeed you are voting, which I hope you are; this is just my opinion, for what it’s worth!

As a fully paid up, card carrying member of the Labour Party, I received my ballot paper to vote for the Labour Leader and the Deputy Leader.

As you can probably guess (if you read my blog), my number 1 candidate for Labour leader was already sewn up!

https://glynismillward189.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/croeso-i-corbyn/

However, in the interest of fairness, I decided to read the other candidates “mission statement” in the booklet that accompanied my ballot papers.

Andy Burnham made no mention of the tory austerity programme affecting millions of UK citizens. Cheerio Andy

Yvette Cooper said “it’s not enough to be angry at the world …” (little dig at Jeremy Corbyn there methinks – I don’t like it when one candidate is disparaging of another) ‘Bye Yvette

Liz Kendall said “I’m standing to be Labours first woman leader ….” she went on to say other things too, but I stopped reading after that first sentence. I have nothing against women, I’m one after all! I just don’t agree with some women using their gender as a reason why you should vote for them. People should be judged on their own merit and not whether they’re a man or a woman! So long Liz.

So I voted for Jeremy Corbyn for leader because he said “… I voted against the Welfare Bill and as leader, I would campaign alongside you for a movement against the pain inflicted on all our communities by this government” … and that is why I voted for him.

I voted for Tom Watson as deputy, on account of his stance on the Data Retention & Investigatory Powers (DRIP) bill

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/22/drip-surveillance-law-legal-challenge-civil-liberties-campaigners

… the hacking scandal;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-14043436

and the child abuse enquiry:-

http://www.tom-watson.co.uk/2014/09/the-child-abuse-inquiry/

So I have chosen two candidates, who as far as I am concerned are credible, compassionate and genuine.

Posted in Labour leadership election 2015 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Atos nurse ‘lied’ about PIP claimant attending assessment alone

Reposted from Disability News Service

An Atos sign

A nurse working for the controversial outsourcing company Atos Healthcare repeatedly lied about a disabled man he was assessing for the government’s new disability benefit, it has been claimed.

The Atos assessor stated in his report that claimant Colin Stupples-Whyley had attended the personal independence payment (PIP) assessment alone, even though his partner David* had sat with him throughout the interview.

The couple, who arrived by car, had been accompanied by a friend, who stayed in the waiting-room, but the nurse claimed that Stupples-Whyley had travelled alone to the assessment in Barking on 5 June by public transport.

The allegations raise fresh concerns about the decision of work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith to award two lucrative PIP assessment contracts to Atos, when the company had already been heavily and repeatedly criticised for its performance in delivering “fitness for work” assessments.

Atos was allowed to pull out of that contract early after activists pointed to links between the way it carried out the assessments, and relapses, episodes of self-harm, and even premature deaths among those being assessed.

But its performance on the two PIP assessment contracts in the two years since the new benefit was launched has plunged Atos back into controversy.

Only last month, Disability News Service (DNS) reported how the proportion of disabled people stuck in the queue to be assessed for PIP was more than five times higher in parts of the country managed by Atos, compared with those in areas managed by rival outsourcing giant Capita.

Stupples-Whyley, from Grays, Essex, has been able to prove that he was not alone at his PIP assessment by obtaining a copy of part of the Atos signing-in book under data protection legislation. The page shows his signature, as well as those of David and their friend.

Stupples-Whyley has agoraphobia, general anxiety disorder, depression, fibromyalgia, and diabetes, but he said the impact of these impairments on his day-to-day life was completely misrepresented by the assessor.

The report claims he was able to do sums and spell a word backwards, neither of which he said he was asked to do in the assessment.

He provided a long list of his diabetes symptoms, but the nurse simply wrote down “urinates a lot”.

He also had a panic attack during the assessment, but that was not mentioned in the nurse’s report.

Among other inaccuracies, the assessor stated in the report that a counsellor had diagnosed his mental health conditions, despite being told it was a psychiatrist.

Stupples-Whyley claims that the entire section of the form devoted to a physical examination supposedly carried out by the nurse was completely fabricated, as no such test took place.

The nurse repeatedly claims on the form that difficulties reported by Stupples-Whyley were “inconsistent” with the findings of his assessment.

As a result, he scored zero points on the test and was found ineligible for PIP, while the DWP confirmed that decision after he asked for it to be reconsidered.

Stupples-Whyley said the assessment was “very unpleasant” and that the nurse had become “very rude and disrespectful” after he learned that David was his civil partner.

He said: “The atmosphere was awful throughout and he was more interested in telling us why I wouldn’t get benefit. He would try and put words into my mouth, and he disputed anything I said.”

He added: “I went to the assessment very naive and trusting. I had asked to be seen first or last so that I didn’t have to wait in the waiting room with lots of people.

“When I arrived this had not happened, so I was already very anxious before we went in.

“I honestly thought I would have the assessment, they would obtain my medical records to verify what I had said, then they would or wouldn’t grant PIP payment.”

He now plans to insist that any future benefit assessment is recorded.

He said: “I have no trust in Atos or DWP at all now. I feel angry that lies have been told, I feel angry that DWP refused to even investigate Atos when I said the report was fraudulent.

“I feel hurt that the people I believed to be there to help people are in fact just a department that does everything in its power not to pay any money to claimants.

“I just never in a million years expected to be treated the way I have.”

Because of the experience, his psychiatrist has had to increase his mental health medication.

Stupples-Whyley said he had become “obsessed” with his PIP experience, which had left him determined to prove that he was not a liar.

He said he felt “huge relief” when he received the paperwork that proved all three of them had visited Atos Barking on the day of the assessment.

He said: “I have found the whole complaints process overwhelming. DWP take no responsibility and in a few days’ time it will be two months and still no response from anyone at Atos.

“The overall affect for me is that my world has just got even smaller, because now I do not trust government nor healthcare providers to have my best interests at heart, nor to act with honesty.”

He plans to appeal to a tribunal, and his MP, Jackie Doyle-Price, has written to Atos to request a fresh assessment.

Today (Thursday), two days after DNS contacted the company’s press office about his story, Stupples-Whyley was telephoned by Atos to inform him that his complaint was now being treated at the most serious level of internal inquiries.

He was told that he would be interviewed soon about his complaint, and was offered a reassessment.

An Atos spokeswoman only provided a comment on the condition that DNS did not name the nurse.

She said in the statement: “A complaint was received by us from Mr Stupples-Whyley a few weeks after his assessment. It has been thoroughly investigated and we have spoken to him directly.

“In the interests of fairness and transparency we have offered Mr Stupples-Whyley a reassessment.

“It is distressing for all concerned that Mr Stupples-Whyley is so unhappy about his assessment and we are sorry that this is the case. All complaints to us are taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.”

But she has refused to confirm that the investigation is ongoing, if any disciplinary action has been taken against the nurse, whether the nurse is still carrying out assessments for Atos, and whether Atos accepts that Stupples-Whyley did not attend the assessment alone.

*Not his real name

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