Assessor Asked Suicidal ESA Claimant For Details Of How They Would Act On Their Feelings

Isle Of Wight Disabled People Against Cuts

12 hours ago

Testimony from my friend who accompanied a disabled man to his work capability assessment on the Isle Of Wight earlier today.

This morning, I supported a friend through their Work Capability Assessment – the exam the government use to test your eligibility for certain benefits. Its taken me about 3 hours to be unemotional enough to write this post.

I witnessed a 50+ year old wheel chair user, in tears in the waiting room post-assesment. He told me, through his tears, that he had noone to take him to the appontment and had desperately rang round friends this morning and luckily 1 had been able to help him. He told me how his financial support had stopped without warning last year. He spoke of how confused he is trying to navigate the new systems, how exhauating it all is and how he has struggled to access help. He doesnt understand the internet. Through tears.

I cannot put into words how awful it was. Grown man, proud man, his struggles not his fault, dignity in tatters. How stressed and frightened he must have been this morning, snow, no help, illness/wheelchair, exhauation FEAR. How reluctant he was to cry in front of a stranger, how desperately he tried to hold it in. But he couldn’t.

I spoke to another man who told me he had beem suffering with mental illness following historic child abuse. Fear in his eyes, worrying how hes going to keep his house now hes too ill to work and he has to convince the government he’s not on the make. I wont tell you anymore details to protect identity, but it was clear to me that he has worked hard all his life and was clearly struggling with circumstance beyond his control.

Some of the questions during the interview for my own friend, who also suffers with mental health problems, were excruciating, and imo, potentially dangerous. To ask a suicidal person for great detail about how they would kill themselves seems cruel, unneccesary and wreckless.

Listen, i know there are a (very small) section of individuals who will exploit our system. This makes me as angry as it does you. But what makes me angrier, is a government who implement a system that villifys good, decent people, has them stiped of dignity and living in fear.

Im going to resist the urge to accompany this post with a graph detailing the difference claimed fraudulently from welfare state compared to the billions avoided in tax by coorporations every year. Im too upset to be that clinical about it.

Conscientious cruelty.


Tory welfare cuts ‘£3bn deeper than expected’

New figures reveal the freeze on working age benefits will erode household incomes much more deeply than originally forecast.

New figures have revealed the UK government’s benefits freeze will include an additional £3billion cut over the next three years.

Figures from the House of Commons Library based on the Chancellor’s Spring Statement show that because of high inflation, the Tory’s benefit freeze will be cutting an additional £3billion more from claimants between 2018/19 and 2020/21 than the Government had envisaged in 2015.

SNP Social Justice spokesperson Neil Gray MP said the Benefit Freeze has been one of the most punishing of the UK government’s policies enacted over the past two years – freezing most working-age benefits including Housing Benefit, Child Benefit, Universal Credit and Tax Credits – for four years from April 2016.

The MP for Airdrie and Shotts has marked the two year anniversary of the passage of the Welfare Reform and Work Act – describing it as “one of most shameful acts of the last Parliament.”

Commenting, Neil Gray MP said: “The Tories’ benefit freeze has hit the poorest and most vulnerable in society and yet these new figures reveal they will now have to bear the brunt of a further £3 billion of additional cuts.

“The Welfare Reform and Work Act has implemented punitive cuts to social security in the guise of welfare ‘reform’.

“A long list of social security cuts were introduced – the Benefit Cap, the Benefit Freeze, the two child cap on Child Tax Credits, and the cut to Employment Support Allowance, among others.

“Two years later we are now starting to see the full impact of these policies. And now this will be massively amplified by the rise in inflation, which has risen steadily from 0.5% in June 2016 to a current 3%.

“Labour talk the talk on welfare cuts, but couldn’t bring themselves to walk the walk through the lobbies to vote against this legislation at its Second Reading in the Commons back in 2015.

“They are also staying conveniently silent on the impact their own approach to Brexit will have on the cost of living, which erodes by a huge proportion the incomes of benefit recipients.

“This may explain why they forgot to refer to the Benefit Freeze in their 2017 manifesto.

“The Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 exemplifies the very worst of this Tory Government’s total callousness. The SNP want to highlight that on the two year anniversary of this Act having become law, it has left misery and devastation in its wake.

“We have challenged and condemned these Tory cuts from the very beginning, but the Tories refused to believe us when we said these policies would push people into complete crisis.

“Two years on they can no longer refuse to ignore the evidence.

“The Tories urgently need to reverse these cuts and restore dignity and support to social security.” LIKE THAT’S GONNA HAPPEN


Rapid rise in mortality in England and Wales in early 2018 – an investigation is needed

Image result for images of cemeteriesIn the first seven weeks of 2018, over 10,000 (12.4%) more people died in England and Wales than was usual for the time of year. No official explanation from government health officials for this sharp rise in mortality has been forthcoming.

It became crystal clear in early 2018 that the health and social care system was not coping with the demands being placed upon it. On January 2, in an unprecedented step by the NHS, thousands of non-urgent operations were cancelled. Many hospitals were already at, or beyond, their safe working levels, even though the weather was warmerthan normal so any surge in demand was not due to unusually cold conditions. Another suggestion has been that the main reason for there being so much demand was a rise in influenza.

Our analysis of the first available data finds that flu only accounted for a very small part of the overall rise in mortality in early 2018. The past five years have been extremely challenging in terms of health outcomes and what is happening in 2018 is likely to be a continuation of many of these challenges. For instance, year-on-year spending on health and social care has increased at a much slower rate than in previous years.

Listen to The Conversation’s In Depth Out Loud podcast episode: Why life expectancy in Britain has fallen so much that a million years of life could disappear by 2058 

ListenWhy life expectancy in Britain has fallen so much that a million years of life could disappear by 2058 – podcast

A huge number of measures of the nation’s health have deteriorated, including a very rapid and largely unreported recent increase in the numbers of deaths among mental health patients in care in England and Wales. This is just one of many factors that have to be taken into account. Many waiting-time and NHS response targets are now not being met due to a lack of resources.

So, if neither a particularly heavy flu season nor very cold weather can explain the continued rise in mortality, what can? One answer might be the government’s austerity measures. Research has demonstrated that cuts to the welfare payments of elderly people and disability benefits have had statistically significant effects on the rise in mortality in recent years.

Falling life expectancy

Shortly before Christmas, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reduced its projections of life expectancy for all people in the UK, rising less rapidly in future resulting in almost a year of life lost by 2041. In many areas of the country, and for poorer groups, life expectancy was already falling before 2018.

It is not just the elderly who are especially harmed. The infant mortality rates for the poorest families in the UK have risen significantly since 2011. In 1990, the UK ranked seventh best in Europe by neonatal mortality rate. Only six countries had better outcomes. By 2015, it ranked 19th.

On March 1, 2018, ONS announced that there had been “noticeable fallsin female life expectancy at birth in the 20% most deprived populations in England”. And it’s not just the poor who are affected. The rise in life expectancy for better-off groups of men and women had abruptly slowed compared with the 1890-2010 norm.

People can’t even afford a decent burial

We had been using the rising profits of undertakers to measure how unusual the rises in mortality were. However, we can no longer do that. Alongside the most recent increase in deaths, there has very recently been an abrupt shift towards booking the lowest cost funerals. The UK’s second-largest undertaker lost more than half its market value in the first few weeks of 2018.

In contrast, the operating profits of some private pensions firms have risen by almost a third in recent years, as it becomes clear that fewer people are living as long, and hence will not receive as many years of pension payments in future.

The slowdown in life expectancy for the average person in Britain is worse than anything seen since the early 1890s, and no other country in Europe has experienced as rapid a slowdown as the UK. In the UK, it is the poorest groups that have suffered the most harm, both to their health and their income since 2010, when austerity policies were first enacted.

On March 7, 2018, ONS released figures revealing that a man living in one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Blackpool, a deprived area in the northwest of England, can now expect to enjoy 32 fewer years of life in good health, compared with a man living in wealthy London boroughs, such as Knightsbridge and Belgravia.

This gap will now be growing in size as the poorest groups and areas have suffered more. And the gap for women has become even wider than for men, at 35 years between what can now be expected for women living in the poorer parts of Middlesbrough, compared with women living in some of the most affluent neighbourhoods of the Home Counties.

These recent trends are not due to any worsening in the health-related behaviour of people in England and Wales: there has not been a sudden rise in obesity among elderly people. And smoking-related diseases have plummeted since the ban on smoking in public places in 2007.

The number of Britons who smoke is at its lowest level today with fewer than one in six adults now smoking. The ill effects of smoking aren’t immediate. They can take decades to play out, but smoking rates have also been declining for decades. Similarly, the proportion of adults who drink alcohol in the UK is also at its lowest level since statistics were first collected in 2005.

And on top of all these points it is very important to remember that a basic understanding of demography shows that an ageing population doesn’t explain the sharp rise in premature deaths.

Urgent need for response

We and others have already called for an urgent investigation by the Health Select Committee of the House of Commons into mortality trends since 2010. The case for an investigation becomes stronger and more urgent with each passing week.

Sadly, the Department of Health and Social Care seems determined to ignore the warnings. The Department’s routine response to reports such as this is usually vague and dismissive. At best, they say “it’s complex”. We need a more robust response than that.


Furious daughter hands over mother’s ashes to benefits assessor to prove she isn’t fit to work!

This article reminds me of my husband’s best friend who was hounded by ATOS – from his hospital bed, he never left the hospital.

see what happened to my husband’s best friend here

Furious daughter handed over mother’s ashes to benefits doctor to prove she isn’t fit to work
Hatti Broxton, 28, told the Department for Work and Pensions her dinner lady mum Louise had died in 2017 but bungling bosses still sent a doctor to assess if she was ‘fit to work’

 Hatti Broxton gave the Department for Work and Pensions concrete proof her mum Louise was unable to work - her ashes

Hatti Broxton, 28, told the Department for Work and Pensions last August her dinner lady mum Louise had died of lung cancer aged 47. She gave the Department for Work and Pensions concrete proof her mum Louise was unable to work – her ashes

After initially saying the information had been placed on file they sent the doctor to assess if Louise was “fit to work”.

Fuming prison worker Hatti, of Wolverhampton, said last night :”His first words were ‘Hi, are you Louise?. “I was stunned and said I wasn’t but invited him in and said:’Hang on a minute I’ll go and get her’. “I walked over to the mantle piece in the lounge where we keep mum’s remains in an an urn decorated with a rose.

The benefits doctor was forced to apology after Hatti went to fetch her mum on his request and returned with an urn holding her ashes. “I handed it to him and said ‘This is the Louise Broxton you’ve come to see. She died in August like I told your office at the time.’

“The doctor’s face was a picture and he just said ‘Oh my God” and apologised profusely “I know it wasn’t his fault but I told him I had gone through all the correct channels to report my mother’s passing and his visit was very upsetting. “He admitted he hadn’t even been through mum’s medical records which would have said quite clearly at the end – deceased.

 After Hatti informed the DWP her mum had died of lung cancer, she received this letter notifying the family of their assessment visit

“Ten minutes after the doctor left I got a frantic call from the DWP office to say they had made a mistake and they wanted to hold their hands up and sincerely apologise.”
After Hatti informed the DWP her mum had died of lung cancer, she received a letter notifying the family of their assessment visit


Thought for Today: [How deluded is this MP?]

[Seriously] Heather Wheeler the Homelessness minister doesn’t know why rough sleeper numbers are up and says she does not believe welfare reform and council cuts are factors,

So what exactly has caused homeless numbers to soar, if not welfare reform and council cuts?

In a recent interview, the Guardian spoke to Jon Sparkes, chief executive of the homelessness charity Crisis, who sits on Wheeler’s new rough sleeping advisory group for England. He expressed his frustration at the Westminster government’s failure to recognise the influence of welfare reforms – such as the housing benefit freeze, the household benefit cap and the universal credit rollout – on homelessness.

The Tories just admitted they don’t know why homelessness is rising. Here’s a reminder


Thought for Today

If austerity is killing people – why are people still supporting the Tories?

Austerity has caused a 12.4% increase in deaths

Researchers say that austerity policies may be partly responsible for 10,000 excess deaths so far in 2018. The BMJ published a research paper called Rise in mortality in England and Wales in first seven weeks of 2018based on data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In the paper, Lucinda Hiam and Danny Dorling claim:

Within the first seven weeks of 2018, some 93 990 people died in England and Wales. Over the same weeks in the previous five years, an average of 83 615 people died. This rise of 12.4%, or 10 375 additional deaths, was not due to the ageing of the population. Ageing is a slow process and leads to slow, not sudden, rises in mortality. An additional person died every seven minutes during the first 49 days of 2018 compared with what had been usual in the previous five years. Why?

The research states reasons that haven’t caused the increase in excess deaths. It says that deaths resulting from flu were not “unusually high”, and the weather had been unusually mild. The paper alludes to NHS cuts and other government decisions that may have had an impact on the higher mortality rate. An urgent investigation is needed.


Thought for Today…Who’s the biggest drain on the taxpayer?



When travelling Prince Charles takes

His own:

  • Orthopaedic bed and own linen with him on trips. Many people have to “make their bed” on the street!
  • A butler, two valets, chef, private secretary, typist and bodyguards
  • A truck carrying suitcases, furniture and food.
  • he spent £20,980 for a day trip by plane from Scotland to Lincolnshire to watch William receive his RAF wings.
  • Complains about being stuck for cash!!!! Even though there’s no benefit sanctions for him
  • When invited to a meal: the host would be informed in advance that an aide would be delivering a bag containing the Prince’s food.
  • His demands are constant, which means an assistant has to be on call in Charles’s office until he falls sleep.
  •  A member of staff who carries the royal cushion for him. WHAT THE ****
  • Meanwhile Camilla is addicted to luxury – whenever she’s invited to a dinner party she sends a list of the foods she liked and disliked. No choice at the foodbanks though!
  • Workers to handpick slugs from leaves of plants at his gardens in Highgrove
  • Charles and Camilla once used the Royal train to visit a pub in Penrith at a cost of £19,000 Who on benefits can afford to go on a train?
  • Before a visit to one friend in North-East England, he sent his staff ahead a day early with a truck carrying furniture to replace the perfectly appropriate fittings in the guest rooms.
  • His staff had also made sure to pack a small radio, Charles’s own lavatory seat, rolls of Kleenex Premium Comfort lavatory paper, Laphroaig whisky and bottled water (for both bedrooms), plus two landscapes of the Scottish Highlands. No bedroom tax here then!
  • Delivery of his own food — organic, of course. His hosts decided, despite their enjoyment of his company, not to invite him again. No Foodbanks for him
  • For about six months of every year, the heir to the throne enjoyed a unique lifestyle in beautiful places, either in seclusion or with friends. You can’t have a holiday when on benefits.
  • All his aides were subject to familiar daily tirades.
  • For four months every year he lived in Scotland, where he expected people to visit him from London, usually at their own expense.
  • He flew to Greece to stay for three days, with 43 cases of luggage You can’t have a holiday when on benefits because when you come back you’ll be sanctioned!