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Perhaps we’re jumping the gun with the headline but alarm bells tend to go off when you read that “people on sickness benefits will be required to have regular meetings with healthcare professionals to help them with their barriers to work”.
Everyone working on Employment and Support Allowance should already know what everyone receiving it knows – it’s more a bloodbath than a benefit.
This is down to the attitude of the healthcare professionals already working on it – the people who (and God forbid you should ever ask to see their qualifications) automatically sign 70 per cent of claimants as ‘fit for work’, whether they are or not, and tell most of the rest they need to be work-ready within a year.
The result? Mental breakdowns, depression and suicides; physical breakdowns, worsening of existing conditions, and premature deaths. By the thousand.
These are the people who ask claimants when amputated limbs are going to grow back, and who tell people with Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis that they’ll be fit for work within six months.
If you did (God forbid) ask them where they got their qualifications, it was probably the Teaching Hospital of Noddyland.
“People on sickness benefits will be required to have regular meetings with healthcare professionals to help them address their barriers to work – or face losing their benefits [italics mine] – in a two-year pilot scheme in central England which begins in November,” the DWP press release states.
Isn’t this what happened with people on Jobseekers’ Allowance? Suddenly they had to start fulfilling lots of pointless extra requirements or their benefits would be withdrawn? Part of that is a regular meeting in which – as far as we can ascertain – innocent people are harassed, threatened and abused by DWP employees who are themselves, it seems, millimetres away from nervous exhaustion brought on by the pressures of the job.
Claiming benefits, it seems, is now an endurance test: Who cracks (up) first?
Now, for 3,000 people in the work-related activity group for ESA in the Black Country, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Staffordshire and Shropshire, there’s no relief even if they have a nervous breakdown and have to claim ESA on mental health grounds.
“People involved in the pilot – who have all been assessed as being able to work at some point in the future – will have regular appointments with healthcare professionals as a condition of receiving their benefit, to focus on helping them move closer to being able to get a job.”
There you go – all judged as able to work in the future. Presumably Iain Duncan Smith has taken a look at their files, glanced into his crystal ball, and declared that he has a “belief” in their fitness to work. If any of these people are reading, please contact this blog if you have a progressive health condition that won’t ever improve.
Because the meeting is a condition of receiving benefit, anyone attending can expect to be treated abominably. This is not about helping you back to work, or even back to health; it’s about kicking you off-benefit and nothing further. The aim, as with JSA, is to cut claimant numbers and thereby cut spending.
“It’s really important we give people who are disabled or have a health condition the support they need to get into work if they are able,” said employment minister Esther McVey who knows nothing about this at all (despite having been minister for the disabled).
“Traditionally, this help has tended to be work-related, but this pilot will look at whether a more holistic approach is more successful in helping people to manage their conditions and so break down their barriers to work.”
The biggest barrier to a person with a disability getting work is the fact that the Conservative-led Coalition government has been closing down employment opportunities for them and removing incentives for employers to take them on.
The healthcare professionals will be provided by Ingeus UK – a welfare-to-work provider that has been involved in the Work Programme – you know, the time-wasting scheme in which jobseekers are taken off the unemployment statistics while they learn simple skills that, in fact, most of them already have.
The company’s website is very slick but contains no information about the number of doctors in its employ.
Oh, and guess what? The company is half-owned by Deloitte, one of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms that currently writes British tax law to make avoidance easy for the big corporates. How much tax has Ingeus paid lately?
“Everything we do is results driven”, the site declares.
One wonders what Ingeus will do when the casualties start piling up.
Linda Bruce said:
They really R trying 2 push us all over the edge
IDS needs stopping, keep up the good work mike. i to was bullied off JSA by the so called hit squad, was under sanction after sanction, was not getting paid anything off them anyway so i signed off…yeah they won. was making me Ill fighting them daily, not to mention the endless merry go round of that 0845 number costing a fortune. i made a claim for ESA supplied 3 months medical note, but that as ran out and gp reluctant to issue another one? so as it stands i have nill income, cant look for work, slowy running out of my savings.only 327 quid left. unsure what to do about next months bills. i have lost 4 stone, because of lack of food and constant worry anxiety. good luck all i wish you well, in the constant fight with the DWP.
my girlfriend has a disabled son she gets carers alowence for him she works 16 hours a week she can not earn anymore than £100 a week if she does the gouverment will strip her of her carers allownece , she is on the minium wage she was earning just under £100 a week then the gouverment put up the minimum wage to £6.31 an hour now her money is £101 a week so now she looses her careres allownece for an extra £4 a month she looses over £269 a month whers the justice in that this gouverment suck
Mike Sivier said:
I know exactly what you mean; I’m a carer myself. I’m hoping to find a way to get out of the trap someday but it is terribly, terribly difficult.
Reblogged this on kickingthecat.
Oh look, the CEO of Ingeus (what does that name even mean!!!) used to work at DWP… well, well, well, what are the chances of that happening?
Dean James Chief Executive Officer, Ingeus UK
With extensive experience in both the commercial and public sectors, Dean is responsible for driving Ingeus’s strategic growth objectives as well as overseeing the effective performance of our existing contracts in the UK.
Prior to joining Ingeus in June 2010, Dean was Chief Operating Officer for the Corporate IT Directorate of the Department for Work and Pensions, where he was instrumental in seeing through large-scale ICT reform.
He has held senior positions in business transformational outsourcing for Siemens and spent 20 years in the international oil and gas industry working in development, operations and on global business improvement.
Dean is a barrister and was recognised for his positive contribution to the community with a CBE for public and voluntary service in 2009.
Mike Sivier said:
He was chief operating officer for IT at the DWP? The same department where more than £150 MILLION worth of IT development on Universal Credit has had to be/is likely to be (depending on who you believe) written off as completely useless?
How do these pointless people get such high-flying jobs? He should be down the Job Centre being harassed by Mrs Shouty.
and this one used to work for Deloitte ….
James Kelly Director of Strategy and New Business, Ingeus
As Ingeus UK’s Director of Strategy and New Business, James is responsible for Ingeus’s business development strategy, and oversees the company’s relationship with employers.
James joined Ingeus from Deloitte’s consulting strategy practice where he worked with both public and private sector clients on corporate strategy and business transformation projects.
As well as working for a number of other leading professional services firms, James has previously held roles as a parliamentary research assistant and as a Government Affairs Manager for a leading professional services firm.
Mike Sivier said:
It’s that Westminster bubble, isn’t it? I’m not going to be as hard on this guy as the other goon, but going from a research job in Parliament to Deloitte (claws well into government) to a company half-owned by Deloitte… it’s all extremely incestuous, isn’t it? Not to mention nepotistic.
Is this why there’s a talent vacuum at the top of the British power structure?
I really am thinking conflict of interest here. I can feel an FoI to the DWP coming on…
Mike Sivier said:
Good luck with that. I’m expecting a letter from the Information Commissioner about my last FoI to the DWP, any day now.
Andrew Peacock said:
IVE GOT PROGRESSIVE MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS ! MY GRANDAD HAD IT AND MY MUMS GOT IT !BUT SOME ALEDGED EXPERT NUROLOGIST TOLD ME I COULDNT POSSIBLY HAVE MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS AS ITS NOT HERREDITARY ???????
Mike Sivier said:
Would this be an Atos expert, by any chance?
And are you in one of the pilot areas?
(Ye gods, these “experts” take the biscuit. He can’t have MS because “it isn’t hereditary”. Not only is that person wrong – it’s not strictly hereditary but having a close family member with it increases the chance of its occurrence – but the observation is irrelevant. If a person has MS, they’ve got MS!)
ghost whistler said:
This has to border on medical negligence. If these people are telling you this and you have an authentic diagnosis, then surely there has to be a question of liability.
Tommaz Jay said:
I have a theory,
Group Captain Banker-Snowt’n Trough MP, OBE, JP etc, etc is a bit pissed off as he is geting near as dam it nothing for his ill gotten wonger. Along comes a nice man from Canada to take charge of the old lady of London and declares, “I will not consider raising the interest rate untill the unemployment rate falls to 7%”. Suddenly people start to disappear from the unemployment register by the truck load at what ever the cost to their welfare and interst rates go though the roof and we wonder why !
Once proud to be a subject of Her Majesty’s land of the good and the free that now wollows in its own putrid excrement.
Mike Sivier said:
I got there a few weeks ago, when Osborne announced his indefinite Workfare plan at the Tory conference (if not even before that).
Eric Jarvis said:
It’s another lucrative contract for a generous party donor. You can do this with just about every policy this government come up with. Work out who gets the profitable contracts and then look up their connection to the Tory Party. That really is all that’s going on. All the rest is waffle to keep people talking about anything other than the simple corruption that underlies almost all government actions.
MsH (@Daisybeebee) said:
Omg, I don’t think I can cope with this on top of everything else. I’m in this pilot area and am now scared to death. Still waiting to hear back from ATOS re transfer from IB to ESA and am already not coping.
Mike Sivier said:
Okay, first thing to do is understand that you are not alone – some of us really ARE in this together!
You can get help on any number of subjects from some very good people on social media – I’m fond of Fightback and 4UP, which are both groups on Facebook, at the moment.
If you need to appeal against decisions, there is information on how to do that; if you’re running out of money, there is information on what you can do to make your situation easier.
Other people will have been in a similar position and have got past it – so can you.
Pilot area, IB stopped 10 weeks ago & no payment since. Apparently I’m healed of spinal damage & 3 degenerative conditions. Praise atos! Fit for work! Now can someone help me up & pass me my stick so I can do some imaginary backflips! At some point I should get some appeal rate pittance as they see fit, meanwhile I’m borrowing daily to feed myself & my son. If they actually sort out some kind of sense & reinstate my benefit before we starve, I’m now looking at regular ‘healing’s’ & this whole process hundreds more times ’til I can’t take anymore. Under threat of losing my home because of it all & under so much stress it’s making me 10 times more ill. Assessment report was deliberately phrased to mislead, with vital facts missing in it’s most accurate places but the majority was outright lies. Does no one else see the similarity to Hitler’s attitude towards the sick & disabled? This goverment is just making us starve to death or commit suicide to save money on rounding us up & gassing us. Who even cares with all the propaganda about what lying, lazy scum we all are with our fake illnesses & disabilities. At this point, for the first time ever, I am so truly ashamed of my country. We, as a people, elected this scum.
Thomas M said:
This government sometimes seems obsessed with hurting sick people, maybe because they can’t fight back . If they treated Jewish people or blacks or Asians as badly there would be a real ruckus and they’d be labelled anti-Semitic or racist. Yes, there is a little bit of fraud, but it’s only 0.7% or so. Not enough to demonize people and make it as hard as possible for them to get the basics that they need.
Mike Sivier said:
How interesting: Suddenly Deloitte is selling its stake in Ingeus: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24806973
Jonathan Wilson said:
Haha was just going to mention that
As per, Fester McVile (shes spooky and shes kooky, she’s terrible fester mcVile, doodly do, click click, doodly do, click click) is spinning it as “a good thing” when the fact is its running like mad away from the deal as its under-cut bids comming in next year mean its no longer going to provide massive profits and may even make a loss.
What is it with Fester McVile and lies? She’s obviously been taught at the same “universities” as Idiot Drunken Schmidt… or perhaps IDS has taught her personally how to lie in the face of facts.
Norma Roberts said:
I had an appointment with Ingeus in 2012 when I was in the WRAG, they are useless! I suffer with agoraphobia, the lady psychologist who was supposed to help me “manage my condition” (?!) said to me “people with agoraphobia need to try and get out more”!!!!!!! I do not know how I managed to keep a straight face! I am not a violent person, but I really wanted to hit her!
Another member of staff told me that he empathised with me as he had had agoraphobia, and he thought that everyone on the bus was talking about him, to which I replied” that’s not agorophobia that’s being paranoid! If you are going to pretend to care at least do some research on the condition.”
The final insult was a young lady who told me she was going to help me “manage the pain” I have in my spine due to arthritis. I told her that I took the max dose of tramadol every day, nsaids and muscle relaxants. I also do exercises, have heat treatment and massage and I am still in pain everyday ,so, what exatly was she going to do?! She just stared at me!
I am still in the WRAG. If I have to go see this bunch again you may have to add depression to my problems!
It doesn’t really matter what company they chose or how many doctors they employ – they found the perfect way to “prove” that nobody is really too ill to work. See my July’s post: wp.me/p3kXkS-5Q
Mike Sivier said:
I think that’s exactly the Catch-22 that the article discusses. I’m interested that you knew about this back in July, though.
There was a press release (the link is in my post).
What makes me wonder is why the pilot scheme is so long – it’s nearly three years. The UC pilot scheme, even though so much more complicated and important was much shorter.
Joe Smith said:
This Government has very definite Fascist views, lots of policy is so familiar with what happened in Germany from the 1920s to the 1930 s I’m becoming convinced that Ian Duncan Smith Cameron and a few others studied Hitlers book entitled “what you can get away with if the lies are big enough”. So the sly devious coalition ones create divisions, with adverse publicity labelling all benefits claimants as scrounges or fraudsters, give a few pounds to those who don’t need it. And lots of money to organisations who will support / administer / control / manage / the policy by the award of lucrative contracts. At the same time this bunch of Fascist schemers give the masses added worries with increasing fuel / food / transport / energy costs so that our attention is focussed. At the same time Bankers arnt doing time and in the main suffered only minor changes to their flawed (corrupt ? ) operating methods. So like Germany we now have a divided society with sections of it clearly labeled, we now have petty officials in job centres and DWP being awarded immense power to decide an individual’s life and future minus any real accountability, because the complaints system is controlled by the same Fascist B…..Ds. So what’s left? In my view only the judicial system. We’ve got to do one of them for culpable manslaughter and make it stick.
Mike Sivier said:
Culpable just means “guilty of”. Don’t you mean “corporate manslaughter”?
There is a legal term “culpable homicide” hich actually just means “manslaughter” I think.
I have both Autism and Learning disabilities, as well as OSD (spinal dysprashism), clinical depression, social anxiety, anxiety and attacks. I have 24 hour care
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jacquie hardie said:
i have really bad broncho asthma, deafness wear c.i still getting used to them, have suffered anxiety for 4 years now my dildo of a husband left me 3 months ago so had to claim esa and have depression due to seperation too have been getting medical certs from doctors with only anxiety on the certificate they argue with me the gps what hope do i have waiting for my atos appt any day and yes the bloody stress of it makes my asthma worse – jeezus i do want to work have worked most of my life – just praying praying thats all i can do good luck to everyone having to deal with this atrocity !
Graham Cooke (@CHUGGERMASTER) said:
I always thought Assisted euthanasia was illegal in this country but ‘ConDem’ (ooh the irony) Ingeus and Atos get away with it every day!
Maria Muller said:
based on this – which is well…..just quackery http://internationalgreensocialist.wordpress.com/illness-as-deviance-work-as-glittering-salvation-and-the-psyching-up-of-the-medical-model-strategies-for-getting-the-sick-back-to-work/
Robert Livingstone said:
“Deloitte, which owns 50% of the Deloitte Ingeus company, donated in kind over £27,000 to the office of Christopher Graylings in October 2009, whilst he was Shadow Secretary of State for DWP.”
Jon Jones said:
Reblogged this on Mentally Wealthy.
Its all corruption at the end of the day…political corruption in the UK that is destroying genuinely sick peoples lives and livelihood while they are minting…where can you get an advocate to take with you if you have an illness and are called to one of these interviews with igneous…or is the advocate service corrupt with political agendas as well
is there a petition of complaints procedure if you are not happy with how ingeus treat you at these interviews?
I mean an independent complaints procedure where neither the dwp, the government or ingeus are behind the complaints process.