Sole charity representative quits Work Capability Assessment review panel

Better late than never!

By Kat Hopps, Third Sector Online, 2 April 2012

Mind chief executive Paul Farmer says ministers did not address concerns over damage to the charity’s clients

Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, has resigned as the charity representative on the government review panel for the Work Capability Assessment.

Farmer claimed the programme, which assesses whether incapacity benefit claimants are fit to work, was damaging to the clients Mind exists to serve and that ministers had failed to address concerns.

He said his position was no longer tenable.

The government had employed Farmer as the sole charity representative on a four-member panel that was designed to improve the programme and listen to criticisms.

Writing on his blog, Farmer said: “Ten of thousands of people are being reassessed using a test which is still not fit for purpose.

“The time has come to call a halt in the reassessment process until real changes are made. It’s damaging people’s lives. It’s costing the taxpayer a fortune. And it certainly isn’t fulfilling its purpose of supporting people with mental health problems on their journey back to work.”

He added that more than 50 per cent of people being reassessed were appealing against the decision and half of those appeals were being upheld, which meant “as many as one in four tests are wrong”.

He called on the Department for Work and Pensions to halt the reforms until significant changes have been made.

The employment minister, Chris Grayling, said in a statement: “This is a debate about whether we leave people on benefits for the rest of their lives or find a way to help them back into the workplace.

“I’m really sorry the charities are taking this approach but I’m absolutely of the view we’re doing the right thing.”

A DWP spokesman said it was seeking a replacement for Farmer.

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3 thoughts on “Sole charity representative quits Work Capability Assessment review panel

  1. Sue says:

    Help people into jobs? WHAT jobs???? There are very few and those go to people who have worked recently and been made redundant. Who, realistically, would employ a sick or disabled person when they can have their pick of well qualified people fresh from the job market. The sixk and disabled won’t survive this.

  2. nigel simmons says:

    There has probably never been such an administrative disaster in the UK’s Political History Publicly showing Discrimination against the Poorest in Society and the Rich .Smith the Fascist openly asking the Rich pensioners to return their Benefits if they feel they don’t need them .The Poorest have no choice whatsoever they are deducted at source by a Draconian implemented system ill thought out.
    All the Top Politicians that have brain waves and have them contracted out because they haven’t a brain between them have cost this Country Billions in failed projects .Universal Credit is drastically over budget but we must continue paying the contractors or it falls down .Gullible incompetent and so quick to spend other people’s money that’s why the Country is in a mess not Welfare Benefits .
    Cameron you have lost control the sooner you and your ilk go the better but let’s not rely on Labour either

  3. Tommaz Jay says:

    It seems to me that we all need to wake up to the fact as to how this government and their out of control Rottweiler ATOS, and there cowered rubber stamping Decision Makers at the DWP are mistreating ill and disabled people, (Sorry out of work disabled workless and all that crap). Welfare reform has now, by governmental deceit and its ideological hidden eugenic agenda is in danger become one of the worst examples hate crime inflicted on, not just the disabled but also anyone who may become ill or disabled in the future.
    If we just listen to spin, dribble and Hyperbole gleaned cut and pasted from an unelected un-mandated government press office then, release and published in some politically motivated newspapers we are in danger of denying that illness and disability exist. We need to wake up to the fact we are becoming a nation that has forgotten to talk of the people, but who instead listen to the ideology.
    People’s hatred of ATOS Healthcare’s Work Capability Examination process has been criticised by some whom because of their own political dogma or press deionisation choose not to believe the well documented and collaborated evidence from the ill and disabled experiences. They choose not to understand or fail to mention how ATOS comes to a decision on those who are unfortunate enough to become ill or disabled. Can its random and inconsistent computer generated decision be fair? Would anyone expect or allow a decision on their health from their GP to be made this way, I think not.
    We need to remember that history tells us that the persecution and cleansing of one group in society is only the thin end of a divisive wedge and won’t stop with the ill and disabled unless United Kingdom people power stops it right now. The so called free press could be next as extreme regulation looks more than likely with the outcome of the Hutton report. Type any old drivel into an ATOS terminal, usually about benefit fraud into your specially installed ATOS office terminal and wait for a decision on its content and permission to publish could be next

    Quotes of “Hysterical” and “absurd” being used to describe the people’s reactions to the ATOS Work Capability Examination process and describing how Cameron and his cabinet are “painted as reactionary demagogues”. This is what can be expected from a cabinet of out of touch millionaires who can only see one way to cut costs. It used to be pink flying pigs that old fart politicians saw but now it seems in this young brave new ConDem world it only sees pound signs.
    In the name of unelected government’s dogma and hiding behind the budget deficit only a pittance will be saved, when compared to the spending on lethal weaponry to kill a handful of Afghan terrorists and 100 times more men, women and children.
    I note that most of the press fail to report the numbers of suicides and premature wholly avoidable deaths in their articles on how well the government is doing in reducing the number of people claiming sickness related benefits, while assuming the reduction is related to people how have be miraculously been cured of their illnesses and disability’s.
    Physical abuse and mental torture that is now inflicted on a daily basis upon anyone who dares to become ill. The numbers of people who choose to leave the human race by their own hand because of unjust and woefully wrong decisions about their conditions are a national disgrace. They have become an embarrassment to our Government task masters, routinely discredited or just ignored up to highest level.
    Wholly avoidable Psychiatric Injury’s inflicted by this Governments flawed dogmatic ideology inflicted on disabled and mentally ill’, leave psychological scars that cannot be seen and are near impossible to heal. Deliberately injuring ill people further by making flawed and heavily weighted decisions in favour of denial of benefit that are unjust, and on appeal are overturned makes no sense economically or morally. This therefore can only be seen as an attempt to inflict unusual and cruel forms of punishments for become ill or disabled by governmental choice.
    When faced with a DWP unjust decision many disabled and ill now feel that they aren’t believed and that’s the thing that hurts the most. With the well-worn platitudes of Cameron and the rest of the ConDemn Government ringing in their ears, they take the decision that I believe this morally bankrupt government with its eugenic agenda have planned for all along. That is to live in object poverty until the end of their days, by a misplaced sense of shame or humiliation or by giving up and killing themselves.
    What a wonderful land we have the misfortune to live in. what a putrid legacy we leave to the next generation if we allow this to happen.
    Now onto your real grip of our unelected masters, the good old whip hand cry of;
    “Look Out He’s In A Wheelchair, He Has A Vacant Look He Must Be Mad, On Drugs Or Drunk. Next He Will Be Inside Our Pockets Looking for “Our Hard Earned Worked For Money”. Let’s Put Him In A Place Where We Will Be Safe From Him. He May Even Die If We Treat Him badly enough, That Will Treat Him a Lesson He Won’t Forget”
    Governments opinion of the mentally ill is a disgrace. Their words by implying that they are the biggest group and responsible for the largest proportion of benefit fraud trivialising their condition and is entirely offensive, distasteful and hateful.
    Saying that campaign groups estimates of 0.5 % is bogus figure for benefit fraud is outrageous. Come on Mr Cameron it seems that you know, what are the real figures then? Did your ConDem government press office forget to include them or just pluck them out of fresh air? Who are they as representatives of a corrupt press that is currently in the dock for fraud and phone hacking to be believed by anyone?
    You call campaign groups “Anti-reform” dead right they are. Their one and only goal is and has always been for a fair and compassionate reform that has no connections to deficit reductions or fiscal management. To quote you “Nothing more, nothing less”.

    I truly believe that that this unelected immoral government will be in years to come be will be judged to be one of the worst purveyors of eugenics ideology and the cleansing of the ill and disabled. They will be brought to account for their hate crimes against anyone who they deemed to be less than perfect and unable to contribute to the coffers of the rich ruling classes.
    Bringing the question of lawful euthanasia to the high court has opened up the debate on how the disabled see themselves and what rights they have over their own existence. In a civilised society those unfortunate enough to suffer from physical and mental illnesses are treated with compassion and dignity they deserve. Provision is made to look after them from the cradle to the grave if necessary and the best of excellence in healthcare is freely available to all. Again nothing more, nothing less.

    Why are lifesaving treatments and drugs now regularly refused on the ground of cost and likely mortality? Is this overt attempt to encourage ill and disabled to “Do the right thing” for the betterment of. (Yawn) “Hard working employed economically active families”. Is it encouragement to “Do the right thing” check out of this hell hole that this country and disembowel health and welfare services has become. Assessing the disabled fit for work or work related activity when they have well documented mental or physical conditions assessed by a qualified and compassionate doctor and specialists, on the say so of an ATOS computer programme heavily weighted against a just and proper decision, then rubber stamped by a cowered Decision Makers fearful for the own jobs is the worst Orwellian nightmares imaginable.
    If we allow this happen we are all dammed to a life that demands nothing but perfection and unequal class uniformity. In the past the United Kingdom was set apart from other despot governments by virtue of the help and support it gave to ill disabled and unemployed. Now in this government’s perfect utopian world our unelected coalition has decided that without a clear mandate from the country this is not the way forward. Is it now looking for “A final solution” for all disabled and the ill by denial and withdrawal of welfare benefits. As the disabled and ill fail to meet the capitalist value for money ideology will they will be sacrificed on the altar of pure dogmatic greed. Will we soon be doomed by this unelected government to a life of hard labour until we drop dead?
    If we are come on Mr Cameron, IDS and the rest of you well healed public school boys, Get out the pens and calculators start legislating for the next logical step, the letting of the contracts for ATOS Healthcare (what a benevolent, kind and humanitarian name for a company) to provide termination chambers on a street corner near you for the disabled, ill and unemployed to “Do the right thing”. We could even use solar and wind to power them and use their ashes to fertilise the back garden of number 10. Oh what Joy and wonderment that would bring to the ConDem’s.
    Start the task and publicity now and maybe you can continue to pit even more people against each other with your eugenic flawed ideology. You must be very proud of what you have achieved so far as it’s certainly working well with disability hate crimes and suicide numbers increasing day by day.

    But remember when you get to hell as this is certainly where this government heading, remember to tell Hitler and the rest of the world scum that more or less had the same ideology that it was “The right thing to do” for the benefit of “Hard working, tax paying family’s.
    Ashamed To Be Born Into This Unjust And Putrid Land That Long Ago Used To Belonged To The Good, Kind And The Free.

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