End inhumane WCA assessments
We, the undersigned, fully support the decision made by Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, to resign from the government’s Advisory Panel on the Work Capability Assessment, an “assessment” which he rightly brands “inhumane”.
At the recent Scottish Local Medical Committees Conference – the voice of General Practice in Scotland – the conference voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion that branded the WCA as inadequate and calling for its immediate end.
A system that results in 90 per cent of Mind’s clients in Oxford winning their appeals against the DWP is not only “not fit for purpose” – it is positively harmful to sick and disabled people.
The experience of seriously ill people in Oxford is symptomatic of a crisis now being played out in communities the length and breadth of the UK and is having a devastating impact on sick or disabled people with every kind of impairment and illness – including terminal illnesses.
The recent GMC publication of Good Medical Practice 2012 states clearly that a doctor must “take prompt action if you think that patient safety is or may be seriously compromised by inadequate premises, equipment or other resources, policies or systems.”
The WCA system both expressly and consistently compromises patient safety. The de facto (albeit often well-intentioned) complicity of the charities and health care professions in legitimising a pseudo-scientific “disability assessment” regime which has lead directly to many fatal tragedies now well-documented by coroners’ inquests, has gone on for far too long. It must end now.
General Practitioners in Scotland have spoken. Their voices now join those of the thousands of individuals, hundreds of organisations and disability rights groups throughout the country clamouring for an end to the obscenity of the WCA “with immediate effect”.
Dr Stephen Carty, Edinburgh GP
John McArdle, Black Triangle Campaign
19 thoughts on “End inhumane WCA assessments”
I fully endorse the sentiments expressed in the letter. But I think we need to go much, much further. The people responsible for implementing these measures are criminals. And in a future and better society, one can only hope that they will be placed under arrest, and put on trial. Let them be clear about this now. So they know exactly where they stand.
I’m a bit late coming into this debate, but I agree with you. In fact since the International Bill of Rights (see this link http://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/bill-of-rights) has been legally binding on every UK Government since the 20th Aug 1976, then they are guilty of violating human rights.
Article 9 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights ( a third of the UN documents which make up the Bill) applies, and a couple of others are also relevant. So ask your friends to support this too.
I had to apeal 2 times and won both i feel they dont care about the stress this has had on me being agrophobic and dietbetic the doctor who accessed me was working for them 🙁
HOW MANY MORE TRAGEDIES HAVE GOT TO BE TOLD, IM AN X WELFARE BENEFITS SPECIALIST, I HAVE BEEN OVERWHELMED, WITH HEART WRENCHING EVENTS, IV HEARD OF 2 DEATHS, ONE SUICIDE, THE OTHER SUDDEN, BOTH AFTER VITAL BENEFITS TAKEN AWAY, THE SITUATION IS BARBARIC AND INHUMANE, BUT STILL IT GOES ON, WHY IS THERE NO MEDIA COVERAGE, OR HEADLINE NEWS, WE NEED SOME ONE WITH POWER AND A HEART, TO TAKE ACTION, THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS, HAVE BEEN THROWN INTO HELL ALSO BRITISH DRS ACCOUNTS OF THEIR PATIENTS, ARE BEING DISMISSED, ITS A NO WIN SITUATION, FOR EVERY ONE INVOLVED, FEELS SICK WITH WORRY THESE PEOPLE NEED A VOICE STORMING THROUGH THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT THOUSANDS OF US WOULD SURELY HAVE AN IMPACT WE OWE IT TO OUR VULNERABLE, WE NEED TO BE THEIR VOICE KATHIE
Im waiting to hear from Prince Charlie or the Queen Im sure they are just bursting to come foreward and speek out aginst this abuse of the disabled NOT
I think disability activists should try push for an investigation into manslaughter regarding deaths where a person is found ‘fit to work’ by the WCA.
I wrote to Rethink Mental Illness to ask if they would consider contacting the police on behalf of disabled people to request that an investigation be launched into possible crimes being committed. My email to them is below. There is also another site talking about possible Gross Negligence Manslaughter (link below). I also include a petition that calls for an investigation into manslaughter if anyone can please sign it, and the WOW petition link, which also calls for an investigation into the deaths. I hope one day someone is held responsible for all these terrible unnecessary deaths, and the possible hundreds or thousands still to come.
(my email to Rethink Mental Illness)
Please would your charity consider making a formal request to the police to open an investigation into serious criminal offences being possibly carried out against vulnerable disabled people. There is much evidence of this and I believe much more would come out if an investigation is initiated.
I believe that anyone can report a crime to the police even if they are not the victim, and your charity does have special involvement in this area, such as commissioning the survey of GPs last year which I believe is a vital piece of evidence of these potential crimes.
There are good grounds for the police to launch a criminal investigation into possible harassment and manslaughter, which is ongoing still, and has been for possibly several years. I also believe that the police have an obligation to at least start an investigation, given the serious nature of the crimes.
The three sources of information that could be used immediately for initiating an investigation can be found online and are:
1) The Freedom of Information request of 2012 showing that 1,100 people died between January and August 2011, after the controversial WCA test found them ‘fit for work’. When this piece of information is added to your own survey, which shows that the test is causing great distress, suicide attempts, even suicides, then there is grounds to investigate, in the public interest, whether any of these 1,100 people were also subject to this level of distress, and how may committed suicide as a result.
2) The Rethink survey of GPs, as mentioned in my last point, shows that the WCA has been the contributing factor in the distress and even the death of many people.
3) The British Medical Association’s call for the WCA test to be scrapped last year. Not only have the government ignored the warnings of the BMA and many other charities, organisations and other experts, but in January 2013 they made alterations to the test to make it even harder to pass and creating many more potential suicide victims. It was reckless of the government to continue using this test in the first place in the face of such evidence, but to go the other way and make the test even harder to pass is, I believe, clearly criminally negligent.
The two criminal offences I therefore believe need to be urgently investigated are:
a) Ongoing and previous harassment of vulnerable people who have undergone or will soon undergo the WCA Fitness For Work assessment. I use the legal definition of harassment from the Protection from Harassment Act 1997: ‘to pursue a course of action which amounts to harassment of another individual’ (harassment is defined by the Act as ‘behaviour which causes alarm or distress’ . The Rethink GP survey shows possible evidence of this and I believe more evidence can be obtained by many charities, such as CAB, who deal with many cases every day in helping prepare appeals.
b) Gross negligent manslaughter. Again, both ongoing and previous. The government have had evidence of the potential suicides that will occur as a result of the WCA, and while they have brought in many measures, they do not seem to be making enough impact and they should have halted tests until they were safe. And last year the three pieces of evidence above, plus a call to scrap the test by many MPs and the government’s own Committee of Public Accounts more recently have still not made the government stop the test. In fact they have done the opposite and made the test harder to pass, introducing changes to it in January 2013. I therefore believe that this reckless endangering of lives, past and present, could constitute gross negligent manslaughter.
I would be very grateful if Rethink will consider requesting that the police start an investigation into these potential crimes. The request would probably need to be made centrally, to the Metropolitan Police, due to the nationwide scale of the matter.
of Gross Negligence Manslaughter is as follows;
…where the death is a result of a grossly negligent (though otherwise lawful) act or omission on the part of the defendant. The law in respect of this has been clarified to a four stage test (the Adomako Test) outlined by the House of Lords:
a) the existence of a duty of care to the deceased;
b) a breach of that duty of care which;
c) causes (or significantly contributes) to the death of the victim; and
d) the breach should be characterised as gross negligence, and therefore a crime.
The government, the coalition, atos, Ian Duncan Smith in particular, and the labour party who introduced the new Work Capability Assessment are guilty of manslaughter. On a massive scale. Is 10,000 deaths, deliberate and premeditated on the part of the government, sufficient to call it genocide?
To Investigate the DWP and connected MPs for corporate manslaughter. In relation to the WCA & Atos Healthcare
Responsible department: Department for Work and Pensions
To Investigate the DWP and connected MPs for corporate manslaughter.
We have seen deaths rise of people on sickness benefit from 310 in 2010. To 10,600 in 9 months of 2011.
In relation to the WCA & Atos Healthcare.
I’ve already signed those two petitions mentioned by you, so will you sign one for me and spread the link around your friends etc. too? It’s at http://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/bill-of-rights
Most people don’t actually know their true rights and I only learned about them myself 4 years ago, not that I’ve been able to enjoy any of them in my entire lifetime. That’s only because our Governments have ignored their proper ‘legal obligations’ to the UN since Jan 1949, after the International Bill of Human Rights began with the Universal Declaration of the 10th Dec 1948.
The fact is that everyone should be entitled to a ‘fair and public hearing’ by an ‘independent and impartial tribunal’ on appeal against the DWP, before their benefit is stopped. It is also a legal right to have the DWP staff and the ATOS ‘medics’ cross examined by the tribunal to make them explain their reasons for their decisions too. It’s a concept the UN describes as ‘Equality of arms’ and although I tried to enforce that at my last appeal in 2011 (which I won nonetheless) the Judge didn’t want to know about my rights under International Laws.
So I’m left wondering exactly how ‘independent’ the Court Service is too. The whole system is fundamentally corrupt.
Hello folks, I have just recently failed the work capability assessment, and been told to claim job seekers, I am not entitled to this because I have been off work more than two years, and also I cant claim as my partner works more than 24 hours per week. I have damaged all the lower lumber region discs in my back and also torn two muscle groups from the spine in the same area, also I have calcific tendinitis and adhesive capsulitus in both shoulders, all confirmed with x-rays and MRI scans. I have had surgery three times on my right shoulder, with no success. The consultant told me on my last visit to hospital that all they can do next is replace the shoulder joint, but they wont do that for me now because I am to young. I have been told by local job agencies that I would need a fit for work letter before I could be considered for employment, I totally panicked not knowing what to do or where to turn, but coming across this web site, has given me the information and courage I need to fight this, I have made a appointment with my GP to see if he will say fit for work or that I have a limited capacity to work, fingers crossed on that one. In the meantime I have to go through the motions with the job center until I have seen my doctor. I will post the outcome later. Thanks again for giving me the courage to fight for my rights, and appeal the decision. Please keep up the good work, be safe all!
BROKEN BRITAIN UNDER TORIES – DEMOCRACY-MORE LIKE 30’s GERMANY
If it took the Government the same amount of time to introduce positive measures instead of negative ones the Country would be on its way to recovery instead of its Demise .CCS Closed Court Sessions were sneaked in without much Media attention and are now in practice when ECHR is ditched it will be little more than a Nazi state practiced in 30’s Germany.All Rights ‘surrendered ‘to the State .A man arrested for threatening behaviour at an ATOS assessment was in custody before he appeared before a Closed Court then remanded back to Police custody .He has been denied family visits and representation .
Who said things couldn’t get any worse . http://www.brokenbritainundertories.com
Please see my comments to TR above, as I hope you’ll agree with them too.
But the European Convention on Human Rights has, in my opinion, actually been in violation of the 1948 Universal Declaration (upon which it claims to be based) since it was drawn up in 1950.
It looks to me like a conspiracy began then to pervert the aims of the United Nations which had only about 56 members at the time, to deny all Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to everyone. Only 8 countries to make the Universal Declaration ‘legally binding’ from the outset and were voted down by 48 others who then passed it without amendment, as had been proposed.
P.S. It also seems that your website has been shut down too. So much for freedom of speech, thought and conscience.
BROKEN BRITAIN UNDER TORIES – A CHANGE IS AS GOOD AS A REST & DON’T WE NEED ONE
Individually and Collectively the last 30 years of Political Lies and Spin have made many differences to our lives Non for the Better .We vote for personalities and their supposed achievements .Their Personalities are False and their achievements are Zero .We the Tax payer pay for different Companies to carry out whatever is dreamt up and suffer the consequences .If you were as Thick as so called ‘Ministers’ and were told “sorry the bill has risen” you would remonstrate and probably sack them ,unfortunately nobody in Government can do that because they are clueless and in a situation too deep to withdraw .They Waste Billions of our money and we suffer whilst they reward the rich.If you don’t want Riots on our streets vote accordingly.www.brokenbritainundertories.com
Vote for who?
BROKEN BRITAIN UNDER TORIES – PIE EYED OSBORNE STILL A CHILD
While half a million People have had to dig into their savings to pay for food after drinking childish Osborne Tweeted pictures of Clowns referring to UKIP .The Tories have gone from bad to worse .Blair started the ball rolling by being the youngest Prime Minister since 1812 – they are actually still children in a big mans World Play acting with no Life’s Experience .Kids in a sweet shop with eyes bigger than their bellies .The Majority of you are not fit for purpose and scrounge more off the State because of your positions than anyone . http://www.brokenbritainundertories.com
BROKEN BRITISH POLITICS – TERRORISTS- BE MORE AFRAID OF GOVERNMENT
Cameron has no shame with his Bandwagon Politics .The Media hype only fuels fear among the Public about which scare agenda the Government want to follow on any given incident that grabs the Public’s attention .Although the killing of a British Soldier was abhorrent and should not be tolerated it was an act carried out against the Government’s Foreign Policy and not the British Public Successive Government’s have had a hand in more innocent Deaths in this Country than Terrorists have.Smith,Grayling and Nicholson have death on their hands through agencies they are connected with .Centred around cost cutting the NHS and ATOS have contributed to the early deaths of thousands ,but who is accountable ? http://brokenbritishpolitics.simplesite.com
BROKEN BRITISH POLITICS – DEMOCRACY – WHAT DEMOCRACY SAY 15 MP’s
Media manipulation in the UK today is more effective than it was in Nazi Germany ,because here we have the pretence that we are getting all the Information we want .That misconception prevents people from even looking for the Truth .A letter to the Lords signed by 15 MP’s asking them to oppose the Gay Marriage Bill because although the Media said it would be a free vote it was not .
Quote from letter to the Lords “The main Parties announced a Free Vote but we saw varying degrees of coercion ,with threats made for example ,to an MP’s future career or withdrawal of Party support at future Elections “.So regrettably not only are the British Public Bullied and Lied to so are MP’s . Full Letter at http://brokenbritishpolitics.simplesite.com
DWP fake psych ‘test’ order illegal – according to DWP
24/04/2013·by skwalker1964· Bookmark the permalink. ·
Last week, I exposed a fake personality ‘test’ that is being forced on unemployed people by the Department of Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Jobcentre Plus (JCP) centres. This ‘test’, which presented a ‘personality profile’ to respondents that was completely unrelated to their personality, was so completely bogus that it even provided a ‘profile’ if you clicked through all the questions without answering them.
Moreover, if you go through the test and answer ‘very like me’ to every one of the 48 questions, you will receive exactly the same results as if you go through it and click ‘very unlike me’.
Not only is the test a fake, but it was devised by the US psychologist who designed the ‘psychological torture’ programme used by the CIA and US military, which includes among its methods the infamous ‘waterboarding’ technique designed to make victims feel as though they are drowning, over and over again.
It’s plain that this test has nothing to do with offering claimants genuine, helpful information. Instead, it appears to be a naked attempt to cynically manipulate unemployed people into certain behaviours whether or not it is in their best interest given their personal strengths and weaknesses.
Unemployed people are being forced to take this ‘test’ by the threat of ‘sanction’ – that they will lose their benefits if they fail to comply with the instruction. In a context where some claimants are committing suicide because of the fear of losing their benefits, to instill the fear and stress that the threat of sanction must inevitably create, simply to coerce them into taking a ‘test’ that is meaningless, is not only psychological torture but reckless, dangerous, and quite possibly criminal.
And it turns out that there is a government department that agrees that it is illegal for the DWP to impose this ‘test’ on benefit claimants. The DWP.
Here is a JCP letter to an unemployment benefit claimant ordering them to complete a series of tasks, including the bogus ‘skills test’:
The letter advises the claimant that the instruction to take the test is a ‘Jobseeker’s Direction’ (JSD). A JSD is a very specific instruction issued by JCPs to the unemployed – an instruction that can lead to benefit sanctions if it is not obeyed. It is therefore extremely coercive – but it is not supposed to be employed just anyhow.
‘Fruit of the poisoned tree’..
The DWP publishes guidance for its ‘employment officers’ (Emp Os) on sanctions and their use. Item 34592 of this guidance notes advises Emp Os about JSDs and the use of sanctions for non-compliance. Here’s what it says right at its beginning:
A JSD in writing will be a document that asks or advises claimants to take a particular course of action that can help them find employment or improve their chances of being employed.
Clearly, taking a test that has no connection whatever to your actual personality does nothing to help you find employment or become more employable. On its own, this makes the JSDs imposing the test invalid – and any sanctions resulting from them invalid too. But we’re not done yet.
Item 34593 states (emphases mine):
If an Emp O gives or sends a letter to a claimant asking them to attend at a Jobcentre Plus office or other place without explaining why, or just tells them to telephone but does not tell them why this will not be a JSD. The JSD must explain why the jobseeker is being directed to attend a particular place.
Item 34593 establishes the principle that a jobseeker must be told why a JSD is being given for it to be enforceable. The letter, as you can see above, does not give any indication why the test must be completed, beyond a generic ‘in order to help you [find work] we require’ it. No indication is given as to how taking this ‘test’ will help, and the fact that the ‘test’ is bogus means that it is not meeting even this vague aim.
While not conclusive in itself, taken in context this vagueness and lack of substance means that the JSD is extremely questionable and liable to legal challenge.
Item 34594 states that:
A JSD has to be reasonable
While the examples given relate to reasonableness in terms of feasibility, it is extremely doubtful that any court would consider that ordering someone to take a meaningless test is in any way ‘reasonable’.
Given the intimidating nature of the test and the other instructions issued with it, and the increased likelihood of limited literacy skills among the people on whom it is imposed, the DWP has almost certainly imposed sanctions on claimants for failing to comply with what appears to be a thoroughly illegal instruction that does not meet the standards for a valid ‘jobseeker’s direction’.
Since this test has been used for some time in at least 3 regions and is now being rolled out in others, the number of people penalised in this way could be substantial, and the sanctions imposed could run into millions of pounds.
Not only that, but by inflicting undoubted stress and distress on people using a legally illegitimate and unreasonable instruction, the DWP could face compensation claims running into the tens or even hundreds of millions of pounds, if any claimants decide to seek legal redress.
And the DWP is damned by its own words, from its own handbook.
No wonder it didn’t want you to know about this reckless, cynical ‘test’.
BROKEN BRITISH POLITICS-UNDERSTANDING CLASS IS CRUCIAL TO FAIR GOVERNMENT
A Class system does exist in Britain today whether Cameron admits it or not.The major problem is the Upper Class are Governing the majority which is Working Class.Unless there is total understanding of the needs of a Population Policies will be made without any consideration of the consequences they have ,which is exactly what is happening today.
Forget wasting time on blaming Labour for our present Economic set of circumstances whatever they are that’s yesterdays news.
You are there to serve us and this Country to the best of your ability,not to spend time displaying political sword fencing with the Opposition.
Overwhelming evidence has been shown how your Austerity measures are not just unfair but immoral causing suffering and death through a French IT Company that hides behind the DWP and acts as a front for Medical Assessments.
You are using the same criteria upon Jobseekers through Inappropriate Sanctions.The Bedroom Tax another total cop out of yours.Create jobs,Build more housing properly support those that need supporting.Benefit cheats- your admitting you cannot control a portion of the Economy never mind its whole.Cameron your BS and excuses have now run their course.BSB
“David Cameron adviser Jonathan Luff quits to join payday lender Wonga as lobbyist”