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