BMA ARM to Vote on GPs’ Motion to end the DWP/AtoS Work Capability Assessments ‘with immediate effect’ tomorrow

(Click on the icon left, OR HERE if any problems, to follow the vote live in the morning. Black Triangle will be issuing a press release tomorrow 28th June 2012 at 17.00)

Tomorrow in Bournemouth the British Medical Association’s Annual Representative Meeting will debate the following motions which The Black Triangle Campaign put forward. If these motions are passed they will become official BMA policy:

 

OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE

Thursday 27th June 2012 09.30 – 09.45

479 Receive: Report by the Chairman of the Occupational Medicine Committee (Paul Nicholson).*

480 Motion by LEWISHAM DIVISION:

That this Meeting in respect of Work Capability Assessments (WCA) as performed by Atos Healthcare, believes that:-

i) the inadequate computer-based assessments that are used have little regard to the nature or complexity of the needs of long term sick and disabled persons;

ii) calls on the BMA to demand that the WCA should end with immediate effect and be replaced with a rigorous and safe system that does not cause avoidable harm to some of the weakest and most vulnerable in society.

480a Motion by SCOTTISH CONFERENCE OF LMCS:
 
That this Meeting in respect of work capability assessments (WCA) as performed by Atos Healthcare, believes that:-

i) the inadequate computer based assessments that are used have little regard to the nature or complexity of the needs of long term sick and disabled persons;

ii) the WCA should end with immediate effect and be replaced with a rigorous and safe system that does not cause avoidable harm to some of the weakest and most vulnerable in society.
 
 
Black Triangle has sent the following email to the ARM Committee:
 
We note that the DWPs current policies and systems have been shown to be harmful, indeed devastating, to patients in violation of the GMC’s recent ethical guidelines published in Good Medical Practice:
 
‘…that a doctor must (overriding duty or principle) take prompt action if he feels that “patient safety is or may be seriously compromised by inadequate… policies or systems.’
 
As a Disabled People’s Organisation who insist that there shall be ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’, we implore the committee to insist upon the:

Halting of all doctors’ involvement in the administration of the WCA in the role of ‘Health Care Professional(‘HCP’) in ‘Disability Assessment’ for DWP/Atos, until such time as proposals for its replacement with a rigorous and safe system that does not cause avoidable harm are placed in the public domain and can be discussed and agreed upon by all parties, including disabled people themselves.

We believe that the harm that is being done is of such a magnitude that the only appropriate and ethical course of action for our medical profession is to immediately withdraw cooperation with the Government’s unjust and inhumane WCA regime. 

Together with our doctors, we demand that the assessments must be halted “with immediate effect”. 
 
We note with alarm that a spokesman for the BMA is reported to have told John Pring of Disability News Service that:

“Doctors told the DWP at the meeting that the WCA was “fundamentally flawed” but that they were open to “anything that improves where we are at the moment”.

We do not believe that this conciliatory approach to the negotiations with the Government is satisfactory, given the cataclysm which sick and/or disabled people are presently suffering, or that it gives effect to the will expressed by GPs through the motions passed at Clydebank and Liverpool LMC Conferences. 
 

We note that a DWP spokesman told Disability News Service that:

“Officials met the BMA recently and we are aware some GPs would like a feedback mechanism. We will continue to work with them”

The lives of disabled people are being utterly devastated here and now.

We believe that whilst such an adverse event (‘significant event’) reporting mechanism would be warmly welcomed by disabled people, its discussion should form only one part of the BMA’s discussions with the government as to how, in the words of the LMCs motion – to replace the WCA with a ‘rigorous and safe system that does not cause avoidable harm’ to patients, some of the weakest and most vulnerable people in our society’: But for now, the WCA must end immediately. 
 
We believe that the WCA functional descriptors are inadequate and “deny” a person’s very real illnesses and disabilities. It is fundamentally flawed and cannot be ‘reformed’.

The test itself was ‘pioneered’ by the US insurance industry (Unum Provident) to unlawfully deny legitimate insurance claims.

It must be scrapped and replaced with something entirely different, designed and formulated by Medical and Health Care Professionals; and disabled people themselves, in such a way that harm is avoided and the fundamental human rights of sick and/or disabled people are respected in full.

The WCA has sought to redefine the meaning of ‘disability’ beyond all recognition, as the perverse absurdity of tens of thousands of detailed cases of patients with the whole spectrum of impairments being found “fit for work” and no longer entitled to state support fully attest.
  
We welcome Motion 480 part (ii) “Calls on the BMA to demand that the WCA should end with immediate effect”

We call for the actions of the committee to give effect to the will of Scottish and UK LMC Conferences by making just such a demand.

We call upon the BMA to issue a press statement to this effect and to demand that the General Medical Council immediately suspend DWP/Atos’s Assessment Centres’ ‘Approved Medical Environment’ status.

The hard evidence of serious harm and numerous suicides in direct result of these ‘assessments’ is overwhelming and irrefutable.

Doing nothing is not an option.

Doctors must act now and boycott the WCA until further notice and publicly call upon all allied Health Care Professional (‘HCP’) bodies and their memberships who have, until now, been supplying Atos ‘Healthcare’ to follow suit on the ethical rule here stated.

Hundreds of thousands of sick and/or disabled patients are hoping and looking forward to receiving news of a press statement/conference ARM’s Conference containing words that will recognise and give effect to this plea.

We have placed our trust in you.

Yours sincerely,

John McArdle
Black Triangle Anti-Defamation Campaign in Defence of Disability Rights
Comments
  • Humanity2012 June 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I Sincerely Hope that the Scrapping of the Work Capability Assessment becomes
    Official Policy together with all Harrassment and Persecution of the Poor and
    Vulnerable

    The Underdog must Say Enough is Enough We Demand Political and Economic
    Improvement for a More Caring Society and we Demand this Now

  • Rogr June 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Having had one of these farcical “assessments” for DLA I had to formally object because on some twenty or more critical points the doctor (yes an actual one) was either so economical with the truth or misrepresented the details given to such an extent that the whole finished report was completely false. Oddly, without ever having been at the assessment and despite the fact that it was conducted in front of an indepenent witness the company found their doctor blameless. An appeal, which received the same details, overturned their refusal but I still feel that the scum that are supporting these and the WCA need to be struck off and prevented from practising as well as subject to legal action when or if they lie/misrepresent an examinees condition. Likewise the company should be penalised by at least the cost of the successful appeals with real damages awarded to those affected by their actions. Roll on the BMA vote – let’s all pray to whatever gods we hold dear that they honour their hippocratic oaths and vote in favour of the mtion by an overwhelming majority.

  • jeffery davies June 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    atos should be shut down fined and kicked out of the country for mal practice but they wont do that as its getting rid of the sick lame and lazy and will not listen to anyone on this torys only goal is no benefits full stop jeff3

  • paul barnard June 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I now believe that the people who are making decisions that affect our lives are sociopaths. this has been a terrible shock. i believe that they are simply unable to understand humanity on any real level as they have themselves been abused and robbed of their humanity by a system that is endemic in its dehumanization. there is no point looking for their conscience or appealing to their better nature, as they have long lost any of these human qualities. they simply believe that they are right and cannot see anything apart from power and wealth. i believe that to understand them we need to understand fascism or extreme prejudice. I believe that there is no alternative to strong, firm no nonsense action in dealing with these people due to their inability to behave in any compassionate way or understand another human beings needs. i hope that all the “real” people on these pages who do care can join together to firmly and clearly say NO to the sick and dysfunctional policies that will perpetuate the cruelty and fear that these systems rely on to control others.we will always need to monitor and be aware of it, for they are the darkest part of us all and when we are all in fear even the strongest and most caring of us can so easily be drawn back to the evil.
    i want a better world where this financial and emotional terrorism is held in abeyance by our own awareness and support for each other.
    i whole heartedly applaud the commitment on this page.
    i do not believe that the “system” will even acknowledge what is proposed here, i do not believe that is how it works. however the simple fact that the people who are committed to our well being have been dismissed in this way will be a glaring example of the sickness that is being allowed to destroy so many lives.
    we must then carry this message with all it implies to as many others as possible. despite the corporate owned media blocking any show of protest, there are ways in which we can all contribute to removing this cancer form our world.
    my simplest observation is that the system is flexing its muscles upon the “defenceless” now and will then spread its disgusting inhuman practices to everyone it sees as a threat.
    i e all of us.
    thank you for taking the time to read this. stay strong

    • bridget price June 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      Oppression of some by others does seem the norm for human behaviour despite the tiny blip the other way in the 20th Century. What never ceases to amaze me is how the oppressed turn on each other instead of the real enemy. (And they are our enemies, with dwindling resources at stake there will be a point where our children’s children will be fighting, not to have a home, but for their lives).

  • DAVID A SHAW June 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I call on the BMA to abide by their hippocratic oath, and withdraw all cooperation with the government and DWP until such time that what the BMA, who are the best people to advise on this matter, have demanded indeed takes place.

  • bridget price June 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Absolutely fantastic. Wow but you must have worked hard to get this far. The aim of DWP high ups was to use the twaddle from ATOS to turn the public against the disabled. If medical practitioners come out with a clear message that the assessments are NOT medicals and are NOT assessments of a person’s ability to work; then it will at the very least be harder to dupe the public.

  • kasbah June 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    paul barnard
    I now believe that the people who are making decisions that affect our lives are sociopaths. this has been a terrible shock. i believe that they are simply unable to understand humanity on any real level as they have themselves been abused and robbed of their humanity by a system that is endemic in its dehumanization. there is no point looking for their conscience or appealing to their better nature, as they have long lost any of these human qualities. they simply believe that they are right and cannot see anything apart from power and wealth. i believe that to understand them we need to understand fascism or extreme prejudice. I believe that there is no alternative to strong, firm no nonsense action in dealing with these people due to their inability to behave in any compassionate way or understand another human beings needs. i hope that all the “real” people on these pages who do care can join together to firmly and clearly say NO to the sick and dysfunctional policies that will perpetuate the cruelty and fear that these systems rely on to control others.we will always need to monitor and be aware of it, for they are the darkest part of us all and when we are all in fear even the strongest and most caring of us can so easily be drawn back to the evil.
    i want a better world where this financial and emotional terrorism is held in abeyance by our own awareness and support for each other.
    i whole heartedly applaud the commitment on this page.
    i do not believe that the “system” will even acknowledge what is proposed here, i do not believe that is how it works. however the simple fact that the people who are committed to our well being have been dismissed in this way will be a glaring example of the sickness that is being allowed to destroy so many lives.
    we must then carry this message with all it implies to as many others as possible. despite the corporate owned media blocking any show of protest, there are ways in which we can all contribute to removing this cancer form our world.
    my simplest observation is that the system is flexing its muscles upon the “defenceless” now and will then spread its disgusting inhuman practices to everyone it sees as a threat.
    i e all of us.
    thank you for taking the time to read this. stay strong

    I totally agree with your analysis. there is no point whatsoever in reasoning with sociopaths, and the horrific truth is that those in Government wielding the bully boy boots are just that. Firm committed action is the only way to deal with them e.g. a lot of public protest and taking them to court (European Court of Human Rights). Not easy by any means but possible if we all stay strong and keep going and stick up for eachother.

    This work by Black Triangle is wonderful- I hope to the bottom of my heart that the BMA do what is morally right. May they have courage.

  • Findlow June 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    BMA must vote firmly and unanimously to scrap the WCA. No tinkering around the edges of the current system will do. it must go, Atos must go, and hopefully, this government of sociopaths will go…. but it won’t be soon enough.
    Heartfelt thanks to Black Triangle for all your work on this.

  • Aunty Admin June 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    If BMA oppose the WCA/Atos then they should order their members not to work for it or support it and it is contrary to BMA standards and ethics and code of practice.

  • Aunty Admin June 27, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    I do feel there will be some backhanders. do not forget Atos is powerful and already rewon contracts and bonuses from govts including Scottish and Wales. so do not hold your horses. There is a lot of power and backhanders in this one.

  • You must be logged in to comment. Log in
%d bloggers like this: