A SEVERELY disabled Scot has “written his own death certificate” after stopping his medication in a protest against government red tape.
Frank Campbell suffers from chronic lung disease but claims officials have him “jumping through hoops” to receive his benefits.
The 55-year-old has been begged by his family and GP to abandon his protest but he maintains it is the only way to fight the bureaucrats.
Frank, from Rosyth, Fife, suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which is the fifth-biggest killer in the world, claiming the lives of 250 sufferers every hour.
The railway engineer was diagnosed with the illness in 1988 but managed to stay in his job until 2005.
It was only last year he decided he would try and get help as he was told he wasn’t eligible for a carer, but since then has been bombarded with forms and procedures.
He said: “I received a document on Friday from the Job Centre saying that I had to fill out more bloody forms in order to get help with money.
“I then went to the Job Centre in Dunfermline on Monday, which was a real struggle for me, and said that it was getting out of hand with the number if forms and if it continued then I’d stop taking my medication.
“The advisor said ‘No, you can’t do that’ but nothing was resolved – so on Monday night I stopped my treatment.”
The only thing Frank still uses is his oxygen tank that he is hooked up to for 16 hours a day.
The treatment he gave up was a steroid inhaler and an assortment of medicines which help get desperately needed oxygen into his blood stream.
He said: “I’ve basically written my own death certificate.
“It means in a few weeks, maybe a month, I’ll struggle breathing, be in pain and end up in hospital – then things just get worse.
“I’m not scared. I’m on borrowed time as it is. I was told by a consultant when I first got diagnosed that I would die when I was 52.
“And now it seems better than putting up with all this rubbish from the Job Centre. They should accept people with a long-term illness have got a long-term illness and shouldn’t be made to prove it again and again.”
He added: “You’re only getting a couple of months between each form, they make you feel like you’re jumping through hoops with all the different stages you have to go through to continue getting benefits.”
Frank lives with his elderly mother Mary.
He said: “I’m not scared about dying. I’ve been kind of preparing myself for years. But my mother is concerned. I don’t know how long I’ll have now, but I know I won’t be collecting a state pension.”
Inverkeithing MSP Helen Eadie recently hosted an event at Holyrood that highlighted the struggles of genuine benefit cases such as Frank.
She said: “Mr Campbell is being put in an intolerable position and the authorities should think again.
“It is worth pointing out that of those turned down for Employment Support Allowance as many as 60% win their appeals which shows that they system is just not working.”
Dr Jean Turner from the Scottish Patient’s Association said: “It is sad that reasonable communication has not seemed to work in this case and this man has been brave enough to make a stand in the only way he feels he will be noticed to have his point made.
“With COPD he will not have the energy to deal with the bureaucracy and the phone calls. I hope the benefits system finds a human face and deals with this case urgently.”
The Department for Work and Pensions said they are just following “re-assessment” procedures.
A spokesman said: “The Work Capability Assessment is an important part of the Government’s reforms to incapacity benefit.
“The old system simply wrote too many people off without looking at what they were able to do.
“If it is found the condition hasn’t changed following the re-assessment the he or she would be allowed to stay on ESA.”
9 thoughts on “A SEVERELY disabled Scot has “written his own death certificate” after stopping medication in protest against the DWP who say they are just following WCA “re-assessment” procedures”
and this is the matter with them its whot we can do nothing as most were put ther nowing full well we be taken another ablebodied job where the imployer would turn us down and these idiots think we get said jobs its their thinking whots wrong and they should well and trully hang their heads in shame at whot they try to do to us work thats why we on the sick and nothing not even atos can make us fit for work jeff3
“Struggles of genuine benefit cases such as Frank.” ???
Are you trying to convince your audience who may be doubting that this was true; I don’t think they would be here if they didn’t realise this scandal was going on.
I think we should not adopt the language of the propagandists.
We should say non-fraudulent rather than “genuine”.
The people who are pulling this scam really understand the power of the words they use and the disabled come off worst when they are forced to “plead or beg” for what a normal person would regard as natural justice.
This is how psychopaths retain power and keep people in their thrall; for a while.
What is not always obvious to those who believe in this system, is that no sooner do you win your appeal, you then receive yet another appointment for yet another assessment and have to go through the whole proces again and again on an almost continuous basis. Winning your appeal is only the end of the matter until a fortnight or so later when you receive another form. Then you have to approach your doctor for confirmation yet again, attend an assessment yet again, get turned down yet again, get your money completely stopped yet again, go to the jobcentre yet again, appesl yet again, go to a tribunal yet again, wait to hear you have won yet again, get another appointment for an assessment….. see how it works? Sick people are being made sicker through the continuing battle just to receive the benefits they are entitled to.
I think i used normal in a clumsy way as well just then; goes to show that even though im half palsified and wheelchair enhanced, there’s something in my head that reminds me that i’m normal!!
Now where have I heard or seen that phrase before ‘I am only carrying out orders….’ This man is in NEED it is obvious. This is just so typical of the society we live in right now. All take and no give, no compassion NO conscience and no MORALITY. Shame on them all,
I think this lot are in the wrong country. I hope they get called up for all their sins soon
“The Department for Work and Pensions said they are just following “re-assessment” procedures.” Yeah just as the nazis said at the nuremburg trials
Quote: “If it is found the condition hasn’t changed following the re-assessment the he or she would be allowed to stay on ESA.” If the DWP would accept Medical Records as proof of illness instead of the grossly flawed ATOS assessments, they would know that this mans illness is never going to change for the better. A great deal of taxpayers money would then be saved on these repeated unnecessary assessments. I personally have a file 6 inches thick with correspondence. Having won my appeal against ATOS I have been recalled for reassessment, even though the DWP know that I am on the waiting list for an operation.
If the operation was successful I would be only too happy to return to work so why do they waste money on continual assessments and susequent appeals. The taxpayer need to know how much all this is costing.
How dare these cruel ignorant politicians describe someone on disability benefits as being “written off”. This assumes we have no will and are simply passive recipients of whatever comes our way. They use this meaningless and incorrect phrase time and time again to fool the public that they have our interests in mind. My bloody MP has had the cheek to use it both with me and my partner, to whom he sent identical letters although our letters to him came from different angles, about the sham and expoitation of ATOS and DWP.
I really feel for Frank. It really is all too much when you are ill/disabled to put up with and cope with the vast maw of DWP beauracracy and policy. Frank, I hope you have the outcome from these appalling people that you deserve- ie, your benefits. You have worked hard all your life and they treat you as if you are nothing. Well you are not nothing. You are a supremely courageous man and I admire you very much.
May these noddies be kicked out. NOW.