Well, well. This one has it all really. Aylward, Unum’s influence on the DWP.
‘In 2005 he was elected to the new Health Honors Committee, designed to make the system more transparent.
Given the much publicised emphasis on the need for “transparency” within all Government departments,
“One again has to ask how it can be acceptable for a policymaker” at the head of a Government Department clearly to have had such close involvement with an insurance company like UNUM whilst he was advising Government and formulating policy,”
More than this, we can see the future of Mansel Aylward’s preferred delivery service, as in his own words:
“By incorporating the Biopsychosocial Model into disability assessment, we can identify critically important information on obstacles to recovery, which in many cases can be tackled by an integrated package of support such as that offered in the Pathways to Work pilots and as provided by Unum Provident’s Claims Management and Rehabilitation Services.”
This paper on ME/CFS explains where Ayward and this Cardiff school fit into the picture:
“In October 2004, Professor Mansel Aylward CB took up the first Chair in Psychosocial and Disability Research at Cardiff University, where he is also Director of the new UNUM Provident Research Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research at Cardiff University (which Aylward has developed with a £1.6 million grant from UNUM Provident).
Aylward was previously Chief Medical Adviser, Medical Director and Chief Scientist at the UK Department of Work and Pensions.
He was also Chief Medical Adviser and Head of Medical Professions at the Veterans Agency, Ministry of Defence.
During his time at the DWP, Aylward was well-known for his support of the Wessely School and for his opposition to State disability benefits being paid to ME/CFS claimants.
During his tenure at the DWP, Aylward is on published record as indicating his own and his Department’s disapproval of the UK Chief Medical Officer’s 2002 Report on “CFS/ME” (the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, is on record on 11th January 2002 as stating that CFS/ME should be classified alongside multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease) and of preferring the opinions of the psychiatrists who resigned from its Working Group.
There would seem to be prima facie evidence that during his time at the DWP, Aylward was a veritable Trojan horse into the DWP for both the Wessely School and UNUM.
There would also appear to have been a clear financial conflict of interest and possible breach of Civil Service protocol, in that a senior Civil Servant such as Aylward could not have been unaware while he was in post at the DWP that UNUM Provident was already financing his next employment which would allow him to indulge in his existing conviction that syndromes such as ME/CFS are affected by “cultural” factors and are “behavioural” in nature.
It is also a matter of concern that a senior Civil Servant accepted sponsorship from a company with UNUM’s track record ”
As for how Unum benefit from this Psychosocial and Disability research, the entire remit for the centre…it is very simple.
In the US it is standard for Group income protection policies to pay out for a maximum of 24 months for mental illnesses whereas an organic disability might need 30 years of payments.
Unum in the US insures a lot of Doctors, a single claim for 22 years rather than 2 years could easily exceed the £1.7m they have put into trying to prove that medical conditions without an available organic diagnostic test are psychological.
The whole research departments purpose is to reinforce Unum’s belief that CFS/ME, Fibromyalgia, PTSD (esp important post 9/11), Gulf war Syndrome etc are not physical illnesses by presenting psychiatric treatments as valid and opposing research into treatment for the organic disease cause and looking to treat that instead.
Having NICE and the Blood Transplant people define CFS/ME as a physical chronic condition was a blow to unum, they had hoped that they could use UK research and policy to prevent them paying out in either the UK or US.
Their hope now is that they can present psychiatric treatment – say CBT as sufficient to support a return to work and then deny claims if their “researched” treatment.
In the US and here they use a neat trick to do this which is to prepay the claim for a number of months and then close it based on the expected therapy getting the claimant back to work.
This is a neat trick as not only does it push the claimant into an appeal process for further monies it means that they can stop setting aside financial reserves for future payments, the net result of this is that it shows inflated profits immediately as this cash is released onto their bottom line, typically just before their accounts are due.
You should note that as Wesseley and his school have become so discredited in the CFS/ME community that nobody listens to them he has moved on to PTSD and Gulf war Syndrome.
Thank-you very much for that richasmecfs.
That’s helped to consolidate the links between Aylward and Wessely for me.
I was wondering about the nature of these connections, whether or not they were distinctly separate and just happening to think along the same lines (those of obvious appeal to right wing politicians).
Rationally there had to be someone with significant influence orchestrating it.
And that is Mansel Aylward evidently.
Very quickly once I started looking into all this I came upon the longrunning M.E/CFS scandal.
So shocked to find out how long people have been fighting against that.
That was obviously where this gang of ideologues honed their skills for what they are doing now to all the sick and disabled via the WCA.
They seem to have no shame.
It’s ironic that (and I’m giving them some credit for being human here) those supposedly enlightened in matters of psychology/psychiatry should be so stepped in denial about their own behaviour/motivations.
Either that or they have given up their humanity for the sake of material advancement.
Did you see Wessely’s comment on my post?
Delusional or what?
Apart from the lazy punctuation (which indicates someone not in the habit of keeping to professional standards) the idea that he could even make sense of a Barbara Ehrenreich book just boggles my mind.
There’s no way that man could tolerate her point of view, one to which to which his ideology is diametrically opposed.
Barbara would eat him for breakfast.