Sent: Thursday 4th October 2012 15.04 hrs
Amelia Gentleman’s article (‘Get ready for work: what woman who needs constant care was told’ 3rd Oct 2012) highlights yet again the abject failure of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) régime.
Although little has been publicised about such regulations, there exists an exceptional circumstances clause whereby a claimant should be placed in the support group rather than the WRAG (Work-Related Activity Group).
Notwithstanding the catalogue of grave errors and omissions in this lady’s assessment, the DWP Decision Maker ought to have applied Regulation 35:
‘Because of your physical or mental health condition or disability there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person, including you, if you were found not to have limited capability for work-related activity’.
This would have placed Ruth in the ‘Support Group’ exempting her from the WRAG.
As there has been no risk assessment of the WCA the whole process caries a substantial risk of serious harm to claimants.
We therefore make the following demands:
(i) That DWP decision makers must apply this regulation much more frequently in order to prevent avoidable harm.
(ii) That The Royal College of Nursing and all other Health Care Professional bodies supplying Atos must make a statement condemning the WCA in its current form and join with us and the BMA in demanding that it be scrapped with immediate effect.
(iii) That The General Medical Council must withdraw the “approved medical environment “status granted to ATOS assessment centres forthwith. Unless they do so they are complicit in a process that has irrefutably been proven to cause serious, even fatal harm to patients.
(iv) We also urge the GMC to thoroughly investigate the doctor responsible for this appalling assessment.
We will not remain silent until this grave injustice is comprehensively addressed by the relevant bodies.
John McArdle and Dr. Stephen Carty
Black Triangle Campaign