Carer’s plea for help to Sarah Newton deputy chair of the Conservative Party and MP for Truro and Falmouth.
RE: DWP ATOS
As a carer, I would like to arrange an urgent meeting with Sarah to access help and discuss the risk to my husband’s health because of the unnecessary request from ATOS for a further duplication of already repeated and oft confirmed evidence.
One of the foremost issues is that ATOS has sent an assessment appointment for the 29th April,with no explanation of why the previous acceptable evidence from qualified professionals is now deemed insufficient.
This appointment arrived on Saturday the 6th April, two months late and in remiss of the date given for an outcome.
Leaving me as his carer (also in poor health) a mere 14 working days to repeat the same procedure of gathering the same evidence.
Letters arriving at the weekend for people with mental health conditions do a great deal of harm as nothing can be actioned and the sufferer rapidly spirals downwards and this is exactly what has happened.
To provide the same evidence using medical records from his GP, there is a cost of £50 to have them photocopied.
The practice manager has stated that the cost is being passed by ATOS to the client, when it is the company asking the client to bring evidence to the medical in order to have a fair hearing at what is now widely becoming recognised as a highly flawed process rendering this an uneven playing field.
Carers on low incomes cannot be expected to pay this large amount of money and thus are being unfairly penalised and discriminated against when unable to cover the expense of their best form of evidence to state the case for their caree.
It is possible to have a free version of the records but it seemed from the description of “print outs”to be of an unsatisfactory quality and amount, therefore again rendering an unequal playing field.
My husband’s mental health and physical health conditions interact and this whole procedure (to date 4 months in duration and still far from accomplished) has been so damaging, I have had to call the mental health team three times adding considerable undesirable distress to my burden as a carer.
Why is public money being used for cases like my husbands,where there has been years of well established diagnoses given repeatedly and it is accepted and recognised that his conditions are such that they can only deteriorate?
Consultants and other professional’s invaluable time is being frittered away on reiterating the same thing for a certain category of person with conditions that will, tragically never alter.
The time and money would be better spent on those who conditions can be improved on, confirmed by notification from the local NHS of withdrawing services from my husband and stating that they recognised his conditions remained and that would not change.
He was however,free to call on his GP for new referrals if the need arose.
He did feel abandoned but that statement affirmed his diagnoses and served to prove that there was a consensus of agreement around his poor state of health and consequent disability.
I find it hugely disappointing that a person with such illnesses no longer even warrants a yearly consultant’s assessment which then causes more disjointed communication when these assessments occur.
The gap created is enormous and leads to poor health and deterioration in the 7th wealthiest nation in the world and again penalises the carer and caree.
As an unpaid carer,I have lost my professional career and hundreds of thousands of pounds in salary whilst leading the “welfare lifestyle” that Mr Osborne has alluded benefit claimants enjoy and which he distastefully chose to link with the lifestyle of a psychopath who clearly had severe mental illness.
Who volunteers for this loss and this “welfare lifestyle”?
Certainly not my husband who had a successful career in the police force with the recognised potential to go to the top.
He is among a category within the 99% of genuine claimants who face the undeniable and inescapable fact that work on a safe and regular basis is not possible owing to long term severe and enduring illness.
The innocent are astonishingly finding themselves being harmed further by costly, flawed assessments, continuous political and media stigmatisation and the unforgiveable practice of demonisation.
The destructive effect that this drip propaganda and character assassination has,can no longer be disregarded. I would argue that it is well past time for carers to demand accountability, answers from a government who shockingly, are the guilty party committing overt physical and mental harm to the most vulnerable in society.
Each person is a unique and individual human being and this is being missed . One size will never fit all.
“Joe Blogs” down the road with a fractured leg and off work for 3 months will be back at work eventually.
My husband cannot ever do that and no amount of incorrect assessments will change that cold hard fact.
The unpalatable truth is he cannot safely and regularly sustain work without posing a risk and a danger to himself and those in contact with him. Very different from some of the myriad of other conditions we humans suffer from.
Each person requires equal attention to detail,in order to have a satisfactory outcome that does not take that person and their family deeper into the realms poverty and sickness, affecting the country as a whole and causing rising levels of crime and deprivation.
A staff member from ATOS has commented that the present scheme devised by Iain Duncan Smith is failing carers and their loved ones on a massive scale because it is throwing up very grave and dangerous omissions in care.
They are, as this staff member commented, carrying out government orders from the DWP.
Since this traumatic and unnecessary protracted process began, I have observed my husband’s health visibly relapse from the anxiety and concern inflicted by an unnecessary repeat of what he has had to endure for many years until, he once again faces the lethal onslaught of higher levels of depression, mania and increased states of physical pain and exhaustion.
All inflicted by his own government with whom he worked faithfully whilst very ill and which nearly cost him his life,rather than incur the uncivilised and dehumanising stigma that our country shamelessly labels the weak with.
Can a country that does this to a fellow human be considered as being civilised?
How many times does my husband have to prove, at the expense of his health, that the badge he now wears may no longer be a police badge but is nevertheless a badge of great courage, honour and dignity which depicts the monumental struggle to maintain a semblance of family stability and health whilst fighting against the formidable foe of disease?
I look forward to being able to discuss this situation at your first convenience, with grateful thanks.
Black Triangle will be taking a keen interest in Sarah Newton’s reply, or lack of one ….
ATOS: A carer’s heartrending plea for help from Sarah Newton deputy chair of the Conservative Party and MP for Truro and Falmouth