UNUM’s UNACCEPATABLE influence in the Formulation of UK DWP-ATOS Disability Assessment Regime: Letter to President of The Faculty of Occupational Medicine Royal College of Physicians



Mo Stewart

Disability researcher
Disabled veteran (WRAF)
Former healthcare professional

Dr Olivia Carlton

The Faculty of Occupational Medicine of
The Royal College of Physicians
3rd Floor, New Derwent House
69-73 Theobald’s Road

Re: SENSITIVE RESEARCH EVIDENCE – Unacceptable influence

Please excuse this unsolicited contact. However, as I bring to a close this independent research, I believe that I am duty bound to bring this evidence to your personal attention in your capacity as the President of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine. I make no apology for the length of this letter.

For in excess of three years I have examined the relationships between the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the private contractor Atos Healthcare and a corporate American healthcare insurance giant, now known as Unum Insurance. The final two published research reports are enclosed for your attention please as I believe that the information exposed is cause for serious concern. Older reports, as referenced, will also be included and this evidence has been cited several times during welfare debates in the House of Commons, the House of Lords and in Westminster Hall.

Mansel in the Middle
Mansel Aylward (Middle)

However, what is of significant concern is the identified disturbing influence of Unum Insurance with the British welfare reforms, ongoing since 1994, and the long history of the Professor’s close relationship with this highly discredited American corporate giant.

Together with Gordon Waddell, whilst funded and published by Unum Insurance at the UnumProvident Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research, Cardiff University, Sir Mansel co-authored The Scientific and Conceptual Basis of Incapacity Benefits.(1) This text was, effectively, the design for the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) as introduced by the DWP to assess all long-term sickness benefit claimants. Yet, this impressive looking report is identified by Professor Alison Ravetz as being seriously flawed and largely self-referential.(2)

Unum Back-Up Plan Logo

Professor Malcolm Harrington, who conducted three consecutive annual reviews of the WCA, on behalf of the DWP, may also be a member of the FOM. The calls for evidence for the Professor’s reviews were reproduced on the FOM website. With reference to the WCA, the Professor’s consecutive annual reports failed to identify the disturbing evidence regarding the WCA, as conducted by Atos Healthcare and as exposed by many others, including national frontline charities.(3) Yet, after stepping down from the role, Professor Harrington willingly appeared in a television documentary confirming that “..people will suffer.”(4)

Professor Malcolm Harrington
Professor Malcolm Harrington


Using the WCA, claimants diagnosed with life threatening conditions such as Emphysema or Heart Failure are being found fit for work and many die whilst placed in the ‘work related activity group’.(5) Patients who are in-patients in psychiatric units are being found fit for work in their absence(4), when sectioned, and this totally bogus WCA “occupational assessment” system is nothing less than medical tyranny influenced by corporate America.

unum denied


The introduction of the WCA, as designed in collusion with Unum Insurance, was the next step as successive UK governments planned to destroy the Welfare State, to be eventually funded by private healthcare insurance.(6)


However, following complaints by disability activists, the long ago planned mass marketing of Income Protection Insurance by Unum Insurance, that flooded the television channels last year, was quickly stopped by the Financial Services Authority.

They advised that the company were benefitting from “insider knowledge” having been government advisers on welfare reform. As a consequence, Unum Insurance suddenly announced that it would no longer provide Income Protection Insurance for access by the general public.(7)

Atos logo 2011


Last September Sir Mansel was challenged by a group of campaigners following attendance as a keynote speaker at the International Forum on Disability Management, hosted by the Royal Society of Medicine. During interview, as reported by the Editor of the Disability News Service(8), the Professor unexpectedly admitted that the BPS model of disability assessment was “..unsatisfactory” and that it “… no longer addresses the real needs of disabled people and the exclusion of disabled people from society.”

Sir Mansel continues to tour the world offering keynote speeches about the use of the BPS model of assessment, as provided by both Unum Insurance and Atos Healthcare, and used to resist funding benefit to as many as possible. No doubt the Professor was confident that any pending press release as a result of his comments would be totally disregarded.

What is of particular concern is the fact that the national press have been compromised and silenced. Sir Mansel’s unexpected admission that the BPS model of assessment, as used for the WCA, was now deemed by the self appointed expert to be “unsatisfactory” has implications for millions of UK citizens and SHOULD have made the front pages of the national press. Yet, the press release was totally ignored, demonstrating once again the government influence with the national press.(9) Indeed, if such comments were genuine, the Professor should have sent out his own press release but journalists have confirmed, in confidence, that there is a press ban on mentioning the links between Unum Insurance and the DWP welfare reforms. This is sinister.

The photograph shows the members of the Faculty Ethics Committee at the launch of Ethics Guidance for Occupational Health Practice in December 2012
The photograph shows the members of the Faculty Ethics Committee at the launch of
Ethics Guidance for Occupational Health Practice in December 2012


According to the FOM website, the stated values are: collaborative, authoritative, relevant, ethical.(10) That being the case, where is the challenge from the FOM to a member whose relationship with a foreign, discredited corporate insurance giant appears to have influenced his professional opinion for very nearly twenty years?

Where is the challenge by the FOM to a tyrannical government who constantly claim that a confirmed totally bogus assessment is an “occupational assessment” and why, if this is the case, is there no challenge to the government given that the private contractor, Atos Healthcare, fail to employ any Occupational Health doctors or Occupational Therapists?

[Insert by Black Triangle]
[Insert by Black Triangle]


The Coalition Government altered the WCA following election, to make it much, much tougher to gain access to long-term sickness benefit.

They totally disregarded the volumes of detailed evidence demonstrating that the WCA can’t work, especially when using totally unqualified ‘Decision Makers’ who are basic grade administrators.

Decision Makers have no knowledge or comprehension of medical terminology and, by their own admission, confirm they are incapable of deciphering detailed medical opinion as provided by GPs and Consultants.(11)

This was blindingly obvious to anyone with medical training, and it was a simple but significant fact that I personally brought to the attention of Professor Harrington when he began his WCA ‘reviews’. We exchanged several letters.

QED the unqualified Decision Makers simply ‘rubber stamp’ anything that the bogus WCA concludes, as provided by Atos Healthcare and designed by Unum Insurance. These administrators are totally unqualified to do anything else.

This is how medical tyranny is imposed by the British government and why countless thousands now live in dread of the WCA and many more are dying – killed by the State.(5)

Faculty President Dr Olivia Carter
Faculty President Dr Olivia Carter

Dr Carlton, you can’t be blind to the damage incurred by the disturbing influence of one of your members as the numbers of chronically sick and/or disabled people now dying, committing suicide or crippled due to the onset of profound mental health problems, due to this bogus WCA, are climbing daily.(12)

The pain and distress is desperate but no-one is listening, and I would urge you to watch a 3 minute video that will tell you much more than I ever could.(13)

If still unconvinced, I suggest you access an American CBS News video as former Unum staff expose the tyranny involved, and you will learn that the activities of Atos Healthcare and the DWP, as administrators, are a replica of this bogus Unum Insurance assessment system.(14)

In 2007, BBC News exposed the fact that a highly discredited corporate insurance giant were advising the British government on transforming the benefit system. The presenter mentioned confirmation with access to Unum documents – now in my possession – that boasted that the company were “driving government reforms”.(15)

Prof. Mike O'Donnell was Chief Medical Officer at Unum for 10 years before joining AtoS in the same role last year
Prof. Mike O’Donnell was Chief Medical Officer at Unum for 10 years before joining AtoS in the same role last year

The author of that Unum report is now the CMO for Atos Healthcare and was formerly the CMO for Unum Insurance….. More recently, Dr Greg Wood resigned from Atos Healthcare and exposed the fact that the WCA was “cruel” and based on “dubious concepts and shaky reasoning.”(16)

Of course, if you resist the detailed evidence provided in this portfolio, as do the national press and media, I can refer you to another significant report: ‘Incapacity Benefit Reform – the local, regional and national impact’ as authored by Professors Steve Fothergill & Christina Beatty.(17)

There are many online disability support groups. However, the Black Triangle Campaign was one of the first and has been the principle motivator behind exposing the many atrocities and the demonstrable human suffering due to the entirely bogus WCA. Black Triangle led the welfare reform campaign and has given detailed and disturbing evidence to the Scottish Parliament.(18)

I note with interest that you have supported the general opinion that “work is good for you”.

Your quoted comments are in keeping with those of Professor Sir Mansel Aylward’s when you claim:

“Too many people believe they can’t work, when with the right range of help and support they can. This new assessment service could be the solution – particularly for the vast majority of workers who don’t have access
to occupational health services through their employer.” (19)

Well, Dr Carlton, let’s hope “this new assessment service” to eventually provide OT services, to those off sick from work for more than four weeks, isn’t using yet another entirely bogus assessment as I doubt we have that many occupational health doctors in the country at the moment.

The WCA was co-designed with the input from one of the most discredited corporate insurance giants in the world, who had planned to flood the UK market with their highly discredited income protection insurance policies.

That didn’t work BUT the most vulnerable of all British people are now suffering and dying(12) and it’s time that someone in authority found the courage to expose this for what it is, long before any planned “new” system is designed.

As a former healthcare professional I totally agree that ‘work is good for you’. However, what academics and professionals need to remember is that the UK floats on an army of high calibre volunteers, who use their undoubted skills to work when physically able. As volunteers, we can take time away from our voluntary work without reprimand when not too well, when in hospital or when having a flare up of a frequently fluctuating condition. This flexibility simply isn’t possible when in paid employment.

The work undertaken by disabled volunteers I have no doubt saves many millions for the nation’s registered charities, so any ‘cost’ to the State is repaid in voluntary work many times over.

I trust I may have attracted your attention. Indeed, once you have accessed this disturbing research portfolio, you may be much better informed and demonstrate at least a little concern for the chronically sick and disabled people of the UK. They are totally dependent upon sickness/disability benefit for their very survival.

Brown Envelope
“Jimmy” © David Bissett https://blacktrianglecampaign.org/gallery/


atos_dr_nickNo enforced government tyranny, using a bogus “occupational assessment,” and administrative staff who are totally incapable of comprehending detailed medical reports, can ever possibly give an accurate assessment which is, even at best, nothing more than one day in the life of the chronically sick and/or disabled person.

Sir Mansel’s successor as the CMO at the DWP is Dr Bill Gunnyeon, who’s another member of the FOM, but he has yet to learn that it is very unwise to send letters written in temper. Given that Dr Gunnyeon does appear to be offended if a member of the public deems to make personal contact with him, he should learn that it’s never wise to act in haste as he will repent at leisure ………

DWP Chief Medical Officer Dr Bill Gunnyeon
DWP Chief Medical Officer Dr Bill Gunnyeon


Given the enclosed very detailed and disturbing evidence, I now invite you to make a public statement, as the President of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine. Members of the FOM are in positions of authority and influence and not only actively support the entirely bogus WCA but also claim that is it an “occupational assessment”.

Indeed, Dr Bill Gunnyeon becomes very angry and highly defensive when provided with disturbing evidence to the contrary.

I should advise that I am a disability researcher, a former healthcare professional and a disabled female veteran. This research has been conducted in a voluntary capacity, over the past three and a half years, and all referenced reports written by myself are already widely available online. Two have been published and the research is welcomed by academics and medical professionals.

first-do-no-harm-graphicPlease do not make the mistake of dismissing my concerns and detailed evidence by claiming that the FOM cannot interfere with government policy. The FOM is an Academy of the Medical Royal Colleges and, as such, there is a duty of care to ensure that all members act ethically and do not breach the Hippocratic Oath, whose first rule is First Do No Harm.

It is my understanding that Professor Sir Mansel Aylward used his undoubted influence with successive Governments, and his long relationship with a notorious American insurance giant, to introduce a totally compromised public “occupational assessment”. It was designed in consultation with Unum Insurance to guarantee that the majority of chronically sick claimants would lose Incapacity Benefit(2), regardless of diagnosis or prognosis, and that their very well publicised plight would encourage a dramatic take-up of private healthcare insurance. Unum Insurance fully expected to gain the largest share of the new insurance market but, happily, they were defeated.

This Government funded medical tyranny, impacting on the welfare of the most vulnerable of all, was planned by one of your members who is so confident that he’s now a Director of a Unum Company: The Health Claims Bureau. This company is ready and waiting to provide ‘assessments’ for private employers: (20)(21)

“We have an extensive range of services to meet the needs and fit the budgets of most risk management professionals. Across the group, our core function is to gather information to help the industry make fast and informed claims decisions to contain their risk, improve customer experience and to accentuate their profitability.” (21)

All this evidence refers to the transfer from Incapacity Benefit to the new Employment and Support Allowance. There is a new nightmare planned for all those in receipt of the Disability Living Allowance, to be changed to the new Personal Independence Payment, using yet another corporate designed “assessment.” I have no doubt that the horrors will continue.

May I respectfully suggest that failure to respond, or the suggestion that this matter is not of your concern, would be totally unacceptable given that you are the President of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine.

Yours, most sincerely

Disability researcher
Disabled veteran (WRAF)
Former healthcare professional

This is the missing legal review by 49 US States re Unum: http://www.maine.gov/pfr/insurance/unum/Unum_Multistate_ExamReport.htm

Initial Review: 31st Dec 2002 Follow-up Review: 29th Feb 2004.


” Unfair construction of attending physician or IME reports: The Companies’ excessive reliance upon in-house medical professionals also suggests the Companies’ employment of such professionals often resulted in a Company bias and the inappropriate interpretation or construction of medical reports, to the detriment of claimants. In certain instances, this bias was reflected in the interpretation of attending physicians’ statements or medical records supplied by attending physicians. In other instances in which the Companies had obtained an IME, the reports supplied by the IME providers were narrowly or even incorrectly construed. The bias of the in-house medical professionals was also reflected in attempts to focus upon any apparent inconsistencies in the medical records or other information supplied by claimants, rather than attempt to derive a thorough understanding of the claimant’s medical condition.”

“Failure to evaluate the totality of the claimant’s medical condition: The examination team identified instances in which claimants who suffered from multiple medical conditions were denied benefits as a result of the Companies’ apparent failure to properly evaluate the cumulative effects of such conditions. In some instances, the Companies’ failure to properly evaluate such “co-morbid” conditions appeared to stem from an excessively narrow focus upon the specific medical condition for which benefits had originally been sought by the claimant. By way of example, certain claimants exhibited a psychological “overlay” which was related to or may have resulted from an underlying medical condition. Although the Companies’ claim handling may have included an evaluation of each separate condition, there was an insufficient effort made to assess the disabling effects of the conditions cumulatively.”

“Inappropriate burden placed on claimants to justify eligibility for benefits: The examination team identified a significant number of instances in which benefits were denied by the Companies on the grounds that the claimant had failed to provide “objective evidence” of a disabling condition. The Companies’ policy forms do not require the claimant to provide such evidence. Alternatively, the Companies in certain instances denied eligibility for benefits on the grounds that the claimant had failed to submit particular medical test results which were deemed by the Companies to be critical to an evaluation of the claim. In such instances, the Companies could have obtained such test results by ordering an IME and requesting that such tests be performed by the IME provider. In general, the examination team found evidence of the Companies’ effort to “shift” the burden of responsibility to the claimant to provide medical or other records in support of the claim, rather than obtain such records through the use of authorizations executed by the claimant. These practices are particularly of concern for claimants whose medical conditions may be interfering with their ability to interact with the Companies’ staff in the handling of their claims.” etc, etc

Identical to Atos complaints…

My emphasis. MS

Mo Stewart 11th August 2013

See also:

Private firms’ role in creation of disability assessment regime in The Guardian, 




(1) The Scientific & Conceptual Basis of Incapacity Benefits
(2) Green Paper: A New Deal for Welfare: empowering people to work. 2006
– an independent assessment of the arguments for proposed Incapacity Benefit reform
(3) The Hidden Agenda:
(4) Panorama: Disabled or Faking It? http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01lldrc/Panorama_Disabled_or_Faking_It/
(5) 32 die a week after failing test for new incapacity benefit:
(6) From the British Welfare State to Another American State.
http://disability-studies.leeds.ac.uk/files/library/FROM-BRITISH-WELFARE-STATE-TO-ANOTHER-AMERICAN-STATE-2013- 3rd-edit-FINAL.pdf
(7) Unum withdraws from individual income protection.
(8) Former DWP medical boss makes WCA pledge to protestors.
(9) Aylward folds: Press Release – 3rd Oct 2012
(10) The Faculty of Occupational Medicine: http://www.fom.ac.uk/
(11) Welfare Reform – Redress for The Disabled: http://www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatosveterans.html#wres
(12) British people are committing suicide to escape poverty. Is this what the State wants?
http://poultonblog.dailymail.co.uk/2012/03/people-are-choosing-suicide-to-escape-poverty-is-this-the-states- final-solution.html
(13) WOW to Save a Life – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHzeU3z6A0Q (video)
(14) CBS News: Did Insurer Cheat Disabled Clients: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gknSNvGoX-c (video)
(15) BBC News Report re Unum 2007:
http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/UNUM_on_BBC_News_061107.wmv (video)
(16) BBC News: Disability benefit assessments “unfair” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22546036
(17) Incapacity Benefit Reform: the local, regional and national impact:
(18) Black Triangle submission to Scottish Parliament – the role of GPs & the DWP WCA
https://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2013/06/05/black-triangle-campaign-submission-to-the-scottish-parliament- health-committee-open-evidence-session-on-the-role-of-gps-and-the-dwp-atos-work-capability-assessment-regime/
(19)The Faculty and Society of Occupational Medicine respond to the Government’s Sickness Absence Review
http://www.fom.ac.uk/general-news/the-faculty-and-society-of-occupational-medicine-respond-to-the-government%E2%80%99s-sickness-absence-review APRIL 1st 2012
(20) The Health Claims Bureau – Board of Directors: http://www.hcbgroup.co.uk/pages/aboutus
(21) The Health Claims Bureau – services: http://www.hcbgroup.co.uk/pages/ourservices


(1) From the British Welfare State to Another American State – Published report MS
(2) The Hidden Agenda – research summary – Published report MS
(3) The Truth Behind Welfare Reforms – Links to Unum exposed 2011 – MS
(4) Welfare Reforms – Redress for The Disabled – MS
(5) Aylward Folds – press release – Oct 2012 – totally disregarded by national press and media
(6) Links to Disability News Service articles re Unum Insurance influence
(7) BBC News transcript 2007 – UNUM Insurance links with British welfare
(8) SEE: UNUM Insurance advert for workplace insurance.

Copied to:

(1) The Welfare Reform Committee
(2) The Public Accounts Committee
(3) Prof Alison Ravetz
(4) John Pring – Editor – Disability News Service
(5) Prof Peter Beresford – Professor of Social Policy – Brunel University
(6) Prof Nick Watson – Glasgow University
(7) Prof Mike Pringle – President RCGP
(8) Prof Sir Michael Rawlins – President RSM
(9) Prof Sue Bailey – President RCPsych
(10) Sir Richard Thompson – President RCP
(11) Prof Steve Fothergill – Sheffield Hallam Uni
(12) Professor Christina Beatty – Sheffield Hallam University
(13) Dr Stephen Hall
(14) Dr Stephen Carty
(15) Dr Christopher Johnstone
(16) Dr Margaret McCartney
(17) Dr Simon Duffy – Director, the Centre for Welfare Reform
(18) Dr Greg Wood – former Atos doctor
(19) Steve Griffiths – Senior Research Fellow
(20) Baroness Jane Campbell
(21) Baroness Tanni Gray-Thompson
(22) Professor Graham Watt – Glasgow University
(23) Professor Ruth the Baroness Lister
(24) Professor Sheila the Baroness Hollins
(25) Ravi Low-Beer – solicitor Public Law Project
(26) Sue Livett – Campaign for a Fair Society
(27) Tom Pollard – MIND
(28) Mike Hobday – MACMILLAN
(29) Keith Dryburgh – CAS
(30) Sue Royston – CAB
(31) Sonia Poulton – Freelance journalist
(32) Rev Paul Nicholson – Disability activist
(33) John James McArdle – Black Triangle Org
(34) Debbie Jolly – DPAC
(35) Gill Thorburn – academic
(36) Pat Onions – Disability activist
(37) Jane Young – Disability activist
(38) Online disability support groups – various
(39) Stephen Barclay MP


100 thoughts on “UNUM’s UNACCEPATABLE influence in the Formulation of UK DWP-ATOS Disability Assessment Regime: Letter to President of The Faculty of Occupational Medicine Royal College of Physicians

  1. Teddy Mcnabb says:

    Baroness Tanni Grey -Thompson, isn,t she fantastic, just ask those grieving for their dead loved ones, sick, and disabled , as a result of her paymasters Glaxosmithkline, I,m sure they will be delighted !

  2. Tony Dean says:

    Is there non Black Triangle link to this letter I can use as a reference for my MP please? (I am being realistic and wish them to read it not bin it.)

  3. Nancy says:

    Brilliant work, lets hope someone finally pays attention and acts, a lot of people are going to be in big trouble over this.

  4. Mo Stewart says:

    Teddy – no idea how TGT gets a mention following this letter and that really is very old news.
    The FOM have invited my permission to discuss the letter with the Board members and I’m still awaiting their considered reply, but will be sending them a reminder very soon.
    Thanks to JJ for the addition of various appropriate pictures throughout the text 🙂

    1. Karen M says:

      the images ARE great. The lady dancing has been reproduced elsewhere and the caption so apt regarding the Atos “miracles”.

    2. teddy mcnabb says:

      Mo as you were unaware of TGT,s involvement with GlaxoSmithKline , as per our exchange on the Atos Victims site, where itold you of her involvement, how you did,nt know astounds me, the blunt reality she has never ever condemned atos , but she has sold the dead , grieving and disabled victims of GlaxoSmithKline for 40 pieces of silver, I wont be getting in bed with the “selective” disabled “campaigners” like her!

  5. soiniciulacht says:

    In 2000 some research was carried out in Australia into their system which was the one Blair copied when hiring ATOS:
    ‘ Our research has suggested that political, social and economic environments play a large role in determining who can claim status as having a disability, and who is eligible for government assistance. The Disability Support Pension offers an example of this process. The government strategy to reduce the numbers in receipt on this benefit has targeted older and unskilled workers, who may be in receipt of this benefit after their medical practitioner has deemed them unable to work. Yet the lack of employment possibilities may be dependent on many other factors, rather than their impairment per se. As the unemployment benefit is paid at a lower rate that the Disability Support Pension, it will ‘save’ the government resources if these people can be moved off the Disability Support Pension.

    Getting disabled people ‘back to work’, which is the current Australian Government’s avowed intention, has not taken account of the costs of disability in pursuing work, for example taxi fares, extra support and so on. Individuals continue to be measured as to their functional capability, or incapacity for work; the capacity of social system to support disabled people in the work place is largely ignored.’


  6. jay says:

    A stunning critique and brilliantly written letter Mo.
    Your letter would be front page news if we had a press dedicated to democracy and free speech rather than serving the needs of their neoliberal masters.
    Let us hope that it will force the President of The Faculty of Occupational Medicine of The Royal College of Physicians and others into action.

  7. Jim says:

    A work of pure genius – alas until the medical fraternity disown ATOS and starve them of “lackies”, although subject of corporate/employer bullying/intimidation, should decline any involvement in the damaging and at times fatal attacks on UK citizens. Those who believe that they are doing justice to UK citizens are sadly uniformed with their heads deeply in the sand.
    Employers who find their candidates have been part of the disgusting attack of UK citizen by working for ATOS should decline to employ such candidates. I await the determination that the coalition government are acting illegally and the investigation currently being conducted by the UN. This involves the fact that the government is acting contrary to the stated UN aims.

    1. Mo Stewart says:

      Hi Jim –
      The medical fraternity HAVE disowned Atos…and so have the nurses. Both the BMA & RCA have BOTH voted unanimously to get rid of the WCA.

  8. Jayne Linney says:

    Thanks Mo for your work however, after my last WCA I was assessed as ‘Unfit’ to work & highly unlikely to work in future by the ATOS Dr; the Decision Makers (DM) in their wisdom decided I should be in the WRAG. After a long reconsideration they agreed that the report from ATOS should be followed and replaced me in the support group; clearly some DMs have decided to accept their right to autonomy and make their decision on the throw of a dice!

  9. Steve Davies says:

    Well done Mo , will be using some of your referenced work to assist me with my wife’s tribunal….when they decide to contact us .

      1. paul says:

        Hi, my head is bursting with an overflow of information. I have to attend a work assessment the end of the month, could you please send me a short version of your many good points to present to my assessor in order to get their view’s, as in my opinion this will be the first step in my appeal, it is a foregone conclusion that I will fail the assessment.

        Thanking you in advance.

  10. Karen M says:

    Mo, a great letter. Many thanks for all your hard work exposing the stink that is the DWP, Atos and UNUM relationship. The evidence and the people involved show just how entrenched the BPS model has become.

    It is a pity there isn’t a national newspaper with enough independence and gumption to print your letter as a whole page. Or is there?

    1. Mo Stewart says:

      NO there isn’t Karen and I have been told more than once, in confidence by various national journalists, that there is a government ‘ban’ on any reference to the links between the DWP & Unum – others just claim that they don’t dare risk exposing a corporate giant who may tie them up in possible litigation for years etc, etc… However bad you think it is, it’s worse….
      I am being invited to be interviewed for a new TV channel – online – and I’m considering the implications.

      1. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

        “that there is a government ‘ban’ on any reference to the links between the DWP & Unum”

        Why !! I thought Unum don`t operate in the UK. Proof Unum operates in the UK.

        1. Karen M says:

          The present DWP chief medical adviser (CMA) is Dr Bill Gunyeon and the previous CMA was Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, formerly DWP. The Prof is director of the Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research (CPDR) at Cardiff University. Unum sponsored CPDR from when it opened to 2003 until 2009- at a time when the Prof was CMA at DWP. A probable conflict of interest.

          Both Gunyeon and Aylward are keen to promote the idea that everybody regardless of their health condition can do some work. Stangely this is what Unum touts around a range of seminars and meetings attended by medical professionals, Atos representatives and DWP representatives.

          1. Mo Stewart says:


            Official stats has Aylward leaving DWP in 2005 so, officially, he wasn’t at DWP when he wrote the letter…

            Atos represents themselves, follow the Unum mantra and both have influenced DWP and so called welfare reforms. The time is coming I think when I’ll send JJ the official UNUM document that boasted that they were ‘guiding welfare reforms’ in the UK.

        2. Karen M says:

          My apologies I didn’t proofread my own comment or look at Geoff’s comments below.
          The present chief medical adviser (CMA) at DWP is Dr Bill Gunyeon and the previous CMA was Professor Sir Mansel Aylward. The Prof is director of the Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research (CPDR) at Cardiff University but is either retiring or has retired (?). Unum sponsored CPDR from when it opened in 2003 until 2009- at a time when the Prof was CMA at DWP. A probable conflict of interest whatever the reply from DWP in Geoff’s FOI (see below).

          Both Gunyeon and Aylward are keen to promote the idea that everybody regardless of their health condition can do some work, that illness is only partly medical and that pain is largely psychological and that grimacing with pain is fake behaviour. This biopsychosocial (BPS) model they all support is what Unum carries on touting around a range of seminars and meetings attended by medical professionals, Atos representatives and DWP representatives. Thanks Geoff for posting your FOIs from What Do They Know.

      2. paul says:

        Hi, please email as to how and when I can see this online TV interview.

        Thanking you in advance, Paul

  11. Tony Dean says:

    As my last message is still awaiting moderation, I thought people here would like to know I have forwarded the letter to three MPs, who I know have a close interest in all things related to the Work Capability Assessment.

    1. paul says:

      Hi Tony,
      could you let me know the names and contact details of all the people you mention.

      Thanking you in advance, Paul

  12. Michael Gibson says:

    Please format your 11 Aug 13 report into pdf so we can run it off and print it. We have the same problem in NZ and I want to distribute your report to those who need to know about it.

    1. Mo Stewart says:

      Michael –
      I’m already in touch with some academics in your part of the world. Send me your private email and I’ll send you all the reports in PDF format.

      1. Michael Gibson says:

        Dear Ms Stewart
        As requested, my email is that above.
        Michael Gibson
        PS I have some research to send you, too.

  13. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    Dear Mr Reynolds ,

    Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 10 June 2013 in which you

    ‘You constantly inform me that there is no conflict of interest between your CHIEF MEDICAL

    The Guardian, Wednesday 12 September 2012 21.00 BST

    This week the sixth International Forum on Disability Management, IFDM 2012, takes place at
    Imperial College London. It is sponsored by some of the world’s largest medical insurance
    companies, Unum among them, and speakers include DWP chief medical adviser Dr Bill
    Gunyeon and Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, formerly DWP chief medical adviser and director
    of the Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research at Cardiff University, which was
    sponsored by Unum from its inception in 2003 until 2009.

    Unum’s website states that during this sponsorship period “a series of papers was published,
    identifying the range of factors that determine why some people become long-term absentees”.
    The Cardiff papers advocated a “biopsychosocial model” of disability which Unum says
    “informed its approach to medical underwriting”. It is the same approach upon which the
    current Atos work capability assessment (WCA) is based. Concomitantly, the company were
    advising the UK government on welfare reform.

    Please answer the following questions,

    1/ Have UNUM had any input, whatsoever, in the formation of ESA examinations?

    2/ Does Gunnyeon receive any remuneration, whatsoever, from the Insurance Industry?

    3/ Has Gunnyeon received ANY FORM OF SPONSORSHIP MONEY whilst a guest speaker?

    4/ Was the Biopsychosocial model of disability that originated in Cardiff University, via UNUM
    and AYLWARD, used within the ESA examinations process?

    5/ Has GUNNYEON accepted any gifts, holidays etc, whatsoever, from the Insurance

    6/ What does GUNNYEON think to the number of suicides and deaths occurring on his

    7/ Did the outgoing, Professor, Sir Mansel Aylward have any influence on Bill Gunnyeon,
    replacing him as CMO of the DWP?


    The Work Capability Assessment was developed in collaboration with a range of
    medical and occupational health experts. Sue Godby, of the College of Occupational
    Therapists and Unum Provident, was part of the Mental Health Technical Working
    Group, along with eight other professionals. Dr Peter Dewis, a disability analyst and
    Customer Care Director, Unum Provident, was part of the Physical Function Technical
    Working Group, along with nine other professionals.

    Dr Gunnyeon receives no remuneration from the insurance industry

    Dr Gunnyeon represents the Department when undertaking speaking engagements and
    no sponsorship has been received

    The biopsychosocial model is part of the International Classification of Function,
    Disability and Health (ICF). The ICF is the World Health Organisation’s framework for
    measuring health and disability at both individual and population levels. The ICF was
    officially endorsed by all 191 WHO Member States in the fifty-fourth World Health
    Assembly on 22 May 2001(resolution WHA 54.21). Unlike its predecessor, which was
    endorsed for field trail purposes only, the ICF was endorsed for use in Member States
    as the international standard to describe and measure health and disability.

    When undertaking Work Capability Assessments on behalf of the Department, Atos
    healthcare professionals are provided with guidance, which includes reference to the
    biopsychosocial model.

    Dr Gunnyeon has accepted no gifts from the insurance industry.

    The Freedom of Information Act provides you with an access right to recorded
    information but it does not extend to requests for views and/or comments.

    Dr Gunnyeon was appointed Chief Medical Adviser in 2005 following an open
    recruitment exercise overseen by the Civil Service Commissioners who maintain the
    principle of selection for appointment to the Civil Service on merit on the basis of fair
    and open competition.

    If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number
    Yours sincerely,

    DWP Central FoI Team

  14. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    Dear Mr Reynolds,


    Thank you for your Freedom of Information requests of 11 June in which you asked:

    Have any senior members or ministers with links to the Department of Works and Pensions received money from lobbying groups representing ATOS, UNUM, or any members of the Insurance Industry?
    Have any senior members or ministers declared payments from any of the above?
    If so please elucidate and explain why a conflict of interest was not declared.

    Have any senior members or ministers with links to the Department of Works and Pensions received money from lobbying groups representing ATOS, UNUM, or any members of the Insurance Industry?
    Have any senior members or ministers declared payments from any of the above?
    If so please elucidate and explain why a conflict of interest was not declared.

    Have any senior members or ministers with links to the Department of Works and Pensions received money from lobbying groups representing peripheral healthcare organisations such as CAPITA, SERCO etc, who have taken on roles within the parameters of Welfare Reforms?
    Have any senior members or ministers declared payments from any of the above?
    If so please elucidate and explain why a conflict of interest was not declared.

    Have any senior members or ministers with links to the Department of Works and Pensions received shares or gifts from lobbying groups representing ATOS, UNUM, or any members of the Insurance Industry?
    Have any senior members or ministers declared payments from any of the above?
    If so please elucidate and explain why a conflict of interest was not declared.

    Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act allows us to direct you to information which is already reasonably accessible to you. Information held by this Department that you may find of use in relation to your request can be found at the attached link to the Department’s website




    The information for the period 1 January to 31 March will be published in due course. Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act exempts from disclosure information that is intended for future publication.

    From records held by this Department no gifts have been received by senior managers from the groups you have mentioned.
    If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.
    Yours sincerely,

    DWP Central FoI Team

  15. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    Our Reference: FOI 4266-5116

    24 January 2013

    Dear Mr Reynolds
    Freedom of Information Act – Request for Information

    Thank you for your Freedom of Information request which we received on 24/12/2012.

    You asked:
    1. Have executives of U N U M corporation sat on mental or physical, technical working
    groups on behalf of any British government?
    2. Have executives or staff, from either U N U M, or A T O S, acted in steering any
    favourable decisions for contracts for themselves?
    3. Have A T O S, who funded the Biopsychosocial Research department at Cardiff
    University, now distanced themselves from this department?
    4. Does the department above, still do classes and accreditation for A T O S HCP
    5. Could this cosy relationship be defined as a “Conflict of interest” that is clearly apparent,
    blatant and reprehensible, given the magnitude of the effects of their policies inflicted on
    the disabled?

    In reply to Qs 1, 2, 3 & 4 DWP does not hold any information on these subjects, as they are not
    connected to the DWP Medical Services Contract.

    In response to Q 5 the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act is about the supply of recorded
    information held by the Department rather than explaining things or confirming whether your
    assumptions are correct or not, therefore this question is not, under FoI a valid request.

    Yours sincerely

    DWP Business Management Team
    Health & Disability Assessments (Operations)


  16. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    You recently quoted the following paragraph in a FOI response;

    ‘The assisted text phrases that may be used to construct the medical history were drawn from
    many sources including the Incapacity Benefit Handbook, medical text books, examples of high
    quality Personal Capability Assessment report and discussions with experienced approved
    Healthcare Professionals (HCP). They have been quality assured by panels of experienced
    HCPs and deemed appropriate for constructing good quality relevant clinical and functional
    histories and were agreed in consultation with the DWP Health and Benefits Division (formerly
    Corporate Medical Group).




    In response, I can advise that neither the Department nor Atos Healthcare hold any
    documentation that links the LiMA software, used for Work Capability Assessments, with Unum,
    the insurance industry or Mansel Aylward.
    If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number

    Yours sincerely

    Business Management Team
    Health & Disability Assessments (Operations)

  17. Meredith Ong says:

    The decline in living standards in the uk, the introduction to poverty and the statistics to more than prove, suicide rates are spiralling, are the brainchild of one twisted individual, BILL GUNNYEON.

    GUNNYEON is the faceless one who hides behind his position of Chief Medical Officer of the DWP.

    Bolstered by donations from the Insurance Industry, (of which Gunnyeon and his chums are honoured speakers), our government have set out on a path of Welfare Reforms that deny the very poorest in society, especially the disabled.

    Each piece of legislation bears the hallmarks of this modern day “Angel of Death”.
    Every item of denial of benefit carries his endorsement. To him you are just superfluous to a life in this day and age, hence the corrupted, twisted policies that he underwrites……

    History has told us that behind every fanatical leader, there is always a minion lapping at their heels to gain some kind of recognition. They are usually hated by most because they recognise the level of toadying as dangerous.

    Obviously, the aforementioned is more than dangerous. His elevation to the dizzy heights of his title has underpinned his craving to take away life…..

    His dark thoughts from childhood now manifest themselves in legislation, in effect removal by statute.

    What i cannot understand is why he pursued his career on the grounds of helping disabled, yet abuses his position by demonising them…………..

    Maybe he has a psychological problem that has not been detected. I wonder if ATOS software that he helped to build, could identify his problem? I seriously doubt it because its not fit for purpose!

    One things for certain, whatever cuts to whatever benefit, he is the key…….

    Link to this

    1. Mo Stewart says:

      Gunnyeon continues what Aylward started. Considering he is registered with the FOM, it beggars belief that this man could have ever been a doctor.

      1. Karen M says:

        In order to take up the post of CMA, Dr Gunnyeon resigned as Medical Director of Capita Health Solutions…mmm

      2. Karen M says:

        More on Gunnyeon:
        “An experienced occupational physician, he has had a varied career in occupational health encompassing the Royal Air Force, the public sector and outsourced occupational health provision in the private sector, the latter in both clinical and business management roles.

        A Past President of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine and former Chair of the Association of Local Authority Medical Advisers, he has played a key role in the development and delivery of the Government’s Health, Work and Wellbeing strategy. He was responsible for leading the Government’s response to Dame Carol Black’s 2008 review; the subsequent programme of initiatives including the fit note and Fit for Work Service pilots, and was responsible for the preparation of the Government’s response to the recent independent Sickness Absence Review.”
        (from the Vocational Rehabilitation Association website)

      3. Karen M says:

        One of the FOM’s aims is “maximising people’s opportunities to benefit from healthy and rewarding work while not putting themselves or others at unreasonable risk.” Given what claimants passed ‘fit for work’ and claimants in WRAG have to go through this aim has been deducted so “opportunities to benefit from healthy”, “rewarding” and “while not putting themselves or others at unreasonable risk” are not factored in. What is left is “maximising people’s work”. That kind of sums up policy at Westminster and Whitehall.

        1. Karen M says:

          Sorry, my comment was done in an episode of fibro fog. Basically what I was trying to say is the FOM’s aim can be reduced by DWP to “maximising people’s [capability to] work”.

  18. Meredith Ong says:


    He took over the round of Mansel Aylward who passed on his knowledge.

    Bill, not being very bright, jumped at the chance to make a name for himself,


    More people have died on Bills watch than at any time……..

    ………mind you, it’s a price worth paying when your firmly in the pocket of “THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY”.

    1. Karen M says:

      Meredith, I would hesitate to compare Gunnyeon with Josef Mengele. The Holocaust as experienced by Jews and others at Auschwitz was far far worse than you can imagine.

      1. Meredith Ong says:

        I rate Gunnyeon worse than JOSEF MENGELE.

        We are supposed to have learned a lesson from history.

        This man bears all the hallmarks of a deranged demon from the Nazi regimes. He will stop at nothing to step up another rung of the ladder, whilst killing anything in his path to achieve his goals.
        Probably schizophrenic, his visions of grandeur allow him to mix in important circles and meet important people.
        Something lurks in his alter ego, maybe some form of hatred of disabled people.

        The voices in the back of his mind are telling him that he is fundamentally wrong, but the Jekyll and Hide Mr. Nasty side always masks the doubt.

        He feeds on ovation while speaking at health insurance seminars,
        The madness is there for all to see.
        Furnish him in a black tunic, SS runes on the collar, swastika armband, iron cross and a silver braid breast eagle pendant ……..

        A marriage made in heaven for the DWP.

  19. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    ……as the hearse approached the traffic lights, Bill Gunnyeon turned to his secretary and said, “i wonder if it’s one of mine?”,
    come on Bill, she giggled, “it must be!”

  20. Mo Stewart says:

    Gunnyeon is not the problem. If not Gunnyeon, someone else would do the job. The problem is that these men are supposed to be doctors, who swore to uphold the Hippocratic Oath and are breaching it and this is something the FOM must deal with before the UN make a ruling later this year.
    The published letter has been edited from the original, with significant info left out, and may yet be corrected.

  21. Meredith Ong says:

    From: MEREDITH ONG (Account suspended)

    30 July 2013

    Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

    After reading this update regarding the introduction and time frame
    of universal credit, i start to wonder, who is pulling the wool
    over whose eyes….

    Dear Meredith Ong,

    Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received 30 July 2013. You asked;

    “How much has been spent on this doomed fiasco?

    When will ministers accept that it is not fit for purpose and never will be?

    Whose head will roll if it is abandoned?

    What happened to the security measures within the software?

    How long before it is abandoned, leaving one of the largest bills for a failed project in British

    We hold no information on a doomed fiasco.

    If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number
    Yours sincerely,

    DWP Central FoI Team

      1. Meredith Ong says:

        Of course its related!

        Suffering at the hands of this brutal regime and the consequences of where i get my next meal are paramount to my existence, and yours.

  22. Tony Dean says:

    Can the management please email me the reason why I have two messages still awaiting moderation?

  23. Darik Hart says:

    Mo, thankyou. This item has been linked to by NV over at DWPexam’. You know he & I and many others respect and appreciate you and your work.
    I hope that this letter, at the very least, hits a nerve and makes several ‘someones’ feel extremely uncomfortable. ‘They’ know we’re onto them, and are trying to brazen it out. With work like yours and that of other luminaries, and every ‘mosquito-bite’ that others can inflict, these well-rewarded corporate marionettes must feel the heat at some stage.
    Thank you for all you do. (Time s/one paid a visit over here to repeat the sentiment.) DH ♥
    Please take up the tv offer?

  24. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    Report after report the failed system or system failed. It is a contradiction policy that runs the DWP – UNUM – ATOS welfare reforms. No not on targets but yes on targets. Yes & no makes a yes & no report. So the reports have contradictions about a contradiction policy. That`s what make a great contradiction [in terms of power] policy. What`s even better is it confuses people, even the ones doing reports about mispratice. A resulting contradictary report on the contradiction policy. Sub contractors like contradictions it helps their income tax paying flow.
    Q. What is a contradiction contract ?
    A. ESA Form, ESA50 Form, Integrity Department, Town & Country PLC, ATOS – All doctorine the form before I get it.
    DWP – UNUM – ATOS – Triage ……………………….
    sign on the dotted line only 8 left of the 22 sub contractors the dwp hired the contract out to.

    1. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

      They forgot there is a big difference between a contradiction & bulls**t. Is that also a contradiction in terms!!!

  25. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    From: MEREDITH ONG (Account suspended)

    29 July 2013

    Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
    You recently wrote the following in response to the removal of
    Lifetime and Indefinite Awards…

    01150 A decision made by a DM, the FtT or the UT is final1 unless
    it is
    1. revised (decisions of DMs only)
    2. superseded
    3. terminated after an award has been suspended
    4. changed or replaced on appeal
    5. corrected or
    6. set aside (decisions of the FtT or the UT only).
    Note: See DMG 01180 – 01191 for guidance on finality of
    1 SS Act 98, s 17(1)
    01151 Where a decision is changed or replaced as in DMG 01150, the
    new or revised decision becomes
    the final decision on the claim or application, even where it does
    not change the outcome1. But see DMG
    01152 – 01153 where an outcome decision is not replaced on appeal.

    With reference to the above;

    Can an award that was made at a tribunal hearing that was attended
    by one or maybe two professional GP’s, be taken away by a DWP
    decision maker who has no medical background?
    The aforementioned text seems to imply this.

    Why would an award be retracted if the claimants condition had not
    altered or got worse?

    How many claimants have had their “lifetime or Indefinite awards”
    taken from them, having attended the controversial ESA examination?

    Yours faithfully,

    GEOFF REYNOLDS | August 30, 2013 at 9:25 am | Reply

    Almost sinister……..
    Ask yourselves, why have they not responded to such a simple question?

    Can an award that was made at a tribunal hearing that was attended
    by one or maybe two professional GP’s, be taken away by a DWP
    decision maker who has no medical background?

    1. Mo Stewart says:

      Thanks very much.

      There’s been a bit of a technical problem with this very long letter, all my fault of course, so it may be edited soon with the full contents published.

  26. nick says:

    well whatever mo all i know that over the past 33 years the DWP have left me looking like a Japanese prisoner of war and what cant speak cant lie

    The last person to talk about the Syrian regime is David Cameron hence he lost the vote last night which was as obvious before he started his speech as the days long

    the killing of some sick and disabled by whatever means is just as bad as the Syrian government gassing their people

    The look on a heart / asthma patient face in stress by the DWP before they die is the same as if they had been gassed

    Your doing a great job mo in highlighting the wrongs of the uk government but for me your well late to my rescue but sincerly hope you win through to save the lifes of others for the future

  27. nick says:

    another death mo for your records just in


    An inquest last week heard Lee Robinson of West Green (Crawley) committed suicide after after losing his benefits while being long-term unemployed….Until the end of last year the 39-year-old was receiving Employment Support Allowance while he was looking for work. However, he was told he was no longer eligible for it, and his council tax benefit was also being assessed.

    He challenged the decisions, but at the end of last year was referred to Crawley mental health services suffering with suicidal thoughts.

    On February 4 he was found by a friend hanged. He left a suicide note.

    1. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

      The person responsible for denying this man his benefits must be really feeling the heat………………

      Whoever it was, is involved in a decision that was “tantamount to murder by decree”and should suffer for the rest of their days.

      “Yes you spineless bastards”, its so easy sending a brown paper envelope through the post, someone has got to pick up all the fucking pieces afterwards…….

      Anyone can distance themselves from their actions and pretend to be oblivious to the outcome.

      Sanction targets, of which you claim do not exist, have taken another precious life away, someones son, brother, father or grandson……..



  28. Nigel Simmons says:

    If only we the Electorate knew that Cameron & Blair were in Collusion before the Election the outcome might have been a different matter.As I have stated previously Blairs designs on Syria were thwarted by Assad eventually hence the latest excuse for involvement.” Cameron had backed Blair’s decision to block the publication of some damming letters in return for his ‘neutrality or tacit support’ at the Last general election”.Blair did carry on Thatchers Policies after hijacking the Labour Party and Cameron has implemented them.Now we know why Miliband becoming Labour Leader was so ‘Tied ‘to Tory Principal.Blair’s 100 years gag on his term in Office,his repealing of the Treason Act,now we face a new Bill in the form of a Gagging Act to stop us from using our own voices against the whole Corrupt System.Its reading takes place on Fri 6th Sept.It was no joke “We are all in it Together” BSB.

  29. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    ATOS Wealthcare kills disabled says Black Triangle at Vodafone Protest

    published 2nd sep 2013

    1. Mo Stewart says:

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate:

      Can you please send me a separate link to this video of BT please so I can use it as reference in emails and reports.



  30. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    Whoever dream’t up the old adage, “Proud to be British”, has a lot to answer for………

    Colder weather is on our doorsteps already and my body is telling me the pain is yet to come as the thermometers start to drop.

    Having my disability benefits stolen by the caring, DWP, has left me in a precarious position where my partner, my son and i, are trying to exist on £110 per week.

    Luckily, i own my own home and have no mortgage or rent to pay. This is a huge bonus.

    The law states that you need £71 a week to survive, yet no exercise has ever been done to see if this is enough to sustain a human being.
    I know this, as i asked via a freedom of information request to the DWP………

    Amazing, isn’t it?, a country as big as ours, the seventh richest in the world, but no exercise has ever been done to see if the benefit you are afforded, can sustain you!!!!

    The word shocking comes to mind……..

    Our gas fire has never been lit for four years now. We cannot afford to heat the house and have hot water as well.

    Masking tape will be put around the front door and letterbox to insulate from the cold.
    Two or three, second hand fleeces will be worn to keep out the cold, these will be thrown back onto the beds later as we retire to sleep.

    It seems strange to witness the warm vapour from your breath as you huddle indoors in the chill of the room……..

    “Proud to be British”, you must be joking…………….

    Its cheaper to cook using a barbecue tray with charcoal than light the gas. they are only a pound in the cheap shops that now litter the high streets as our economy goes into freefall.

    Trouble is, have to be careful of fatal emissions of co2 from the charcoal, so we have to open the door which then lets in the cold air………….

    Seldom do we find anything to grill, apart from the out of date sausage from the reduced counter, or a piece of fresh roadkill, usually just a value can of cheap soup which we thin to go three ways.

    I see myself as lucky. How many pensioners will succumb to hypothermia this year as the energy giants rub their hands with glee over their grossly unexplainable profits?

    No proper statistics will ever be released as this is the new “norm” of the coalition, to pretend it’s not happening.

    The regulators have no teeth and are in fact paid by the very firms they are supposed to monitor…………..a huge joke really!

    Not much left of Britain nowadays, anyway. The evil witch privatised everything of value and all the assets are strewn across Europe. The other year they tried to flog the port of Dover, how sick are we really becoming?

    Charles Dickens was somewhat of a visionary as well as an author.

    I am sure he would turn in his grave if he saw the saga of ” A CHRISTMAS CAROL”, unfolding in modern times………..

    1. Nigel Simmons says:

      Who actually runs Britain ? We are fed so much BS it is very difficult to fathom out.G20 the EU or the USA.Similar to Offshore Trusts it is very Difficult to follow the trail.Germany ie Merkel the unelected voice of the EU & the USA have a special trade deal.G20 an International body decide Major Policy affecting Individual Member States Consumer Pricing.The EU affect this Countries Social Fabric with 1000’s of obscure Laws.The USA’s influence in this Counties Domestic & International Policy.Is it that they are all in the same swim in murky waters.UNUM the USA’s not fit for purpose International Disability Insurance Company Run NEST our new Pension Fund,initiated ATOS assessments and the new Working Contracts being introduced this week.G4S another useless Agency of the Work Programme is sponsored by the European Social Fund.Our Armed Forces Equipment has been shared with France.Who Knows.

      1. Karen M says:

        The people running the country are the senior civil servants like Robert Devereux. If you google his name you can see what he is up to.

  31. Humanity2012 says:

    This Pisstake has to End

    No Organization which does Not Properly Care about the Poor
    and Vulnerable should have any Influence in the Formation of
    Welfare Policy

  32. Karen M says:

    Has anybody looked at the UK Unum blog? There is a short thread on Jack McGarry’s view of the 2011 Demos Report. Interesting read on the connections Unum had (has) with government depts and others.

  33. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    “AS THICK AS THIEVES”………………………

    A contract to treat NHS patients with brain tumours has been awarded to a controversial American healthcare firm that is a donor to the Tory party.

    The multi million pound deal with Hospital Corporation of America arose as it was confirmed that they had donated £17,000 since they came to power.

    As usual, it was squeezed through quietly just days before the government handed responsibility for cancer care to NHS England.

    Opposition MP’s branded it “scandalous”.

    HCA is already mired in controversy, along with two other firms for overcharging around £193 million between 2009 and 2011……………


    HCA has a chequered history in the US and has been fined over a billion dollars for mis-selling health care!!!

    Seems the only way forward for the government is to introduce the “COMPLETE DROSS” of the disability denial scams from the yanks, onto our shores…………

    Keep your eyes on the toffee nosed bastards who are systematically selling you down the river whilst filling their unsatiable greed with dirty money.

    The scumbags on the front benches don’t give two fucks who dies next as long as their wallets and purses are busting from the pressure of undeclared bungs from unscrupulous crooks…………….

  34. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    I am not being funny, but is it me or is it Cameron who is out of touch?

    Fourteen hundred people died in a chemical act on foreign shores and no-one is really sure who did it, yet the P.M. wants to dive headlong into a war to right the wrongs of the infidels………….

    What does’nt equate, is the DWP, empowered by the coalition government and a weak stance from Labour, have ended many more lives on our own shores.

    The culprits are known to us and the “Cull of those showing least resistance”, is in full flow……….
    Pardon me for trying to be politically correct, but this, surely, is the most hypocritical fiasco i have ever encountered!!

    The DWP carry out murders backed by the cover of legislation and nothing is done, yet Cameron is willing to sacrifice our young soldiers to be butchered in an attack on Syria where the perpetrators are unknown.

    To rub salt into the wound, the recipients of life threatening injuries and amputations would end up in front of an ATOS examination, only to be robbed of any disability benefits.

    Its a wonder, that the wankers who hide behind the title of “Taxpayers Alliance”, (A JOKE IN ITSELF), have not suggested that our unemployed could be utilised within the theatre of war, under the terms of workfare……………..

    I would not piss on our government!!!!

    They are so out of touch with the regular, Joe Bloggs, person on the street, they might as well represent Easter Island.
    At least they would be at home with the other big headed bastards, carved from rock!!

    At the G20 summit, Cameron was forced to defend comments made about us being a tiny island……………

    Its about time he realised, we are, just that, insignificant by our size.

    Britain is like a midget, pissed up, punch drunk boxer.
    Any little skirmish and we jump up shouting “PUT EM UP”

    Putin said some true things today;

    He said the Russians looked upon our country as an empire when we stood up against the evil of the nazis, along with Russia.
    He went on to say Russian attitudes changed when Blair took us into war with Iraq with lies generated by the Yanks, that he sold to our people. We had become Americas poodle………
    After this, Russian attitudes changed towards us, no longer were we looked upon as an empire…..

    How come all opinion polls show the general public, over seventy percent, do not want to engage in another protracted war, yet our politicians who are supposed to reflect our opinions, do?.

    Out of touch, they certainly are……………….

    …………and so is Cameron by claiming the British are proud of their heritage and find it a pleasure to reside here……….

    “Think again you tossbag”, try asking the victims of your heinous crimes against humanity, what they really think?

    You, your cronies and the DWP, would be dangling, lifeless, on a rope thrown over a tree, piss dripping down your legs…………………..

  35. Marcus says:

    Hi Mo

    You are doing a great job exposing the somehow “corrupt” and manipulative work of Professor Mansel Aylward, who was at least indirectly on the payroll of Unum Provident, running this bizarre disability research department at Cardiff University.

    He has been doing his many trips around New Zealand over recent years, “advising” local general practitioner conferences, various medical professional organisations and of course the New Zealand government on the “health benefits” of work.

    Sadly here in New Zealand we have (not yet) got such committed and hard working disability support and advocacy groups like the Black Triangle Organisation.

    But with the present government here having embraced the truly very flawed ideas of Mansel Aylward, Gordon Waddell and others, some here are waking up to what is going on, and are making efforts to inform the public, especially those affected. We have the same challenges as you have in the UK, with the mainstream media showing lack of interest, or being even too afraid to raise the issues with questionable medical and work capability assessments the Aylward way, also his perverted “bio psycho-social model. So not much has been exposed as yet.

    The following links give access to some collated research information on all this, primarily focused on how it affects New Zealanders now. It is also using some of your valued research, and I think you will probably not object to some references made to this:



    The government here has relied on hand-picked “experts” to justify recent, draconian welfare reforms. They claim they have avoided the mistakes made in the UK, but the truth is far from that.

    Th local Work and Income Department here (short WINZ, our version of DWP) is also using “advice” from a Principal Health Advisor Dr David Bratt, who strongly supports Aylwards ideas, and even claims benefit dependence is no different to “drug dependence”!

    Shockingly blunt that man is, who is behind his regional health and disability advisors, all involved in the culling of many sick and disabled on welfare benefits from welfare support.

    At least some social media here is catching onto what goes on.

  36. geoff reynolds says:



    Please read the story and the DWP reply at the end.

    Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 22/08/2013. For ease of
    reference I have reproduced your request in full below:

    I’m going to initially mention a specific case but then move into the topic more generally.

    Robert Punter, a one-legged man was falsely accused of fiddling disability benefit after officials
    examined his wrong leg in error.

    He had undergone a nightmare year of anxiety after being taken to court by benefits officials
    who told him he was not disabled enough to claim the allowance even though he was having
    his leg amputated.

    The mix up occurred because the 63-year-old ex trucker, whose left leg was shattered in a
    boyhood shotgun accident, also suffered a serious toe injury in his right foot.

    He was prosecuted when officials found a letter in his medical file showing he had made a full
    recovery from this operation and accused him of lying about his condition.

    He is angry that he has been treated as a dole fiddler despite battling to overcome his disability
    and working for 47 years, often in excruciating pain.

    After months of waiting for his case to be heard at Crown Court, it was actually thrown out in
    less than five minutes.

    The case was dropped after the defence solicitor obtained a statement from Torbay Hospital
    consultant Mr Patrick Loxdale confirming that Robert had always suffered from a disability
    which entitled him to benefit.

    A Department of Work and Pensions spokeswoman said:”We cannot comment on individual

    “In this case the defendant’s health deteriorated as the case was being progressed. In light of
    his deteriorating health it was not in the public interest for this case to continue.”

    Thus now onto my questions:
    How much money did the above error cost the DWP?

    How much money did the DWP lose since August 2012 taking claimants to court and losing
    the cases?

    (Please note I’m not asking for a defence of DWP actions and what it’s doing to cut costs in
    this request)

    Yours faithfully,


    Dear Mr

    Whilst I understand the sentiments behind your questions, the Department for Work and
    Pensions does not accept that an error occurred in bringing a prosecution in the case you refer

    The Department believes it is right to seek to prosecute those people committing benefit fraud
    where the fraud has been serious enough to warrant it and where the evidence exists to justify
    a prosecution. This is so that the courts can independently decide the outcome, taking in to
    account all the circumstances and what punishment to give if the accused is found to be guilty.

    1. Nigel Simmons says:

      All the Sabre rattling over Syria has dominated the Media for weeks now but what has it been shielding us from on the Home Front.Similar to the ‘Meat Crisis’ that never was that Dominated the Media the CCP ACT (Secret Court Hearings) was being rushed through Parliament.If it wasn’t for Miliband spitting his dummy out the vote for action on Syria would have been passed.A new Gagging Order Bill disguised as something to do with the curbing of Lobbyists is worming its way through the murky corridors of Power.More Draconian Action against Jobseekers,and the Decimation of the Legal Aid System.If the Gagging Order Bill is passed it will silence everyone that has a voice against Government including Independent Websites that are our Voice and Support.Media & Government are still hand in Glove.BSB

    2. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

      “After months of waiting for his case to be heard at Crown Court, it was actually thrown out in
      less than five minutes.”

      What fools the DWP are. What a made up thing that means nothing – A Disability Analyst is not fit for purpose. Even by ATOS omission ” In response, I can advise that the term Disability Analyst is not a qualification, it is the title given
      to an Atos Healthcare Professional (HCP).”

  37. jay says:

    1. They do not accept an error was made? Unbelievable!
    2. There was NO evidence to proceed with a prosecution, the only person that should be prosecuted is the DWP incompetent in charge of this case, and be made to pay the taxpayer all the money back that was wasted on this case.
    3. It’s a pity government departments are not so keen to investigate fraud in the city by bankers and corrupt public officials including politicians and their fraudulent lobbyists not forgetting the many corporate tax dodgers.

    Much easier to bully the sick, the disabled and the unemployed.

    I don’t know which is worse, the fact that the DWP went so far with this case or the fact they deny an error was made.
    They are a bunch of incompetents, any other worker wasting their employee’s time and money would be instantly dismissed.

  38. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    ………a few days ago this was the headline from a newspaper;

    Raquel Rolnik, a senior United Nations official, is in the UK at the invitation of the government to examine whether the “bedroom tax” will impact on human rights.

    This morning this was the response from “LITTLE SHIT SHAPPS”

    The Conservative chairman brands Raquel Rolnik an “absolute disgrace”.
    Conservative chairman Grant Shapps speaks at last year’s Conservative conference in Birmingham.

    After the United Nations’ special investigator on housing, Raquel Rolnik, visited the UK and warned that the bedroom tax was having a “shocking” effect on the vulnerable and should be abolished, one might hope that the government would engage with her concerns.

    Rolnik, a former urban planning minister in Brazil, said of the measure, which reduces housing benefit by 14% for those deemed to have one “spare room” and by 25% for those with two or more, “I was very shocked to hear how people really feel abused in their human rights by this decision and why – being so vulnerable – they should pay for the cost of the economic downturn, which was brought about by the financial crisis. People in testimonies were crying, saying ‘I have nowhere to go’, ‘I will commit suicide’.”

    ……….strange how attitudes change when someone pisses on their bonfire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Nigel Simmons says:

    We are Five times more likely to die in a hospital here than in USA.We are the worst Counrty for Health Care compared with six other Western Countries, Patients are more than 60% more likely to die in Hospital than in the USA from Pneumonia & Septicemia.
    Professor Brian Jarman points out todays Culture in the NHS is a Closed Shop concerning Complaints only 1 in 300 are investiged.The money on radicalising the NHS Nicholson & Government spend on Gagging Hospital Staff.Whistle blowers are ostracized and generally treated appallingly. Accountability by CEO’s is nonexistent indoctrinated in them by Nicholson is hide the Bad News.Similar to top Tories his Lies are now blatantly obvious,he stated there were no statistics available to Hospital Staff concerning Death Rates for comparison,and yet the UK Death Rate Data Base was visited 69,000 times.Hunt should go as Nicholson should have gone long ago.

  40. Nigel Simmons says:

    Why won’t Cameron sack Nicholson because it was Tory Thatcher that Hired Him to create the Managerial Target Driven agenda .Nicholson with no Medical qualifications at all was the right person for the job in hand at that time which was to ignore the basic fundamental principles of the NHS and run it on a corporate basis .Nicholson looks quite confident in the mist of all the storm – why because he knows he is safe ,if he goes he can take a lot with him .Successive Governments gave him unparalled responsibility as if he was running a factory production line and not a Life Saving Institution .Any one of us can Google our Hospital and find whether it is classed as a High Death rate one or not – should that be normal .The whole process has been going on for years and nothing said . http://brokenbritishpolitics.com

  41. Nigel Simmons says:

    Labour were often referred to as the Looney Left,hinting at Communism by Tories.The Tory Party are referred to as the Nasty Party by us the General Public,why – because they have no consideration for anyone except their Money Making Cohorts.They are Thieving from the Public Purse to Line their own pockets.Their Lies & Deceit hold no bounds.They have Isolated the Working Class ,Finance runs this Country we are no more than an International Money Laundering outfit for the Benefit of the Corrupt Money Moguls that back Privatisation.Privatisation deprives the ‘working class’ of any revenue for social cohesion.They massage the Unemployment figures for their own benefit because high unemployment doesent look competent but suits their agenda of an easily sackable work force to give Private Companies cheap Labour.Lansley ex Health minister is making a killing over the NHS,as are many others BS Tories.

  42. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    …………………just had a thought, maybe the staff at DWP and ATOS, suffer from the same genetic inadequacy that would enable their roles to be reversed…………

    Both have no friends, both like inflicting the worse pain on claimants and both are able to sleep at night.


  43. Nigel Simmons says:

    Under the 30 year rule the National Archives released documents concerning Thatchers Blueprint for the Dismantling of the Wefare State including the NHS.This is borne out by the employment of Nicholson by her and still overseeing those reforms take fruition.As I have stated in previous posts ‘they are all in it together’was by no means a flippant comment.When Blair came to power his first visitor to number 10 was Thatcher.Any Governments Radical Reformation takes decades to implement because of the very nature of the size of the task and the different Departments involved.Forget the Economic structure & the Deficits of Different Parties.The Financial Sector control our Economy & virtually everything else.Why is it that different Parties can jump into bed easily with another because the overall common purpose is the same.They don’t tell us to minimise resistence.BSB

  44. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:


    By Craig McDonald

    Heartbroken dad blames benefits axemen for driving his ill son to commit suicide
    22 Sep 2013 08:23

    DAVID Barr, 28, threw himself from the Forth Road Bridge just weeks after finding out that his employment and support allowance would be withdrawn because assessor ruled that he was fit to work.

    A HEARTBROKEN dad has blamed benefits axemen for driving his ill son to suicide weeks after being told his money was being stopped.

    David Barr, 28, threw himself from the Forth Road Bridge after learning the decision to stop his benefit had been upheld.

    An Atos assessor had ruled David was fit to work despite being on anti-psychotic sedatives, sleeping tablets and antidepressants. His condition was recorded on a medical assessment as “anxiety and depression”.

    But his dad David snr, 57, said he had a host of problems including sleeplessness, memory loss and paranoia – and believes he may have been a schizophrenic.

    David was assessed in May. In June, the Department of Work and Pensions told him he was fit to work – and his employment and support allowance was being withdrawn.

    In an appeal letter, David wrote: “I disagree with your decision that I am fit for work. I have serious mental health problems that prevent me from doing everyday tasks which means I cannot work at this moment in time.

    “I did try and explain this to the medical examiner.”

    He was informed on July 17 of the DWP’s final say – they backed the Atos recommendation.

    On the evening of Friday, August 23, he got a bus to the bridge, walked to the middle and jumped. He was recovered from the water but died in hospital that night.

    David snr, of Leven, Fife, said: “He needed 15 points to ‘pass’ the test and get his benefits but he only got six. I know the difficulties he had – he should have got 106 points.

    “The assessment is ridiculous. They said David was fit for work but, in fact, he was fit for hospital.

    “I’m in no doubt this matter was the final straw. I would say they are 90 per cent to blame for him taking his life. He’d just had enough.

    “I wish we could have got him checked out, even sectioned if necessary, and placed in a hospital where he could have received proper assessment and care.”

    “I just hope something can be done so no one else has to go through this.

    “We are devastated by our son’s death. David’s mum is in hospital and hasn’t eaten since David died. She is completely broken by this.”

    David jnr worked cleaning buses for three years until 2011. His dad says his son could not cope with the routine of holding down a job.

    He said his son was placed on strong medication last year but said his mental health had worsened.

    David snr added: “He would claim people were trying to poison him but it was all in his head. He thought the police were following him.”

    David’s assessment summary states: “Mr Barr has a mental health problem. He takes triple medication…He reports self harm in the past.

    “He reports he attempted an overdose six weeks ago but he would not say what he took. He reports he has had no thoughts of suicide since.

    “The evidence overall suggests that he is not at substantial risk.”

    David snr is in the process of complaining to the DWP.

    The DWP and Atos sent their sympathies to David’s family. A DWP spokeswoman said: “Through a series of independent reviews and by working with medical experts and charities, we have considerably improved the work capability assessment process since 2010.”

    An Atos spokeswoman said: “We do everything we can to minimise people’s anxiety during the work capability assessment process and will continue to strive for improvement in this area.”

    Scottish Labour welfare spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: “It’s not the first time vulnerable people with health issues have been incorrectly assessed by Atos and it’s clear that the system needs reformed.”

    1. nick says:

      this poor guy sound just like me i have been with the DWP for 33 years and they have left me looking like a skeleton and yes they have been brutal to me but have paid my benefits off and on over that period

      mind you there’s a whole load of stuff that they threaten you with with you have to comply with a compliance officer and stick to ridged guidelines

      i have been unable to sleep for years nor eat and drink properly and they still cause me nightmares so this poor guy above must have been going through hell

      it’s a pity he wasn’t living next door to me as we could have then supported each other


  45. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    …………..and yet, the brown envelopes of death and despair, drop ever faster, causing the chains on the gates of “The DWP Cemetery of Shame”, to buckle with the weight of the dead caused by the policies of “Murder by Decree”………………………….

  46. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    UN official Raquel Rolnik is looking for your personal stories about the Work Capability Assessment (WCA)…

    Ms Rolnik has already produced a statement on the bedroom tax, recommending that it be suspended immediately. She now wants to examine all of the recent welfare changes and welcomed personal stories about the WCA and how it is affecting people. This is because concerns have been raised about the number of WCA related deaths due to deteriorating health or suicide.

    Once these accounts are collated the evidence will be presented to the United Nations General Council in March.

    You can email Raquel Rolnik about your experiences with Atos, the WCA or any other welfare reform issue at srhousing@ohchr.org

    You can also write to:

    His Excellency Mr Ban Ki Moon
    United Nations Secretary-General
    UN Headquarters
    First Avenue at 46th Street
    New York, NY 10017
    E-­mail: sgcentral@un.org

  47. confused says:

    Ref:Dear Mr

    Whilst I understand the sentiments behind your questions, the Department for Work and
    Pensions does not accept that an error occurred in bringing a prosecution in the case you refer

    The Department believes it is right to seek to prosecute those people committing benefit fraud
    where the fraud has been serious enough to warrant it and where the evidence exists to justify
    a prosecution. This is so that the courts can independently decide the outcome, taking in to
    account all the circumstances and what punishment to give if the accused is found to be guilty.

    Why is it that when ATOS GP’s are proven to have lied and committed fraud in their ‘medical assessment reports’ and complaints are upheld, they DON’T get taken to court, hounded to death or punished?????

  48. diane says:

    Will Mo Stewart be writing a book about her research and writings? If so (or you have already) can you give me the title (and in some cases) and where I can buy it from. Many thanks for all your work!

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