British government’s lethal ‘fit-for-work’ anti-disabled people policies

This video says about itself:

Fit For Work‘ Employees In The UK Are Dying, And Often – Newsy

27 August 2015

The U.K. welfare system is under fire after a report showed about 80 Britons died each month shortly after they were deemed “fit for work.”

DWP Block Release Of Figures On Number Of People Dying After Benefits Stopped: here.

More Than 2,600 Died Within Six Weeks Of Being Deemed ‘Fit For Work’, Reveal Government: here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

590 suicides linked to fit-for-work tests

Tuesday 17th November 2015

Study also blames assessments for huge rise in mental illness

HUNDREDS of suicides and thousands of prescriptions for anti-depressants are directly linked to the government’s “fit-for-work” assessments, a study by Oxford and Liverpool universities showed yesterday.

In total, it showed that the Tories’ work capability assessment policy could be associated with 590 suicides, 279,000 mental ill-health cases and 725,000 prescriptions for anti-depressants across England between 2010 and 2013.

This policy may have had serious adverse consequences for mental health in England, which could outweigh any benefits that arise from moving people off disability benefits,” the team of experts concluded.

Disabled man Michael O’Sullivan killed himself in September 2013 six months after his benefits were stopped when he was found to be fit for work in a work capability assessment.

The north London father was moved from employment support to jobseeker’s allowance despite having testimonials from three doctors stating that he had long-term depression and agoraphobia and was unable to work.

In a letter to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), inner north London coroner Mary Hassell concluded that the “trigger” for Mr O’Sullivan’s suicide was his work capability assessment.

The new research, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, said that the assessments may have taken a “serious” toll on mental health.

Researchers analysed disability assessments carried out in 149 local authorities in England between 2004 and 2013 and looked at local trends such as suicide rates among 18 to 64-year-olds.

Between 2010 and 2013, more than a million people claiming disability benefit were reassessed using the WCA.

People who were reassessed were more likely to live in deprived areas.

The results showed that in those areas with higher rates of reassessment, there was a corresponding rise in suicides, mental health issues and anti-depressant prescribing.

The charities Mind, the National Autistic Society and Rethink Mental Illness have gathered 20,000 signatures on a petition calling on the DWP to reform its fit-for-work assessments.

“This fundamentally flawed system is also costing the public huge amounts of money, because a high proportion of decisions are overturned at appeal,” they said.

23 thoughts on “British government’s lethal ‘fit-for-work’ anti-disabled people policies

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  8. Tuesday, 26 January 2016

    Patient records now open to state

    FOR the first time, the Department for Work and Pensions will have access to patients personal GP records, including their ‘fit notes’ in a drive to get sick people back to work.

    GP surgeries will have to provide the number of patients recorded as ‘unfit’ or ‘maybe fit’ for work at their practice. As part of the programme beginning next month, GPs will have to inform patients of this decision.

    However, GPs will be able to withhold handing information over to the state if their patient explicitly objects. The move described by GP leaders as ‘state snooping’ enables the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to gather information which they can then use in their ‘Fit for Work scheme’.

    GP leaders stress that the scheme is ‘an invasion of privacy’. Family Doctor Association chair Dr Peter Swinyard said: ‘I think that is state snooping. Although I am sure some civil servant thought it was a terrific idea somewhere, I am not entirely sure I agree. I don’t know if patients understand that when I write a fit note, some bureaucrat is going to be able to have a look at it.’

    GP and data sharing campaigner Dr Neil Bhatia said the DWP could use the data harvested to ‘name and shame’. ‘Fit notes’ form part of the Fit for Work scheme, under which GPs in England can refer patients that are likely to be off sick for four weeks or more to a free occupational health advice service.

    This service is meant to ‘help them get back into work as quickly as possible’. This data, which will be published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre from the Spring, will include the duration of the fit note, patient gender, type of health condition and their location.


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