Doctors Told To Abandon Patients Undergoing Vicious Medical Assessments

atos_kills_bannerLocal Medical Councils (LMCs) have been warned they may face legal action over advice telling doctors to shun requests from benefit claimants asking for help with the notorious Work Capability Assessment.

The Black Triangle Campaign and Disabled People Against Cuts have said that even individual doctors themselves may be at risk of being sued should they refuse to provide this vital and sometimes life-saving support for claimants.

Two LMCs have issued advice to GPs warning them not to provide letters for claimants who face the stringent Atos run test for sickness and disability benefits.  According to Pulse Today, the LMC in Lancashire and Cumbria is even considering a ‘Just Say No’ campaign to back doctors who refuse to write letters for patients undergoing assessments and appeals.

Some GPs – who are paid on average £104,000 a year – have complained that writing these letters, which confirm or provide medical opinion on a claimant’s condition, is taking up too much time and they don’t get paid for it.  There has certainly been an increase in the number of people asking doctors for this kind of help as the current benefit slashing regime has taken hold.  But this kind of information can be the difference between someone seriously ill being given the money they need to survive or face having benefits stripped away and even sent on long term workfare.

GPs submitting evidence to the DWP is often the only time that an actual doctor has a say in what happens to their patients in the benefits system.  Without this information claimants are left in the hands of Atos assessors, whose only job requirement is a medical qualification of some sort – often meaning they are physiotherapists, midwives or paramedics.  Should a claimant be judged ‘fit for work’ they will see their meagre income slashed by around a third.  This can have real impacts on claimants who need to keep warm, have special dietary needs or other costs associated with their condition.  They will then be left at the mercy of medically unqualified Jobcentre staff and could be sent on Mandatory Work Activity or other unpaid work schemes under threat of brutal benefit sanctions.

Nobody is asking GPs to lie or do anything but offer an honest assessment of a patient’s condition.  This is something they do everyday when issuing ‘fit notes’ for workers who have had to take time off work.  In fact every single person on an out of work sickness or disability benefit has been signed off work by a GP at some point.  They cannot simply wash their hands of responsibility for these patients now the Government is challenging those decisions.

Local Medical Councils could be helping GPs to provide all the necessary information claimants need as efficiently as possible.  It’s not difficult to imagine ways they could come up with to cut down the time spent by GPs writing these letters.   Already template letters produced by Black Triangle show how the ESA Regulations 29 and 35 can be used by doctors to quickly and easily exempt vulnerable patients from the assessment procedure altogether.

But instead some LMCs are seeking to drive a wedge between patients and GPs by punishing claimants for an additional workload placed on them by the DWP.  Claimants who in an increasing number of cases have been driven to suicide by these brutal and bodged assessments and the misery they have inflicted.  At such a desperate time for so many of the UK’s poorest people it seems some GPs have decided to work to rule and abandon huge swathes of the communities they serve.  We are clearly not all in it together.

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123 responses to “Doctors Told To Abandon Patients Undergoing Vicious Medical Assessments

  1. Pingback: Doctors Told To Abandon Patients Undergoing Vic...

  2. Fuck these Nazi bastards!!

  3. what really angers me is that many organisations, such as those representing gp’s, the nhs, church groups, and all welfare rights organisations, should be fighting tooth and nail, on behalf of the sick and disabled to scrap the wca in the 1st instance…

  4. there is mention of gps’ charging their patients £130 for medical records to support tribunal appeals,surely this contradicts ethical practice and what is supposed to be a pillar of the community.providing material fact is necessary to a fair hearing.

    such actions undermines the gps’ standing in the community and there has to be suspicion there’s more to this.

    on another subject not giving access to universal jobmatch brought a white screen at the job centre and the talking started about me being the only one not to give access,it would be interesting to know if anyone else was told the same?. it appears in doing so triggers more frequent appointments’.

    also telling someone who has a lifetime impairment problem that people get better is obscene and grossly unfair.the job centre are acting above and beyond the law.

    sadly my gp distances herself from the problems the Dwp are causing in life to many and the stress they induce triggers more problems.

    • @ken,

      That’s been said to me (“You’re the only person I’ve heard of who’s [...] “) – twice at JCP & once at WP – so far. So it’s used in situations where they want to ‘mandate’ some form of action, but don’t have any specific way to do that (then) – other than by ‘encouraging’/pressurising.

      First time was in relation to querying the need to sign up to UJ/consent to JCP accessing an account and their tactics included “It’s more than likely you’ll have to come in more regularly – weekly not fortnightly – to see [me]” – Adviser.” This was commuted to every 2nd week as a telephone appointment about ten minutes later, following much deliberating/discussion with a manager as well as threats to pay the extra fares to enable more regular in-person visits. Telephone-evidence-gathering-check-up did take place, but only once & then they were never mentioned again … it just mysteriously became no longer such a necessary ‘requirement’. (Caused some stress though during that time – thinking it was going to be ongoing & a ‘missed call could result in benefits being affected” etc… ).

      When Work Programme person said “You’re almost completely unique in not doing this …”, I just tried to smile & look pleased/surprised & said “Yes, that has been said before “) – not sure it was either true or that they meant it as a compliment really …

  5. ids working his magic no people getting a report of doctors no people sick that do nicely ids cut money justice for the sick now cut the doctor out jeff3

  6. The problem is unique and acute with respect to mental health – ie ‘invisible’ conditions. If you go to your GP and you have no arm, that’s pretty obvious and only the most pig ignorant GP would rrefuse to write something saying ‘Mr Whistler has no arm’ (though they might charge you for it, because £100k a year only goes so far).
    What they want is for you to get a diagnosis. That way they can cover their own arse in supporting you (assuming they are so inclined). But what GP’s do not understand is that ATOS isn’t interested in a diagnosis. It only cares whether you can do/not do whatever it’s descriptors require. Everything beyond those goalposts is irrelevant.
    So between the DWP/ATOs and your GP there is a large grey area that noone wants to talk about or address. Unfortunately that grey area is the home territory for most of us on this ridiculous system.

  7. The United Nations should be looking at ATOS more than the Bedroom Tax. It seems to be a subtle form of genocide.

    • I would have thought even those on jsa who are having their benefits stopped are also under threat of ill health or starvation, so perhaps the UN should be looking at benefit sanctions imposed by the dwp on all categories of unemployed people

  8. Rather than expecting a GP to write volumes about a patients fitness to work, why can’t a simple document be made that expresses that the claimant is unable to do any work due to an ongoing disability?

    This would alleviate any pressure on the doctor, reduce the workload and free up valuable time for other patients.

    I will attempt to answer my own suggestion;

    The DWP are reluctant to pay back the very benefits that they have stolen.

    By making sure the GP is under pressure and struggling to make individual,tailored medical reports available, it takes the heat off the DWP and focuses attention on the inadequacy of the doctor, whilst further stalling the appeals process.

    In other words, logic will never be followed, as this route would repatriate the money with the claimant who had it “STOLEN BY ATOS” in the first place………….

    The DWP thrives on hurting as many people as is practicably possible and is clearly reflected in its heinous treatment of the weakest in our society.

    Welfare reforms are better known as “Murder by Decree”, the gates of the DWP’s cemetery of shame are bursting…………

  9. The LMC are forcing a stand off with IDS / DWP. GPs have in fact always been private providers, they just all had full time contracts with the NHS. Now the ConDems have pushed them further down that road, we can see that commitment to patients is paper-thin ie like banknotes.

    There is no intention of the DWP or IDS to pay extra for these reports. This is either wilful ignorance by the GPs/ LMC who don’t realise that the stand-off is going nowhere. The DWP/IDS will call their bluff, because the DWP get more of what they want by stonewalling claimants and medical providers & reports. They are in a win-win situation, and the only person who suffers is the ill / disabled /old trying to survive.

    Winter now approaches. It is urgent that the MPs are made – MADE – to listen. The last years (2011) excess mortality for the elderly and the disabled – as far as I can work out – was 35,000. This is the only figure we will have as the government has decided not to collect or release those figure ever again. That’s because it is an underestimate and the true figures / updated would blow them out the water as the first government in this land who is knowingly killing it’s people, the most vulnerable, and is hiding the figures because THEY WANT IT TO CONTINUE. It is a deliberate policy, and the refusal to publish figures is the final piece of evidence if it was ever needed that this is a policy designed to kill.

    How do we battle, and continue to try to survive and campaign? I think the UN need to widen their scope, but who will take that task on? I’m willing to do as much as a housebound, ill, IB/ESA migration, person can. But I feel so impotent. If this govt want to have a war because another leader killed 1000 with gas, we must link this to the deaths here running in excess of 1000 a month because of the ATOS/ DWP practices, and the ConDem policy. We need to make it real for every MP to see how his/her electorate is being culled, These are not just DWP deaths, they are all our people, mothers, father, aunts, brothers, sisters, and we can all speak out.

    All concerned in this death march – the LMC, GP, ATOS, DWP, IDS – should all be the target of our ire. Have we not yet reached the point of no return with the thousands dead?
    (I’m damned angry, and also scared as I wait for the bank statement to show my money has stopped, as they now no longer bother to waste a stamp telling you destitution has arrived.)

    • Paul Malpas made a freedom of information request to the DWP;

      In the decision dated 2 July 2013 (ref VTR2728/13), it was confirmed that General
      Practitioners are not trained to make an assessment on a person’s capability for work
      according to legislation.

      THE DWP HAVE CONFIRMED THAT GPS ARE NOT TRAINED TO MAKE A FITNESS FOR WORK ASSESSMENT……………………

      WHEN MY INCOME SUPPORT WAS STOPPED AFTER A BIASED atos REPORT, I WAS TOLD THAT IN ORDER TO GET A PAYMENT I HAD TO SUBMIT A CERTIFICATE FROM MY GP.
      I APPEALED IMMEDIATELY AND HAVE HAD NO MONEY SINCE. I DID NOT GO TO MY DOCTOR FOR A CERTIFICATE BECAUSE THEY HAD ALREADY INFORMED HIM NOT TO ISSUE ONE AS I HAD BEEN FOUND FIT.
      UPON CHALLENGING THE BASIS OF STOPPING MY PAYMENTS, I SENT A COPY OF MR MALPAS’s FOI RESPONSE.

      THEY NOW CHALLENGE THAT THEY HAVE SENT THIS RESPONSE.

      IT IS AVAILABLE HERE;

      https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/162095/response/417463/attach/html/3/IR587%20P%20Malpas%20Final.pdf.html

    • Hi Florance
      I am damned angry, and worried too. We have to keep going and not give up. You spoke a lot of truth in your writing. It is weird how they refuse to count death toll or even put it on the news, It does feel deliberate and that this must means these polices are done on purpose therefore need to stay in position for the clean up. There is a lot of fighting and campaigning going on every day, hopefully soon something will change. .It does feel like ‘Pathocracy’ at the moment though. Hopefully Docters will stop their blindness, and help their patients like they are paid a good salary to do so.

    • What is even more alarming is that the way in which statistics for excess mortality are collected and collated will downplay the deaths that could be attributed to policy changes and social security cuts over 2013 The government refused to do a cumulative assessment this year because it would be too complex: it is even less likely in future now that certain, helpful sub-types of ONS statistics will cease to exist.

  10. Pingback: Doctors Told To Abandon Patients Undergoing Vicious Medical Assessments | thepositivevoice

  11. My GP said “no,can’t help”
    My surgeon said “not a problem, I’ll fax them”.

    • I work in a hospital department, as a paper shuffler and we send lots of stuff on.

      Our consultants list the problems and consequences and end the letters with, ‘If you feel the need to disagree with my opinion, please write back’ and they never do.

      Oki, our patients are luckier than most, they have pissed off consultants, looking for a fight, with anyone who is going to try and fuck over their patients

  12. atos said….. fit to wok….. gp said unfit to work…… doleoffice says…. lose benefits….. youll never win

  13. If this government wants unemployed people to work why don’t they employ them to do a job they themselves are inept to do? The strains on society aren’t caused by unemployed people and there is a fair few disabled people that work for charities for nothing thus keeping those organisations alive. Pretty soon no disabled or unemployed will have the resources to continue their valiant work thus more of the needy will suffer and die. Is our working population that blinkered?

  14. My Gp said “No problem, I’ll print you out a patient intermediate summary” this lists EVERY illness you’ve had, EVERY disability you have, EVERY medicine you take, and EVERY appointment you’ve had at the surgery, and if you ask for them like I did, he will also print off copies of the consultants letters, took less than 5 minutes while I was in for an appointment with him.

  15. Like Derek above, my GP did the same. She typed the letter in front of me. Took just a few minutes. She was fantastic about it all and she was very damning about ATOS. I don’t know how I would have had the courage to continue with 2 appeals otherwise.

    • forcing people to appeal is justification for the dwp assessors existence and keeping themselves in endless, needless paperwork, not to mention costing the country a fortune.

      • @fawkes and i thought GPs were on our side…mind you i cant stand those doctors who do that ‘pull yourself together man’ amnd think patients are a bloody nuisance..like that ‘doctor’ they put in charge of overseeing atos wca…he is one of those ‘patients are malingerer’ types.

  16. The DWP is corrupt. Government departments should not act the way they do.

  17. I’m not involved with ATOS but have had a lot of dealings with the DWP and they have become bent as of late. I suppose through the mismanagment of IDS. This is a dangerous way for government to behave.

  18. I wrote a letter a while ago (recorded delivery) to the Social Fund deapartment asking for information as to my deductions which were erroneous – they never bothered to reply. This is horrendous behaviour for a government department.

  19. @JOHNNY VOID WHAT IS THAT HYPOCRATIC OATH ? “FIRST DO NO HARM..”

    • It is no longer mandatory for Drs to take the oath, and a significant proportion do not.

      Guess who they are from your own / others /ATOS payrolls experience………

      • @florence the what is the point then?

        • A lot of the discussion here & elsewhere is based around the concept that all drs take this oath, or that their work requires them to act in accordance with the principles. So those who do not take the oath are not bound by it.

          I guess my point is, if that is what you are asking, is that we should not automatically expect Drs to behave as if they had taken the oath. They are the ones most likely to disappoint us, and to behave in ways we find distasteful. Like work for ATOS without feeling compromised by what they are expected to do with their medical training.

          If you are asking what is the point of the Hippocratic oath, then for some medics it underlines a solemn commitment to their patients made in the form of a powerful oath and those are the ones who are more likely to respect and support us. The medical profession allows a wide variety of people to practice, having met the required academic & practical standards. Ethics and morals are a whole other ball game, poorly taught in med school, along with most of the people skills needed to actually interact with patients.

          I hope I have answered your query. Sorry it is long, and also if I have misunderstood.

          • @florence then what does that mean do they abandon those when they take the money from ATOS?..

            • The Atos doctor has to be registered but not necessarily licensed to practice. As far as I know this also applies to all GMC registered doctors who have kept up their registration- including GPs.

              “Work in partnership with patients: Listen to patients and respond to their concerns and preferences, Give patients the information they want or need in a way they can understand, Respect patients’ right to reach decisions with you about their treatment and care. Support patients in caring for themselves to improve and maintain their health.”
              This is one part of the doctor’s pledge or Hippocratic Oath that clearly states the doctor-patient role regarding health information, health decisions and the support a patient needs to care for themselves.

              This role extends into the system for claiming social security such as ESA because once a GP has signed a MED3 they may be called on to provide further medical evidence (FME) about their patient (eg ESA113) to the DWP. Personally I cannot see why it is thought by GPs to be OK to supply confidential medical information about their patient (without their consent) to a government body but that a similar request for FME from their patient thought to be vexatious and unnecessary- especially as most of the information can be copied and pasted from the patient’s records.

              • @karen m my understanding was that a doctor needed a diploma from FOM faculty occupational medicine to practice as disability assessor..the irony being in order to qualify for the diploma they had to quality after going through an atos approved course..

            • @bobchewie The section I quoted is from the duties of a doctor registered with the GMC and applies to both GPs (the subject of the discussion) and to FOM general physician members. The FOM quotes the GMC guidelines on what a doctor MUST do. The FOM has its own guidelines to good medical practice and the section I quoted appears as item 21. The FOM also says, regarding good clinical care the doctor must:
              “recognise and work within the limits of your competence”
              “prescribe drugs or treatments… only when you have adequate knowledge of the patient’s health and are satisfied that the drugs or treatment serve the patient’s needs.”
              If an Atos doctor is a member of the FOM he/she must then rely on the GP’s (and specialist) imput to have adequate knowledge of the patient’s (claimant’s) health. Without this information the Atos doctor risks working outside his/her competence and risks the health of the claimant when looking at prognosis for suggested treatment (including aids and appliances) and a return to work etc

              • @karen m yes but to get the diploma you need to qualify using an Atos approved disability assessment course..ie the whole thing is corrupted..

            • I agree with you @bobchewie. The way in which the DWP-Atos service level agreement was worked out and the narrow remit of the Atos “disability analyst” so- called qualification/paper diploma screams complicity between the biopsychosocial theorists delivering the course, Unum, DWP, Atos and Derby University. Now they are trying to get GPs on board through LMCs despite the good practice guidelines for registered doctors set out by GMC and FOM. The FOM diploma you refer to means the doctors taking part are registered to take part with the FOM and have to abide by the GMC and FOM good practice guidelines.

              GPs should look to their consciences (as well as the dodgy legality of the instructions of LMCs) when they choose not to supply a patient with the medical evidence the patient needs to show Atos/DWP the causes and effects of disability at any approved stage of their claim for social security or during the appeal process..

  20. its not only before assessment gp’s are refusing help, if you appeal the decision the dwp decision is flagged on your medical records and gp’s are seeing it when you attend any appointment with them and treat the patient as a liar and on the fiddle cos they were deemed fit by atos and almost refuse to help you anymore medically! It is ridiculous that gp’s are actually believing this seriously flawed company’s WCA’s!

  21. more on this stuff at the huffy..
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/07/18/gps-told-not-help-benefit-appeal-patients_n_3615992.html

    South Wales GPs Told Not To Help Benefit Appeal Patients Due To Time Constraints

  22. But disability campaigners say the policy leaves people with no place to turn.

    Miranda French, policy and public affairs manager of Disability Wales told The Huffington Post UK: “The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have put the onus on individuals to collect evidence of their disability but if GPs are told not able to help them then where can they get it from?

    “We are extremely concerned about this blanket decision as it covers areas with high numbers of disability benefit claimants.”

    A spokesperson for the DWP said all decisions about benefits eligibility were taken after “thorough assessment and after careful consideration of all the available evidence”.

    They added: “GPs have been clear that they do not want to be responsible for making decisions on people’s benefit entitlement, which is why we have processes in place to request the appropriate information from GPs to enable us to make those decisions

  23. oh btw this is deeply ironic..

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/183249/fitnote-gps-guidance.pdf

    “How the fit note can help you
    The fit note can be a key tool for you to use to improve your patient’s health and be an advocate for their wellbeing.
    The benefits of using the fit note to
    its full potential
    The fit note is designed to help you provide fitness for work advice to your patients. This guide will help you use the fit note to its maximum potential to improve your patient’s health and wellbeing.
    In particular, using the fit note to its full potential enables you to:
    • Effectively manage your patient’s expectations about their capability for work.
    • Give a clear clinical assessment to your patient about the impact of their condition on their fitness for work.
    • Improve the likelihood of your patient keeping their job, by helping them to discuss ways they could be supported at work with their employer.
    • Support the vital role that work can play in your patient’s health, as set out in the evidence behind the fit note.
    On the other hand, incomplete fit notes can make it hard for employers to support your patient and cause unnecessary delays to your patient’s return to work (with associated consequences for their health). They can also cause additional work for you as patients ask you for new fit notes when they don’t need to.
    The role of GPs
    All GPs are able to provide simple fitness for work advice to aid their patient’s recovery and help them return to work.
    It is then up to your patient and their employer to discuss your advice and consider possible changes.
    There is a general consensus1 that GPs and other healthcare professionals:
    • play a key role in advising patients about (return to) work;
    • agree that (return to) work is an important outcome for clinical management;
    • help patients develop a return-to-work plan;
    • facilitate return to work through communication with patients (so that they can communicate effectively with employers).
    1. Healthcare Professionals’ Consensus Statement – Statement of Health and Work (2008).
    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/hwwb-healthcare-professionals-consensus-statement-04-03-2008.pdf
    “ In the same way as we encourage healthy eating, healthy living and healthy lifestyle, a healthy attitude to work has always been a part of that.” (GP)

  24. Fellow sufferers,
    Last November I appealed against a vicious 2-week sanction. Despite a flurry of paperwork I am still awaiting outcome. Has anyone ever won a sanction appeal?
    On a minor note. A friend of mine has the deep misfortune to live in IDS’ constituency. Trying to get in touch with him let alone get a face-to-face chat with the ‘quiet man’ is very difficult. You may be contacted by his minions if you’re lucky!

  25. more irony!!!! – dwp reluctant to publish names of companies on the workfare gravy train payroll whilst the daily hate prints this hitlerian shite..

    Why Osborne must publish the names of every benefits claimant – and how much we pay them: An incendiary idea to save on our £500m A DAY welfare bill

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2346714/Why-Osborne-publish-names-benefits-claimant–pay-An-incendiary-idea-save-500m-A-DAY-welfare-bill.html

  26. A tale of two cities and two different classes.

    Just been reading my local paper about a single parent who took her partner back and still received £2,241 in benefits she was not entitled to, has to pay all the monies back and was told to do 80hours community service (unpaid work) with the threat of jail if she repeated the said fraud.

    The BBC’s executive Byford,was give 949k instead of £500k from a public body illegally, yet no-one is being asked to pay this back and no heads will be rolling or threats of jail issued to Mark Thompson and Co for their fraudulent activity.

  27. Pingback: Doctors Told To Abandon Patients Undergoing Vicious Medical Assessments | Street Democracy - where it should reach

  28. Michael Gove says the poor are to blame for needing foodbanks. Christ! Remember the days when the Tories were worried about being the nasty party?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2416737/Poor-forced-use-food-banks-Theyve-got-blame-says-Michael-Gove.html

  29. British Social Attitudes Report finds softening attitudes to benefits

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24021037

    thats why tories are beefing up their hate campaign

  30. http://www.derbygripe.co.uk/scroung2.htm

    BENEFIT SCROUNGERS

    Families living in local authority “mansions” have become Britain’s biggest scroungers, raking in £6million a year from the taxpayer. One couple with 14 children get their £1,700-a-month rent paid by the local council and receive another £50,000 a year in benefits. In another house, a family of eight adults and nine children live in luxury. While most of us struggle to meet rent or mortgage payments, an investigation by the Sunday Express has exposed a catalogue of families on the fiddle up and down the country. It discovered six, seven and eight-bedroom properties used to accommodate huge households, all at taxpayers’ expense.

    the shit continues…

  31. I KEEP TELLING PEOPLE, ” YOU ARE ENTITLED TO ALL THE INFORMATION THAT THE DWP HOLD ON YOU”

    RING THEM UP OR ASK BY LETTER, THEY MUST FURNISH YOU WITH THE INFORMATION.

    COST TO YOU, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, ZILCH, ZERO………………

    I RECEIVED THREE HUGE ENVELOPES CONTAINING ALL MY MEDICAL RECORDS, A PILE OF PAPER SEVEN INCHES HIGH!!!!!!

    THEY ALREADY HAVE ALL YOUR RECORDS………..

    FOR MY APPEAL I JUST SENT IT TO THE APPEAL BODY……………

    IN EFFECT THEY ARE JUST TAKING THE PISS, ASKING FOR INFORMATION ALREADY IN THEIR DOMAIN………..

    ” I WOULD URGE ANYONE TO REQUEST THEIR INFO IMMEDIATELY”

    • Just a word mate, I find caps difficult to read. I know you want to get your point across, and it’s all valid.
      I have an illness that leaves me very exhausted with small tasks, so I hope you will not be offended as I really want to read your posts.

  32. The British Social Attitudes Report – now in its 30th year – found people in the UK had more sympathy for those out of work in 2012 than they did in 2011, while an increased number believed the Government should cut less and spend more on benefits.

    ****However, experts from NatCen Social Research who published the report, found that despite the recent increase in support for benefits, it is still far lower than it was in the late 1980s.*** (classic daily express attempt to dismiss)

    According to the report, 51% of Britons in 2012 believed benefits for unemployed people were “too high and discourage work”, compared with 62% in 2011.
    Researchers found around half (47%) of people in 2012 believed cutting benefits “would damage too many people’s lives”, up 5% from the previous year, while 34% supported more spending on benefits, even if it means higher taxes, up from 28% in 2011.
    NatCen said its survey revealed that hard times may also be softening people’s views about unemployment.
    In the five years prior to the financial crisis and subsequent recession around two-thirds of people felt that the unemployed could find a job if they really wanted one. This fell from 68% in 2008 to 55% in 2009, and stood at 54% in 2012.
    In 1987, 55% supported more spending on benefits. Despite the recent increase this is now 34%, while 81% of the public now believe that large numbers of people falsely claim benefits compared with 67% in 1987.
    Alison Park, head of society and social change at NatCen, said: “Thirty years of NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey shows that the nation has become much more cynical about the welfare state and benefit recipients, but austerity seems to be beginning to soften the public mood. It’s also clear that on some issues the public are very divided in their views.
    “It remains to be seen what impact the coalition Government’s welfare reform agenda will have on public attitudes, and whether the small recent upturn in sympathy marks the beginning of a longer term trend.”

  33. the biggest scrounging family in england live in a castle in london,,,

    • isn’t it strange that no-one on that list was an MP, corporation, workfare pimp or any of the government other rich friends!.

  34. http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/10509646.Dead_woman_asked_why_she_has_not_attended_DWP_appointments/?ref=ar

    Dead Darlington woman asked why she has not attended DWP appointments

    THE partner of a woman who died in April has slammed officials for repeatedly asking to explain why she has not shown up for appointments with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

    Darlington woman Patricia Howe, 48, died after suffering a massive brain haemorrhage in April.

  35. “Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith authorised the release of the names to raise awareness of the scale of benefit fraud.”

    Welfare Minister Lord Freud said: “These cases should serve as a warning to the cynical minority who see benefits as a way of unfairly lining their pockets at the taxpayer’s expense.”

    ATOS SEETEC SERCO A4E G4S INGEUS……ET AL…

  36. Lets all fuck the Hippocratic Oath

    Just found the LMC leaders of Lancashire and Cumbria’s video for their campaign:

    • The pulse magazine article was very interesting especially the comments, apparently one doctor had !0000 patients on their list, why agree to take on so many patients in the first place? This ratio of doctor patient relationship is fraught with problems and only an insane or greedy gp would agree to such numbers.

      It’s funny but teachers who earn a heck of a sight less have to take paperwork home with them

  37. After being screwed by the medical profession when I was `mistakingly` medicated a potent brain drug (for over ten years) causing both mental and physical deterioration I am in no way surprised by the fact most Doctors care more about being sued or not paid enough to assist their patients.
    Health care is no longer about helping anyone and it has not been for many years. Its about profit.

    FACT: Pharma is a business (one of the most successful businesses alongside religion and banking – like both the latter it dominates the entire globe) and it needs customers/dedicated followers of course to succeed`

    FACT: A patient cured is a customer lost `.

    Can anyone name any medicinal science evidented cures?

    FACT: There are no cures only `treatments` that cost patients and The NHS £billions every year.

    FACT: since the introduction of brain drugs in the 1950`s, mental illness has arisen and doubled by the 1980s (the report neglects to include the physical deteriorations too) but please review…
    freedom-center.org/pdf/anatomy_of_epidemic_whitaker_psych_drugs.pdf
    We are being made ill for a profit and its been the agenda for decades

    Very few GPs will be on their patients side now money and their arrogant job title is threatened. The Government are aware of the arrogant Doctor and that of what they care about most…. that being self superior to us little people and being happier than thou over paid drug pushing wankers.

    So It is clear

    • elohimette
      “mad in america” by robert whitaker and/or “unsafe at any dose” by bob johnson (dr bob truthtrustconsent.com) , how they do more harm than good..illustrate your points perfectly…

      • elohimette..
        diabetics get into a solid routine of proactive ongoing bg testing…now nice have decided to cut test strip prescriptions to the bone, on the grounds of costs, so testing is now done retrospectively, this as well as slashes in benefits, the implications of this are profound…and has been pointed out by diabetes charities!
        http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/threat-to-diabetes-sufferers-as-nhs-rations-testing-strips-to-save-money-8740787.html

        • Dont get me started ha ha…. I thought I did well last post (sticking to basics) I have so much anger, frustration and hatred for the entirety of the medical profession that goes right to the roots of pharma labs and beyond. I have spent the last few years researching medications (esp brain drugs), reading case files, reviewing journals and clinical trials etc.
          Being JV`s blog I do my best to stick to topic but in this case I had to go off a little.

          You mentioned Whitaker, He like Breggin, Healy and Nutter helped me reduce my doses of Venlafaxine Hydrochloride (potent snri brain drug) If it wasnt for these morally decent medical profesionals writing books and journals of the drugs, their adverse reactions, side effects and severe withdrawal effects, I doubt I would have been successful… I was suicidal, homicidal (even attacked loved ones during the reduction of dose process that took almost two years).
          Two years after successful reduction I still suffer physical symptoms that may be with me forever?
          Clinical trials last weeks whilst actual medicating is for years, so no evidenced based medicine is actually evidented over a few week period. Science (esp medicinal science is dangerously misleading as also dangerously deliberately so…. for example many of todays mental illnesses are invented by pharma as a means to make a profit.
          Most mental issues are natural human emotions anxiety/depression/seasonal disorder/adhd (hyper activity)

          The best way to look at it is the brain is physical as are drugs but the human psyche is not, emotions cannot be seen touched, bottled or measured… but science says depression and anxiety can be but cannot measure happiness, nor love nor anger, It is all bullshit to drug you for profit.
          I truly hate the medical profession for not identifying people as people but instead a profit market at dire consequence

          • elohimette..
            as you rightly comment, it is a difficult topic to fully express, in a post, they all are, posting can be very vexing…thank heaven for a few honest people, who genuinely care, and put the truth out there..
            the truth always makes instant sense, and one knows it for what it is once it is uttered..
            i like physician heal thyself….

            • Without an intent on being arrogantly philosophical I say….. If only! I honestly believe most folk fear the truth and shy from it no matter how blatant. There are many more thousands of people who agree with the what we all say here but people dont want to face facts and involve themselves,
              I agree posting can be vexing I get so angry and type with so much fueled passion concerning certain subjects. It is why I love Johnny`s posts he expresses himself brilliantly. I have tried in the past but I end up just an angry ranting loon. Hence my only popping by to comment nowadays (that and reading other comments, knowing I am not alone with the frustration and such truly helps me get on with it)

            • elohimette..
              the truth is, human vitals are not an optional extra, our need is to get those vitals met…if we could heal and/or find work to meet those vitals we would..but whilst we are sick/disabled/underemployed or unemployed, we look to our benefit entitlement to meet, those basic needs, but as you know our benefit entitlement is being savagely being stripped away on crazy philosophical idealogical grounds…clem atlees concept of human dignity is of natural rights being met…a decent basic healthy standard of living for all…

        • @overburdeneddonkey The NICE guidance on test strips is being wilfully misinterpreted for prescribing for Type 2 diabetes- test strips should be “used only as part of a wider self-management package in certain circumstances”. This does not mean all patients with Type 2 diabetes.yet this is now it is being interpreted The people the Diabetes UK survey blames for this misinterpretation are local NHS managers rather than GPs or diabetes specialists.

          Fortunately my experience as a Type 2 has been OK. However even 2 years ago the nurses were keen I tested 3 or 4 times a day: now I am just asked what my .average results are. No one yet has asked me to cut back, but no doubt it will happen.

  38. Just seen this topic posted in a link from the NRAS (Rheumatoid arthritis) members pages. The headline of the topic gets sent to all members Email inbox. It may well help swell the number of people who will stop being passive, and get grrrrrrrrllling angry.

    Just inspired me to go back & re-join a shed load more patient / charity groups & do the same. Any ideas for any others? Professional Associations? Trade Groups?

  39. quote from MIND charity..

    Atos Healthcare assessments falling short

    Posted Tuesday 23 July 2013

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that new providers will be appointed to carry out the controversial Work Capability Assessment (WCA) after it found that reports compiled by Atos Healthcare were unacceptable.

    An audit by the DWP found that over 40 per cent of written reports only achieved a ‘C’ grade which means they were of poor quality. As a result Atos Healthcare will lose their monopoly and will be required to retrain their staff.

    Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, commented:
    This DWP audit confirms our long-standing concerns around the poor quality of the WCA. We know that 40 per cent of those who are declared ‘fit for work’ appeal this decision and around 40 per cent of these appeals are successful. Too many people are being put through a stressful and lengthy process in order to get a fair outcome, causing much anxiety not to mention costing huge amounts of public money.
    We welcome the retraining of Atos Healthcare staff and hope they use this opportunity to improve the quality of mental health training. Over a third of all assessments involve people who have applied primarily due to a mental health problem and many more applicants experience a mental health problem alongside other illnesses or disabilities, so it’s vital that Atos understand the impact living with a mental health problem can have on day to day life.
    While we can see the advantage of having more than one assessment provider, the DWP needs to ensure people will receive the same assessment wherever they live and that all providers are properly held to account through both their contracts and consulting representative organisations such as Mind.
    These steps alone are not enough to make the process fair and effective for people with mental health problems. We still need to see greater use of evidence from health and social care professionals who know the applicant best; applicants with mental health problems being assessed by people who have specific expertise in mental health; and changes to the assessment criteria to ensure mental health is properly taken into account.

    http://www.mind.org.uk/news/9269_atos_healthcare_assessments_falling_short

  40. In reply to mind, I would like to add that neither mental health specialists nor atos have much idea when it comes to assessing patients. Hospital psychiatrists work from misleading or even lying social workers reports on admission.

  41. @fawkes we know that atos are scumbags without a clue or caring..its just money in the bank to them..

  42. rainbowwarriorlizzie
  43. rainbowwarriorlizzie
  44. i wonder if the un will now investigate, e and sa, wca and atos, coz yesterday i picked up that they are going to, because of the many times it was mentioned during the un investigations on bedroom tax. can anyone confirm that this is the case?

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