The Work Capability Assessment Is About To Get Worse, Less People To Be Placed In Support Group Say DWP


Recommendations made by Paul Litchfield in the latest review into the Work Capability Assessment

More sick and disabled people will face sanctions and workfare when Maximus take over running running the despised assessments for sickness benefits say the DWP who have promised the number of people placed in the Support Group is expected to fall.

The department’s comments come in their response to the latest review into the Work Capability Assessment, the shoddy computer based test used to find sick and disabled people ‘fit for work’ and stop their benefits.  Sinister US based outsourcing firm Maximus will take over the assessments from next week after ferocious campaigning by disabled people and benefit claimants led to the notorious Atos ending their involvement with the tests early.

The most recent review was carried out by Paul Litchfield, presumably in his spare time as he is also Chief Medical Officer at BT.  Cutting sick and disabled people’s benefits and driving them into poverty is more of a hobby for this bastard.  Litchfield is very concerned that the number of people placed in the Support Group after an assessment has been on the rise and says this should be urgently examined.  Claimants in this group are those even the DWP agree are too unwell to work and who do not have to jump through endless hoops to prove they are looking for or preparing for work.  It is the only group of claimants who cannot be sent on mandated workfare or have their benefits sanctioned for missing a meeting at the Jobcentre.  Litchfield thinks there are too many of them, and is particularly worried about the number of young people languishing about in homes and hospitals with serious health conditions when they could be stacking shelves in ASDA for no pay on workfare schemes – or work related activity as he calls it.

As Litchfield will know however, young people, or those of any age in the Support Group, are able to access the Work Programme if they choose.  If many of them do not then that says more about the bungled scheme than it does about sick and disabled claimants.  The Work Programme is shit. That’s why no-one volunteers for it.

Another of Litchfield’s worries is the use of regulation 35 (2) (b).  This rule means that people can be placed in the Support Group automatically if there is “substantial risk” to their mental or physical health if they are found fit for work.  This can be done without a face to face assessment and is frequently used – often on the advice of a GP or medical specialist – when a claimant demonstrates suicidal behavior or is at risk of self-harm.  Litchfield seems appalled that this group are not being harassed stringently enough by the DWP.  Nowhere does he mention the growing number of suicides linked to the Work Capability Assessment .  Perhaps he thinks there aren’t enough.

The DWP agree with Litchfield that the numbers in the Support Group are too high and in a frank admission say this is down to more paper based assessments being carried out due to chronic delays that have built up in the system.  According to the department: “Following transition to the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments (Maximus) and restoration of the usual proportion of face-to-face assessments it is expected that the level of Support Group outcomes will decline.”

Litchfield must be so relieved to hear that even more sick and disabled claimants will soon be dependent on food banks after having their benefits sanctioned.  He won’t be the only one happy at the news.  Maximus would like to see as many people on the Work Programme as possible, because they fucking run huge chunks of that as well.  No wonder their greedy boss can afford to pay himself $5 million a year.

The Work Capability Assessment is set to get worse.  It is more vital than ever that it is scrapped completely.  Help make that happen this Monday 2nd March with the first national day of action against new contractors Maximus.  Protests, demonstrations and actions are planned in 30 locations throughout the UK and even one in Toronto!  Full details of the nearest protest to you are available in this handy post from Disabled People Against Cuts.  Please help spread the word and let’s make Maximus feel uncomfortable for a change.


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78 responses to “The Work Capability Assessment Is About To Get Worse, Less People To Be Placed In Support Group Say DWP

  1. Reblogged this on L8in.

  2. Litchfield is scumbag. He was writing scurrilous articles in press about malingering and doctors coming under pressure to write sick notes for people he said were just plain lazy

    He is also connected to FOM and Atos

    Total git. Should be struck off

  3. Yet action t4 can only be their outcome culled by our government

  4. overburdenddonkey

    despite the ever increasing toughness of the WCA….alarm bells don’t clang that people are getting sicker, as pressure on the sick and disabled increases, food bank use explodes, eviction increase etc, care worsens, and A&E depts overflow to crisis levels…but there is a fault with the paperwork, that they’re determined to find and stamp out @ all costs…

  5. At the forefront of wellbeing at work
    Telecommunications giant BT is regarded by mental health charities as a beacon for positive changes in workplace mental health policy and practice. Dr Paul Litchfield talks about the company’s achievements.

    Arbeit macht frei to all that!

  6. Action t4 no other under the guise of rtu ids scheme of work makes you better jeff3




      Dr Gunnyeon is not employed by Capita Healthcare in any capacity and thus there is no
      conflict of interest to register.

      The Atos Healthcare Contract was awarded in February 2005. Dr Gunnyeon did not take up
      his appointment with the Department until 1st June 2005. ESA was introduced as a contract
      variation to the original contract in 2008.

      Since his appointment in June 2005 Dr Gunnyeon has had no affiliation with either company
      and has not received any financial remuneration or reward from them.
      If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number
      Yours sincerely,

      DWP Central FoI Team


        Sadly, guess who is the independent scrutineer for ATOS,

        The one and only PAUL LITCHFIELD…..


        Sue Godby, UnumUK
        Dr Angela Gra­ham, Atos Origin
        Dr Paul Litch­field, Fac­ulty of Occu­pa­tional Medi­cine (Bill Gunnyeon, now the chief Med­ical Advisor to DWP was the pres­id­ent of the FOM)

        In Phys­ical Tech­nical Work­ing Group included:

        Dr Angela Gra­ham, Atos Ori­gin Med­ical Services
        Dr Peter Dewis, Dis­ab­il­ity Ana­lyst and Cus­tomer Care Dir­ector, UnumUK
        Dr David Hende­r­son Slater, yet again

        The former Chief Med­ical Advisor to the UK gov­ern­ment, Pro­fessor Mansel Ayl­ward, was instru­mental in advising the UK gov­ern­ment to set up med­ical assess­ment centres based on the model in Amer­ica, and he is still fun­ded by the same Amer­ican com­pany used in his example, with his research centre in Wales. The company’s name: UnumProvid­ent (UK). Indeed, his research centre for Psychoso­cial and Dis­ab­il­ity Research is based at Cardiff Uni­ver­sity (Pro­fessor Ayl­ward is the Dir­ector) is named the“UnumProvident Centre.” Pro­fessor Ayl­ward was also instru­mental in how the recent Wel­fare Reform Act was to be imple­men­ted by the DWP. 8


        Link to this

      • GEOFF REYNOLDS, well everyone really!
        Please see this link:

  7. This government hates the disabled, quite clearly.

  8. Weird how D Cameron doesn’t want disabled people/sick people to receive a benefit that he himself has claimed on behalf of a disabled relative in the past. Did he have to go through the same process to receive same? What do these people get out of all this – a sense of power? Don’t know how they can sleep at night.

  9. Yes, there is a “lost generation”.

    Its NOT the people in the support group!!
    Its the victims who took their own lives because they could not cope with the stress.

    That’s the lost generation.

  10. Some light deserves to be shed onto the Reviewer Dr Litchfield himself, given his involvement with ‘Fit For Work’, his work in other capacities, and also his long term position with BT, a large UK employer. It deserves some questioning, why a Reviewer from his kind of background was the supposed “appropriate” appointment. The former Reviewer appeared to come from a slightly more independent kind of professional background, some will think.

    Dr Paul Litchfield has been Chief Medical Officer for BT (British Telecom) and he is a member of ‘Fit For Work’, a “think tank” kind of “stake holder group” and lobby organisation:

    Re the author or “Reviewer”, look up info via these websites:

    from LinkedIn:


    “Paul’s main professional interest for the past decade has been occupational mental health and he has been involved in UK national and European initiatives to improve rehabilitation back into work after mental illness and to reduce the stigma of mental ill health. Within BT he has created a framework for health, safety and wellbeing that has driven very significant improvements to the benefit of both the workforce and the business and the company’s performance in these areas is widely viewed as exemplary. Key elements of the approach have been partnership with the Trade Unions and the transformation of data into management information that is of use in managing the company better. He has published and lectured widely not only on mental health issues but also on sickness absence, hazard control and ethics in occupational health.”

    He has been ‘Chief Medical Officer’ for BT Group plc (British Telecom) for 14 years, and is thus a medical professional with a corporate business appointment and links.

    ‘Fit for Work UK Coalition’ website:

    ‘Fit for Work Europe’ is made up of only 5 partner countries, being the UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Hungary and Turkey.

    Under the page ‘Our History’ of ‘Fit for Work Europe’ we find that ‘Fit for Work’ was originally established in the UK, and “expanded” into Europe.

    Their website informs:
    “Fit for Work Europe is a multi-stakeholder Coalition, driving policy and practice change across the work and health agendas. We aim to deliver more investment in sustainable healthcare by promoting and implementing early intervention practices. Research shows this approach is the most effective way of ensuring people with MSDs (musculoskeletal disorders) can enter and remain in work across the EU and globally.”

    Also is some info available on Professor Stephen Bevan, their Founding Director
    Professor Stephen Bevan, Founding Director

    “Stephen is Director of the Centre for Workforce Effectiveness at The Work Foundation and an Honorary Professor at Lancaster University. He joined The Work Foundation in 2002 as Director of Research from the Institute for Employment Studies (IES). In 2007, he founded the Fit for Work project and in 2009 he launched the European Coalition.

  11. I have the intention of turning up for assessment, later this year if called, and instead of letting my daughter answer, been my usual aggressive self. They want to see my daily behaviour they can no one would ever consider employing me, and why should they when my medication causes so many problems, I haven’t had a WFI for over 2 years and I’m in WRAG. PARKED in the group so DWP/JCP have something to answer for at my next assessment unless they put me in the support group.

  12. There is no point sending disabled people into jobcentres’ on jsa,they are easy targets given the obstacle to performance culture for sanctions’. its not going to be more likely to make them employable.
    the government just don’t care about citizens, just whip em to the end.for a cheap headline.

  13. Fit for work? Well, how come a young female was sacked for having epilepsy from the London Underground? No record of absence – just having the misfortune of being a bit disorientated near an escalator – if I was this female – I would them take them all the way!!!! What will happen here when she goes to sign on at the Jobcentre – will Maximus say she is fit for work and if so – are they going against medical advice to whoever it was that said she was unfit for work and sacked her? “Bloomin” joke. Into the bargain, apparently she was quite involved in politics – was this the reason she was sacked under the guise of being “Unfit” for work. Please don’t let this government back into power – they are “Unfit to Rule”.

    • @Donna Smith Dr Paul Litchfield is notorious for all his FIT FOR WORK stuff which was European as well as UK based

      He wrote articles about ” sick note culture ” and malingering and was part of FOM with close connections to Atos

  14. Reblogged this on Christopher John Ball and commented:
    I’ve helped people who have had to go through this, have seen first hand the fear as an assessment date approaches. Indeed, such fear of an upcoming assessment played a part in the suicide attempt of someone very close to me – their fears recorded by the medical staff who worked with said individual. These staff informed me that such fears, and suicide attempts as a result, are common. Nice to know that this Coalition ( I refuse to call it a Conservative led as the Liberal Democrats facilitated it all ) are working hard to put in place measures designed to increase the number of people harmed by this pernicious policy. This cull is all part of the Liberal Democrats Fairer Society it seems.

  15. Pingback: The Work Capability Assessment Is About To Get ...

  16. @bobchewie
    “Dr Paul Litchfield is notorious for all his FIT FOR WORK stuff which was European as well as UK based”
    ………a dangerous fanatic and well fitted to our fascist Corporate State. Hopefully we’ll pull his teeth on May 7th

  17. The psychobabble FIT FOR WORK charlatan are clearly psychopaths peddling a political agenda backed up by pseudoscience.

    How being unemployed changes your personality. Study from the Journal of Applied Psychology.

    Yeah unemployment brings a heightened state of awareness and an ability to call out the FIT FOR WORK charlatans and the work sets you free pseudoscience bullshit.

    • ” how unemployment changes your personality ” you become dirtier scruffier alcoholic more inclined to becoming left wing instead of normal and therefore lazier and expect free handouts. ”

      That’s the sort of Duncan Sniff think tank crap you might expect

    • Being ‘Unemployed’ changes your personality quite drastically, because you go from being a normal member of society with no feeling of being any different to anybody else to suddenly being expected to swallow shit and take being talked down to by some just out of Teens skill less visionless feckwitt at the dole office.
      To make matters worse, everybody in your neighborhood now thinks you are an alchy layabout career toss pot because thats what Mr In Deep Shit and the daily mail have told them,despite the fact Mr Duunkin Donuts could not gap a spark plug or knows the difference between gloss and egg shell paint.

  18. Walk around the local shopping mall with some concern as the workers give the miserable impression that they are all going home to blow their brains out when their FIT FOR WORK shift ends.

  19. Seeing is believing.

    ‘Why dont you just fuck off”

  20. Interesting that by jsa sanctioning the DWP/JCP have technically declared hundreds of thousands unfit for work, in that they allegedly do not have the capacity to fulfil job-seeking conditionality.

    That DWP/JCP admission-charge of job-seeking incapacity should not be prosecuted with a sanction but a shift onto incapacity benefits.

  21. Seeing is believing.

    Seeing is believing | February 17, 2015 at 4:38 am | Reply
    ‘Police. nurses and firefighters all jump the housing que and get offered nice peabody flats that others acn only dream of.The gubbermint knows how to look after its cops and emergency services , dont you worry about that!’
    I see no disrespect there. Perhaps you joined me in that celebratory drink?

    bobchewie | February 17, 2015 at 8:52 am | Reply
    No but you can just fuck off…

    Seeing is believing | February 17, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Reply
    Ah, straight in with reasoning, then!

    Mr. Reckless | February 17, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    The opening of the chasm between the shirking and striving working class as public service workers accept the security of the bribes abandoning the underclass to its last stand fate.

  22. Seeing YOU Pal

    ” No, but you can just Fuck Off”..

  23. Seeing is believing

    ‘And you sit there copying and pasting what people comment because? ‘
    Whilst having trouble ‘copy pasting’.
    And you proclaim to be a champion of the people whilst telling strangers ‘to just fuck off”.
    Nobody put you in charge. Nobody is interested in your Nonce alert.
    I will tell you why. You have been on this site for a while but think it gives you credence and priority over others.
    You are already displaying the arrogance of having power and thats just in a web blog.

    • You just posted because you have nothing to say except to try and wind people up.

      • Nothing to say; What, like;
        ‘No, but you can just Fuck off’ to a perfect stranger.
        Does that qualify as something worth saying?
        Or listening to? We are hanging on your every word Sire.
        Sir Chewbob of Fuckall Wit. Arise!

  24. Some introspection may be required.Re-visit the above posts.
    Nobody has come up with the saying ‘Idiot;Heal Thyself’
    because it just would not work.
    You seem to be proof of this.

  25. I hate to state the obvious here… no I don’t. Isn’t this Maximus group (under some other name) is also about to hand out workfare placements in the South of England? Isn’t that a ‘conflict of Interests’?
    How the hell can the same company, responsible for WCA, also be responsible for workfare in the South? You were warned… now you shall sow as you have reaped.
    Small comfort… but hey, I’ll take them where they come.

    • Reed in Partnership with Ghengis Khan

      What, you mean like reed (‘in Partnership’) having a work program account, whilst being ‘in partnership’ with their employment agency business?
      Do not sign the data disclosure form they harp on about; it just gives away all your rights as a human being to this shit pot turd agency and they can use the other biz to hire you as a dog pooper scooper on min wage if they like.
      You will be sanctioned if you refuse anything once you have signed this form!

      • Reed in Partnership with Ghengis Khan

        And Yes! They will promise to put your details forward to some juicy job or other if you sign it (tho you will never get any details from them of this juicy position) and then you are in sanctionesq purgatory if you dont start shoveling doggy doo.

  26. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Paul Litchfield, the Chief Medical Officer for BT, has decided that there are far too many people in the Support Group. These are people that even the DWP acknowledge are too ill to find work. Many of them have problems with self-harm and suicide. Litchfield does not take into account the rising number of suicides due to the pressure from the DWP.

    The recommendation that more people should be placed in the support group is good news for Maximus, who also run a fair chunk of the workfare programme. It’s in their self-interest to get as many people on their books as possible, for them to supply as cheap labour to different firms.



    It seems we are dealing with another Tory yes-man, hired not to improve ESA, but to make it and the government look good.

    Dr Litchfield’s attitude is revealed on the video record of the meeting, which is available on the Parliament UK website, starting two hours, 11 minutes and 41 seconds into the recording.

    Committee member Debbie Abrahams (Labour) had just received a Tweet stating: “Litchfield doesn’t want to come out and say scrap WCA because 10,600 dead or he’ll be out of a job, slime bag.”

    Turning to Litchfield, she said: “I’ve just been contacted by someone who is commenting on the number of people that are dying every week as a result of being found fit for work after an assessment. I don’t know if you’d like to comment on that?”

    The response – from the man who is supposed to have every scrap of information about ESA, let us remember – was as follows: “I don’t have any information of that type; I haven’t seen numbers on that. Clearly every case would be a tragedy.”

    • @GEOFF a tragedy is an understatement am surprised he didn’t say it was an a hazard of the job which was to be expected and at least it saves tax payers money now that they are dead

  28. I remember back in 2002 I had a pal who was sent to Coronna House in Glasgow for a medical. She received a letter the next week stating that she had passed the medical and she continued to receive the benefit she was entitled to. The point here is – why is it taking so long to give people a decision based on the outcome of their interview? Another friend had a husband who had a heart attack, a burst duodenal ulcer and a stroke all at the one time – spent six weeks in hospital. He had been self employed all of his life – he too was sent to Coronna House – was found fit for work. His own GP phoned whoever it was that made this decision – overturned – and he then started to receive the benefits he was entitled. The GP’s words were “I have saw less on a Death Certificate”. This was when we found out that the people carrying out these assessment were unqualified. He too, received the letter telling him he had failed the assessment within a week.

  29. Vote for CLASS WAR!!


  30. Vote for CLASS WAR!!


  31. There is a way to get rid completely of all this abject cruelty from 7 May.

    You may care to share on your social medica Facebook or Twitter etc the way to escape the workhouse mentality that has befallen the poor from the aristocratic mindset of our political class for one thousand years.

    See how at:

  32. I Agree Scrap the Work Capability Assessment

    Scrap the Tory Government by Peaceful Mass Public Protest
    and Voting the Tories Out at the General Election

    Constitutional Protection For Welfare Benefits and Increase
    Level of Welfare Benefits

    Tax the Rich Hands Off the Poor

    Socialism Not Slavery

  33. One thing I find terribly sad and cruel about the review relates to young people with mental illness. There have been devastating cutbacks in mental health service provision, with still nothing done about the long-term problem of a gap between Cahms and adult mental health services. Yet it is this age group that is most vulnerable for first onset of severe mental illness and there is plenty of long-term research to show that early intervention can nip severe mental illness in the bud. So the politicians and their lackeys want fewer young people in the support group? Why not just give more of them the help they need instead of treating them like it’s their fault they’re at risk of going over the edge if made to work?

  34. Only Scum and the Out of Touch in Bloody Cloud Cuckooland can Think that Filth like ” Celebrities ” who Abuse Children Younger than 8 Years of Age Deserve someone to ” Feel Sorry ” for them.

    What Decent People do is Feel Sorry for the Victims of Child Abuse and
    Support Capital Punishment For Child Abuse

  35. Tax the Rich Hands Off the Poor

    Social Justice through Peaceful Socialist Revolution Now

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