May 22 2013
You can always tell when Iain Duncan Smith is lying because his lips are moving. This was proven last week as it happens, when the dopey cunt was rumbled for rambling on about how well his reforms are doing based on fabricated statistics.
Course, you only need to look at the rate that people are dropping dead or committing suicide to realise that something is very, very, wrong with these welfare reforms.
Yet the smug mugs in government ignore the blood on their hands and use made up statistics to justify their ineptitude. Fuck me! the cunt Cameron even ignores letters from other MP’s telling him that the ATOS Doctors assessing these poor people as fit for work are under orders to pass them fit – even when they clearly are not.
Yet the machine still marches on. Why?
Because everything is going the way it is meant to for those who really dictate policy. Dickhead Smiff is a monumental failure at everything he does. So, unless you deliberately want something to be a disaster, you certainly don’t put someone with a proven track record of failure in charge.
Take no fucking notice of the monotonous, imbecilic, mantra repeatedly trotted out by the slimey snotballs that the benefit bill has got to be slashed by £10 Billion or its the end of the world as we know it… That is nothing more than propaganda.
The government message is loud and clear. There is no money to be made from those who don’t work. Therefore, you will work as a slave, or you will die trying.
Either way, they really couldn’t give a fuck.
Get these soulless cunts out of office now.
Nurse makes heartfelt apology after Atos forced her to trick disabled people out of benefits
SCOTS nurse Joyce Drummond reveals how thousands of genuinely ill people were set up for a fall before they had even been assessed by benefits firm Atos.
A NURSE has revealed how her own life was ruined after under-fire benefits firm Atos forced her to “trick” disabled people out of cash.
Joyce Drummond’s medical training meant she knew claimants were unfit to work.
But she was told to mark people as fit if they could write or show up for an interview properly dressed. Eventually, Joyce was carpeted by bosses for being “too nice” to claimants.
After five months, she was signed off with stress caused by “having to trick sick people out of their benefit”. She quit in July 2009 and hasn’t worked since.
Joyce said candidates were marked down if they:
*looked well-presented, with neat hair and make-up.
*turned up with a toddler.
*could sign the application form.
Public fury is growing against Atos, who have assessed thousands of people with terminal illnesses as fit for work.
And thousands with genuine chronic conditions have been dragged over the coals repeatedly by their inquisitors.
Mum-of-one Joyce, from Mosspark, Glasgow, said Atos decision makers paid no attention to her professional clinical opinion and were only interested in cutting down the number of claimants.
She reveals all the questions she was told to ask were loaded.
Joyce said: “I stopped working for Atos three-and-a-half years ago but I still feel sick every time I think of those people deemed fit for work, when they quite clearly were incapable of doing so.
“I apologise from the bottom of my heart to all those people I had to assess during my five months in the job but the decisions were out of my hands.
“Once I realised how manipulative the assessment system was, I got out immediately. The stress of it all made me ill and I have not worked since.”
Joyce, who worked as a staff nurse at the city’s Southern General for more than 20 years, added: “I only took the job so I could help vulnerable people get the benefits they needed.
“But it wasn’t long before I realised no one cared about my professional clinical opinion. It broke my heart and I went home in tears every night.
“People trusted me as a nurse and they confided in me. I felt I was having to stab them in the back.”
Joyce said many claimants were set up for a fall even before they came into her office in Cadogan Street, Glasgow.
She said: “If they made it in by themselves, that was seen as a sign they could function.
“They also had to fill in a form. If they did it, it showed they could think, write and were capable of managing.
“We also had to assess their appearance. If a woman was wearing make-up and was nicely dressed, she was deemed as functioning and capable.
“If someone came in with a toddler in tow, they were doomed because if they could manage a child, they could surely work.
“If someone had a pet, they were able to function and if they smiled while talking about a pet, I had to mark down that they smiled spontaneously and were therefore not depressed.
“It was so unfair. There could be a very depressed or ill person sitting in front of me but on paper, thanks to the leading questions I had to ask, they could be judged fit to work.”
Joyce says Atos bosses expected assessors to get through 10 cases in a day and reprimanded her for being too nice. She said: “It was impossible to do 10 a day as each claimant had a 44-minute slot. The medical director called me in one day and told me I was too nice.
“I never found out how the decisions went but when I was doing the interview, I knew what the outcome would be.
“Atos went by the philosophy that if you had a finger and could push a button, then you could work. Ridiculous.”
Last week, a Panorama documentary revealed that each week between January and August last year, 32 people died who the Government had declared could be helped back into work.
Appeals against decisions are costing the Government £50million a year.
Atos have a £206million contract from the Department for Work and Pensions.
The leader of the Scottish Parliament’s welfare reform committee pledged to dig deeper into the Atos scandal. Labour MSP Michael McMahon said: “There are serious questions about how Atos manage work and the growing reports of how they have caused distress to so many vulnerable people.
“Whistleblowers have an important part to play in showing just how these reforms are hurting those in genuine need. My committee will continue to investigate the workings of Atos.”
Atos last night defended their role in the benefits process. A spokeswoman said: “Our trained doctors, nurses and physiotherapists use their clinical knowledge and apply the Government’s policy and criteria to each assessment.
“They make no decisions on benefit entitlement and look at each case on an individual basis.
“We understand that applying for benefit can be a difficult time which is why we try to make the part of the process we’re responsible for as comfortable as possible.”
Following allegations by former Atos doctor Greg Wood that the fitness to work test is biased against the claimant, and that people are not being assessed fairly, Rutherglen and Hamilton West Labour MP Tom Greatrex, who has campaigned for reforms to Atos and the fitness to work test, said:
“These are very serious and shocking allegations which must be urgently looked at. I have written to the Prime Minister today asking him to personally order an investigation.
The head-in-the-sand approach Tory Ministers are adopting isn’t good enough. They need to get a grip on this chaotic and out of control process which is not only causing misery for some of the most vulnerable members of our society, but also costing taxpayers a fortune at a time when we can least afford it.
Those who can work should be helped into employment through effective back-to-work schemes, and those who can’t through illness or disability should be supported. It’s about helping people, not hounding them. Based on the evidence of Dr Wood this system is failing us all in the worst possible way.”
Letter from Tom Greatrex MP to Prime Minister David Cameron
London SW1A 2AA
16 May 2013
Dear Prime Minister
As you will be aware concern has been expressed, including by the National Audit Office, about the performance of Atos Healthcare and the management of the work capability assessment process by the DWP. Recent figures show that 42% of those who appeal the original decision by the DWP, which is largely based on the original Atos assessment, are successful.
Government figures suggest that the cost of running the appeal system in 2012/13 will reach £70m. This means that taxpayers are effectively paying for this process twice – first through the £112m contract with Atos, and again for the appeal system to correct those mistakes.
Doctor Greg Wood, who served as a medical officer in the Royal Navy for 16 years, has made the following allegations:
– “claimants are often not being assessed in an even handed way”
– “In my experience HCPs are not free to make independent recommendations, important evidence is frequently missing or never sought in the first place, medical knowledge is twisted and points are often wrongly withheld through the use of an erroneously high standard of proof”
– If Atos assessors “show deviation from the official line the HCP is instructed to change the report”
– “In about a quarter of assessments important documentary evidence is missing but the assessments go ahead regardless.”;
– Training of new HCPs creates an environment where HCPS “expect that they will see in the course of their work score too few points to qualify for ESA. This is often the de facto starting hypothesis, with the effect that the claimant usually faces an uphill struggle before the assessment has even begun.”
– HCPs often “begrudgingly” score claimants
– There is an attitude drilled into HCPs “which leans towards finding reasons not to award points”
– “I believe that this overall bias in many cases affects the outcome of the claim when the claimant’s disability lies broadly in the middle of the disability spectrum.”
These are very serious allegations which merit urgent investigation. I am writing to urge you to personally order such an investigation and monitor its outcome.
Those going through the system, and the taxpayers who are funding it, need to have confidence that it is fair and cost-effective. The allegations made by the doctor suggest that this is far from the case at present.
I should be grateful for your confirmation that you will ensure these allegations are investigated as a matter of urgency.
Tom Greatrex MP
Rutherglen and Hamilton West
The Reality of the Welfare Reform
When I first started on disability research, I just saw the numbers. I saw that 40% of ESA claimants told they are fit to work then appeal that decision, and most of them win. I saw that nurses under-award points for people with physical health conditions, and physiotherapists under-award points for people with mental health conditions. I saw that most assessments are carried out by either nurses or physiotherapists. I saw that decision makers are not consistent in the accuracy or quality of the decisions they make.
In all of this I saw the fear and the stress for ill people going through an assessment process that they knew to be inaccurate. I saw people calling for, and suggesting, improvements to the assessment process that could make it more accurate. I saw the government say that it accepts recommendations from the independent review, and then either not carry them out or carry them out so poorly that they brought little, if any, improvement.
With my head concentrating on figures I started to become numb to the reality. I forgot how shocking the statistics – the real ones – and the stories are. I told a friend that fraud in the disability benefits is less than half of a per cent, and was amazed at how surprised she was.
So then I started to read some stories. I read about people who cannot afford to put glass back into their broken windows and whose houses are falling into disrepair. I read about people being evicted from their homes. I read about people having cooked meals once every other day, eating bread in between. I read about people skipping medicine because it had to be taken with food and they didn’t any. I read about people having to fund-raise for equipment they need that their local authority won’t provide.
It made me think. I’m middle class so I haven’t seen much of the grinding effects of poverty before. I’ve spoken with people who think benefits are adequate and there isn’t a problem. But I’m seeing the problem now; I know people who are struggling; I’m seeing what happens when there isn’t enough money and there isn’t enough health. I’m seeing the despair.
I’m seeing the effects of the government deciding that people who may return to work from sickness benefits should receive benefit for only one year, even though the majority are still too ill to work at that point. I’m seeing the effects of the government deciding that people under 35 can live in shared accommodation, and thus reducing the housing benefit, without considering the health needs of these people. I’m seeing the effects of the government deciding that people should be charged for under-occupying, even though the under-occupation is this and past government’s fault for not building enough social housing.
And there are so many more cuts and changes. Benefits aren’t being uprated in line with inflation, wages, food or fuel. The Independent Living Fund has been closed. Council Tax Benefit is being reduced. Disability Living Allowance is being replaced with a benefit that ministers knew in advance would cut 20% off the money going to disabled people.
People have ended their lives. People are going without food and medicine. People are becoming homeless.
And this is because of the changes this government is making.
We need to realise what is going on. We need to get angry about what is being done, and let the government know this is not what we want. We need to start protecting those who are sick from extra poverty and stress, and stop listening to the unfounded scrounger rhetoric.
Don’t let the government get away with this. There is still time to make changes that will work, but the government needs to know that we want them. We can stop people dying of despair, losing their homes or becoming even more ill. But we need to let the government know.