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GPs 'flooded' with letter requests due to UK benefit reforms




UK welfare reforms are having a significant impact on GP practices in Scotland, according to the body representing Scottish doctors.


BMA Scotland said GPs were being "flooded with additional avoidable work" as patients seek support regarding benefit payment appeals.


It has labelled the UK government's approach "flawed" and called for changes to the system.


Had noticed that article MuckleJoannie and thought it was very contradictory as prior to the piece you quoted it states that -


"A group of Glasgow doctors has urged GPs to refuse to write support letters."


Which in my opinion is certainly not going to help the patient in any way what so ever nor is it going to help to fix the assessment process which is clearly flawed in so many ways it is unbelievable, and failing many very vulnerable people.


I put it down to misreporting on behalf of the BBC which is becoming ever more prevalent and usually some what biased. :x


I have come across this article in the Herald which i think is much better.




Leading doctors protest at 'cruel' disability tribunals


FRONTLINE doctors in Scotland have hit out at the "Kafkaesque" system of fitness-to-work benefits assessments which they say is placing their most vulnerable patients at risk of suicide.

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And it would seem that their reporting style is unpopular in the sporting community as well as Rangers Football Club do not think so :!:




BBC Banned By Club


RANGERS Football Club can confirm the BBC is no longer welcome at Ibrox Stadium or Murray Park.


The club asked BBC journalists to leave the stadium ahead of today's Division Three title party against Berwick Rangers.


Rangers Director of Communications James Traynor said: "We are aware of our contractual obligations but we also have to be aware of our duty to protect the players, manager and supporters against reporting which lacks logic, balance and fairness."

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Follow the Money: Tory Ideology is all about handouts to the wealthy that are funded by the poor


Here is yet another great Tory lie exposed – “Making work payâ€. This Government have raided our tax-funded welfare provision and used it to provide handouts to the very wealthy – £107, 000 EACH PER YEAR in the form of a tax cut for millionaires. The Conservatives claim that it is “unfair†that people on benefits are “better off†than those in work. But the reforms are having a severely negative impact on workers. 60% of people visiting food banks last year were in work.


There is no evidence, sense or logic behind the Tory claim that cutting welfare will make work pay. That’s because it is an entirely ideologically driven, dogmatic and reductionist sound-bite. There is certainly an essential essence of all that is Tory in “peremptoryâ€. Every time we have periods of high unemployment, growing inequalities, increases in poverty, there is a Conservative Administration behind this destruction of people’s lives.


Coming at the same time that severe cuts to tax credits and benefits are set to make an estimated 11.5 million households poorer, the Chancellor was accused by Britain’s largest union, Unite of conducting class war on the poor while giving handouts to the rich.


Full article can be read here -



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A well written piece found on the "Nurses Against Atos" on Facebook



I just wrote this piece to try to explain to my friends what is going on, please feel free to post it on your wall & ask people to share, as I tried to include all the most important points that people need to know, thanks.


THIRTY UK citizens are dying a WEEK because of the governments discriminatory harassment and torture (real mental AND physical torture) against the sick and disabled, details further down.


That is more than the number of UK troops dying a week in the Middle East!


WHY is there no outcry? We are UK citizens, don't we matter? Why are our lives less important than a soldiers life?


These figures are the governments OWN published figures obtained under the freedom of information act.


The torture ( I and many people I know have experienced it first hand) is twofold, and is causing death by two major causes:


1: removal of vital support and income of the sick and disabled leading to destitution, hardship, starvation, lack of essential care, homelessness etc leading to worsening of medical conditions and death.


2: suicude because of the above (or the imminent threat thereof)


The torture consists of ongoing, premeditated, calculating mental torture by the DWP and the company they pay to assist them, French firm ATOS.


It is a never ending game of sending threatening letters worded (and timed) to cause the maximum amount of fear and distress, often to people already mentally fragile.


Abusive threatening phone calls from DWP and ATOS staff to the same vulnerable people, often shouting, rude, dismissive, gloating, and bullying.


Forcing the vulnerable (many of whom suffer acute distress at leaving their home, or meeting strangers), and others who suffer physical pain and exhaustion by doing so, to attend assessments by ATOS, at places often inaccessible to the disabled (and punishing them if their condition prevents them from being able to attend).


At the assessments the psychological torture continues with emotionally manipulative staff who belittle, insult, shout at, bully or simply ignore these vulnerable people, and ignore their needs. (In a recent fire alarm at one such building the staff fled, leaving a wheelchair bound man unable to escape and to potentially die).


The PHYSICAL torture continues with assessors (who are often not even doctors), manhandling the victims, forcing their already painful limbs into positions which the victims explain they cannot do or which causes them severe pain, or forcing the victim to perform movements which will cause them pain and distress. Many have been seen gloating/smirking at the pain, distress and tears shown by their victims during this. The physical torture leaves victims like myself in agony for days or weeks afterwards and increasingly vulnerable.


The assessors then ROUTINELY lie and omit vital information, disregard or contradict the evidence supplied by the victims OWN qualified doctors, consultants & surgeons, and use these falsified reports to rip away the victims support and income, often leading into the sick & disabled victims being pushed into forced (slave) labour for which they are not paid, and which will not enable them to obtain a paying job.


People are being pushed into forced labour (they will be rendered destitute and homeless if they do not or cannot comply), despite the work causing their medical condition to deteriorate significantly, causing pain, distress, hospitalisation and death.


In theory one can appeal the wrong decisions, however the government has taken away funding from the Citizens Advice Bureaux, Welfare Rights departments, and Legal Aid, leaving these organisations overwhelmed with caseloads and unable to help.


In addition, online videos released by previous governments in the past with the purpose of guiding people through the appeals process are now being routinely deleted by the government in order to hide from people the facts about the help they are entitled to, and their legal rights to appeal.


Even when you DO appeal and win thanks to help of independent online support groups, you are not left alone. Within months (or often even weeks) of successfully winning your appeal, the nightmare starts all over again as they decide up start the procedure all over again. Victims are ground through the mill again and again until their condition deteriorates to the point of death, or they take their own lives to escape the never ending torture.


Is it any wonder that in this kafkaesque nightmare so many people are dying or comitting suicude? Wouldn't YOU in the same situation?


I am desperately asking my friends to share this please. Not just for me but for my friends and family members going through the same ordeal. I personally know people who are being broken by this system. You probably won't realise it until they are dead, but you almost certainly know one too, whether they talk to you about it or not.


The bottom line is that this UK government does not want sick or disabled people in the UK and it DOES want us all dead. They are just going about it in a slower and sneakier way than gas chambers.


I assure you I have not exaggerated one word of the above text. It is from my heart and DIRECT personal experience.


Please share for me and help me spread awareness. We are not people unworthy of life.

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Charity chief slams savage Tory cuts for plunging Scots cancer patients into poverty

MACMILLAN Cancer Support boss Allan Cowie reveals how anguished patients are being forced into financial hardship by benefit rules in a callous double whammy.


A CHARITY boss says Tory benefit cuts are having a devastating effect on Scots cancer victims.


Allan Cowie, general manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in Scotland, has revealed that after fear of pain, money worry is patients’ greatest cause of stress.


And demeaning work assessments ruling people are fit to work are also causing unnecessary suffering.


Cowie said: “People tell us, and there is a huge evidence base behind this, that second only to the fear of pain, financial worry is the greatest cause of stress following a cancer diagnosis.


“It’s shocking in this day and age that poverty can be a consequence of a cancer diagnosis. And it is, for many, many families.


“The Government should allow cancer patients more say over when they feel able to return to work and they should not be forced to have to go through assessments by ATOS.


“When people are ill, having to make that call to see if they can afford to keep on their house due to the bedroom tax is hugely unfair.


Full story can be found here-



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One In Four UK Children Will Be Living In Poverty By 2020, Says Thinktank


One in four children in Britain – 3.4 million – will be in relative poverty by 2020, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned.


In a report, which was conducted for the Northern Ireland executive but which is held to describe the position in the UK as a whole, the IFS warns the coalition government that “tax and benefit reforms introduced since April 2010 can account for almost all of the increases in child poverty projected over the next few yearsâ€.


The shakeup of the tax and benefits system will result in another 600,000 children falling into relative poverty during this parliament, with this figure rising by more than 1 million by 2020 in a sharp jump that will result in Britain missing binding targets to reduce child poverty by 2020. The target was to reduce child poverty to one in 10, or fewer, of all children, or around 1.3 million.


The IFS, the country’s leading public finance thinktank, warns that “it seems impossible that the targets set out in the Child Poverty Act could be metâ€, and recommends the government now needs to “reveal a credible plan for meeting the targets that it has signed up to; or that it sets different objectives which reflect its view of what is both desirable and achievableâ€.


It also discounts the idea that the government’s flagship welfare reform would be able change poverty levels: “Despite the impact of universal credit, the overall impact of reforms introduced since April 2010 is to increase the level of income poverty in each and every year from 2010 to 2020.â€


In an update to work first done in October 2011, the IFS considered the spectrum of welfare changes and calculated that the number of children in absolute poverty in 2015 would rise by 900,000 to 3 million. By 2020 3.4 million young people – about one in four children – will find themselves in relative child poverty.


This represents an increase of 1.1 million on the figures for 2011.


In percentage terms, the IFS says relative child poverty will rise by 6% between 2010–11 and 2020–21 – in effect reversing all of the reductions that took place under Labour between 2000–01 and 2010–11. At the end of the decade, rates of absolute child poverty will be 27.2%, compared with a target of 5%. In relative terms, child poverty will be about 24% in 2020, compared with the goal of 10% written in law.


Liam Byrne, the shadow work and pensions secretary, said: “The IFS verdict is clear – by both internationally recognised measures, this government is set to plunge over a million children into poverty by the end of this decade, undoing all the good work of the last Labour government.â€


Charities warned that a generation was being failed. Alison Garnham of Child Poverty Action Group said: “We always put our children’s needs first in family life, and we should do as a nation too. But today’s dire projections reveal we are in danger of failing the next generation. The government has child poverty targets and a child poverty strategy because it knows poverty destroys life chances and generates huge costs to our economy.â€


A child is considered to be in relative poverty if he or she lives in a household whose income is below 60% of the average in that year, and in absolute poverty if he or she lives in a household whose real-terms income is below 60% of the 2010/11 average – a period set as a benchmark in this year’s Child Poverty Act.


The work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has argued for a new definition of child poverty to take account of parental problems such as drug addiction, education and worklessness.


This change of tactics has influential critics. Alan Milburn, chair of the government’s commission on social mobility and child poverty, said last month that he did not “think there is a cat in hell’s chance that the 2020 [child poverty] target will be hit. Most people, even if they don’t say it publicly, know that privately.â€


The commission is urging Duncan Smith to reconsider his controversial ideas to tinker with the way poverty is measured, with Milburn warning that this simply “conflates the causes of poverty with the consequencesâ€.

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ATOS and DWP kill again


DWP like to stop peoples money for no reason. There have been many cases of this nature in the past, many brought up in the house of commons and political debates. In one example someone had epilepsy and the DWP stopped their benefits. The claimant then got really ill and died due to stress which triggered an epileptic fit, only to have the DWP call his parents a week later and say sorry they had made a mistake and he was entitled to benefits.


There are 1000′s of other examples I could use. These are not isolated incidents.


Thirty Year old Iain Hodge commited suicide at a flat he had recently moved into with his fiance Viki who discovered his body early in the morning. The couple from East Kilbride had saved money aside to ‘ do up the flat’ once they moved in, but Iain had become distraught after battling with the benefits agency who had stopped his money for 10 weeks, despite him having a serious blood disorder which could affect his chance of working.


Iains father said: “He and Vicki had just taken out a mortgage on a new flat, his illness was getting him down and he was involved in an ongoing battle with the Benefits Agency.


“He had not received any cash from them for 10 weeks, despite being signed off as unfit to work by the doctor. He was last seen by his GP just two weeks ago.


“Although he wasn’t a lad who cared about money, he worried about being dependent on others.


The thing here is that Doctors or GP’s diagnosis count for diddly squat down at the DWP. The Government have their own biased tests claimants are forced to endure, and most people found unfit to work from thier GP are found fit to work by ATOS, because ATOS is a government funded agency and they have targets to meet. JSA is typically less than DLA which is now PIP, and the tests have been so vigorously rigged in the DWP’s favour under ‘ welfare reforms’ it can send some claimants lives into turmoil.


Iain was a landscape gardener with South Lanarkshire Council when he fell seriously ill in 2009.


He was discovered to have two deep vein thromboses in his legs and had to have his big toe amputated.


Tests revealed he had blood clots in both lungs. He was diagnosed with Hughes syndrome, a life-threatening condition often referred to as sticky blood.


Iain was put on warfarin, which thins the blood, for the rest of his life. It meant he could not do any hard physical work.


He also suffered horrendous headaches and frequent bouts of illness.


He was hoping his condition would stabilise enough to let him get a job or to go to college.


Iain died in the early hours of Saturday, April 27.


He was said to have become depressed by the lack of money and income, and hated relaying on other people, and his depression made him take his own life, when he should have been entitled to the money, at least according to his GP and all the evidence of his condition.

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Ahem excuse me Mr Duncan Smith But -


Benefit Fraud Just 0.7 Per Cent Of Welfare Budget, Official Figures Show


Commenting on figures published today (Thursday) by the Department for Work and Pensions, which show that benefit fraud accounts for just 0.7 per cent of the welfare budget, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:


‘People have been brainwashed into believing that the benefits system is riddled with fraud. In fact it accounts for just 0.7 per cent of the welfare budget and that proportion is not increasing.


‘While benefit fraud is a problem, these figures show there is a significant issue with underpayment too, with one in ten housing benefit claimants being underpaid at a time when living costs are soaring.


‘Instead of seeking to demonise those on benefits, ministers should be getting tough on tax-evading companies who are cheating the Treasury out of £25bn a year.’


Polling carried out by the TUC in January, showed that on average people think that 27 per cent of the welfare budget is claimed fraudulently. The government’s own figure is 0.7 per cent.



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Twenty MPs pocket up to £180,000 each on taxpayer-funded second homes


Almost 20 ministers and MPs have pocketed up to £180,000 each after selling their taxpayer-funded second homes for a profit.


The MPs have jointly made more than £1 million by selling their second homes, and under parliamentary rules they are entitled to keep the money.

The scale of their windfall was disclosed for the first time in figures released by the parliamentary watchdog today, and prompted accusations that MPs were making a personal profit from taxpayers' money.


Full story here -



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Iain Duncan Smith has committed contempt of Parliament and should be expelled


Why is Iain Duncan Smith still a member of Parliament?


Apparently there is an offence, here in the UK, known as Contempt of Parliament. An MP is guilty of this if he or she deliberately misleads Parliament, and any MP accused of the offence may be suspended or expelled.


Our odious Work and Pensions secretary is a repeat offender. It is one thing to be “economical with the truthâ€, as the euphemism goes; it is entirely different to present known falsehoods to the House of Commons as though they were accurate.


Full article can be found at -



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Bungling Atos rake in £500million of taxpayers' cash from botched fitness-to-work tests

10 May 2013


MP Tom Greatrex says it's wrong for the private firm to be cashing in when sick and disabled people are suffering because of the "mess" caused by new rules on claiming benefits.


ATOS Healthcare have raked in £500million in the UK in three years, according to figures uncovered by Labour.


The private firm have been carrying out assesments of disabled people as part of the Con-Dems benefits shake-up.


But 40 per cent of people Atos have declared fit for work have had the decisions overturned on appeal.


Labour MP Tom Greatrex said that the annual reports of Atos between 2009 and 2011 show they made £489.84million profit.


Atos received £323.7million from the Department for Work and Pensions to carry out the fitness to work tests between 2008 and 2011.


Greatrex, MP for the Rutherglen and Hamilton West, has campaigned for reform of the fitness to work test.


He said: “When sick and disabled people are suffering because of the chaos and confusion of the fitness to work test, it is wrong for Atos to be raking in millions in profits at taxpayer expense.


“The public are paying twice for this process – first through the £112million a year contract and then again with millions in appeals to clean up the mess left behind by Atos and the DWP.


“Ministers must urgently get a grip of this system before taxpayers get ripped off even further.â€


But Atos, who said they could not confirm the profit figures, said the company were not to blame for the rate of appeals.


Full article here -



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