Jump to content


Recommended Posts

Court claim after ‘fitness for work harassment’ during blood transfusion

By john pring


A disabled woman who claims she lost the use of her last kidney because of harassment from her local jobcentre during an emergency blood transfusion is taking legal action against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).


Lawyers for Annemarie Campbell will this week issue a claim for damages against DWP under the Equality Act, claiming discrimination, and possibly also harassment and a failure to make reasonable adjustments.


Campbell was receiving the blood transfusion in February when her jobcentre called her on her mobile phone to ask when she would be well enough to attend a back-to-work interview.


She had told the jobcentre in central London only the previous day that she would be in hospital for an emergency transfusion, and that she was seriously ill and awaiting a second kidney transplant.


But she says the jobcentre still hounded her while she lay hooked up to life-saving medical equipment in an emergency renal ward of Hammersmith Hospital.


A member of the jobcentre’s staff phoned her and asked when she could attend her work-focussed interview. When Campbell told her she was in the middle of a blood transfusion, the adviser asked her if she could fetch her consultant.


Campbell said: “When I was getting the blood transfusion it was trying to prolong my kidney and make me live a bit longer.

“I was on the phone being upset all the time, constantly trying to explain myself. They were pushing me to go back to work, constantly phoning me and writing to me.â€


Five days after the transfusion, she told her consultant that she was going back to work, as a result of the DWP harassment.

But he told her she could not possibly consider working because her life was “on a knife edgeâ€, and he wrote to the jobcentre to explain the seriousness of her medical condition.


Full story here -



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bedroom tax legal challenge dismissed by high court


Ten families have lost their attempt to overturn the government's "bedroom tax" on the basis that it was highly discriminatory and contrary to article 14 of the European convention of human rights.
In their ruling today, judges said that the secretary of state was relying on "departmental circular" to implement policy ordered by the courts in March last year which was not sufficient.


"The secretary of state has no business considering whether to introduce regulations to conform housing benefit provision with the judgment in Gorry. His is obliged to do so."


In a statement from one of the three solicitors firms bringing the cases, Richard Stein from the human rights team at Leigh Day said: "This is a most disappointing result. We will be seeking an urgent appeal to the court of appeal.

From here -



And from the lawyers who took on the case


Bedroom Tax Judgment to be appealed

Lawyers for adults with disabilities today confirmed that they intend to appeal the ruling, arguing that the discriminatory impact of the measure on people with disabilities cannot be justified and is unlawful.

From here -


Link to comment
Share on other sites

BBC programme on welfare reforms broke impartiality and accuracy rules


The BBC Trust has ruled that a controversial programme about welfare reforms, written and fronted by the Today presenter John Humphrys, breached its rules on impartiality and accuracy.


From here -




What a surprise.......... Not!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why I blew the whistle on Atos fitness-for-work test


Greg Wood, a doctor employed to carry out the controversial test, explains what made him speak out


Greg Wood decided that he could no longer tolerate working for the fitness-for-work assessment firm Atos earlier this year when he was asked, for perhaps the 10th time, to change a report he had made on a claimant, in this case making it unlikely that the individual would be eligible for sickness benefit.


He had harboured concerns about aspects of the work he was expected to perform for several months, but finally decided to leave because he felt the company was unethical to put pressure on a doctor to change the conclusions of an assessment.


His decision to blow the whistle on practices within Atos made headlines in May, because he was the first Atos-employed doctor to put his career on the line and articulate concerns about a system that has been criticised by charities and claimants for years. Wood gave strong evidence to the BBC to suggest that the methods used to assess whether individuals are eligible for the new incapacity benefit – employment and support allowance (ESA) – were "unfair" and "skewed against the claimant".


Last week, the government revealed that the quality of reports written by Atos assessors had fallen to "unacceptably poor" levels. Given the noise created by his act of whistleblowing, Wood thinks he can take a sliver of credit for the government's subsequent decision to retrain those Atos staff delivering the controversial fitness-for-work test and to start appointing new companies to take on the work, alongside Atos.


No ideological dispute


Wood joined Atos in 2010 after 16 years as a navy doctor. He saw the job of helping the government determine who was eligible for benefits as a respectable and important position, and wants to make it clear that he has no ideological dispute with the underlying principle of assessing people. He was paid about £60,000 a year for a 37-hour week.


"I'm not complaining about the function of what Atos does. I'm all for rational assessments. I've never liked the idea that people can just say that they've got something wrong with them and you just accept that. I think you do need an objective assessment," he says.


Atos was given the contract to perform the work capability assessment (WCA) by the last Labour government, and its team of doctors, nurses and physiotherapists are responsible for carrying out a computer-led test that looks at the claimant's ability to perform a range of functions (walk 200 metres, sit down for extended periods, use their hands, for example). In order to qualify for ESA, an individual needs to score 15 points. Since the company began reassessing former incapacity benefit claimants at a rate of around 11,000 people a week, very high numbers of people have been unhappy with the results, and have appealed against them. The total number of people appealing every year – both inside and outside of tribunals – has risen from 279,000 in 2009-10 to 465,000 in 2012‑13.


For the first two years, Wood had no complaints about his work, most of which was conducting less controversial assessments for a different benefit, the soon to be defunct disability living allowance. In May last year, however, he was sent on a one-day training course on how to carry out a slightly updated WCA, which had more stringent eligibility criteria, and several aspects of the training concerned him.


The trainer gave quick rule-of-thumb guidance on several areas of the test, which he believed deliberately traduced the more nuanced written instructions in the assessors' handbook on five critical areas, so that assessors were less likely to award points to claimants. He thinks the guidance is "plain wrong" in the five areas of: mobility, manual dexterity, continence, personal action, and risk.


"The trainer says: 'If they can walk from one room to another, they can walk 200 metres, which means they won't score any points [on that section of the assessment]'," he recalls. "I said: 'Well, one room to another is not 200 metres'. I wanted to know how they worked that out, and there was no explanation forthcoming."


"I was told, if you can press a button you get no points for manual dexterity – that's easy to remember – but it's actually not what is in the regulations," he says. The regulations set out a more nuanced set of tests that assess other manual skills, he argues, making it easier for claimants to be awarded points.


On another section of the test, he was also told: "If they can wash and get dressed, they have enough drive and concentration to do a job." He describes this logic as "medical nonsense". "That's true if you're two, and you wash and dress, then that probably requires some concentration. Anyone over the age of about five, doesn't need to concentrate," he says. Guidance from trainers encourages assessors to have a "cavalier" attitude to the difficulties of incontinence, he adds. He has written in detail about the five points in his blog.


When he pointed out that some of the guidance was "unmedical", his trainer responded with "irritation", he recalls, and shortly afterwards he was called out of the training room to talk to his line manager. He thinks that fellow trainees were "cowed" by the trainer and the process.


"I sensed that by questioning some of what I called bogus rules of thumb, I triggered a degree of irritation, if not hostility, in the trainer," he says. "I don't want to blame the trainers, because they were just obeying orders. The upshot is that there will be fewer points awarded. This is one of the reasons that there are so many successful appeals, because the tribunal judges read the manual."


In January, the quality of his reports began to be audited, for reasons that are not entirely clear to him. He understands the need for auditing and was happy to submit to the process, until line managers began to request that his reports were rewritten.


His patience ran out when he was instructed by his line manager – the clinical performance lead – to reduce the number of points awarded to a claimant with serious mental health problems.


"It was clearly wrong, medically," he says. "I had more mental health experience than most of the staff at Atos; I was supposed to be a lead on it. The two people who were telling me to change my report weren't. I had seen the person; they hadn't. She had chronic psychotic illness, going back about 20 years, in and out of hospital, on very strong medicines. Talking to her, she couldn't concentrate, she rambled, she had some odd ideas about things. A classic example of an only partially treated, chronic psychotic person. She fully deserved points. I was specifically told to amend the report. It wasn't: 'You ought to think about changing it'. I was sent two emails both telling me: 'You need to amend the report'," he says.


He resigned within the hour. He points out that the General Medical Council makes it clear that doctors must not change a report and risk being disciplined for unprofessional conduct if they do.


Full article here -



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Value for money? Watchdog turns focus on Atos - the firm that tests people claiming sickness and disability benefits


Atos Healthcare has been paid £754m for the tests since 2005


Public spending watchdogs are to launch a new investigation into Atos Healthcare, the company that carries out controversial medical tests for people claiming sickness and disability benefits.


The National Audit Office (NAO) move emerged as the Government disclosed that Atos has been paid £754m for the tests since 2005. It has also landed other government contracts, including IT work for the Home Office and Highways Agency.


Full article here -



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Universal Credit staff describe chaos behind scenes of flagship Tory reform

DWP employees criticise environment of poor management and high stress in leaked internal survey


Staff working on the biggest shakeup of the welfare state in its history have described the project as "soul-destroying" and "unbelievably frustrating", with some saying they are under so much pressure that they can only engage in "firefighting and panic management".


A leaked internal survey of scores of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) employees working on the government's flagship Universal Credit programme describes an environment of poor management and high levels of stress. Labour said the survey was "utterly damning".


Universal Credit (UC) – the brainchild of Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary – seeks to streamline and integrate benefit payments for millions of claimants. It is a huge IT project that has been hit with a number of setbacks in recent months.


Full article here -



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Amnesty International has condemned the erosion of human rights of disabled people in UK


Dr Simon Duffy recently wrote an outstanding briefing: How the cuts target disabled people which shows very clearly how the poorest and most vulnerable are paying for an economic problem that they did not cause.


Austerity has never had any moral legitimacy, or indeed any other kind of validity. Osborne’s careful selection of “leading economists†to endorse his damaging austerity program meant that he carefully excluded those who presented valid criticisms of the centrepiece of Osborne’s strategy: accelerated austerity for purely ideological ends, (see also Minarchism: the Nightwatchman State), and it halted the recovery that happened under the previous Labour Government. Much of the case for austerity also rests on The great debt lie and the myth of the structural deficit.


The widespread and relentless use of Tory propaganda in the media has undermined public support and sympathy for the sick and disabled people of the UK. Examples of such propaganda include the ad nauseum use of value-laden terms in political narratives and the media, such as “benefit cheatâ€, “dependencyâ€, “entrenchedâ€, “fraudâ€, “worklessnessâ€, “addictionâ€, and more opprobrious examples such as “scroungerâ€, “skiverâ€, “workshy†(see Aktion Arbeitsscheu Reich and the origins of this word, it’s now being used very frequently in the media to describe unemployed and disabled people.) Several studies show that compared with the end of the Labour Government, such pejorative language use has risen dramatically, and Duncan Smith is the most frequent Parliamentary user of value-laden terminology.


Full article here -



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Revealed: ‘Big lie’ behind the bedroom tax as families trapped with nowhere to move so cannot avoid new penalty for having spare room


96% of benefit claimants who want to downsize cannot be rehoused


The Government’s justification for its controversial “bedroom tax†has been debunked by new figures showing that up to 96 per cent of those affected have, in effect, nowhere to move.


The figures published today in The Independent expose the false argument behind ministerial attempts to spin the move as ending the “spare-room subsidyâ€, and confirm campaigners’ claims that it merely penalises poor people.


Steve Turner, executive director for policy at Unite, said: “These figures show beyond any doubt that Iain Duncan Smith has been misleading the public. He tried to spin the bedroom tax as a way of managing housing stock, but in fact it is a cruel and callous attack on some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.â€


“The evidence now overwhelmingly shows that the Government has made a grave mistake with this policy. They must abandon it now before more lives are destroyed.â€


Full article here -



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Slightly off topic but has been affected by ATOS.


The Spoon Theory behind #spoonie




We are seeing also a rise in street begging and rough sleepers in and around where I live. Many of the street beggars have some sort of problem, a few busk but fear of having their instrument robbed from them puts them off. Acquisition crime is on the increase.


Then we have folk like Kavi labelling whole areas because he may have seen something. Next he will be complaining about the lack of service from the council but tagging the folk made redundant as scroungers. More figures are being released that support Gov intervention by investing, instead, these folk steal from the poorest and spin it so you believe they are right. More are getting into debt, child poverty is up, fuel poverty is up. All this will be doing is creating a huge health issue in years to come as supermarkets cash in on cheap processed food and the likes of McDonnalds wash meat unfit for human consumption with chemicals to "sterilise" the meat, I would bet they are not the only ones doing this.


It is all getting a bit sickening.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have read about the "Spoon Theory" before and i am pretty sure it was another poster on here who put it up on another thread.


The Tory party are most definitely not one for the working man or the sick and disabled as they have caused and still are causing untold suffering to thousands with their draconian policies. Whilst managing through their propaganda to have the masses believe it is the fault of the "Welfare state" and not so much the "Bankers" With their constant rhetoric of "scrounger, skiver, shirker" which has also caused a rise in disability hate crime.


How many more people have to die before something is done about Atos and their Work Capability Assessment? and more importantly the people at the Government who are as responsible for allowing to it continue. The Governments own figures showed that between January and November 2011 that 10600 people died within 6 weeks off being taken of Employment & Support allowance.......


Perhaps that is why the Government and our MP voted against a "Cumulative Impact Assessment" on the effects of the cuts they are imposing are having as it would further highlight this and i am sure that the number would be much, much higher now.


On the subject of our MP i believe he has now voted against the -


Cumulative Impact Assessment


And in favour of the -


Bedroom Tax


Welfare Reform Bill

Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill


It would appear that the Lib Dems are not a political party who are willing to stand up and be counted for the more vulnerable people in our society the ones who have no voice.


Time for Independence i think :!:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What you need to know about Atos assessments

by kittysjones


Courageous Scottish nurse Joyce Drummond, who made a heartfelt apology to Atos assessment victims, has submitted evidence to the Scottish Parliament Select Committee on Welfare Reform.


Joyce forwarded some of her notes to me, containing this information about Atos assessments. I have edited where needed, organised the notes and added some information to the text. I’ve included the contents from Joyce’s notes in full.


“I knew nothing about Atos when I joined, and left as soon as I realised that there was no way to fight from the inside. I carried out Incapacity Benefit assessments, these were the forerunner to Employment Support Allowance (ESA) assessments. I stated at my interview for the job that I believed in social inclusion and social justice.


I went for 4 weeks training in England. The training did not prepare me for what I was expected to do in real life.


Full article here -



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Time for something a little more light hearted






Atos: How are you today

P: Why who wants to f*ckin know

Me: be nice P she only asking how you are

P; why wats it got to do wiv her?

Atos; Can you answer the telephone and how do you answer it?

P; yeah – whoever yous is f*ck of and leave me alone

Atos; not what I was actually asking but lets try again

P; try wat again?

Me; P don’t get upset now she only asking simple question

Atos; (looking at me) thank you

Atos; (staring intently at puter screen) I would like to know do you watch tv

P; WAT WAT TV course I watch the f*ckin tv (looks at me) is she f*cking mental

Atos; what tv programmes do you like to watch

P; criminal minds, CSA and crime watch – but I don’t take it all in

Atos; (coughing rather harshly) ok now can I ask you is your friend here your friend


P; W T wat you mean is she my friend course she my bleedin friend

Atos; Well what I mean is is she MORE than just a friend

P; dunno wat ya mean

Me; (getting the picture) sez nowt

Atos; well some people are friends and some people are more than just friends

P; (winding up a treat now stands up and heads to the desk where unfortunate Atos is sitting) what you sayin – you askin me if im one of dem der friggin lesions (means lesbians) you cheeky c*nt

Atos; err no no not necessarily – let’s leave that one

Me; starts laughin and tries very hard not to show it

Atos; please sit down P (then glares at me)

Atos; let me ask you P do you often get aggressive

P; who me ? Wat you mean do I get f*ckin aggressive

Atos; well have you ever been admitted to any hospital for agressivness

P; you callin me a f*ckin loony are ya – NO I AVNT BIN IN ANY F*CKIN HOSPITAL ALRIGHTTTTT

P; you better watch you sayin or I’ll give ya a f*ckin slap

Atos; how would you feel about going to work

P; who ya talkin to NOW

Atos; You P

P; I aint going to work me feet are bad

P; tell her sue tell her how bad me feet are

Me; ok P ok – calm down

Me; her feet are bad – really bad

Atos; think we can end this part of the interview for now


Atos; Now P tell me, what would you do if you got lost or were trying to find your way to somewhere you have not been before ?

P; dunno

Atos; Well think about – you are lost and you want to find where to go

P; I suppose I’d keep quiet like

Atos; I beg your pardon

P; I’d keep quiet

Atos; (looking at me very puzzled) why would you keep quiet, wouldn’t you ask somebody directions

P; no

Atos; so how would you find your way to where you want to go

P; (looks at me and shakes head) I’D KEEP BLEEDIN QUIET

Atos; you’re getting aggressive again P

P; no but you’d try the patience of f*ckin saint

Atos; I’m not understanding why you would keep quiet

P; (again looks at me and this time looks up to the heavens) cause I’d be in either me sisters car or sue’s car and they have a sat nav so I’d keep f*cking quiet so they could hear what the sat nav was saying so we wouldn’t get F*CKIN LOST – jesus are you thick or summat !

Atos; oh ok (shakes head and looks at me AGAIN)

3rd PART OF INTERVIEW – “Daily Businessâ€

Atos; Well P we are doing very well – now – let’s ask how you go about your daily business

P; it aint none of yours for a start you nosey tw*t

Me; P she only asking you a polite question

P; yeah right go on then (looks at Atos)

Me; tells P to shut up and listen

Atos; do you go out alone are you happy to be on your own outside your home


Atos; looking intently at P waiting for further information

P; none forthcoming

P; look at me and says “I only came here for me f*ckin feetâ€

Atos; Ok P let’s say you are going to the shops

P; when? cause it won’t be today will it with all the time wasting yous are doin

Atos; I won’t be too long now just a few more questions

P; whatever – if I go to the shops then I go wiv me sister

Atos; So what you are saying is that you don’t go out alone

P; NOOOOOOOOOOOO I go wiv me sister how many more f*ckin times

Atos; Where do you go

P; Adsa and Aldi

Atos; and do you go into asda and aldi or do you stay in the car

P; (tuts very loudly) I go in wiv her – been waiting to see if those bleeding pork chops are on special again but they weren’t, so I got some bacon instead

Atos; ok ok where do you go alone

P; nowhere – I don’t like people they bump into me and feel like I wanna tw*t em

Atos; so you get aggressive

P; whats all this wiv the f*ckin agression – I came her about me feet

Atos; ok we have done the “going out†what about when you are at home

P; what about it

Atos; well let’s say somebody knocks on your door – how do you deal with that

P; All depends who it is, if it’s that bleeding tv licence guy again I f*ck him right of there’s nowt worth watching on that f*cking thing – just told him like – no you can’t come in ive got visitors and if he shows me up in front of me visitors then he will piss me right of and he must come back another time – then I shut the door

Atos; (totally gob smacked) oh ok I think we will leave it at that

P; you wanna try that aldi at ********** its bleeding good value you know

Me; just wet myself

4th PART OF INTERVIEW – The Doctors Report

P; right are we done

Atos; Not quite

P; darlingin-ell how much more

Me; Shut up

P; why what have I said

Me; to much – way too much

Atos; Lets go onto your illness

P; yeah me feet – bloody hurt summat awful

Atos; Well your doctor’s report doesn’t say anything about your feet

P; then he’s a lyin tw*t cause he hates me

Me; she doesn’t need to hear that and he doesn’t hate you

P; the tw*t does and I hate him as well

Atos; what exactly is wrong with your feet

P; they f*ckin hurt and that doctor is a lying low life bar steward tw*t

Atos; (looking totally unsure of herself) have you seen a specialist

P; yep – he said me deafness is definite and I got a hearing aid but the f*ckin things to loud its blowing me ear drums out

Atos; I was talking about a specialist over your feet

P; I’ve just told ya

Atos; Lets go back to your feet what exactly is the problem with them

P; I’ve t-o-l-d youssssssss they hurt like f*ck

Atos; How and where does it hurt?

P; (another extremely loud TUT) where dya think it hurts you idiot – on ME F*CKING FEET

Atos; but there is nothing in your doctor’s report that mentions your feet or to say there is anything wrong with them

P; I told yous that f*ckin doctor hates me he’s done it on purpose how the f*ck do I know whats wrong wiv em if he won’t tell me – I’m going to that f*cking surgery when I get outta here and im gonna f*ckin tw*t him puttin me through this turd – I hate him

Atos; we need to sort this out tell me how and where your feet hurt you and does the pain restrict your walking

P; listen im struggling to hear ya, can ya turn that bloody radio of

Atos; what radio (looking around her)

P; THAT ONE THERE on ya desk

Atos; (looks all around her desk stumped) I can’t see any radio P

P; jesus there there THERE – (and points to air dehumifyer) either turn it up or turn the f*cking thing of that buzzing noise is drivin me to f*ckin drink

Atos; drops her pen, and sits there looking at “P†absolutely stunned !!!!!!!


5th PART OF INTERVIEW- Housing Association

RESUMED INTERVIEW (only after I’ve told P to be clear in her answers and to stop swearing, also to keep focused)

Atos; Hello again P just want to ask do you live alone

P; yep

Atos; how do you cope in the home

P; drives me bleedin nutz

Atos; Do your feet cause you any problems in the home

P; (looks at her like she an alien) me feet ? no not me feet – the bar steward house

Atos; Do you think you could explain

P; Well it’s that twattin housing association,

Atos; (looks blank at P) housing association?

P; tuts very loudly – yeah they hate me and I hate them

Me; (thinks – here we go again – she’s on a roll)

Me; focus ‘P’ focus

P; I am I am

Atos; so you live alone – how do you cope in your home, do you have any difficulties

Me: (rolls my eyes and prays to the gods)

P; difficulties you don’t know the arf of it that twattin housing association drives me MAD you wanna know what they did ?? Bunch ‘o’ boobalubes they are

Atos; Im not sure if I do I think we must get back to the subject in hand

P; I aint got nothing in me hand (holds hands up in air)

Me; P she isn’t asking you if you have anything in your hands

P; ok – I see she turned that bleedin radio of

Atos; Lets go onto something else shall we

P; if ya want – cause you getting me started on that twattin housing association and i cant cope wiv it

Atos; Actually I think we have done as much as we can

P; thank f*ck for that me tennis elbow is killin me – hey you not asked me about me tennis elbow

Atos; that’s all for now I think I have another appointment and I am running late

P; (looks at me and says) jesus they drag you in ere for a bloody medical and don’t even let a person explain what the f*ck is wrong with em

Me; can we go now

P; yeah you wasted a lot of my time today don’t you have better stuff to do than mither me

As we left the room – P – as usual – left her scarf on her chair – she promptly turns around just as the Atos woman comes out of same room and P runs in and get her scarf, meanwhile I’m watching Atos woman as she goes to the reception and asks for a strong painkiller because she has got a thumping headache, P (now with me) hears this and offers her some paracetamol and tells her “I don’t know how you do this darlingin job – you must get some right nutters …………………………………………….END OF INTERVIEW….. in the car on way home ‘P’ turns to me and says “think i did ok there but for f*ckssake for a medical they dont let you answer do they?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...