Author Topic: Work Capability Assessment on Radio 4  (Read 4738 times)

Prabhakari

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Work Capability Assessment on Radio 4
« on: 02 Apr 2012 12:13PM »
It is being examined on You and Yours now.
Bless 'em all, bless 'em all,
The long and the short and the tall.

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: Work Capability Assessment on Radio 4
« Reply #1 on: 02 Apr 2012 12:55PM »
Thanks for the tip >thumbsup<

Catching up with Beyond Disability: Adventures of a Blue Badger at the moment, but will listen as soon as Y&Y up on iPlayer

Hurtyback

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Re: Work Capability Assessment on Radio 4
« Reply #2 on: 02 Apr 2012 01:59PM »
Thanks Prab, I will try and catch it on i-player too.

seegee

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Re: Work Capability Assessment on Radio 4
« Reply #3 on: 02 Apr 2012 03:03PM »
This isn't an exact transcript but a précis of the main points in interview(s) with Paul Farmer, Mind Chief Exec & Chris Grayling, DWP Employment Minister on You & Yours, BBC Radio4 today.  Paul Farmer has resigned from the government advisory panel; or has been asked to leave; or maybe both?

Paul Farmer says he resigned from the advisory panel because he felt it wasn't possible to continue while the WCA continues to be used as it is currently.
Chris Grayling says he told his officials to ask Paul Farmer to stand down because Mind is supporting a legal action against the DWP and it's not tenable to be on an advisory panel to a dept. you are taking legal action against. 
Paul Farmer responds that he has not had any conversation about leaving the panel with Grayling; also that Mind is not suing the DWP or involved in legal action against them.  He says that although Grayling has pointed out that the dept are "listening" to mental health charities & making changes, 10,000 people a week are going through the assessment as it stands.  Example; a man with scizophrenia who has been found fit for work & is currently being supported by his family.  Says Mind are aware that many people with mental health problems are keen to move closer to the workplace but need to be supported & to have self-esteem boosted.
Interviewer asks how Mind thinks it will help all the people going through this process by walking away from the advisory panel. 
Paul Farmer replies it's important to make it clear they don't support the work of the panel "at this stage" & to widen the voicing of concerns shown by people with mental health problems; Mind is "committed to continue working with the dept" to ensure these views are heard.  Mind feel they have arrived at a point where their views aren't being listened to & he is going with great regret, never having resigned from any govt working group (in near 20 years MH work), Mind will continue working to try to make the necessary changes happen.

seegee

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Re: Work Capability Assessment on Radio 4
« Reply #4 on: 02 Apr 2012 03:32PM »
Oh, and Grayling thinks he'll easily get someone onto the panel to replace Paul Farmer.
There are, of course, lots of organisation representing mentally ill people who are just dying to get on board with the WCA... (oh, maybe not, then?)
Mind have tried to get changes put in place before it was set in motion countrywide and stepped back because they felt they weren't being listened to (or at least that their advice wasn't acted on), so other organisations may just possibly be a bit wary.

Prabhakari

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Re: Work Capability Assessment on Radio 4
« Reply #5 on: 02 Apr 2012 06:21PM »
Grayling sounded like a pompous twit.
He did not seem like an honest, pompous twit, but that was just my impression.
Bless 'em all, bless 'em all,
The long and the short and the tall.

hossylass

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hossylass

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Re: Work Capability Assessment on Radio 4
« Reply #7 on: 02 Apr 2012 07:22PM »
Here is the resignation letter;

http://www.mind.org.uk/blog/6632_why_the_wca_isnt_working

Following his resignation from the Government's review panel for the Work Capability Assessment, our Chief Executive Paul Farmer blogs about the damage the process is doing to the lives of people with mental health problems.

At Mind, we follow a simple model of how we work - we listen to what people with mental health problems are telling us, and then we seek to influence change so that people’s lives can be improved.

For the last couple of years, the issue of welfare reform has consistently been an important issue for people with mental health problems. And one aspect in particular has dominated: the Work Capability Assessment (WCA).

It’s worth remembering that the WCA was initially conceived before the recession, when this country was estimated to be within a year of achieving full employment. Even in those early days, we urged caution as we had real concerns about how a new system would apply.

It’s in everybody’s interests to get this right. When around 40 per cent of people on Incapacity Benefit have a mental health problem, it makes sense to design the new system so it can properly assess the needs of people with mental health problems.

In July 2010, I joined a the Harrington Scrutiny Panel, which was set up to oversee the work of the WCA Independent Review team. My role was to give advice and criticism regarding the areas the reviewer was looking at and the changes they are recommending.

The DWP has committed to making some changes arising from the Independent Review, but these will take time, and some fundamental changes required haven’t even started to be addressed.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people are being reassessed using a test which is still not fit for purpose. Around 50 per cent of people are appealing against the decision, and a remarkable half of those appeals are being upheld, meaning that as many as one in four tests are wrong. The cost to the taxpayer of the tribunal system alone is £50m, around a half of the £100m a year being spent on reassessment.

I spent some time last week at Mind’s Infoline. Call after call was coming in from individuals with a mental health problem, or a member of their family, anxious about the reassessment letter, concerned about having to appeal and the potential impact on their lives. We’ve heard about Job Centres who are shocked when someone who is clearly unwell turns up having been told that they are fit for work.

The callers to our line were not benefit scroungers – they were ordinary people whose health had put them in a very vulnerable state. Ordinary people desperate to recover and be able to work, but who just weren’t yet well enough. And instead of offering support and help to recover and then find and stay in work, the WCA process is making their health worse and so, ironically, the prospect of a job even less likely.

The time has come to call a halt in the reassessment process until real changes are made. It’s damaging people’s lives. It’s costing the taxpayer a fortune. And it certainly isn’t fulfilling its purpose of supporting people with mental health problems on their journey back to work.

This Government has some good aspirations on mental health set out in an excellent Mental Health Strategy - it’s seen the importance of good mental health to the country and it’s acknowledged the high cost of poor mental health. But when it comes to benefits and supporting people out of work to get back into work, the DWP is letting people down.

I have taken the decision to leave the Harrington Scrutiny Group. Our concerns about the reality of the WCA have grown, but we see insufficient recognition of the need to change the approach, and the need to do so quickly, before more and more people are subjected to a process which isn’t working.

As our concerns about the reality of the WCA have become stronger, there is insufficient recognition of the need to change the approach, and the need to do so quickly, before more and more people are subjected to a process which isn’t working.

Mind will continue to campaign on improving the WCA until people with mental health problems get the support and respect they deserve. I hope the Department will hear these concerns and act upon them.

Paul Farmer

Jockice

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Re: Work Capability Assessment on Radio 4
« Reply #8 on: 02 Apr 2012 11:11PM »
He's on Newsnight at the moment. And not being treated fairly at all. There's some **** called Neil O'Brien coming out with government-approved ****. I genuinely don't know how scum like that can sleep at night.

Prabhakari

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Re: Work Capability Assessment on Radio 4
« Reply #9 on: 02 Apr 2012 11:33PM »
They are just obeying orders.
Bless 'em all, bless 'em all,
The long and the short and the tall.

hossylass

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Re: Work Capability Assessment on Radio 4
« Reply #10 on: 02 Apr 2012 11:39PM »
Neil O'Brien is Director of the centre-right think tank Policy Exchange.

Writer in the Torygraph.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/9173646/David-Cameron-needs-friends-in-the-North-heres-how-to-win-them.html

Fairly inept, for example this is a corker;
Given his background, can the Prime Minister connect with northerners and ordinary working people? Yes, actually. Working-class voters rate him more highly than they do Ed Miliband. Even among Labour’s core support, Miliband’s ratings are twice as negative as Cameron’s. People want to know you share their values and are competent – they’re less interested in where you came from.
Which shows a distinct lack of understanding of Northerners, who will revolt against Milliband until he comes to heel and starts doing something for them.

Even a muppet can understand that, but obviously these arrogant idiots dont understand human nature.

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: Work Capability Assessment on Radio 4
« Reply #11 on: 02 Apr 2012 11:40PM »
O'Brien's from the Tory septic ... sorry think tank Policy Exchange.

Hardly surprising he's spouting the government line.


[Oops - cross post]

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: Work Capability Assessment on Radio 4
« Reply #12 on: 03 Apr 2012 10:05AM »
It's up on iPlayer now for anyone who can stomach it. The piece begins as 29 mins 34 secs.

For anyone who doesn't fancy watching the whole thing, these two gems should give a flavour of Neil O'Brien's calibre:

"You end up spending an enormous amount of money that should be being spent on more needy people, people with more severe handicaps for example"

"If you tell someone they're sick they get sicker, over time the suicide rate is higher, everything about being parked on benefits is bad for people"

Oh, and Paxo is now presumably a consultant psychiatrist, as he was able to determine that the man featured in the video section was capable of working. >rolleyes<

Pentesalie

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Re: Work Capability Assessment on Radio 4
« Reply #13 on: 03 Apr 2012 06:42PM »
Great quote from someone posting after that article
'The only good Tory is a Lava-Tory'!

Jockice

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