Archives for category: Finance

VIENNA (Reuters) – International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has no objection to plans to turn the euro zone’s bailout fund into a European Monetary Fund, she said in comments published on Saturday.

The European Commission has suggested transforming the role of the government-controlled European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a full-blown European Monetary Fund under parliamentary control and anchored in European Union law, which would also become a backstop for the euro zone’s bank resolution fund.

Source: IMF chief says ‘Why not?’ to European Monetary Fund plan: paper

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American Teacher dies from flu after not buying medication in time due to its cost


Mother-of-two foregoes anti-viral medication because of the $116 price

A 38-year-old primary school teacher in Texas died because of complications from the flu after she delayed picking up her medication because of its cost, her husband has said.

Heather Holland, a second-grade teacher and mother of two, is said to have refrained from collecting her prescription drugs because of a $116 (£84) payment.

 

Source: American Teacher dies from flu after not buying medication in time due to its cost : Govt Newspeak

 


A mum who opted to have her cancer-riddled arm amputated so she could see her children grow up was left stunned after finding out she doesn’t qualify for a disability grant.

Carol Haslam, from Co Meath in Ireland, has called for a rules shake-up after learning she is ineligible for a grant to adapt her car, the Irish Mirror reports.

The 38-year-old said that the Primary Medical Certificate is only granted to people who have lost one or both legs or two arms – but doesn’t apply for those who have only had one arm amputated.

Carol, who has worn a prosthetic arm since last August, has used her own funds to buy a new car and a further €2,000 to adapt the steering wheel.

Obtaining the Primary Medical Certificate would have saved her the VAT and VRT on a new car or the VAT on the adapting an Irish-sourced vehicle.

Carol was due to get part of her hand amputated after developing a rare form of sarcoma last year – a cancer so rare that she has more of a chance of winning the lottery.

However she chose to get most of her lower arm amputated to decrease the chance of the aggressive cancer returning and see her two children grow up.

But the strong willed mum was left aghast when she learned of the grant constraints while having to change her car.

 

Source: Cancer battle mum who had arm amputated to fight disease told she can’t have disability benefit | DisabledGo News and Blog


Govt Newspeak

sickening beyond belief

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*Overview

  • Growing financial and workforce pressures are having an impact on the ability of community service providers to meet the needs of the population and to make a reality of the vision set out in the NHS five year forward view. Community services are often fragmented and poorly co-ordinated, and are frequently not well integrated with other services in the community. This results in duplication as well as gaps between teams delivering care.
  • There is a great deal of innovative work going on across the NHS and beyond to improve community-based care. This is mainly happening through innovative projects rather than system-wide transformations in care delivery. A radical transformation of community services is needed, making use of all the assets in each local community wherever these are to be found, breaking down silos between services and reducing fragmentation in service delivery.
  • The most promising possibilities in the short term are through sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) and accountable care systems (ACSs), where plans have already been developed to strengthen community services and improve population health. More work is needed to ensure that all STPs offer a credible basis for improving care for their populations and strengthening services in the community, drawing on the design principles set out in this report.

 

Source: *Reimagining community services: making the most of our assets : The Kings Fund

*Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


The Work and Pensions Select Committee received nearly 4,000 submissions – the most by a select committee inquiry – after calling for evidence on the assessments for personal independence payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

The MPs said: “We were so impressed and moved by the response we are today publishing a collection of just a few of the thousands of stories claimants shared with us.”

The report highlighted people with Down’s syndrome asked when they “caught” it, a woman reporting frequent suicidal thoughts asked why she had not yet killed herself.

Stories from claimants – released by the committee ahead of the publication of their final report on PIP and ESA assessments next week – showed relevant information was often omitted from, and fundamental errors included in, the medical assessment reports.

In September the committee asked benefit claimants to submit evidence of their experiences with the medical assessments for disability benefits PIP and ESA carried out for DWP by private contractors Capita, Atos and Maximus.

Nearly 4,000 people replied – the most ever received by a select committee inquiry, by an order of magnitude.

The committee described the accounts as “honest and often distressing” and said that they showed clear patterns.

Since 2013 there have been 170,000 PIP appeals taken to the Tribunal: Claimants won in 108,000 cases – 63%. In the same time, there have been 53,000 ESA appeals. Claimants won in 32,000 – or 60% – of those cases.

Chair of the work and pensions committee Frank Field said: “We’ve never had so many submissions from people that haven’t been organised so we’ve had over three thousand people

“I don’t think any select committee has had more voters, ordinary people writing in wanting to be part of the inquiry.

“We’re massively grateful because what they can’t see but we can see is there are common patterns of how they are all treated.”

 

Source: 9 shocking errors made in assessments for PIP and ESA by Capita, Atos and Maximus | DisabledGo News and Blog


A “pervasive lack of trust” in the private firms contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to carry out disability benefit assessments risks undermining the whole system, an influential group of MPs has warned.

An investigation into face-to-face assessments for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) by the Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee received an “unprecedented” amount of responses from sick and disabled benefit claimants, with many effectively accusing assessors of lying in reports sent to the DWP.

The Committee heard from claimants who said they do not believe assessors can be trusted to record what took place during their assessments accurately, with the Committee warning of “a pervasive culture of mistrust around PIP and ESA processes, with concern about the face-to-face assessment by a health professional at its core”.

Claimants spoke about the extreme anxiety and a detrimental impact on their health caused by the assessment process, that is commonly regarded as “opaque and unfriendly” throughout.

Source: Disability benefit assessments must be recorded, says Work and Pensions Committee : Welfare Weekly


Hated Government welfare tests have unleashed a “pervasive lack of trust” in the system, MPs warn today. Contracting out assessments for Personal Independence Payments and Employment and Support Allowance fuelled victims’ agony, the Commons Work and Pensions Committee reveals.

In a 71-page report, it calls on ministers to scrap the current arrangements and take tests back in house. Chairman Frank Field said: “For the majority of claimants the assessments work adequately, but a pervasive lack of trust is undermining its entire operation. “In turn, this is translating into untenable human costs to claimants and financial costs to the public purse. No one should have any doubt the process needs urgent change.”

Since 2013, 290,000 rejected claims for Personal Independence Payments or Employment and Support Allowance have been granted on appeal – 6% of all those assessed.

 

Source: PIP/ESA tests ‘trigger lack of trust in system’ [You Think]


Scores of healthcare professionals may have been able to continue carrying out disability benefit assessments despite being the subject of multiple complaints about their behaviour, competence and honesty, confidential new documents have revealed.

The official reports, prepared by outsourcing giants Capita and Atos for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), show that up to 180 personal independence payment (PIP) assessors were the subject of at least four complaints each in three-month periods in 2016.

The documents, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show that 161 assessors working for Atos had more than three complaints made against them in a three-month period.

And 19 Capita assessors were also subjected to at least four complaints in a three-month period in 2016.

Neither Atos nor Capita, nor DWP, will say what action was taken against these assessors and whether they are still carrying out face-to-face assessments of disabled PIP claimants.

The revelations provide fresh evidence of failings by the two private sector outsourcing giants in delivering PIP assessments across England, Wales and Scotland.

Disability News Service (DNS) has been investigating claims of widespread dishonesty by PIP assessors for more than a year, and has now heard from about 300 claimants who say their assessment reports contained clear lies.

The new reports include details of the “management information”

 

Source: The PIP Files: Data shows multiple complaints made against scores of Atos assessors | DisabledGo News and Blog


Nearly one in three of the disability benefit assessment reports completed by a private sector contractor were significantly flawed, confidential Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) documents suggest.

The figures were revealed through a government audit of personal independence payment (PIP) assessment reports that had been written by staff working for under-fire outsourcing giant Capita in 2016.

The audit, which examined more than 4,000 of the 190,000 assessment reports completed by Capita from April to December 2016, found that about 7.5 per cent of them were so poor as to be deemed “unacceptable”.

But with another 14 per cent of assessments, DWP concluded that the report was so flawed that there was “learning required” by the healthcare professional who wrote it, although the report was of an “acceptable” standard.

And in a further 12 per cent of cases, the report needed to be amended because of even more serious flaws in the assessor’s report, although again the report was still said to be of an “acceptable” standard.

In all, nearly 33 per cent of the Capita reports audited during 2016 were found to be of an unacceptable standard, to need changes, or demonstrated that the assessor had failed to carry out their role properly.

If the findings of the audit – which examined just over two per cent of all reports – were applied to all 190,000 of the assessments completed by Capita in that eight-month period, more than 14,000* PIP claimants could have had their claim decided on the basis of a report that was of an unacceptable standard.

And more than 62,000* could have been based on a report that was of an unacceptable

 

Source: The PIP Files: Nearly one in three Capita assessments were flawed, reports reveal | DisabledGo News and Blog

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