Archives for category: Legal

Received through the ROFA (Reclaiming Our Future Alliance) network:

A worker at Inclusion London has mentioned that some Disabled people are being asked to replace funding for Personal Assistants with volunteers to undertake their personal care by some Local Authorities.   Inclusion London would be grateful for your thoughts and  any examples of expectations from social workers to use volunteers to make up for cuts in your support package. Email Henrietta.Doyle@inclusionlondon.org.uk
I am aghast that this could be on the agenda of any authority.
This is extremely worrying and hopefully is not being contemplated within many Local Authorities. That being said, could you advise your thoughts to  Henrietta.Doyle@inclusionlondon.org.uk.
Hopefully this worrying situation can be stopped.
My own view on this is what messages are these local authorities, who are in the process of asking for volunteers to replace paid carers, sending to the paid care workers. For the huge responsibility that these care workers undertake within their role for the low remuneration they receive, this is deplorable. No paid care worker should be only on the Minimum Living Wage, but should be, at least on the Living Wage and even above.
To be a care worker requires them to be committed to the person they are caring for, be responsive to the needs and requests from the cared for person and conduct themselves respecting the cared for persons dignity, privacy and the confidentiality with regards to the information they will be aware of about the cared for person and also their family.
They are required to attend at the times required according to the respective care packages and inform the cared for person when they are unable to do so with sufficient time for a replacement care worker to cover the caring shift to be found. Where the cared for person is deemed to be vulnerable and therefore be at risk of abuse, safeguarding is therefore an area of concern and a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is required.
You cannot say that one person requiring care is the same as the next person requiring care, as we are all individuals and therefore have our own views. This is especially so for persons with learning disabilities and those with Autism. In these instances it takes considerable time to understand each individual and their routines, for to not take this into account could cause the cared for persons to have an adverse reaction, which if a full understanding is not known could and most likely will create situations where harm could occur to the carer and the individual concerned. The carer needs to understand that they are technically a guest in the cared for persons home and as such they should act accordingly.
While a volunteer could and should be capable of all of the above, will all volunteers respect the commitment that is required to undertake care. After all they will be undertaking this on a voluntary basis so will they really commit to engaging with regards to timings. Then what will occur if they cannot attend , say to illness, will the cared for person have a bank of volunteers they can call upon.
These Local Authorities are only looking at their own interests. If they are so committed to using volunteers, why do they not have a volunteer Chief Executive and then there will be a multitude of funds saved.
That you could say is flippant, but where is the difference with regards with paid carers.
Any local authority who undertakes using volunteers could be open to a challenge on ‘Duty of Care’.
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A detailed investigation by Economists for Free Trade has shown that when Government policy on Brexit and its key objectives are used then the British economy will in fact grow by between two and four per cent better than if the UK had stayed in the EU.

The Alternative Brexit Impact Assessment has now been passed on to Cabinet ministers to inform the crucial discussion of the Brexit sub-committee on Thursday.

It also reveals that a “no deal” scenario gives Britain a £651 billion boost while the EU would lose £507 billion.

The discredited Government impact study was branded “Project Fear 2” after it was leaked to a pro-Remain website earlier this month and described as “flawed” by Brexit minister Steve Baker.

 

Source: Project Fear FLOP: Bungling civil servants put WRONG data into Brexit impact study : Express


The UK’s care sector has been thrown a lifeline as Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, has won the right to intervene in the Court of Appeal’s sleep-in-shift case – with the hope of solving the impending £400million financial crisis for care providers.  

With the hearing set for 20-21 March this year, law firm Anthony Collins Solicitors are acting for Care England, with the body given the opportunity to pursue new arguments not yet considered in the Royal Mencap Society vs Tomlinson-Blake Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) case to date.

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive at Care England, which has 160 members providing over 3,500 care services, said:

“I cannot stress the magnitude of this opportunity for our members and the care industry as a whole. If the existing decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal is upheld it would be a watershed moment for the sector, with profound affects for the viability of residential domiciliary and supported care which supports 1.2 million vulnerable people across the country.

 

Source: Care England granted right to intervene in Court of Appeal Sleep-in shift case | Care Industry News


As the National Rifle Association grows increasingly out of touch with most American gun owners, the organization still claims “more than five million members.” A number of corporations are making membership to the group, which opposes nearly all gun safety legislation, more enticing by partnering with the NRA.

After paying the gun lobby’s $40 annual fee, members are offered access to a range of discounts and “five-star savings.”

Much like AARP or AAA, the organization promotes its discounts for members as a selling point for why people should join. The “valuable 5-star benefits” promised include not just a subscription to an NRA magazine and a gun-owner liability protection policy but also savings on insurance, identity theft protection, hearing aids, car rentals, moving vans, shipping, and even wine. While some of these perks are provided by in-house subsidiaries, many are offered through corporate partners — including some household names.

After the shooting in Parkland, Florida, the NRA has been the focus of renewed national attention, as the group continues to successfully block any legislation to curb gun violence on the national level. Dallas’ mayor pro tem told the NRAMonday that the group will be “met with opposition” if it holds its scheduled May conference in his city. And over the weekend, hundreds of people gathered outside the group’s Virginia headquarters to hold a vigil and protest.

ThinkProgress asked 22 corporations that the NRA says offer incentives to NRA members whether they plan to continue their relationships with the gun lobby.

 

Source: The NRA is being supported by these companies : Think Progress


Renewed calls for stricter gun controls following a school shooting in Florida that left 17 dead are falling on deaf ears.

Legislators in states across the country have delayed, defeated or refused to take up new measures to prevent more gun violence — despite the impassioned calls of victims from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

In Florida’s legislature, House Republicans blocked a Democratic effort to revive debate on a measure to ban assault weapons with student survivors from Parkland watching in the gallery.

The bill, introduced after the 2016 killings of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, failed on a party-line vote.

Students from Parkland who have blanketed the media to call for gun reforms have expressed incredulity at the lack of action.

“It seemed almost heartless how they immediately pushed the button to say ‘no,'” Sheryl Acquaroli, a 16-year-old student from Stoneman Douglas, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Advocates for gun control also ran into opposition in other states.

In Arizona, Republicans blocked a Democratic effort to force debate over whether to ban bump stocks and other modifications to increase weapons’ rate of fire — and instead voted to debate an anti-porn bill.

 

Source: Calls for new gun laws are falling on deaf ears : The Hill


When Billy Graham stands before the judgement seat of God, he may finally realize how badly he failed his country, and perhaps his God. On civil rights and the environmental crisis, the most important issues of his lifetime, he championed the wrong policies.

Graham was on the wrong side of history.

The world’s most famous evangelist let his apocalyptic anticipation of the coming kingdom of God blind him to the realities of living in this world.

For Graham, the Bible had a clear message for Christians living in what he believed were humans’ last days on earth. Individuals alone can achieve salvation; governments cannot. Conversions change behaviors; federal policies do not.

These convictions shaped the evangelist’s views on civil rights.

In the late 1950s, Graham integrated his revivals and seemed to support the burgeoning civil rights movement. This is the Graham most Americans remember.

But as the movement grew, expanded and became increasingly confrontational, the evangelist’s position changed.

Once leaders like Martin Luther King Jr began practicing civil disobedience and asking for the federal government to guarantee African Americans’ rights, Graham’s support evaporated.

 

Source: Billy Graham was on the wrong side of history | The Guardian


Just when you thought the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) couldn’t sink any lower, it does.

Because it is currently in court fighting against a disabled woman and her husband. And the result it’s hoping for is one that would block human rights laws being used against it.

Disabled people set a precedent. And the DWP didn’t like it.

Back in November 2016, Jacqueline and Jayson Carmichael successfully beat the government in court over the so-called Bedroom Tax. They argued the tax was discriminatory under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), as Jacqueline cannot share a bedroom with her husband because of her impairments. And the court agreed, setting a precedent for other claimants.

The DWP is not one to concern itself with human rights, judges and the law, though. So, like a blocked septic tank it just kept re-emerging from its rancid cesspit in Westminster trying to fight the original decision in other courts. And it repeatedlylost.

 

Source: The DWP has now sunk so low, it’s in court trying to block human rights laws : Govt Newspeak


Same Difference recently received the following on email. The claimant involved remains anonymous, but the letter is otherwise published word for word. If you have experience with this ATOS nurse, please do let us have your comments.

 Good Day,

I would like to  bring the handling of my Wife’s Atos assessment by Nurse Mathew Flis, to change over from DLA to PIP and Mobility to your attention, and make a complaint for the following reasons, along with credible evidence of malpractice, by this Atos Nurse.
,On March 7th 2017 my Wife had a face to face assessment with Atos Nurse, Mathew Flis, his report was fraudulent and misleading for the following reasons. In his report, which I have a copy of, he claims to have carried out a Musculoskeletal examination, his report contains a comprehensive  list of movement and grip capability tests, to have carried out the claimed examination would have required my Wife to climb onto and then lay on a examination table,this examination did not take place, due to the fact that my Wife never left her seat, and also due to her physical condition, she would have been unable to be subjected to the alleged tests.  l have sent a complaint to DWP along with Doctors letters and MRI Scan and X Ray Results that confirms her actual physical condition.   My Wife’s answers to his assessment questions were ignored  manipulated, an example of this is … he accepted that my Wife requires to have cooked food cut up for her, on her plate, he did not accept that to prepare a simple meal she would have to have hard raw vegetables cut up for her … ??? due to grip issues,she could not use an aid, and I always assisted her,Mathew Flis ignored this,   Most importantly, he was told that since my Wife sent in the PIP application, she had an accident dropping a dish of hot food in the Kitchen, as a result of this SHE NO LONGER COOKS AT ALL,   Mathew Flis also ignored this change of circumstance and it was not mentioned in his report, I sugest that the Mathew Flis report is fraud by representation, and influenced the decision makers. My Wife needed 12 points to qualify for high rate care she was awarded 11 ….. Her Mobility allowance was lost due to Mathew Flis  ignoring my Wife when she reported that due to her stumbling because her leg does not always respond, she needs my support for her safety, since her mini stroke she now  has balance issues, which makes her walking even more difficult, Mathew Flis lied about the distance my Wife is able to walk, 12 weeks after the assessment her Doctor confirmed in a letter that she does stumble, all letters, MRI Scan and Xray reports can be obtained from DWP, these letters and reports are credible proof of Mathew Flis did not carry out his assessment in a legally acceptable manner.
Twelve weeks after the Atos assessment  my Wife saw  her Doctor ( Dr Robbins Marazion ), , after an examination Dr Robbins was  concerned by her painful condition, and movement restrictions,he confirmed that she had significant problems,( My Wife’s Doctors qualified assessment proves that Mathew Flis had beyond the balance of probability falsified his report )   he then arranged for X Rays,  Due to the X Ray report  he arranged for a MRI Scan, and referred her to a Neuro Surgeon, both Dr Robbins ( Marazion Surgery ) and Consultant Neuro Surgeon Mr Sam Muquit (Derriford Hospital Plymouth ) were appalled by the claimed Atos Nurses Musculoskeletal report and agreed the claimed Atos examination could not have taken place. Was this Nurse medically Qualified ?,  Does he have a code of practice to Follow ?  Atos is under contract to DWP, is this practice acceptable ?
In 2006 My Wife had a review, which involved a home visit and assessment by Atos Dr Malic  as a result of his report, My Wife was upgraded from low care to high rate, both components were awarded for an indefinite period, as her conditions are degenerating, some 12 years later Atos Nurse Mathew Flis’s assessment does not reflect on how my Wife’s condition would beyond the balance of probability have seriously degenerated. Both Doctor Robbins and Consultant Neuro surgeon Mr Sam Muquit  will confirm that my Wife’s Disabilities have indeed seriously worsened. Was Nurse Mathew Flis basing his assessment on his opinion or medical fact ?, MRI Scans and XRays taken shortly after the Atos assessment show a serious conflict in Mathew Flis’s claimed Musculoskeletal test, and my Wife’s Actual physical condition.
Due to the misrepresented Atos report, In March 2017 my Wife was reduced from High rate Care to Standard rate, she lost her Mobility allowance and her Blue Badge.
My Wife was devastated by these decisions and loss of her much needed Blue Badge, losing the Badge would seriously effect her quality of life, Due to the stress and anxiety of the decisions, and the prospect of having to attend an appeal tribunal, in May 2017 my wife suffered a Mini Stoke, her stroke consultant Dr L Wesson ( Royal Cornwall Hospital ), said that this stress and anxiety was most certainly the cause, The Mini Stroke has been life changing,  she now suffers with balance, mood and speech issues, the brain damage shows on her MRI Scan.
As a result of the support and medical evidence supplied by her Doctor, in June she received a phone call from PIP in Blackpool, a lady named Karen informed us that my Wife would now receive Standard rate Mobility, Karen also stated, that should my Wife appeal for high rate, she may well loose both components, we regarded this as a threat. Due to the risk of more stress my Wife agreed under duress.
In October my wife had a consultation with Consultant Neuro Surgeon Mr Sam Muquit, he carried out an examination and the MRI Scan was shown to us, he concluded that an urgent operation is required on her spine, however due to concerns of risks involved and the fact that she could well have a major stroke during the operation, due to her having to stop taking her blood thinning stroke prevention medication for days before the operation,  he thinks it would be unwise to proceed, the outcome of not having the operation, will eventually result in my wife needing a wheelchair.
Due to the Malpractice by the Atos Nurse Mathew Flis  my wife has suffered physical and financial loss, and is left in need of a operation on her spine that she now cannot have.  This is a serious matter, taking into consideration the medical evidence along with X Ray and MRI Scan results from my Wife’s Doctor and the Consultant Neuro Surgeon, this evidence proves beyond the balance of probability, that Atos Nurse Mathew Flis carried out the face to face assessment Fraudulently,  I will be seeking Redress for the Brain Damage and Financial loss my Wife has suffered, I intend to take legal action against Mathew Flis the Atos Nurse, for breach of the Fraud act 2006 / Misconduct in Public Office, he may well say he was Under Instruction, so I am approaching Atos first.
Both Doctor Robbins and Consultant Mr Sam Muquit have offered their full support regarding this complaint and my seeking Redress, My local MP Derek Thomas ( St Ives ), is also in receipt of this complaint letter.   The lateness of this complaint is due to health issues last year and Stress Limitation, and also awaiting X Ray and MRI Scan results, plus the consultation with the Consultant Neuro Surgeon in October. We are now going to give Mathew Flis and Atos a chance to resolve this, before taking this matter to Court. It is also our intention to Take legal action against DWP Decision makers Linda George and Anna Rushton.
 I will look forward to a quick and satisfactory response, and hope that my Wife will receive full recognition of this injustice, and she will now be treated in fairness and will receive Redress for the Stress and Consequence of that Stress and Anxiety Caused by Atos Nurse Mathew Flis.
   PS  A copy of this will be posted to  Atos customer relations, to create a paper trail to back this    email.
   A  complaint has also been sent to DWP.

 

Source: A Husband’s Complaint To ATOS After His Wife’s Face To Face PIP Assessment : Same Difference


Disabled campaigners have welcomed a report by MPs on disability benefit assessments, which they say highlights “serious multiple failures”, but many believe it should have done more to highlight the serious “preventable harm” caused by the system.

The report by the Commons work and pensions committee concludes that there is a “pervasive culture of mistrust” around the personal independence payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA) assessment processes.

It calls for “urgent change” in the system, including the introduction of routine recording of face-to-face assessments, and says that the government’s contractors, Atos, Capita and Maximus, “have consistently failed to meet basic performance standards”.

It also says the government should send every claimant a copy of the assessment report prepared by the healthcare professional who assessed them, which it says would “introduce essential transparency into decision-making”.

And it calls for improved accessibility of the system “at every stage” and pays tribute to the thousands of claimants who shared evidence with the committee, a response which it says was “unprecedented” for a select committee inquiry.

 

Source: Benefit assessment report welcomed, but concern over ‘preventable harm’ failings | DisabledGo News and Blog


Disabled activists have attacked the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) for hosting a conference on “choice at the end of life” that was little more than a “love fest for euthanasia”.

RSM said before the event that the conference would “question whether or not assisted dying is complementary or contradictory to the notion of person-centred care”.

But speakers in favour of legalising assisted suicide far outnumbered those who opposed a change in the law.

One of those behind the conference, Professor Roger Kirby, who chairs RSM’s academic board, told the audience that the idea for organising it came to him after reading an article written by the husband of a terminally-ill woman who travelled to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland to take her own life.

The other senior medical figure who helped organise the event, he said, was Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), whose terminally-ill husband, Professor Paul Cosford, told the conference that he was in favour of a change in the law.

Professor Cosford, who has incurable cancer, and is patient and medical director for Public Health England, suggested that having choice at the end of life should include the option of an assisted suicide.

He told the conference: “I cannot predict how I will die but I can focus on living well now if I know that I would have some kind of control at the time if I need it.”

He added: “To enable choice at the end of life, taking account of individual care needs, may well need a change in approach.

“I do think that might include [the option of] assisted dying.”

He was followed by two further speakers who were in favour of legalisation: Tony Wicks, whose wife ended her life at Dignitas; and Julie Smith, whose husband had been prevented from travelling to Switzerland to end his life at the clinic.

The first three speakers were all supportive of legalising assisted suicide, while the fourth, an assistant coroner, expressed no opinion.

The next speaker was Dr Catherine Sonquist Forest, a strong advocate of legalisation, who takes part in the practice of assisted suicide in California – where it is called “medical aid-in-dying” – where it was legalised in June 2016.

The conference did not hear from an opponent of legalisation until the sixth speaker, Juliet Marlow, from Not Dead Yet UK (NDY UK), who had only been added to the list of speakers after NDY UK raised concerns at not being invited to speak at the event.

 

Source: Anger over Royal Society’s ‘love fest for euthanasia’ conference | DisabledGo News and Blog

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