Activists ‘horrified’ by universal credit rules forcing sick claimants into work activity
“Very dangerous” rules are forcing severely-ill people applying for the government’s new universal credit to look for jobs and take part in training, even though their GPs have said they are not fit for work, “horrified” disabled activists have warned.
The rules – which have never been announced or publicised by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – apply to new universal credit claimants who are waiting for an assessment of their “fitness for work”.
And they mean they could have their benefits sanctioned for up to three months if they fail to follow strict instructions from a job coach with no medical training.
They are forced to take part in work-related activity, such as a work-focused interviews and “work preparation”, which could mean training or employment programmes.
They could also face sanctions if they fail to show they have searched for a job for up to 35 hours a week, and have not made themselves available for paid work.
Potential sanctions will continue to hang over their heads until their fitness for work is eventually tested through the notorious work capability assessment (WCA), which could take months.
Dr Stephen Carty, medical adviser to the Scottish grassroots campaign group Black Triangle (BT), who
GPs in England must keep their surgeries open for longer to meet demand from patients, or risk losing funding, Downing Street has warned. Number 10 said many patients were going to already pressurised A&E departments because they cannot get appointments. The government wants to see surgeries open between 08:00 and 20:00, seven days a week, unless they can prove the demand is not there. The British Medical Association accused ministers of “scapegoating” doctors. Downing Street issued a statement saying surgeries should do more to ensure they offer appointments in the evening and at weekends. It said: “Most GPs do a fantastic job, and have their patients’ interests firmly at heart. “However, it is increasingly clear that a large number of surgeries are not providing the access that patients need – and that patients are suffering as a result because they are then forced to go to A&E to seek care. “It’s also bad for hospitals, who then face additional pressure on their services.”
Unmanageable workload means GPs are struggling to provide safe care to patients, according to the results of a BMA survey.Findings from the recent survey of GPs in England highlight the alarming impact spiralling levels of demand are having on GPs, many of whom are increasingly unable to cope.Based on more than 5,000 responses, the survey found that 84 per cent of GPs report that unchecked and growing workload pressures are undermining their ability to provide safe and quality care.Of this figure, 57 per cent described their daily workloads as ‘unmanageable’ with a further 27 per cent saying that excessive pressures are directly impacting standards. Struggling GPsBMA GPs committee chair Chaand Nagpaul said the results emphasised how, despite the Government’s pledges of investment and support for general practice, much still needs to be done to address the monumental challenges facing the sector.He said: ‘This major survey of more than 5,000 GPs in England demonstrates that GP practices across the country are struggling to provide safe, high-quality patient care because of unmanageable workload.‘Many practices are being overwhelmed by rising patient demand, contracting budgets and staff shortages which has left them unable to deliver enough appointments and the specialist care many members of the public need.He added: ‘Addressing the crisis in general practice requires a clear strategy that addresses the numerous problems undermining local GP services.‘The recent GP Forward View accepted the principles behind the BMA’s Urgent Prescription for General Practice which laid out practical solutions, like those in our current survey, that the government needs to implement urgently.’We cannot continue to have a service that cannot deliver a safe and effective level of care to the public.’
In the UK we all need to ascertain the STPs for our own area and then do all we can to counter these plans, for this is required to safeguard the NHS from these drastic Tory cuts and amalgamations.
Strange how the BMA have changed opinion as pre 1948 they and doctors and dentists were opposed to the creation of the NHS, due to what they saw as a threat to their then private practices.. Only when the Labour Government of the time made a concession that private and NHS practices could be run together, did they finally agree to comply.
Today the NHS is mostly free at the point of delivery, but only to those that are eligible. While it is magnanimous of the BMA to state “A doctor’s duty is to treat the patient, not to act as a border guard.” are the BMA going to fund the costs for these health tourist, for, especially in the current financial situation, this is not affordable for sustaining the NHS.
A method of ensuring those that should pay do pay as to be created and enforced and it is for the BMA to support this.
A deal has been agreed in the long-running dispute over a new junior doctors’ contract in England after eight days of talks.
The health secretary needs to provide i greaternvestment and infrastructure if he truly wants a seven-day NHS
Hunt is a disgrace, just what is he trying to do. The 7 day working is just camouflage, he is out to break the junior doctors, just as Thatcher broke the miners. In the latter this went some way to destroy the mining industry, so his is outcome to destroy the NHS.
If he does, it will not be him and his cronies who will suffer, as they can afford private medical treatment, it will be the general population who can not afford the private medical treatments.
This dispute needs to go to ACAS and the resultant decisions have to be binding on all parties.
So stop grining, Mr Hunt, as there is nothing to grin about and start realistic negoiations immediately.
This is playing with fire when there is always a risk that you can get your fingers burnt. Lets hope it may only be fingers and not the whole body.
Yes all sides should go back to consulation and this should not stop until there is agreement on all sides. If this is not possible then there should be totally binding independent arbitration.
The country needs this to be sorted before the body is totally burnt out of existance.