‘Fitness for work’ test has led to deterioration in mental health, say researchers | DisabledGo News and Blog


Disabled activists have welcomed “timely” new research that concludes that the government’s “fitness for work” process has caused a deterioration in many people’s mental health which they have failed to recover from, and has even led to thoughts of suicide.

The research, Mental Health And Unemployment In Scotland, was carried out by academics at Scotland’s Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh Napier universities*.

Researchers spoke in-depth to 30 people across Scotland with mental health conditions who had experienced the work capability assessment (WCA) system, as well as staff from advice and advocacy organisations.

They concluded that the assessors, employed by the US outsourcing company Maximus, “do not appear to have appropriate expertise in mental health”.

And they added: “The WCA experience for many, caused a deterioration in people’s mental health which individuals did not recover from.

“In the worst cases, the WCA experience led to thoughts of suicide.”

Professor Abigail Marks, one of the report’s authors, said their research showed that WCAs were “fundamentally discriminatory to people with mental health conditions”.

The research emerged as disabled people’s organisations gave evidence this week to the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities about the UK government’s failure to implement the UN disability convention.

Source: ‘Fitness for work’ test has led to deterioration in mental health, say researchers | DisabledGo News and Blog

Secular Talk: Judge Has Journalist Arrested for Using Freedom of Information Act


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It seems that freedom of the press is under attack all around the world. Erdogan, the wannabe Ottoman Sultan of Turkey, has made himself notorious for jailing anyone, journalist or not, who dares criticise him. John Kampfner, in his book, Freedom for Sale, describes the clampdown on press and media freedom across the world, in Britain, France, Italy, Russia, Singapore, Dubai and Russia. And now America. In this piece from Secular Talk, Kyle Kulinski comments on a Vice Report about the arrest of a journalist in the US state of Georgia, Mark Thomason, and his lawyer, Russell Stookey, by the chief judge of Pickens County superior Court, Brenda Weaver. Thomason’s the publisher of a small, local newspaper, Fannin Focus. They were arrested on charges of identity fraud and making false statements. Thomason’s real crime was making official requests for public documents on illegally cashed cheques. He and Stookey also…

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Maximus ‘has falsified results of fitness for work tests’, says MP | DisabledGo News and Blog


The discredited US outsourcing giant contracted to carry out on behalf of the government has been accused by an MP of “falsifying” the results of assessments. Labour MP Louise Haigh attacked the track record, ethics and even criminal behaviour of Maximus in delivering public contracts in the US, during a debate on the work capability assessment (WCA). But she also highlighted what she described as a “disconcerting pattern of behaviour” by Maximus in the UK since taking over the WCA contract from Atos last year. She said: “There seems to be an alarming trend of cases being rejected based on factual errors or even – I hesitate to say this – falsification. “I have had several cases of people telling me that their assessment report bears absolutely no relation to the assessment that they experienced with Maximus or Atos. “One or two cases could be dismissed as an honest mistake, but the situation appears to reveal a disconcerting pattern of behaviour that indicates

Source: Maximus ‘has falsified results of fitness for work tests’, says MP | DisabledGo News and Blog

Ian Duncan Smith Whines about Being Blamed for Fitness for Work Tests Deaths


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IDS Death Meme

Yesterday, I blogged on Mike’s piece over at Vox Political on the Gentleman Ranker’s umbrage at the numerous studies linking his welfare to work policies with suicides, death by neglect and starvation, and a massive rise in mental illness. Frank Field had written a letter to him asking about this. AIDS’ response was to splutter about ‘outrageous claims’, and issue a flat-out lie that claimants were treated with sympathy and dignity. They aren’t. Field himself has said that his constituents have told him that DWP staff have asked them when they’re expecting to die if they’re terminally ill. Severely depressed people with thoughts of suicide have even been asked why they haven’t killed themselves. This is vile conduct, and it stems from aIDS and his fellow Tories at the top.

Mike also reproduced the scrawled letter aIDS had written on his blog. It seems that the Minister in Charge of…

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Vox Political Meme on the ‘Caring’ Conduct of the DWP


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Earlier this evening I reblogged Mike’s article about aIDS’ hissy fit over Mike’s blog, and others like his, describing the way people are dying or left mentally ill, sometimes extremely seriously, after being found ‘fit for work’ by Atos and now Maximus. Apparently the Minister for Chequebook Genocide thinks these are ‘outrageous claims’. The only part of his sorry affair that is outrageous is the conduct of the DWP and its mendacious and cowardly head.

Mike’s piece included this meme below, which comprehensively rebuts aIDS’ claim that those assessed are treated fairly and with courtesy. And Field isn’t the only person to have reported such treatment of claimants. Others have too. There have been a number of horrendous reports of people suffering from severe depression being asked why they haven’t committed suicide after they’ve revealed that they’ve suffered thoughts of ending their lives.

Disgraceful. As is all of this shabby…

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