Revealed:The chaotic free prescription and dental treatment scandal

Yes, yet another fiasco to do with benefits, health charges and other areas for vulnerable persons who could certainly do without it.

In this computer age, what is anyone doing about it, apparently nothing, except confuse, annoy and cause serious concern to many vulnerable people.

We hear that computers can do almost anything, but the computers at the DWP and their programmes appear to be stuck in the Stone Age.

Why can not processes be put in place so that benefits are processed and at the switch of a button one or more benefits stop and the new benefits commence, thereby no waiting periods.

These benefit programmes connect with other areas such as prescriptions so that on processing a prescriptio it comes up at a Pharmacy if the prescriptions are free or to be paid for.

Now we hear so much about the NHS being free at the point of delivery, but not prescriptions, so are they not part of the NHS process?

In fact when the NHS was formed in 1948, the free at the point of delivery did not last long, just vover a year or so, because a prescription charge of 1 shilling became payable.

Now there are more charges, for Opticians and Dentists, so how many more are on the horizon.

When charges are made, this restricts the access for some persons and they then do without, so storing medical problems for the future causing more exprense for the NHS.

There needs to be a system overall so the NHS can go back to be free at the point of delivery for all NHS services and to also include Social Care.

As lack of Social Care will and is causing even more costs to the NHS.

Social and health care need to run in tandem with each other, as they are tightly associated for the many.

Westminster Confidential

An example of an attempt to check whether you are entitled to a free prescription by Trent Valley Surgery

If you are under 60 and over 16 do you know when you can get a free prescription and free dental treatment? No, if you don’t you are in good company and if you claim could even be one of 1.7 million people in England and Wales falsely sent a £100 penalty by the NHS.

A absolutely scathing report out today from MPs on the Commons Public Accounts Committee today describes the whole system for regulating free prescriptions and dental services as ” not fit for purpose “.

It reveals that despite a so called 24 page ” simplified ” guide telling you when you qualify most people are completely confused and rightly so.And if you get it wrong you are automatically guilty of fraud and get a £100 penalty fine…

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Thousands owed £340m in underpaid benefits after ‘major’ DWP error

MPs have criticised a “culture of indifference” at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), after a “major” error resulted in thousands of people being underpaid in benefits for several years.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) estimates that 70,000 Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants have been underpaid a shocking £340 million in ESA, with those affected owed an average £5,000 each and some owed as much as £20,000.

However, some people look set to miss out entirely, because the DWP has only agreed to backdate payments to 2014, even though the errors in payments go back much further.

In a damning report published today, the PAC blast the Department for taking longer than 6 years to rectify the problems that were causing the underpayments, “even when it was painfully obvious that it was underpaying a significant number of people”.

“It failed to design a process that reflected its own legislation”, the PAC said. “It failed to subject that process to proper scrutiny. It failed to listen to its own staff, claimants, or external stakeholders and experts who told it things were going wrong and that it needed to slow down.”

The DWP are now finally beginning to repay the arrears, but there is no plan to compensate sick and disabled ESA claimants who have missed out on passported benefits like free prescriptions and free school meals.


Source: Thousands owed £340m in underpaid benefits after ‘major’ DWP error

Justin Tomlinson MP Facing Suspension From Parliament For Leaking Payday Loan Report To Wonga Employee

When you analyse what Justin Tomlinson says does it even make sense or is he even more naive than he himself realises.

He is not aware of how committees function and the responsibilities appertaining, so therefore all MPs should now be made aware so no one else can use this as an explanation for their wrongful actions. He then states “that he sent the report to the payday loan company because he believed action needed to be taken on payday loan companies,”. If this is truly correct then he should have sent it to all payday loan companies, as no one company should have more information than other, so that no company is more to an advantage than their rivals.

There are still so many unanswered questions on this and I believe that if one MP is not fully aware of protocols then there will be others,if not all of them.

Same Difference

A former DWP minister with responsibility for disabled people is set to be suspended from the House of Commons for leaking a parliamentary report to a payday lender.

Justin Tomlinson shared the findings of a draft report into regulating payday loans with an employee of Wonga.

An inquiry by the House of Commons sleaze watchdog found the former minister, who sat on the Public Accounts Committee at the time of the leak, had “committed a contempt” with the leak.

It said his actions “constituted substantial interference” with the process of the influential Committee, which was seeking to protect vulnerable consumers from payday lenders.

The report, which will be debated and voted on, recommended that Mr Tomlinson be suspended from the Commons for two days and be compelled to make a statement to the House.

At the time of the report the then PAC chair Margaret Hodge at the time accused part…

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Disability benefits assessment service not ‘acceptable’ says committee | DisabledGo News and Blog

The disability benefits assessments system has “serious failings”, with concerns about the quality and cost of the controversial tests, an influential committee of MPs has found. Claimants were not receiving an “acceptable level of service” and the cost to the taxpayer of paying private firms to carry out the assessments was set to double to £579 million in 2016-17, the Public Accounts Committee said. The Commons spending watchdog said that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and its private contractors were making progress to reduce delays and improve the quality of assessments but the regime still fell short of expectations. Subsidiaries of Maximus are responsible for the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Fit for Work service, while Atos and Capita carry out Personal Independence Payment (PIP). The committee said: “Claimants are still not receiving an acceptable level of service from contractors, with particular concerns for claimants with fluctuating and mental

Source: Disability benefits assessment service not ‘acceptable’ says committee | DisabledGo News and Blog

Care Quality Commission

Press Release* from National Audit Office*


*Full report: Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission has made substantial progress as it seeks to address public concerns about its regulatory approach, but significant challenges lie ahead if it is to demonstrate effectiveness and value for money, according to the National Audit Office.

The Commission, the independent regulator of health and adult social care services in England faced criticisms in 2011 and 2012 from a range of bodies including the NAO, the Public Accounts Committee, the Department of Health and the Francis Report. The grounds on which it was criticised included weaknesses in strategic direction and leadership, insufficient skills and capacity, and failure to intervene quickly or strongly enough in failing providers. The Commission responded by making substantial changes to its structure and leadership, and by developing a new regulatory model that strengthens the way it expects to monitor and inspect hospitals, adult care providers and GPs. The Commission has needed to recruit people with new skills for its role.

Progress has been made in recruiting new staff, but there are not yet enough people to carry out all the Commission’s work. By mid-April 2015 it had reached its initial target to recruit 300 inspectors by the end of that month. The Commission predicts that, when at full complement, a third of staff will have been in post for less than 12 months, and existing staff have experienced significant changes. The Commission deferred target dates for inspecting providers owing to staff shortages. It also has staff shortages in other parts of its business, particularly among analysts.

In addition, from April 2015, the Department gave the Commission new responsibilities to oversee the financial sustainability of the largest adult social care providers. The Commission must now notify relevant local authorities if it considers any of the 43 largest adult social care providers is at risk of exiting the market. It began overseeing these providers, however, before having in-house expertise fully in place. It was also announced in June 2015 that the Commission would assess the financial efficiency of hospital trusts.

Today’s report finds that the Commission is using data more effectively to plan inspections, in particular for acute trusts, following the conclusions of Sir Robert Francis’ second inquiry which found that it was essential that the Commission improve the way it used information to monitor risk. In contrast to the national data available for hospitals and GP services, however, the Commission does not have access to routine information about adult social care which is good enough for it to monitor risk or trigger inspections. The Commission needs more complete data about regulated bodies, particularly in the adult social care sector, as well as better quantified indicators of its own performance.

After successfully registering GPs online in summer 2013, the Commission plans to introduce an online system for adult social care providers during 2015-16. It currently rejects many paper applications to register or change details for providers because they contain errors, representing wasted effort and cost for both the Commission and applicants.

“The Commission has made substantial progress in the face of sustained criticism, and is developing a more intelligence-driven approach to regulation. Further challenges lie ahead for the Commission to demonstrate, in practice, effectiveness and value for money.  It now needs to build an organisational culture that gives its people the confidence, as well as the skills, to apply the regulatory model assertively, fairly and consistently.”

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, 22 July 2015

Notes for Editors


The Commission’s operational expenditure in 2014-15

1 in 3

Staff the Commission predicts will have been in post for less than 12 months if it meets its recruitment schedule


Registered locations the Commission regulates


Full-time equivalent staff the Commission employed on 31 March 2015


Proportion of paper applications returned because they were not completed correctly, not required or withdrawn


Concerns about poor care that were raised with the Commission in 2014-15


Vacancy rate for inspectors in April 2015


Proportion of its budget the Commission recovered from fees charged to registered providers in 2014-15


Proportion of providers in 2014 who were aware the Commission had a new approach to regulation


New non-executives appointed to the Commission’s Board between July 2012 and July 2014

1. Press notices and reports are available from the date of publication on the NAO website, which is Hard copies can be obtained by using the relevant links on our website.

2. The National Audit Office scrutinises public spending for Parliament and is independent of government. The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG), Sir Amyas Morse KCB, is an Officer of the House of Commons and leads the NAO, which employs some 810 people. The C&AG certifies the accounts of all government departments and many other public sector bodies. He has statutory authority to examine and report to Parliament on whether departments and the bodies they fund have used their resources efficiently, effectively, and with economy. Our studies evaluate the value for money of public spending, nationally and locally. Our recommendations and reports on good practice help government improve public services, and our work led to audited savings of £1.15 billion in 2014.


Contact: Angharad Thomas
Direct line: 020 7798 7208 Email:  …….’