Feb 282017
 

Protest in Wymondham this Friday 3rd March, 12 – 1.30pm.  We will assemble at the Market Cross, Market Place, Wymondham, NR18 0AX and will make our way to George Freeman’s constituency office where his surgeries are held. Protest organised by Equal Lives

We need to let him know the strength of feeling about his comments and let him know that we won’t accept more cuts to PIP or any other welfare benefit for disabled people.

Mark Hartrison, CEO of Equal Lives said:

‘His comments about disability are crass and ignorant and belong in the last century.  I suggest George reads the UN Inquiry judgement on the grave and systematic violations of disabled people’s rights by his Government and then implements the recommendations.  This Government is continuing with the failed austerity policies of the Coalition which targeted disabled people for the harshest treatment.  I really don’t understand why disabled people are being singled in this way for more cuts to our independence and living standards. What happened to this Governments commitment only made last year that cuts to PIP would not go ahead and there would be no more welfare cuts?’

We will be producing a flyer for the event which will be  circulated ASAP.

If you are a constituent of George Freeman please try and fix an appointment to see him at his surgery this Friday morning.

 

 Posted by at 13:44
Feb 272017
 

DPAC Press Release on changes to PIP regulations

March 7th 1-3 pm Old Palace Yard Protest Against PIP changes

Facebook event  https://www.facebook.com/events/1778273142492427/

Signup to the Thunderclap

#ToryCutsKill

DWP once more shows their contempt for Our Judiciary.

Disability campaigners across the country have reacted angrily to the latest underhand cuts to Personal Independence Payment regulations announced by Penny Mordaunt, the Minister of Disability, Work and Health which will lead to the ineligibility of a further 160,000 disabled claimants, mainly with mental health conditions[i].

The recent change in the PIP regulations is only the last one of a long series of attacks against Disabled People over the years by the DWP.  It has become increasingly obvious that disability benefit entitlement is no longer based on need, but on how much the government is prepared to pay. Disability tests, whether for ESA or PIP, are fine tuned to give the results the government expect in terms of expenditure, which determines the number of people entitled to disability benefits.

Emma a DPAC supporter who is likely to be affected by the changes said “This would really effect me greatly because I have type 2 diabetes I am insulin and tablet dependent, I have fibromyalgia and depression and anxiety, just going to those assessments is pure stress and duress.”

While the government claims to support disabled people who they deem to be disabled has become more and more restrictive over the years leaving thousands in growing poverty and without financial support.

Their contempt for disabled people, the rule of law, parliament, SSAC and even the UN is demonstrated by the most recent actions of DWP ministers.ii].

She plans now to railroad these changes through by circumventing Social Security Advisory Committee scrutiny by invoking an urgency provision.

The legality of changing the law in such a way needs to be addressed as it is a key pillar of our constitution that Parliament makes the law and the Courts interpret it. Under normal circumstances a government would challenge the legality of the Upper Tribunal decisions through the Appeal and Supreme Courts and the fact that they have chosen not to make any further legal challenge indicates that they know they have no valid legal arguments for these vicious changes.

 

Notes to Editors

Personal Independence Payment is a non means tested benefit for people with a long-term health condition or impairment, whether physical, sensory, mental, cognitive, or intellectual. It is put in place to provide financial support towards the extra costs disabled people face

 

Who we are:

DPAC is a grass roots campaign body. It was formed by a group of disabled people after the first mass protest against the austerity cuts and their impact on disabled people held on the 3rd October in Birmingham 2010, England. It was led by disabled people under the name of The Disabled Peoples’ Protest. DPAC has over 12,000 members and supporters and works with many anti-cuts groups, Universities, Disabled Peoples’ Organizations, and Unions

mail@dpac.uk.net    www.dpac.uk.net    twitter: @Dis_PPL_Protest

 

[i] http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2017-02-23/HCWS495/

 

[ii]  as agreed by the government in its response to the consultation on the Personal Independence Payment assessment criteria and regulations, on the 13 December 2012

https://www.gov.uk/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/181181/pip-assessment-thresholds-and-consultation-repsonse.pdf particularly 6.6, 6.10, 6.13, and 6.14

 

 Posted by at 21:51
Feb 272017
 

 DPAC Briefing on changes in the PIP regulations denying disability benefits to over 160,000 claimants 

 The narrative that Penny Mordaunt has put forward is misleading and does not withstand scrutiny. Since the end of 2014, the DWP has tried to restrict the application of PIP and exclude a certain category of claimants with mental health conditions.

Her statement that “Recent judgments have broadened the way the PIP  criteria should be interpreted, going beyond the original intention.” is extremely similar to the attempted justification that was put forward in March 2016 to justify the controversial cuts to the points for aids and appliances[1].

The timeline below shows the repeated attempts by the government to limit the application of the Following a Journey descriptor to claimants with mental health issues, by the use of a more restricted interpretation of the law in their guidance, which has been definitely put to rest by the MH[2] case. This explains why the government has now changed the law.

Situation with DLA and PIP

 The changes from DLA to PIP which show that the PIP standard (lower) mobility award was always intended for claimants with mental health conditions who could not follow the route of an unfamiliar journey alone, as confirmed by the Upper Tribunal

 

DLA PIP
Lower mobility – was available to someone who needed guidance or supervision to follow an unfamiliar route. This included blindness, some mental health problems such as anxiety, autism, learning difficulty etc.[3] Standard (lower) mobility – 8 points needed. Due to the weighting of the descriptors, these can only be scored by someone who cannot undertake any journey due to distress, or to someone who cannot ‘follow the route of an unfamiliar journey’ alone. Some people who are unable to walk 50 metres who would have received H DLA now also qualify only for standard mobility.
Higher mobility – was available to people unable to walk physically, and some serious cases where people could not go out alone e.g. unsafe behaviour, people who were blind and deaf, and from 2011, people who were blind.[4] Higher mobility – 12 points needed. These are scored from being unable to ‘follow the route of a familiar journey’ alone or being unable to walk 20 metres.

 

The Government’s response to the consultation on the Personal Independence Payment assessment criteria and regulations, 13 December 2012

The December 2012 consultation[5] on the PIP descriptors made it clear that the ‘following’ descriptors applied to a person who needed someone with them for reasons other than not being able to navigate. There was nothing to suggest that the lower mobility component was being removed from people with mental health problems: if there had been, there certainly would have been significant pushback at the time.

For example, from the 2012 Consultation (but see also points 6.6, 6.10, 6.13): Concern was raised that the activity takes insufficient account of the impact of mental health conditions on mobility. We do not consider this the case. Individuals could potentially score in a number of descriptors in the activity if they cannot go outside to commence journeys because of their condition or need prompting or another person to accompany them to make a journey.

 

The government tightened the PIP guidance in order to restrict eligibility

In its guidance released in October 2014[6], the DWP starting asserting its new position that the ‘following’ descriptors were not what they had assured people in that consultation and that the standard rate of mobility was effectively only available to mental health claimants if unable to go out at all. This meant that claimants with mental health conditions were scoring 0 point for the ‘following an unfamiliar route’ descriptor, but these decisions, if appealed, were very often overturned.

There were two years of inconsistent tribunal decisions until the MH[7] case, in front of a three-judge Upper Tribunal clarified the position. They held that, essentially, the ‘following an unfamiliar route’ descriptor applied in similar situations to the DLA Lower Rate, which had been understood by everybody to be the case until 2014. Interestingly however, the Upper Tribunal also held that the ‘familiar route’ descriptor did not apply to people unless they could not navigate. This was something of a compromise between the previously understood position and the DWP’s attempt to limit the application

 

Judicial review of the mobility criteria, October 2015

The physical (walking) aspects of the PIP mobility criteria were challenged in Sumpter[8]. The case was about the selection of 20 metres as the threshold for the higher rate mobility component.

As part of the decision, the High Court and Court of Appeal both reasoned that it was inevitable that the criteria for the walking aspect would be made less generous. This was because part of the reason for the changes in PIP was to ‘re-allocate resources from those with physical impairments to those with non-physical impairments[9]. This argument had been put by the DWP’s counsel.

This cannot have meant to blind claimants, as by 2011 they were already entitled to the higher rate of DLA mobility, as were claimants with severe behavioural difficulties.

This definitively shows that the original intention of the DWP was not to remove PIP mobility from people with anxiety and similar conditions.

 

2016 planned cuts

To get its £30 per week ESA cut through, it appears the government had to drop its PIP cuts in 2016 and guarantee there would not be more. After losing the MH case for their favoured, but disingenuous, interpretation of the mobility criteria they started trying to use in 2014, they could not easily just announce it would be dealt with in a new cut directly.

This is why Ms Mordaunt is keen to give the impression that she wants to ‘restore’ the original intention, when it would be better to say she is trying to restore the DWP’s plans to limit PIP mobility extra-legally that were devised in 2014 without consultation or a proper process. As the Upper Tribunal did not allow this, they now need to pass law, but cannot afford scrutiny. They are pretending that it is the Upper Tribunal who broadened the criteria, when it was actually the DWP who tried unsuccessfully to limit them.

 

Bypassing the Advisory Committee

Ms Mordaunt has invoked an exemption so as to bypass the Social Security Advisory Committee, but this exemption can only be used if the matter be believed urgent[10], which is not the case. They have known since 2014 that they wanted to limit these descriptors beyond what had, in effect, been agreed in the consultations and enactment process.

 

Are the changes in regulations legal?

The power for the Secretary of State to produce PIP regulations can only come from primary legislations such as the Welfare Reform Act 2012 and they must be compatible with what the Act states.  This power is delegated by Parliament.

The Act does not suggest that mental health conditions and physical conditions should be treated differently or that a physical condition is inherently more limiting than a mental health condition in respect of mobility. In addition, any regulations produced must be consistent with both the letter and intent of primary legislation.

What the Upper Tribunals have done is to determine what Parliament original intent in relation to PIP was and their decisions are binding.

As determined by the case Secretary of State for the Home Department v Pakina [2010] EWCA Civ 719 [2010] WLR 1526 at [19] in the judgment by Sedly L.J, the executive “is constitutionally forbidden to make law except with the express authority of Parliament”.  Nevertheless, it is what the Secretary of State has just done with the PIP regulations by changing what the courts have lawfully decided was the intent of Parliament, and in doing so, he is acting outside of his delegated powers.

Only Parliament can make the proposed changes lawfully and the new regulations should be withdrawn.

Even Iain Duncan Smith recognised this as a result of the now famous Poundland case brought by Caitlin Reilly and Daniel Hewstone. He tried to get an emergency bill (Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013) rushed through Parliament that would retrospectively change the law.

 

Briefing prepared with the assistance of Tom Evans @TomEvans80 and John Slater @AmateurFOI

 

Who we are:

DPAC is a grass roots campaign body. It was formed by a group of disabled people after the first mass protest against the austerity cuts and their impact on disabled people held on the 3rd October in Birmingham 2010, England. It was led by disabled people under the name of The Disabled Peoples’ Protest. DPAC has over 12,000 members and supporters and works with many anti-cuts groups, Universities, Disabled Peoples’ Organizations, and Unions

 

mail@dpac.uk.net    www.dpac.uk.net    twitter: @Dis_PPL_Protest

[1]        https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/484217/pip-consultation-on-aids-and-appliances.pdf (para 11-12)

[2]        CPIP/1347/2015, also cited as MH v Secretary of State

[3]        Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 s. 73

[4]        As above

[5]        https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/181181/pip-assessment-thresholds-and-consultation-response.pdf, particularly 6.6, 6.10, 6.13, and 6.14

[6]              https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/547146/pip-assessment-guide.pdf

[7]        CPIP/1347/2015, also cited as MH v Secretary of State

[8]        [2015] EWCA Civ 1033 http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2015/1033.html

[9]        Para 62 of above

[10]      Section 173(1)(a) Social Security Administration Act 1992

 

 Posted by at 21:50
Feb 232017
 

ALLFIE’s February Briefing and call for action

We need your stories about disabled children and young people’s experience of attending residential special schools and colleges. We are responding to The Lenehan review of experiences and outcomes in residential special schools and colleges.

ALLFIE’s February Briefing and call for action

Posted by: Alliance for Inclusive Education in DDPO news on 16 February 2017

Please see ALLFIE’s latest campaigns briefing: ALLFIE’s February 2017 Campaign Briefing – No.53

CALL FOR ACTION: 

Responding to The Lenehan review of experiences and outcomes in residential special schools and colleges

We need your stories about disabled children and young people’s experience of attending residential special schools and colleges.

We are also interested in hearing from disabled children and young people and parents who have been pressurised by their local authority (or resisted the pressure) to consider a residential special school or college placement.

Does your local authority have a residential school or college placement policy that we should know about?

Please contact us if you can help us – we need your response by Deadline 1st March 2017.   For further information please see our briefing.  

Please contact me if you would like more information.

In solidarity

Simone Aspis

Campaigns and Policy Co-ordinator
Alliance for Inclusive Education
Tel: 020 7737 6030
Email: simone.aspis@allfie.org.uk
Website: www.allfie.org.uk

 Posted by at 12:52
Feb 182017
 

If you or someone you know living in Southampton has had their social care package from Southampton City Council cut in the most recent round of reassessments, we would like to hear from you.You can contact us by email at mail@dpac.uk.net

We are looking at mounting a legal challenge to these cuts to care packages following recent revelations in Disability News Service about the way these reassessments were performed.

In order to bring a case against Southampton City Council we need people who have been affected by the cuts.

 Posted by at 21:38
Feb 152017
 

Southampton City Council drafted in Capita to help deal with a backlog of assessments for care packages. Leaked emails suggest that staff who work for Capita are given financial incentives to reduce people’s care packages without assessment. To date 1 in 5 people have had their care packages reduced but none have had an increase, in spite of the increase in the National Minimum Wage (as employers disabled people now have to pay their PAs). This is contrary to the Care Act of 2014. DPAC held a protest against Southampton City Council on Wednesday 15th February 2017.

The protest was organised by Southampton DPAC with support from national DPAC

See the news item with an interview with DPAC’s Ellen Clifford on BBC South Today on 15th Feb:

Feb 142017
 

 

The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Force the government to act on the eleven recommendations of the UNCRPD report”.

Government responded:

This Government engaged fully with the inquiry process. However, we strongly reject the findings and believe that the core intentions of many of the recommendations are already being fulfilled.

This Government engaged fully with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Convention) inquiry process. In their report, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Committee) expressed appreciation for our support throughout the process, which included facilitating a visit to the UK and providing written evidence on numerous occasions.

On receipt of the report, we considered the findings alongside our own evidence. In making this comparison, it was clear that there were individual facts in the report that were incorrect. Additionally, the report failed to place the reforms investigated in the wider context of improvements made and the support available. For example, in discussing Article 27 ‘Work and Employment’, the report barely mentions the raft of work-related support available to disabled people and therefore presents a highly partial view.

The UK supported the development of the Convention and was among the first countries to sign it in 2007. Our approach to disability equality, which focuses on inclusion and mainstreaming (with additional support provided as necessary) and on involving disabled people in decision-making, is very much aligned with the Convention. The report itself recognised that “at a national level, it appears that the welfare system together with a social and health care system provide a solid base for the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities and that the system has allowed persons with disabilities to achieve an acceptable level of autonomy and
DWP E-Petitions Response independence”. It also recognised measures to reinforce choice and control in the UK through the increased personalisation and localisation of services.

This Government considered the recommendations made by the Committee. Many of the recommendations promote approaches and actions that we already take, such as actively engaging disabled people in policy design and delivery. Others promote actions that the UK Government has already identified as areas for improvement; the Government response sets out some of the work being done across the UK to ensure progress in these areas, such as increasing the accessibility of information and tackling negative attitudes towards disabled people. Several recommendations are prescriptive in nature, sighting specific methodologies that should be implemented. The UK is committed to meeting its obligations of progressing towards the full participation and inclusion of disabled people in all aspects of life on an equal basis. However, how we ensure this progression remains for the UK Government, and the wider parliament, to decide.

The UK is a strong parliamentary democracy, where the voices and opinions of disabled people are represented and listened to, and disabled people’s rights are respected, promoted and upheld. It is also a world leader in disability issues. We are proud of the work we do to support people with disabilities and health conditions, both domestically and abroad. And we believe that the core intentions of the recommendations are already incorporated into UK policies and practices, and delivered in a way that fits with the values and structures particular to the UK.

However, we do recognise that there is more to do to meet the Convention’s ambition of full participation and inclusion, and this Government is committed to continuing progress towards this. Taking employment as an example, our aspiration is for disabled people to get the same opportunities as others to find work while ensuring that people who cannot work because of a disability or health condition receive the support they need. That is why this Government is committed to, and working towards, halving the disability employment gap. The ‘Improving Lives’ Green Paper seeks views on how to ensure that health and welfare systems support people who can work with better opportunities to stay in employment, while protecting people who can’t work, with a view to meeting the Government’s ambition.

This Government champions work because of its power to transform people’s lives. We strongly believe that, though welfare provides necessary social protection, it is not the only way to help disabled people live independent, inclusive lives in which they can fulfil their potential. Implementing the Convention articles requires more than higher welfare payments. It requires society-wide shifts in attitudes and behaviours, innovative approaches to health provision, and concerted efforts to break down persistent barriers preventing disabled people from living independently, working, and enjoying full inclusion in their communities. This Government remains committed to working across government and sectors to ensure that these changes take place, supporting disabled people in the UK to fully participate in all aspects of life on an equal basis.

Department for Work and Pensions

Click this link to view the response online:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/172393?reveal_response=yes

The Petitions Committee will take a look at this petition and its response. They can press the government for action and gather evidence. If this petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the Committee will consider it for a debate.

The Committee is made up of 11 MPs, from political parties in government and in opposition. It is entirely independent of the Government. Find out more about the Committee: https://petition.parliament.uk/help#petitions-committee

Thanks,
The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament

 

 Posted by at 12:54
Feb 132017
 

Unite Community (Coventry and Warwickshire Branch) along with co-sponsor UCU and supporting organisations Peoples Assembly and Coventry Recovery Centre will be screening the film I Daniel Blake.

Our aim is to raise awareness of the sanctions regime in the benefits system and to highlight the desperation and indignity that this imposes on thousands of people in Britain today.

The theatre will open at 18.00 and we advise that you be seated by 18.05 The film will start at 18.15 and lasts for 1 hour 40 minutes.

After the film there will be a question and answer session in the theatre led by the director of the film Ken Loach, which everyone watching the film is invited to. The Q&A session will last approximately 1 hour.

 

DATE AND TIME

Wed 22 February 2017

18:00 – 21:00 GMT

Add to Calendar

LOCATION

The Goldstein Lecture Theatre

Alan Berry Room

Coventry University, Jordan

Coventry

CV1 5FB

 

There are limited numbers of tickets available. To book tickets  and advise on access needs please email us at mail@dpac.uk.net

 Posted by at 19:50
Feb 132017
 

Meme for the Southampton Protest#CareHomesStink

 

#RightsNotTelecare

 

#SupportNotCuts

 

Details of the Protest in Southampton & Online

 

This letter has come from the leader of the council.


Dear Tim,
I appreciate that some of you prefer to demonstrate against the Labour Council rather than the Tory government. But if you are going to do this please have the decent thing and contact us and check whether the thing you are demonstrating against is true. I know we are in the era of ‘alternative’ truth and ‘false news but we do expect you to know better.

The Facts
1. The Care act came in in April last year and requires us to complete annual reviews of all those in receipt of a care package. This created an additional burden on our already stretched social workers. It was proposed and approved that the Council employ through Capita additional social workers to carry out these reviews.
2. No instruction was issued with regard to the outcome of these reviews. No incentive was given to Capita to save money we simply wanted the reviews done.
3. Capita were unable to recruit enough Social workers to complete the work and an offer was made to the ones they had to work some weekends for an extra payment (£200).
4. The vast majority of these reviews (all of which were carried out by fully qualified and registered social workers) lead to no change. Some were adjusted to change the way a service was delivered using modern technologies and these have lead to a saving to the Council. A saving that means less jobs will be cut this year and less other services reduced.
5. An appeals process exists with these assessments’ which has been used by precisely zero clients.
6. As part of our arrangement with Capita we are gradually taking over this work with our in house team working alongside Capita employees. We expect in due course to take over all these reviews.

These are the facts – so please tell me what you are demonstrating about.

Simon


So if those are the facts why do the leaked emails say – either the Labour council leader has no idea about what is happening in Southampton or -well – or he’s just downright lying. Take your pick.

1) From Sue Thomas, sent 15/9/16

Hi All,

The cavalry is on the way!!!

Have just heard from Adam Tait we have 3 new colleagues joining us on Monday, pulling the stops out to make sure they can ‘hit the road’ with you with the minim delay.

Adam is also suggesting some incentives for the Team. He is well aware of some of the difficulties we have had, and that you are giving me the best performance you are able.

But, now we need MORE!! The suggestions below are  cut & paste from Adams e-mail to me.

FROM ADAM’S E-MAIL

I’m not sure how weekend working might go down with the existing team (as a one off) but if we included these days we have an extra 4 days available for eight of the team people and two available for 11 of the team until we have TIB on 27th September. I would suggest we offer an extra incentive if any of the team are prepared to work these weekends or part of…. starting this weekend. It’s short notice but if we paid their existing rate at time and half or double time you may get some take up? I’m not sure if we would need to report these days within the MI suite but that’s not my call. An alternative might be payment of increased hours worked in the week. Again as a one off.

In addition, as the next week or so is so critical I am happy to roll out an extra incentive scheme at the earliest point whereby if a person manages to improve their performance by x% from the previous 4 week average they receive a £y bonus. 10% = £100, 20% = £200 etc. This can be measured across both productivity levels and the savings achieved. If one person improves their productivity by 20% and savings by 20% they receive a £400 bonus.

AGREED WEEK-END RATE TIME & HALF

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY AND CONTACT ME NO LATER THAN 5PM WITH YOUR RESPONSE (EVEN IF YIOU ARE NOT INTERESTED) THIS IS NOT A LONG TERM COMMITMENT – IT’S EMERGENCY FIRST AID TO ENSURE OUR SURVIVAL!!!!

If you want to discuss with me you’ve got my numbers.

Regards – Sue

Sue Thomas – Lead Practitioner,

Capita Review Team,

Adult Social Care,

Southampton City Council,

Southampton SO14 7LY


2) From Sue Thomas, 8 November 2016:

Good Morning,

Another late night last night – Conference Call. Followed by several hours ‘bashing my brains’ for answers.

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY – THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT

As you know our Productivity and the Financial Efficiencies we are making are under  great scrutiny.

Looking at all the figures in the Reports last night it was very clear that both Productivity and Efficiencies have fallen dramatically.

The senior managers who are leading this transformation want to know why it appears we are failing to realise the results in service delivery and savings they anticipated

By commissioning this Project. They in turn are being asked to explain to Councillors of SCC.

Issues such as changes to the Team, Reduced size of Team, Annual Leave, Bank Holidays etc. have all been taken into account but things still don’t add up.

I have stressed how hard you are all working – but we don’t appear to be getting the results we had during the Pilots.

As I said at the Team Meeting yesterday I think it may be about the ways in which we are working – IF IT’S NOT ABOUT HARD WORK, IT MUST BE ABOUT SMART WORK!!!

I HAVE PUT MY NECK ON ‘THE CHOPPING BLOCK’ – YOU HAVE PRODUCED THE RESULTS BEFORE, I KNOW YOU CAN AND I BELIEVE YOU WILL DELIVER THE RESULTS REQUIRED.

NOW I HAVE TO PUT MY MONEY WHERE MY MOUTH IS – PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!

REMINDERS

  • BE ASSERTIVE WHEN MAKING APPOINTMENTS – SCC ARE REQUITRED BY LAW TO COMPLETE THESE ASSESSMENTS/REVIEWS (NEW LEGISLATION 2014)
  • AS MANY VISITS AS POSSIBLE BEGINNING OF THE WEEK – WEDNESDAY PM – RECORDING
  • CASE ‘OPEN’ DAY OF VISIT – MINIMISES DAYS CASE LEFT OPEN (ASSUMING INACTIVE/UNPRODUCTIVE)
  • CLOSE WHEN ANY REFERRALS HAVE BEEN MADE (MAX 2 DAYS)
  • L.D WILL TAKE A LITTLE LONGER – THIS IS RECOGNISED BY ALL.
  • 15 min. CALL OUT!! TELECARE –IN!!
  • ASSESS NEED NOT WANT.
  • ACTIVELY ENCOURAGE DIRECT PAYMENTS
  • CAREFUL ATTENTION WHEN RECORDING WORK SHEETS, YOUR WORK SHEETS INFORM THE WEEKLY REPORTS FOR THE DECISION MAKERS – DON’T SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FEET!!
  • THE WORK SHEET IS CHANGING THIS WEEK PLEASE TAKE EXTRA CARE.

THINK ABOUT ASSET BASED ASSESSMENT, FOR THOSE OF YOU NOT FAMILIAR  I WILL BE SENDING INFORMATION.

We don’t have very much time to turn this situation around. if we can’t/don’t do it all the hard work you have put in so far will have been for nothing.

Not to put too fine a point on things WE ARE ALL ON THE WAY HOME.

I AM NOT ASKING YOU TO STAND BEHIND, ME I’M ASKING YOU TO STAND BESIDE ME SO WE CAN BRING THIS PROJECT TO A SUCCESSFUL (FOR ALL OF US!!) CONCLUSION TOGETHER.

Regards – Sue

Sue Thomas – Project Lead Practitioner,

Capita Review Team,

Adult Social Care,

Southampton City Council,

Southampton SO14 7LY


DPAC’s response to Simon:

  1. Capita offered their staff bonuses of up to £400 to cut people’s packages (Capita said  that this was never introduced but they haven’t denied that they made the offer).
  2. Capita’s freelance social workers were paid more than £1,000 a week (after tax) and put up in three-star hotels while they were encouraged to cut people’s packages.
  3. The emails clearly show that they were asked by the council to produce savings (ie cuts).
  4. The Council Leader says “. Some were adjusted to change the way a service was delivered using modern technologies and these have lead to a saving to the Council.” We do not believe Telecare is an acceptable alternative to human support and nor are packs of incontinence pads. If the council leader thinks the following email from a Capita manager is acceptable, then he should be ashamed of himself and needs to resign: The manager suggested an “extra incentive” for the team if they could improve on their previous “performance” and suggested that the bonus “can be measured across both productivity levels and the savings achieved. If one person improves their productivity by 20 per cent and savings by 20 per cent they receive a £400 bonus.” The council never commented on the ‘extra incentive’ email,  we can’t think why not.
  5. Does he also think the other email that was sent by capita to their team is acceptable? “The senior managers [from the council] who are leading this transformation want to know why it appears we are failing to realise the results in service delivery and savings they anticipated by commissioning this project. They in turn are being asked to explain to Councillors of SCC [Southampton City Council].”
  6. Another thing to note is that the whistle-blower said that it was the service-users with no support networks to advocate on their behalf with the council who were often the ones who were having their packages cut. This might explain why there have not been any appeals (if that’s true).
  7. I suspect that, if you take away the care packages that included residential care (which are almost impossible to cut), the proportion of direct payments packages that were cut is significant.
  8. I notice the council leader says that ‘No incentive was given to Capita to save money’. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t tell Capita that they wanted them to save money (which they did). My understanding is that Capita knew they would lose the contract if they didn’t make those savings. That seems like an incentive to me…
 Posted by at 14:24
Feb 122017
 

We started off 2016 campaigning against Southampton Councils plans to cap social care packages having invested £12 million into a ‘super’ care home. These actions were abandoned by Southampton council due to pressure brought by DPAC at the time and because they were legally questionable.

http://dpac.uk.net/2016/01/city-council-backs-down-under-pressure-from-disabled-campaigners/

Our planned trip to Southampton had to be put on hold but now due to further shoddy actions from the Labour led council it is now very much back on the agenda.

Disability News Service has found that the council has now subcontracted Capita specifically to reduce the size of people’s care and support funding and also to replace it with cheaper options like telecare whether this is suitable or not.

These freelance social workers are not only being paid over £1,000 a week but are given bonuses when they cut enough care packages.

We say this is immoral and unacceptable and must be stopped now so this Wednesday, February 15th DPAC are going to let the council members know exactly what we think of their nasty, grubby behaviour.

Join us if you can both in person and online.

In person – Join us on

Wednesday 15th February at 1.45 pm

Southampton City Council, Civic Centre, SO14 7LY Southampton

(close to both Coach and Rail Stations)

Facebook Event Page


Join in on-line

email-:

leader of Southampton council Simon Letts:  councillor.s.letts@southampton.gov.uk

and Warwick Payne, portfolio holder for adults and housing:  councillor.w.payne@southampton.gov.uk

You can telephone both on 023 8083 3340(PA)

#CareHomesStink

#RightsNotTelecare

#SupportNotCuts


#CareHomesStink #RightsNotTelecare Capita staff paid over £1,000 a week to cut care packages @SouthamptonCC


#CareHomesStink #RightsNotTelecare Capita staff got bonuses up to £400 for cutting care pakages @SouthamptonCC


#CareHomesStink #RightsNotTelecare Did council leader lie? http://dpac.uk.net/2017/02/southampton-hots-battle-independent-living-continues/ @SouthamptonCC


#CareHomesStink #RightsNotTelecare Capita emails from Sue Thomas http://dpac.uk.net/2017/02/southampton-hots-battle-independent-living-continues/ @SouthamptonCC


#CareHomesStink #RightsNotTelecare Labour council’s abuse of disabled people http://dpac.uk.net/2017/02/southampton-hots-battle-independent-living-continues/ @SouthamptonCC


and here are some meme’s to add to your tweets:

Tweetable Meme's #1

Tweetable Meme's #2

Tweetable Meme's #3

 Posted by at 22:40
Feb 122017
 
Ken Loach’s “I, Daniel Blake” winner of the BAFTA Outstanding Film award
Screening, 2pm Saturday 25 February in Kilburn.
Venue: Kingsgate Community Centre, 107 Kingsgate Rd, London NW6 2JH.  Fully wheelchair accessible.  Entry by donation
Facebook event here
Camden Momentum and WinVisible (women with visible & invisible disabilities) are hosting this community screening, with speakers from Disabled People Against Cuts, and Gill Thompson (anti-sanctions campaigner on behalf of her brother David Clapson) followed by discussion. This comes after the moving and well attended vigil held 25 January for Lawrence Bond, the Camden man who tragically collapsed and died after leaving Kentish Town Jobcentre, having been found “fit for work” by Maximus and the DWP.   Ken Loach, John McDonnell MP (Shadow Chancellor) and Debbie Abrahams MP, came and spoke at the vigil.   Ken Loach’s film is crucial viewing and the showing will bring people together to resist the benefit cuts and sanctions which have killed thousands of people and cause misery and destitution on a massive scale.  We’ll discuss how we can oppose the latest disability benefit cut due in April.
John McDonnell said that I, Daniel Blake is one of the most moving films he’d seen, and was very pleased to team up with Ken Loach to urge people to go and watch it.
 Posted by at 22:02
Feb 112017
 

[Text courtesy of CND]

The recent revelation that a Trident missile test had to be aborted after the missile veered off course towards Florida highlights the continuing danger nuclear weapons pose to the world. Coupled with the many erratic statements from President Donald Trump, the time has come for international action to eliminate nuclear weapons everywhere.

The United Nations is starting to negotiate a nuclear weapons ban treaty at the end of March. This presents an opportunity to end the threat of nuclear annihilation and for the nine countries that have nuclear weapons to join the international consensus in favour of scrapping them.

While the UK government has yet to say if it will take part in the upcoming discussions, it has boycotted previous steps in this process. That is why we need to make sure the voice of those who support a ban on nuclear weapons is heard.

Please join us in Parliament on Wednesday 1 March to tell your MP that the government must play a constructive role at the UN. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never spoken to your MP before, experts will be on hand to give you support and guide you through the process.

Meetings can be arranged any time between 12-6pm. You can use the CND website to contact your MP and arrange a meeting, but you can attend without a booked appointment and request a meeting on the day. The afternoon’s lobbying will be followed at 6pm by a parliamentary public meeting. We look forward to seeing you there.

 Posted by at 20:54
Feb 072017
 

Update: Following interventions from several DPOs including DPAC, DRUK has agreed to recall and amend their report and we will be examining the changes closely. Watch this space……..


DPAC have previously had a few skirmishes with the hilariously named Disability Rights UK. DRUK are one of the big corporate disability charities that collect money from the public under the guise of championing disabled people.

To start with, our problem with charity for disabled people is we think it shouldn’t be necessary at all- we need equal rights, not charity handouts. DPAC’s slogan is “Rights Not Charity”.

But our particular problem with DRUK, is they advertise themselves as a charity for disability rights, while also taking money from this government with it’s horrendous welfare reforms, cuts to social care and attacks on just about every sphere of disabled people’s lives. DRUK also take money from private companies like Maximus to deliver “Disability Awareness Training” to its WCA assessors. And yet these people claim to stand up for disabled people’s rights?

You can see some examples of our previous battles with DRUK at the end of this post.

But this time they really have taken the biscuit. They’ve not only taken the biscuit, they’ve dunked it in our coffee, dropped the soggy bit on the carpet, taken another biscuit, and scoffed it.

To explain:

DRUK are one of the lead organisations who have been paid by the government to do a report on the state of disabled people’s lives in the UK. This report is going to be submitted to the UN disability committee later this year. Its something called the “Shadow Report”.

Basically Britain signed up to the UN treaty called the UN Charter for Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and every few years the government gets reviewed by the UN on progress towards implementing the treaty. So the government submits a report about that and it also pays non-government organisations to submit a Shadow Report to give their side of the story.

Its meant to prevent the government just giving a glossy everything’s fine report, and its meant to give a critical counter-balance to that as well.

So the government gave a wad of dosh to the Equality and Human Rights commission, who skim some off the top and gave a smaller wad of dosh to DRUK, Inclusion Scotland and Disability Wales to write a shadow report.

The shadow report from DRUK & Co got released at the end of January and we had a look at it. OK its critical of the government in many areas, but one of the first things we looked at was what they said about one of the most important issues facing disabled people right now, the deaths of benefit claimants due to welfare reforms.

We looked, we searched – and the report contained nothing about it at all.

John Pring’s Disability News Service also picked this up and published this article about it: UN report failure on benefit deaths by national DPOs ‘is extreme insult to activists’

And then after asking around and doing a little digging, we discovered that the submission made by Inclusion Scotland to go into the report DID include evidence of deaths of claimants due welfare reform.

So we naturally wanted to know what happened to the vital evidence that was submitted by Inclusion Scotland but didn’t appear in the final report.

The answer came back that the evidence about claimant deaths had “accidentally been edited out” during final changes to the report. To say that we at DPAC were angry about this is an understatement.

We have written to Liz Sayce, CEO of DRUK to demand that they recall their report and put Inclusion Scotland’s evidence back into the report, here is the email we sent yesterday:

Dear Liz,

While we agree that DRUK should make the final decision about what is included in their CRPD shadow submission, like Inclusion Scotland DPAC are also very concerned that during editing of DRUK’s shadow report a vital section relating to claimant deaths and links between those and WCAs was omitted.

While we understand this was accidental and are sure you would never intentionally be so offensive to the memory of thousands of deceased disabled people we feel nevertheless that it is essential you recall the version of this report that was submitted in error and re-submit it with the additional information on the horrific impact on social security claimants the UK government’s welfare reforms to date has had on social security claimants.

 

Yours sincerely,

Linda Burnip

On behalf of DPAC Steering Group

This morning we had a reply,

Dear Linda

Thank you very much for your email. We support the inquiry done last year and the Committee’s conclusions and are acutely aware of the impact of sanctions and cuts on disabled people. Our shadow report is a joint report from Disability Wales, Inclusion Scotland and Disability Rights UK so Rhian from Disability Wales, Sally from Inclusion Scotland and I are agreeing ‎next steps and will get back to you asap. 

 

‎Best wishes

 

Liz

 Liz Sayce OBE

CEO Disability Rights UK

We’ll keep you posted on what they decide, but if you want to tell DRUK to recall their Shadow Report and include information about claimant deaths, you can tweet them on @DisRightsUK or email them at enquiries@disabilityrightsuk.org


Some of DPAC’s previous run-ins with DRUK

 

 Posted by at 13:21
Feb 022017
 

Join Southampton DPAC’s protest vs Southampton City Council & Contractors Capita,

Wednesday 15th February at 1.45 pm

Southampton City Council, Civic Centre, SO14 7LY Southampton

(close to both Coach and Rail Stations)

Facebook Event Page

 

Reads: Crapita, Not as bad as Atos (until we found out)

A whistleblower from inside Capita has told Disability News Service (DNS) that Capita has been piling pressure on its team of social workers – while paying them more than £1,000 a week – to cut social care spending, on the orders of Southampton City Council. You can read the full DNS Article here

Southampton DPAC have convened this protest to shame both councillors and contractors. All DPAC members and allies that can get there are urged to go. This might be Southampton but it could be happening across the country soon and we need to demonstrate our willingness fightback here.

 Posted by at 21:17
Feb 022017
 

Logo and banner for the LUSH Human Rights Summit

 

Event summary:​ ​ Lush Cosmetics will be holding an international meeting for its staff, key invitees, and a range of bloggers, fans, and the public. We expect an audience at the event of around 2000, and a lot more through our online and streaming content – at our last event we ended up with a global online audience of 27million!

Our aim​ is to create an engaging, interactive and uplifting event that focuses on inspiring people to get involved in the issues being addressed through education and sharing of solutions. We also want to celebrate the hard work of grassroots organisations such as yourselves in making things better.

Event dates
Wednesday 8th February 12-6pm
Thursday 9th February 12-6pm

On the 8th at 11.30 am John Kelly will be singing known and loved disability protest songs and on the 9th, Penny Pepper and Mary Ellen are performing at 3.30pm

The event is free and open to the public. Please ask your friends and contacts to get their E Ticket via this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-lush-summit-tickets-31282639216
Venue:​ Tobacco Dock, ​ Tobacco Quay, Wapping Ln, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London E1W 2SF

Tobacco Dock Tel: 020 7680 4001

Nearest Train & Underground
Shadwell DLR & Overground Wapping Overground, Tower Hill Tube

 Posted by at 10:43