Feb 282012

Serco Research is asking for Disabled Peoples Organisations’ (DPO’s) and disabled individual’s thoughts on PIP through an online questionnaire.

Questions include where the PIP examinations should take place, at what time and whether disabled individuals or DPO’s would be interested in feeding back on the process.

Have Serco got the contract? Are our views being taken into account? Who knows? But what we do need to know is that Dr Stephen Duckworth OBE, director of the Serco Institute for research, has other connections.  He is a disabled man using an electric wheelchair-so we’ll be OK yes? Well no….

Dr Stephen may be disabled, he also supports euthanasia and is  a member of the ‘assisted dying’ committee to get the law changed for euthanasia to become legal in the UK. He  has advised the government on the misery that is welfare reform, has been involved in insurance companies on disability ( no names mentioned but may begin with the letter ‘U’), has been involved in ‘the work program’ ( an euphemism for workfare’ and other programs) netting £3 bn for his company and has also been involved with a contract earning 100 million a year to help long term unemployed people return to work that was outsourced by the DWP, now didn’t Atos get 100 million a year from DWP contract to do just that? As ‘Fitness to work’ is described as one of his areas of ‘expertise’ it’s all possible. See: http://www.expertsearch.co.uk/cgi-bin/find_expert?5669

And just in case you think we would dare to make this stuff up see links below and scroll down for the original email on PIP

Committee on Assisted Dying


The link tells us:

Dr Duckworth OBE is the founder and Chief Executive of Disability Matters Limited. He is a board member on the Olympic Delivery Authority, Board Champion for Equality and Diversity and Chair of the Health, Safety and Environment Committee. He also sits on the board for the Employers Forum on Disability and the National Quality Board.

Dr Duckworth was an adviser to Ministers for Welfare Reform and for Disabled People on the provision of disability benefits. He has also been very involved in the work of a group of FSA regulated companies that provide ethical finance and insurance to disabled customers. He was also a member of the Council of the University of Southampton”.

In 2009 the Mail described the ‘assisted dying’ committee set up and bankrolled by Terry Pratchett as:

This private Commission was set up by Charlie Falconer, an outspoken supporter of euthanasia, after three failed attempts in Parliament to change the law on ‘assisted dying’”. Further…
The Commission has made considerable noise about the disabled person amongst their number. While all the major disability rights organisations in the UK (RADAR, UKDPC, NCIL, SCOPE, Not Dead Yet) oppose a change in the law, Stephen Duckworth, Chief Executive of ‘Disability Matters Limited’, actually backs a change to legalisation.

‘Disability Matters Limited’ sounds grandiose but it is in reality it was just a private business – which according to the Companies House website was dissolved in the summer of 2010. So who does Mr Duckworth represent?

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2082255/Lord-Falconer-sham-Commission-lead-13-000-deaths-year.html#ixzz1ni0G00C6

On Linkedin Dr Stephen describes past work as:

I previously worked as the Strategic Development Director working to secure contracts from the UK government under the £3Bn per annum Work Programme.

Previously I was leading a £100 million contract to help the long-term unemployed people return to work that has been outsourced by the DWP.

So before reading the email do bear these things in mind:

Classification: Serco Public

Please find below, an email from Dr Stephen Duckworth OBE, Director of the Serco Institute for Research.

Serco is very aware that many disabled people’s organisations have expressed concerns about the government’s intentions in relation to Welfare Reform. It appears the Coalition Government is intent on making these changes and as such, it seems inevitable that they will be letting new contracts to introduce reforms such as the Personal Independence Payment in the near future. More information can be found here: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/disability/personal-independence-payment/

To achieve their objectives, the government is establishing a Framework Agreement through the Department of Work and Pensions, inviting organisations to bid to deliver health and disability assessments that will enable individuals to access certain benefits and services.

At Serco, we believe passionately in effective public service delivery. It is important to us to put the citizen at the heart of our solution so that individuals and organisations who argue that “Nothing should be done about us without us” are provided with the opportunity to influence the design and shaping of future services that are affected by the benefit reform process.

As an electric wheelchair user myself and with a medical background, I’m very conscious that the views of those with long-term health conditions and disabled people need to be incorporated in the design and delivery of these assessments.

Would you as an individual or your organisation be interested in contributing to Serco’s ambition of involving as many disabled people as possible in developing the solution to all future assessments for disabled people?

If your answer is yes, then please click on the link below to express your interest by completing a short survey about health & disability assessments.


 We look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,

Dr Stephen Duckworth OBE, Director Serco Institute



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  One Response to “Serco Research wants your views on Personal Independence Payment (PIP): but read this first….”

  1. I don’t know what Dr Duckworth’s views are on welfare reform, but I do know that it is inappropriate to conflate them with the issue of assisted dying.

    The Commission on Assisted Dying concluded that assisted dying for terminally ill people could and should be legalised, alongside improvements in health and social care. They rejected a change in the law to legalise assisted suicide for non-terminally ill disabled people. As someone who once opposed any change, Dr Duckworth appears to have actively advocated for this important distinction to be made.

    As a society, we already accept that a side-effect of sedation and/or the withdrawal of treatment in the last days and weeks of life can be the hastening of death. The campaign for Dignity in Dying is about allowing patients who are dying to choose whether they have an assisted death within upfront safeguards to determine diagnosis and that the patient is aware of all their care and treatment options. I believe this is preferable to a law which ignores those Britons travelling abroad to die or taking matters into their own hands here in the UK.

    Whether you think a change in the law is appropriate or justified, this should not impact on whether you support or oppose the Government’s planned welfare reforms. To suggest otherwise not only borders on the offensive, but I would suggest is counterproductive given that opinion polls show a clear majority of disabled and non-disabled people support a change in the law on assisted dying for terminally ill people.

    Finally, voluntary euthanasia (as practised in Holland) involves directly ending the life of a patient. For this to become legal in Britain the law on murder would have to be significantly changed. I am not aware of anyone advocating this, and the Commission on Assisted Dying certainly did not.

    Irrespective of my comments above, I wish you the best of luck in your campaign.

    Best wishes

    James Harris
    Director of Campaigns and Communications, Dignity in Dying

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