Feb 252013

DPAC has been passed a letter from Ed on WCA/Atos which we’ve been asked to share. While reading please remember that it was New Labour that first contracted Atos and Ed has done some visits to them too- no, not  joining DPAC, or disabled  people in  protests outside Atos offices in direct actions against the 72 deaths a week of those being put through this inhuman regime. But as a kind of badly advised PR exercise. He seems to have stopped that now.

The letter says:

              ‘We appreciate and share the concerns that have been expressed by many charities, disability groups and health care professionals regarding the WCA …’

Would these be the same multi-million big disability charities that sat at the table with Atos in the working groups on the construction of the WCA we wonder? And is Ed really talking about HCPs here? Ed’s  letter continues:

             ‘….and we agree that the government need to move quickly to remedy the problems. A large number of charities and disabled people have reported serious shortcomings with the assessment process and there is clear evidence that the WCA is not working….’

A slight understatement? Then there’s a bit of a disclaimer about previous New Labour government and what they intended for the WCA which was for it to work with applicants ‘fairly, quickly and compassionately’ with ‘appropriate support’.  Ah so no plans to scrap this inhumane disaster and start looking at it all again then? Back to Ed:

           ‘…It is clear, however, that the current Government have been too slow to adapt the Work Capability Assessment in the light of experience, and in view of the much bigger job it is now being asked to do…’

Actually they have been adapting it, mobilising distance for example has been reduced several times to make even more difficult to score those elusive Atos points removing more people from any support. Then we have a paragraph on Professor Malcolm Harrison’s independent reports and lack of progress. Let’s also remember Prof Harrison was sacked/resigned/came to the end of his appointment, apparently after appearing on Panorama citing the disaster of the WCA and Atos. But moving on:

       ‘…We would like to see the Government move much faster-for example in acting on the recommendations made by charities on dealing with mental health problems and fluctuating conditions-and to reduce the current bureaucracy of the current system. Atos healthcare also have questions to answer about the effectiveness of the current assessment process…’

        ‘..We are also very concerned that the scale of the cuts to disability benefits and social care introduced by this Government-which will total 8.6 billion over the parliament-will have a very serious impact on many disabled people..’

Isn’t it over 9 billion?

     ‘…Mr Miliband and the Shadow Frontbench will continue to press the Government on the need to put right the serious problems with the WCA…’

Cheers Ed and let us add that the work of Labour’s John McDonnell, Michael Meacher and others in bringing this Atos horror and the links between Atos and Unum in running ‘Government’ from the inside are much appreciated.

You can download the full letter from link below



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  5 Responses to “Letter from Ed Miliband on Atos/WCA but is it enough?”

  1. The medical ethics which normally apply to programmes of patient care and treatment have been reversed when it comes to the human rights atrocity of the DWP’s ESA.

    You’d think that such medical science as is used by the DWP to justify the ESA regime, which is being deployed amongst arguably the biggest patient group in the UK, would have been thoroughly tried and tested before being implemented. Instead, the quack iatrogenic pseudo-science of the Aylward-Wessely school of disability denial is actually, to all intents and purposes, being tested first on patient subjects, without their knowledge or approval, and who cares if it works or not or what the sick and disabled think. Certainly the British medical mandarin establishment couldn’t seem to care less as their continuing silence and collusion in this nationwide unethical medical atrocity is astounding.

    So why isn’t the British scientific medical establishment asking questions in public about the medical science behind the human rights atrocity of the DWP’s ESA regime, given the now vast publicly available evidence of patients being harmed by it?

    Just to illustrate this complete lack of interest in the ESA psuedo-science by the British medical mandarin establishment, look at the huge science section belonging to the Unum-sponsored Guardian. As fas as I can tell, nowhere do any of its numerous science writers and bloggers question the DWP ESA medical science. What we have instead, in the likes of the Guardian and also on sundry online medical science blogs, newspapers, journals, twitter accounts etc, is an almost demented obsession about the science behind relatively benign “alternative medicine”. Whatever one thinks about the efficacy of homoeopathy or aromatherapy or whatever, they certainly aren’t sending 1,000 disabled people a month to the grave and aren’t terrorising and traumatising millions more.

    Artist-activist Roaring Girl Liz Crow and others in this video put it well when they say the press and government aren’t interested in what disabled people think, and the press are only interested in listening to disabled people that want to die –

  2. What a load of cobblers that letter is. Its not even from ED but his office.

    Sick and disabled people are dying and our paid representatives are sitting around waiting for the government to improve things.

    Frankly if Ed wants my vote and millions more who are sick disabled their families carers or those who have the sense to realise one day this could be them, he is going to have to grow some balls, stand up in Parliament admit they introduced it but now demand it is stopped. He thinks he is going to win the election simply by not being conservative. We want a leader with some morals. If that;s not you ED, stand aside. Meacher and Mcdonnell put Ed to shame.Theyve stood up and said it like it is. Why is Ed doing noyhing. Blood is also growing ever thicker on his hands too.

  3. There is absolutely nothing, this letter included, to suggest that the situation would be any different now had Labour survived the last election. Nothing this man says can be trusted. Many of the problems would never have arisen or by now been resolved if the task had remained within the NHS and worth remembering whose decision it was to outsource.

  4. I don’t have any problem with the idea of having some sort of assessment/third party help after a long period of sickness, I have had similar when I was away from my local authorty job & they have been very useful in arranging special equipment and things like specific working arrangements (phased introduction, time off for appointments etc.) it is a useful thing to do. They are after all in a position of power to insist that lax employers do do right by people with disabilities. Sometimes a specialist assessor has suggested things I’d never have thought of but they should always work in respectfully.

    But the opposite is true of ATOS, their remit is to get people off benefit and to humiliate them by any means possible. Since the 70’s society has fought for proper recognition for the people with all sorts of invisible disabilities and this was better than ever.

    But this bunch of Goons in power at the moment have sent us back to the dark ages.

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