Aug 032013
 

DPAC and Black Triangle condemn the misguided, insensitive and inflammatory comments of Dr Phil Peverley. We also want to condemn the pitch and severity of the pieces in the Mail and Telegraph (2nd August) framing Peverley’s comments, as a further outrageous abuse of the facts and issues affecting disabled people and those with diagnosed long term health issues.

 

Peverley’s words are an insult to all those that suffer the misery and anxiety of Atos within the regime designed to remove support from disabled people. His words are an insult to those that have died shortly after being declared ‘fit for work’ or before an appeal which found that, once again, Atos were wrong-something that happens with increasing regularly in a system that is chaotic and unworkable.

 

Those people may also have been within the so-called ‘proportion of punters’ that Peverley claims ‘are hell-bent on trying to prove they’re really ill, and need us [GPS] to confirm it’ or maybe they were some of the perceived ‘disgruntled unworking well’ who are ‘full of indignation at being considered reasonably healthy.’ The Department of Works and Pensions DWP own figures show deaths within 6 weeks of tests were at over 10,000. The DWP are refusing to publish up –to date statistics, so we would guess that these figures have risen significantly.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Black Triangle on the 28th June 2012 the British Medical Association (BMA) supported a call to demand that the WCA should be ended ‘with immediate effect and be replaced with a rigorous and safe system that does not cause unavoidable harm.’ Peverley on the other hand thinks Atos are doing a great job -despite new evidence everyday that they clearly are not, despite MPs, journalists, and the public accounts committee condemnation of their conduct and the multi-million Atos contract. (See Dr McCartney’s piece in the British Medical Journal and Black Triangles’ 2013 letter of support from Drs and MPS)

 

Remarkably, Peverley declared that he considered putting a picture of Stephen Hawkings in his surgery with the caption: ‘This bloke is not on the sick!’ The comparison of Hawkings to every single disabled person is beyond bizarre. This is a man with the funds to ensure a network of P.A. support, home adaptations and technical aids- something far out of the reach of the majority of disabled people –where even a basic level of support is becoming increasingly unlikely in the current slash and burn climate. Hawkings won’t miss his ILF payments if the appeal hearing against the DWP doesn’t produce the correct verdict. Hawkings won’t need to worry about local authority cuts or the tsunami of other cuts, caps, punitive costs, sanctions and penalties being imposed on disabled people and other low income people by this Government.

 In Sept 2012 the BMA also said that GPs workloads had massively increased due to the chaotic system of the WCA and increasing numbers of appeals. Peverley also says: ‘’These fitness-to-work assessments – under Atos, and under anyone who takes the role for that matter – generate a massive amount of work in general practice’ in his column in the Pulse. However, neither the Mail nor the Telegraph wanted to pick up on the increased workloads the Atos/WCA system is causing for GPs.  None wanted to mention that people can now be charged up to 200 pounds for GP reports, to support them in an assessment, or that GPs increasingly refuse to supply reports either.- a further hurdle for disabled people and those with debilitating long term health issues in the attempt to gain the support they need in the punitive assessment process.

 The Mail and Telegraph both carried the comments of Peverley. True- they’re both right wing newspapers and tools of Tory propaganda. Yet, the pitch and severity of both pieces in framing Peverley’s comments was a clear abuse of the facts and issues facing disabled people; as are Peverly’s inflammatory comments.

The Telegraph carried the headline: ‘A GP incensed at his surgeries being full of the “disgruntled unworking well” has said he considered displaying a poster of Professor Stephen Hawking along with the caption: “This bloke is not on the sick”’.

While the Mail went that bit further with the more loaded headline:  ‘THIS bloke is not on the sick! Angry GP cites Hawking to shame hordes of patients asking him to sign them off’.

Peverley’s original Pulse piece fits the welfare ‘reform’ agenda perfectly. An agenda that incorporates the right wing media and Governments constant demonising of disabled people as feckless/workshy/scroungers  – Peverley’s original rallying cry in the Pulse was that he did not want to sign ‘sick notes. The piece headlined: ‘Save me from the unworking wellwas posted on the 29th July. Neither the Mail nor the Telegraph showed the same eagerness to publish his jaunty column of 25th April ‘A Curious Case of Missing Sick Notes’ which talks about the constant losing of sick notes by the DWP. But why would they?

Peverley has played into their hands, not only does he appear to support the discredited bio -psychosocial model, beloved of Aylward and Freud, that removes GPs and replaces them with private companies paid with huge amounts of public money- he has given them the final piece of the puzzle –privatise the sick note and remove it from any element of medical evidence. Let’s have 100% ‘fit to work’ even if a 100% drop dead in the process. Those that can afford it, like Hawkings can buy their own private back-up plan’.

In the meantime Peverley has been reported to the GMC. Twitter @gmcuk

There is a facebook campaign group at facebook.com/permalink.php?…

Peverley is on twitter @PhilPeverley

His surgery address for letters is at the link below-please do not use the surgery telephone lines!

Dr Phil Peverley 

Old Forge Surgery
Pallion Park
Pallion
Sunderland, SR4 6QE

 To Protest against this and the other attacks on disabled people join DPAC’s 7 days of Action https://dpac.uk.net/2013/07/reclaiming-our-futures-7-days-of-action/

DPAC twitter: @dis_ppl_protest

Black Triangle twitter: @blacktriangle1

 

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  6 Responses to “Joint Response by DPAC and Black Triangle on Dr Phil Peverley’s Comments”

  1. ‘Do NO Harm’ that’s what all Doctors have to swear an oath to uphold.

    This Doctor Perverly has created a generalized argument with no research to back up such a claim that is almost certainly going to bring harm to patients thus he needs to be struck off; patient safety is the highest priority and now he’s made it where no patient feels they can trust his diagnosis.

  2. It breaks my heart that there are so many uncaring selfish creul people with this miserable attitude

  3. Peverley “thought about” putting up the poster in his surgery. However he could not have chosen a less representative image of disability (I would say Dr Hawking is an icon for his work rather than for his Motor Neurone Disease), plus Dr Hawking is 71 so would not have needed to claim working age social security.

  4. Worrying comment from a GP. Anybody who can’t see the massive, inherent flaws in such an argument clearly isn’t the sharpest tool in the box. Maybe the BMA should be looking into whether he’s fit to hold his licence?

  5. Whilst I don’t wish anybody to become disabled, or long-term (chronically) ill, it may be in Dr P. P’s interest, as it may be of the Mail and Telegraph ‘journalists’ and readers, to remember that disability/long-term (chronic) illness does not descriminate! A particular example of this is given in July 2013’s ME Bury/Bolton Newsletter (I have deliberately omitted the Doctor’s name):

    “……However, the precise infection was never identified – so many doctors viewed the discovery with growing scepticism. A paper in the British Medical Journal claimed the outbreak was ‘mass hysteria’ and I can still recall being taught at medical school that ME was a non-existent illness that doctors could forget about.
    After catching chickenpox from one of my patients, I had to change my mind. The chickenpox went away but I was left with all the classic symptoms of ME: exercise-induced muscle fatigue, cognitive dysfunction and feeling as though I had a constant dose of flu. At the time, thanks to continuing scepticism about ME, it was impossible to get a diagnosis or proper advice on management. So instead of pacing my activities, I tried to exercise my way out of ME and ended up feeling worse rather than better……………”

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