Nov 242015

Last week John Pring highlighted a case showing not only that the system dealing with unemployed and disabled people has not improved, but is reminiscent of the worst days under Atos


But this time, it is Maximus which is the henchman. It is Maximus which had been informed by Mandy McGuire, project manager of the charity Slough Homeless Our Concern (SHOC), that Alan McArdle, whom she had supported for 16 years, was too unwell to contact Maximus as he had just left hospital, and it is Maximus which referred him to the DWP for sanction. One hour after reading the DWP letter telling him he was at risk of losing his benefits because he failed to contact Maximus, Mr McArdle collapsed and died of a heart attack.


His case embodies the long catalogue of failures associated with the WCA and DWP that we have become accustomed to seeing.

To start with, he was wrongly placed in the Work Related Activity Group, and with a prognosis short enough that he had to attend the the Work Programme. Suffering from diabetes, he had no feeling in his arms and legs, and also suffered from other medical conditions, in addition to being alcoholic.  It was his lack of feeling which caused his fall, leading to his hospitalisation. He was so unwell before his fall that Maximus had agreed to keep in touch by telephone as Mandy McGuire found it impossible to transport him to the meetings because his mobility was so poor.

Once in the Work Programme, he had to keep in touch with the Work Programme private contractor Maximus in order to receive his benefits. When he failed to do so, he was referred to the DWP for sanction. The likely response of Maximus to any criticism is that private contractors don’t legally have the discretion to review good cause. This is true, but it does not take away the fact that Maximus is now in charge of administering 2 lethal schemes, the WCA and the Work Programme, both of them fundamentally flawed.  Obviously Maximus has no interest in seeing their ‘clients’ dying, as it makes a huge amount of money out of their misery.

In other news, Maximus share prices have floundered as it is not processing the required number of ESA assessments. The explanation given by Maximus is the recruitment, training and retention issues the company faces.  Which explains why it is offering such attractive salaries.

Maximus salaries



But it takes a certain kind of person to knowingly deprive some very disabled people of benefits because they did not tick the right boxes. Although the salaries are attractive, are they big enough to buy a conscience?

The last words are left to people by Trinity who cared of Alan McArdle:

“One of the people we work with, from our day centre in Slough, died recently. He wasn’t living on the streets – he had found housing. He had multiple health problems and had recently been in hospital. The private company who had been tasked with deciding who was fit for work – no longer the job of the civil servants employed by the jobcentre – had put him on the work programme. This meant he had to keep a number of appointments, apply for jobs and was expected to work. He missed an appointment. He had just left hospital and one of our people had written letters and made calls on his behalf to ensure that the people from the work programme knew why the appointment was missed. He was too poorly to leave the house.

He received a letter telling him his benefits had been stopped – he was being sanctioned for not attending his appointment. His ill-health was irrelevant. He died after opening this letter. He collapsed and was gone. They say your life flashes before your eyes before you die, I would hazard a guess that it was his future that flashed before his: losing his home, returning to the streets, perhaps dying there.

Does his life matter?

It matters to us”


It also matters to us. You were a precious, unique human being. Rest in peace, Alan


[suffusion-the-author display='description']
 Posted by at 23:30

  12 Responses to “DWP’s conveyor belt of deaths, with Maximus as henchman”

  1. Hello every one…I am being prosecuted as an ex husband reported me on line, and I was surveillenced over 19 days from the Fraud Team, at Job Centre Plus. This as been going on for 20 mths, with letters after letters, and a summons on my door mat Christmas Eve.I was married for 32 years, and he was my carer, so when he left me for another woman, after becoming a burden, as most disabled feel that way, I tried to turn my life around on my own. I had to sell my home, and not having any family or friends at that time, I was filmed upto my moving day, and even at my new address.They went to the estate agents for the old address and the new one, to see if there was any adaptions inside on the brochures. They followed me shopping ( I shouldn`t eat ) and I started to feel paranoid, thinking if a car was out sidemy house with people in it for too long, I thought it was them still filming me.I have Osteo- arthrtis/Osteoporosis/Chronic Fatigue & pain/ Hypermobility Syndrome/Fybromyalgia and many other secondary illnesses. Hospital evidence/ gps support and just had 2 disc replaces and fused in my neck.I took an overdose while I was being interviewed, and they didn`t believe it because I didn`t seek help from a hospital.I have depression and they still keep pressuring me. A court case and tribunal next week, seeking back £80,000 etc when I am just a 64 yr old pensioner. So yes, I have seen how they work up close, and they say that they pay DLA to people who are indepenant, but that`s a lie, I have just come back from my GP, with another problem, and she couldn`t believe why they are doing this, on the basis what they saw for just 19 days, over months.They took my mobility car, so now I have to catch the bus, making my conditions worse. They say they don`t pay DLA for pain, but its the conditions that give you the pain.They want to go back to 1997, when I first claimed, but my ex was looking after me then, but now it`s just revenge. I am not sure what will happen to me, after the court case etc, but I want to tell all disabled people out there, be careful what you do, but I would rather have my self respect and dignity, than any payment from the DWP. Who are they to tell us, who is and who is not disabled, especially when they think they have all the power over us.I don`t want to look disabled, but that doesn`t mean I`m not.I am 64, and a pensioner, but I will not be judged by these people, who are making out that when I took the over dose,it was to get out of the interview.!!!! Well done DWP, I AM STILL HERE.. I AM READY FOR THE FIGHT

  2. Don’t let IDS, DWP, ATOS & Maximus get away with murder. Please sign & share

  3. Here is a first attempt to explain what I think is happening. Note that I must describe that conveyor belt without falling into conspiratorial ways of thinking. Comments are welcome.


    George Kenneth Berger‎Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)

    November 24 at 9:01am · 
    Political dynamite, I hope. 
    These two linked articles conclusively show that the British government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are aware of the harm their Work Capability Assessment (WCA) & sanctions *normally* cause. As these have caused death many times, and as DWP keeps records of as many deaths as they can, we know that these deaths are intentional ‘collateral damage.’ That is, DWP know that people will die from these, but accept this. As many have been assessed and/or sanctioned, and many more will be, we can say that DWP is intentionally causing ongoing systematic harm that knowingly can kill, to benefit claimants. Let us call this process ‘democide.’ It’s not for nothing that a UN committee is investigating this and about 35 other sorts of human rights abuses. Rick Burgess(of New Approach) and I use this term. It is not used by our group, Disabled People Against Cuts. John McArdle, a leader of another group, Black Triangle, might well agree. It is astonishing that democide is happening now, has been happening since at least 2011, and if not stopped will continue to happen. One speaks, most likely without hyperbole, of an attack on the disadvantaged.

  4. I have been through one medical obviously i knew it was just a farce and that i would fail because its not
    designed to protect your personal well being or your future health . Your doctor is the only person who can look at your records and imply what he thinks , unfortunately that is now irrelevant .
    A doctors opinion counts for nothing and people like Atos have just one thing in mind and we all know what that is , as for the DWP the law and government policy get them off the hook most of the time .
    I went on JSA but then found out (because i still got my sick notes) i could go on the sick for 13 weeks despite
    the outcome of my ESA medical so i did that and after that expired i went back on ESA . Maybe this is a way
    of getting round it all i don,t know as yet ? ( I have had a heart attack and have back problems aged 60)

  5. I think it’s highly questionable to make sweeping generalisations based on one case. Statistics clearly indicate providers across the board have significantly improved. Positive outcomes (awards) have never been higher

    • What is highly questionable is to have swept under the carpet so many suicides . But hey ho, outcomes have improved for the other ones

    • Susan there is a wealth of evidence, not simply one case, I can only conclude you are ignorant of the evidence or deliberately trolling this discussion.

  6. The DWP resolutely lie that claimant assessment is not punitive, that there are no sanction targets. Such lying, along with the blood on their hands should long ago have seen IDS in jail. A single person stealing from a shop appears more likely to be imprisoned than one who has the deaths of thousands on his shoulders. There appears not one shred of humanity with him, and an amazingly inept political system that fails to punish him and stop these draconian activities immediately. The UN are involved, but that will take a while.

  7. Well it takes someone devoid of a conscience to treat someone like that. .i could never be so cruel as to kill someone. .shame on them. .they’ve got so much blood on there hands there’s not enough soap to wash it of. .but what goes around comes around.

  8. This gov of corporate boot lickers are beyond contempt, they are a sub -human parasitic life form and should be erradicated with the same 21st century Nazi methods they are perpetrating against the people. I register my utter contempt and disgust, please inform GHQ save em the trouble of the treachery and people control that is their disgusting trade. Ray

  9. I don’t know if you remember the blog ‘Diary Of A Benefit Scrounger’? She, after years of campaigning against the WCA and insisting she was too sick to work took a job with h Maximus … All I can say is the money must be good. She said in this role she’d be able to change the process from the inside. So far all remains the same! And as it’s the government that needs to make the changes she never stood a hope in hell! All she has done is prove what the government has said all along … No matter how sick one is, that person can do some sort of work! When in fact so many of us are in reality too sick to sometimes get out of bed! I know that’s how it is for me. She did us no favours and now IDS insists that sick people must do something in the workforce, no matter how small cause he believes it will be good for us! I’m sure some of this belief stems from what she has said in the past about her work capabilities and then taking a lucrative job when it suits her! Like I say, she’s done us no favours and to top it off Maximus has made no effort to improve things for the sick and disabled … ‘I was only doing what I was told to by a higher authority’ didn’t wash in the Nuremberg trials, let’s hope some time in the not too distant future they (the government, IDS especially, Atos and now Maximus) get strung up for what they’ve all done to the sick and disabled … It’s a great pity though that the country doesn’t stand with us all like they did when Tax Credits was being threatened. But I seriously doubt it. Out of sight and out of mind is what we’re heading for and it’d suit most of Joe Public too, cause their lack of action speaks very loudly to me!

  10. sickening beyond belief and getting worse!

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