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


Dec 202011

DPAC has been passed an unedited transcript from Work and Pensions Committee in which Maria Miller appears to admit that the changeover from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is set for cuts of £160 million from disabled people. It’s claimed that the department must raise the cash cuts lost in the U-turn on removal of mobility allowance for those in residential institutions. In the full transcript participants also seem to be talking as though DLA to PIP is already passed in law which it isn’t.

Q194 Sheila Gilmore: Some of my colleagues may want to ask whether or not it is just a question of people filling in the form. There is quite a lot of dispute as to whether it is fair to say that is all that goes on here. As to the financial position, a lot of people were very pleased to see the removal of mobility allowance from people in residential homes, which is something people have campaigned on from the time it was proposed. That also had a savings implication because a reduction of some £160 million was in the financial estimates. Is your Department still expecting to find additional savings from the migration from DLA to PIP that now will not be found from removing mobility allowance from people in residential care?

Maria Miller: As you would expect me to say, the Department has very clear commitments to the Treasury in terms of the spending it is able to undertake in the spending review period. The answer to that question is, very firmly, that we will have to find the funding that was associated with the mobility component for people living in residential care, but we will not find it from within the Disability Living Allowance.

Q195 Sheila Gilmore: From within PIP?

Maria Miller: Yes.

DPAC are running a campaign on DLA as already people are losing this in increasing numbers see

DLA tell DPAC your story Campaign and Social model respomse to loss of DLA

See full unedited transcript of meeting of Work and Pensions Committee at link below

Proposal to replace disability living allowance with personal independence payment – uncorrected evidence

Organisation: House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee

Source: House of Commons – Uncorrected Commons Committee Evidence

Date: 18.12.11

The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee has published an uncorrected transcript from its evidence session on December 12 2011 on the proposal to replace disability living allowance with personal independence payment.



  • Maria Miller MP, minister for disabled people, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Dr James Bolton, deputy chief medical adviser, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Simon Dawson, deputy director of independent living and Office for Disability Issues, Department for Work and Pensions

18 December 2011




Dec 192011

DPAC are learning that a rising number of disabled people are losing their entitlement to DLA and are being refused DLA. This is before the coalitions promised cut of 20% of DLA cases and before the change from DLA to Personal Independence Payments (PIP). At the DPAC conference many suggested that DPAC used more personal stories in lobbying.

We are asking for your personal stories on DLA and on DLA reassessments.

DLA was originally set up to pay for the extra costs of being disabled in society of barriers for disabled people-these barriers still exist. DLA is a social model focused payment which originally recognised the extra costs of being disabled, although the test has always been based on the medical model.

The extra costs of disability come from the barriers that people face or the adaptations they might need because of their impairment or long term illness. For example  needing your own, or a form of accessible transport, extra costs of attending hospital appointments, needing aids to overcome barriers caused by the design of certain products, aids to get around, needing to spend more on shoes because of mobility, needing a special diet, needing someone to help you stay safe and so on.

Please write to your MPs with your stories and copy DPAC in to your emails

We are asking you to send:

Your personal stories, your experiences of being refused DLA and what the extra costs of disability, impairment, long term illness are for you

To find your MP see they work for you and also copy to DPAC mail@dpac.uk.net

Deadline: 12th January

MPs will be back in parliament on the 12th January and will discuss changes from DLA to PIP on 17th January

The stories that you copy to DPAC will be put together for DPAC lobbying and campaigns: on changes to DLA, on the welfare reform Bill and disability benefits overall. We will post updates on progress on the DPAC web www.dpac.uk.net

DPAC has a wide network but it is only by people spreading the word that we can grow stronger together and work to highlight what is happening to disabled people across the UK together.

 see: social model response to loss of DLA