Perhaps he was simply so "misguided" that he has no idea about the details of his government's own policy. Either possibility is unacceptable.
-Firstly he claimed that "The assessment was designed to take account of chronic and fluctuating conditions. It is not intended to be a snapshot but looks at what someone can do reliably, repeatedly and safely."
It was not, it does not and Professor Harrington is yet to even report on fluctuating conditions. A recent Work and Pensions Committee criticised how fluctuating conditions are currently assessed. I urge the Lord to check with ATOS exactly what definition of "reliably, repeatedly and safely" are at the present time.
-Secondly, he claimed "It takes account of the effects of pain and fatigue."
Nowhere, on either the ESA50 form or on the descriptors set to decide an award is a claimant asked about pain or fatigue. You can check here http://www.tameside.gov.uk/esa/wca It is one of the biggest complaints that claimants have. Most symptoms are discounted from the assessment and Lord Freud was simply not telling the truth.
-Thirdly he claimed "all available evidence, including that from GPs or specialists, is fully considered by the department's decision-makers."
Yet according to Professor Harrington, this has only been the case in 2% of cases. (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmworpen/1015/101508.htm Section 5, No.124) ( Whilst ministers assure us this will be changed, to say that is currently the case is untrue.
Finally, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson had bought to his attention an assessment centre in Croydon that was inaccessible to the disabled. His response was
"My Lords, I will follow up the Croydon situation. I was not aware of it, even though I was brought up in south Croydon."
In fact, according to ATOS themselves and Freedom of Information requests, there are 29 inaccessible disability assessment centres. http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2011/10/19/wheelchair-users-have-to-climb-a-flight-of-stairs-to-prove-they-are-disabled-enough-to-get-benefits-at-a-centre-in-croydon/
I would argue that Lord Freud SHOULD have been aware of this situation. It is farcical and entirely representative of the system sick and disabled people find themselves drowning in. Campaigners such as Black Triangle have been raising this issue for years. Perhaps if he ever bothered to listen to us, rather than dismissing us as irrelevant he might find he did learn something after all.
Lord Freud - You may have noticed that we are watching you. We report on every committee, read every report. You will have to do much, much better than this in your responses on sickness and disability.
Why would he need to clarify Sue, his only objective is to get this through the lords as quickly as possible without the interference of the disabled. You write some fantastic blogs Sue and im sure more and more people are becoming aware of the dreadfull issues we are facing. Its just a shame the big tabloids dont want to know more concerned about the impact HRH DUCHEY has on country. Keep up the good work.ReplyDelete
The phrase 'unfit for public life' springs to mind here. Does this apply to Lords? How can he be removed from any association with this bill?ReplyDelete
" Thirdly he claimed "all available evidence, including that from GPs or specialists, is fully considered by the department's decision-makers."ReplyDelete
Originally Lord Freud pushed for " independent " doctors , apparently NHS Doctors were too scared of being reported to the General Medical Council , in some instances ambulance chasing firms or just wanted to get rid of " nuisances " by signing them off .
This is from a very " colourful " ex City millionaire with no experience whatsoever of the benefits system ...que surprise with a reputation for pushing share issues for companies that " coincidentally " crashed .
IMO ATOS " Health Care " Professionals " " are only interested in apparent " inconsistencies " in NHS reports . From my experience the Company line is to push magical " cures " or the outdated 90's assumptive pseudo science " all in the mind " ......there has been allegations of women being asked if their children have been " cured " of Downs Syndrome and a seriously arithetic man on walking sticks being told it " was all in the mind "
This apparently was in a trial area , 80% of claimants were winning appeals against these ATOS Origin " assessments " with advocacy . The DWP allegedly said the target was to fail 20 % .
IMO DWP Decision Makers do not consider all available evidence , they regard the ATOS " Doctors " as God and are basically hand held through the process by ATOS Origin .
There has been some gimmicky proclaiments from Professor Harrington about going round Job Centre + Offices to have words with these Decision Makers . In actuality he'd have trouble finding them on a whistle stop tour of dole offices as they'd been hidden away in some Office Tower Block away from the High Street .
My experience of ATOS Origin as a Occupational Health Service is that they work on the basis that you've a " good doctor " , " we believe you are swinging the lead and we'll trip you up , come hell or high water and it doesn't how vague , opaque , obscure or contradictory the reasoning is " ....they made the underhand & dishonest machinations of the employer look paternal .
Shall I be popping Ms Miller a letter about this, too? ;)ReplyDelete
Full list with prices so you can see where you’re TAX and the sick and disability benefit cuts money is actually diverted and spent in your name.
Lord Freud should be called Lord Fraud !ReplyDelete
Each time you see rubble turned into rubble you’ll be able to work out how long you would have been able to survive on that lost money!ReplyDelete
Wonderful piece of analysis Sue and well written, precise and accurate. I will post this for all 230,00 amputee's and limb impaired individuals in the UK on FaceBook and website www.limbcare.orgReplyDelete
And thank you. I really enjoy your musing and information.
So the Government are now resorting to outright lies in relation to WCA/ESA. A more grotesque distortion of the reality by Lord Freud could hardly be imagined. It is precisely the assessment's failure to consider fluctuating and chronic illness, pain and fatigue, and the ignoring of medical opinion that is causing all the problems.ReplyDelete
These people have no shame whatsoever; they will lie and cheat and scheme to mislead over these benefits. Lord Feud said once that he'd 'always been a Tory'. Well Bevan had a description of Tories that included the words 'lower than vermin'.
Lord Freud 3 October 2011ReplyDelete
"all available evidence, including that from GPs or specialists, is fully considered by the department's decision-makers."
Chris Grayling 15 July 2011
The Minister was explicit in saying that GPs’ opinions were not in his view wholly objective. The level of evidence would in most cases need to be a specialist consultant.
I wonder if anyone is going to reply to your excellent posts. Every day I get more and more down and feel more and more there is no points as it's just shouting in the wind. I need people like you to help me fight and to spend the time finding the REAL facts.ReplyDelete
lord freud needs to be watched as what he will achieve is along with IDS cause a lot of people to commit suicide and Anne begg mp needs to keep a careful watch on him or anyone else that is out to harm or kill the sick or disabled by whatever means and there are many and the sick and disabled wont all have voiceReplyDelete
The deaths that have been reported so far may only be a few but there are many many more that go unreported as the sick or disabled person lives alone so therefore there is no inquest as these deaths are only being seen by the coroners
The BBC need to investigate the many suicide deaths of the sick and disabled by the constant Harrisment of the sick and disabled
The constant daily onslaught by the government by it's very nature will on it's own get the sick and disabled to take their own life and any Psychiatrists or Psychologists will tell you that
I myself am physically ill but over the past years i have become mentally ill by my treatment by the DWP and there must be many more like me afraid to go out with death around the corner the constant bombardment of letters so many that the police and health service have had to step in to get some sort of order in my household
Thanks lord freud your doing a grand job but i would rather you came to my house and kill me like a man
Tony Blair is now a special advisor to Cameron, Hutton as we now has moved to the Tories with his Pension plan, Frank Field is welfare advice.ReplyDelete
Purnell has offered to come over the Tories if they need help with welfare reforms.
SO stuffed is about where I see it, lucky my days on benefits will shortly come to an end, I'm taking my early retirement.
And those that think Labour are great they sacked Nye Bevan twice.....
@Robert there won’t be any pension or retirement if things keep going this way.ReplyDelete
@Robert good luck Robert i still have ten years to go to legal retirement but i wont make it that's for sureReplyDelete
The only place I'll end up in either on the bbc 10 o'clock news or in Switzerland
Good post, Sue, now we just need to make sure enough Lords know about this to make sure he is forced to clarify. I wonder if we shouldn't get FullFact involved as they've been doing good work in this area.ReplyDelete
My pension is private, I had to pay for it myself being self employed, I only got IB due to paying my full national insurance stamp..ReplyDelete
Having been reading the transcripts of these meetings, does it seem to anyone else that virtually no amendments are actually passing?ReplyDelete
How bizarre to have appointed a banker; a deal maker, to do the job in the first place.ReplyDelete
He worked on the Channel Tunnel deal; and we know that turned into a nightmare. No wonder he left banking!!!
He gave welfare reform 3 weeks' study then turned in his report...
What would happen if they appointed a sociologist to reform the banking system; I'll leave you to guess!!
Very small disagreement here Sue, para 1 'mobilisation' does refer to abilities possible without "...significant discomfort or exhaustion...". The phrase also pops up in para 2 'sitting and standing'.ReplyDelete
I only raise this because Lord Fraud will find the accusation that NO account is taken of pain or fatigue by pointing to those two sub paras. Pain and fatigue vs discomfort and exhaustion, is there much of a difference?
He'll of course ignore the lack of mention of this in the rest of the test but non expert commentators won't know that and assume he's right. If we're to win the war we must be careful not to give them battles they can win, however minor.
That said, his claim that "...the assessment was designed to take account of chronic and fluctuating conditions...is not intended to be a snapshot but looks at what someone can do reliably, repeatedly and safely" is clearly nonsense and could accurately be described as a whopping great fib (do stop me if I get too technical).
As you know, the current test takes no account of such matters and, on paper, neither did its predecessors the All Work Test/Personal Capability Assessment. The assessment of such matters has always been left to caselaw which inevitably means built in inconsistency.
In fact, one of the earliest challenges to the interpretation of the AWT/PCA resulted in a rejection of the argument that frequency of one's ability to carry out specified tasks should be considered in a work related context, instead finding that a test of 'reasonable regularity' should be applied instead. So a test for ability to work is not required to take into account the, erm, ability to do things at work. Great huh?
My own view is that under the wording of the current test a similar approach would be applied and the old caselaw would still be applicable. So it still takes no account of the real world of work and Prof Harrington seems in no hurry to tackle that.
Mason Dixon - I wondered this too. Apparently, they are "probing" amendments designed to allow a tag on which to hang debate and to put forward and debate objections.ReplyDelete
If they vote now and it fails, they cannot vote again, so they withdraw the amendments ready for the Report stage, where they can vote.
Allnottingham...... I relied on someone else's assurance that there was no mention of pain or fatigue on the ESA50 - hate it when that happens. I should have known that somehow, they would have covered themselves, somewhere.
normally in life when in business you put forward the right person who is the most effective in getting the job done. That person is critical as getting it wrong can and does have serious complications i know this from personal experience.ReplyDelete
The person best suited for the job is always the person with the most experience like in the welfare reform bill for example the best person for the job would be someone like myself who has had a 55 year background in being around people who have either been sick or disabled i have always lived in among sick and disabled people i know what they can and cant do and being long term ill myself have a very deep insight in to their needs which is instinctive which means i can talk about many disabilities and ill health without referring to any notes i am also a very kind person who putt's others before himself
That's the sort of person that is best suited for the welfare reform bill. What have we got instead ? well we have lord Freud now he i do know well and he is not the person for this role he has no experience whatsoever of putting others before himself he is a fit man who has never nor would never even talk to a disabled person he is the complete opposite of myself
When i worked at the bank of england the only role that was suitable for me back in the seventies was with the governor as his personal servant full stop and to have been placed in any other part of the building would have been madness
So what i would say to lord Freud is stop playing the fool because every time you speak you are confirming that you are fool and old one at that also i may add is that you come across as a very deceptive person with evil intentions your one of the last people in the UK that i would choose to look after the sick as that is your primary role and that's to make sure that we the sick and disabled can trust you with our lives a most precious role in life is what you are undertaking what could be more Nobel then that you have without doubt the finest Job in the UK and that is putting the needs of the sick and disabled first the same as Mother Teresa who i met back in the eighties on a bank trip a truly remarkable woman.
So lord Freud you have a lot of catching up to do and by all means if i can help you out then just ask but please don't mix words as looking after the sick and disabled is very straight forward and not like you and the government are painting it
Hi Sue, may have misunderstood your point. The ESA50 form itself doesn't mention anything like pain or fatigue, it just asks what you can do before you 'need to stop'.ReplyDelete
Prob with that is that a person may interpret that to mean beyond 'significant discomfort' and oversell their ability to walk.
The actual regulations for the test do mention 'significant discomfort and exhaustion'
It's not the only time the questionnaire fails to reflect the gradations of the actual test, it occurs throughout.
Simplification or just plain misleading? You decide...
#Allnotting says "My own view is that under the wording of the current test a similar approach would be applied and the old caselaw would still be applicable...."ReplyDelete
I was under the impression that passage of this Bill negates all previous case law. I have no knowledge of the law and so would appreciate it if anyone could clarify.
i hope your clarifying lord Freud as my daughter has just phoned me to say that her best friend from university her mum has just committed suicide well be adding that to the list when i get some further detailsReplyDelete
I'm very sorry to hear that, fourbanks. I'm sure your daughter will be a comfort to her friend at this terrible time.ReplyDelete
[QUOTE]OtherJan has left a new comment on the post "Lord Freud - Can You Clarify?":ReplyDelete
I'm very sorry to hear that, fourbanks. I'm sure your daughter will be a comfort to her friend at this terrible time.[/QUOTE]
Thanks Jan i will let everyone know the outcome as and when i get any further details to hand but my gut instinct on knowing where she lived it was DWP / BBC programming related
I am totally disgusted at the way the whole of the benefit changes are being (rather badly)handled. I am going through sheer hell at the moment, whilst suffering from a serious condition and all of these damaging, cruel and unnecessary reforms are having a major impact on my health and well being. Many people who have illnesses and disabilities are not fit to work and yet the majority are being told they can. No one at the DWP cares. I am horrified.ReplyDelete
"I was under the impression that passage of this Bill negates all previous case law. I have no knowledge of the law and so would appreciate it if anyone could clarify."ReplyDelete
It will do where the caselaw was about the interpretation of the individual descriptors because those have obviously changed.
But where an argument turns on how 'often' you can or can't do the tasks specified, because we are still in the same position as we have been since 1995 i.e. it is not expressly defined, I think we are in the same boat and previous caselaw on 'reasonable regularity' would still apply.
I certainly wouldn't feel very confident arguing that, because it is a new test, descriptors should now be considered in a purely work context rather than 'reasonable regularity' as was held before. But if someone does succeed in doing so I'd love to hear about it.
[QUOTE]Trish Campbell has left a new comment on the post "Lord Freud - Can You Clarify?":ReplyDelete
I am totally disgusted at the way the whole of the benefit changes are being (rather badly)handled. I am going through sheer hell at the moment, whilst suffering from a serious condition and all of these damaging, cruel and unnecessary reforms are having a major impact on my health and well being. Many people who have illnesses and disabilities are not fit to work and yet the majority are being told they can. No one at the DWP cares. I am horrified.[/QUOTE]
were all in the same boat Trish the likes of lord Freud are causing misery for thousands of innocent people
You could say we all in this together.ReplyDelete
They are all lying about the nature of the reforms and the purpose of the reforms. They will continue to lie. Every objection that is put forward will be lied about, every challenge that is made about their lies will be avoided and sidestepped. Whatever anyone says by way of reasoned argument and evidence to counter their lies will be ignored. They are now trying to wriggle out of increasing existing benefits in line with the rise in inflation, while at the same time working hard to justify cutting taxes for the super rich. We have passed through a golden age of welfare provision but the ruling elite are about to pull us back to 'Victorian values'. How long before some thinktank suggests workhouses?ReplyDelete
I had my medical recently, never expected to pass, recieved 12 points and an Atos make belief report about me. States on the letter they didn't contact my GP or use my medical evidence when failing me, these decision makers as well as atos are scum.ReplyDelete