Friday, 9 January 2015

New Job

"I've agonised about how to write this post, but as with everything, honest and from the heart is always best. 

Those of you who love and trust me I hope, will be pleased. 

Those who doubt my intentions and goals and those with different goals to mine will almost certainly be critical, and, in a sense, I understand that response. If I didn't know me I might  be sceptical too.

I've devoted the last 6 years of my life to doing anything and everything I could to improve WCAs (Work Capability Assessments for ESA, Employment and Support Allowance)
I've negotiated with people I did and didn't want to, I've worked with any group or individual with a genuine concern for those experiencing the assessments. I've worked with media and politicians of all parties. My only concern has ever been for the people - like myself and some of you - going through the process of assessment. 

My own work assessment for sickness benefits (you can read about it here : http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/how-sick-is-sick-enough.html was a ludicrous and unpleasant process from start to finish. The initial letter was threatening and scary, and the centre was totally inaccessible in the middle of a red no-stop route. The waiting room carpet was stained and smelled of urine. When I did get asked to go through, after a lengthy and nervous wait, it was into a small empty room, with a camera, grills on the windows and just a table with two chairs facing one another in an interrogational confrontation. 

Though my application was successful, the letter to confirm my "success" - being written off to a lifetime of £108 per week - was almost unintelligible even to my admittedly illness addled, but nonetheless, degree-educated brain. 

I didn't hear a thing from anyone throughout the process, which in total took me about 8 weeks - I was lucky, average waits have been 26 weeks. Half a year. The letter didn't even tell me how long the award was for. 

None of this is acceptable, none of it will ever tell us much about the capability of the person being assessed. With a toxic reputation amongst those who must claim it, those who administer it and those who report on it, none of the many Harrington/Litchfield recommendations appear to have led to the kind of change necessary for a fair and valid test. 

It is not inherently a good thing for Support Group numbers to be high. If some of those people who qualify would actually rather like to work, but are terrified of an intimidating and farcical system of support that actually leads to a life of fear of change. Being terrified of an assessment letter or experiencing actual anxiety and distress every time a brown envelope from the DWP falls through the door is never going to lead people to engage. I know, I wouldn't have dreamt of it. I was terrified of the brown envelopes myself and I hoped a sensible system could be in place before I ever had to go near another ESA assessment. However, it's a brave company that attempts to make reasonable adjustments for my kind of impairment and any that does will face many new challenges.

We are coming up to an election period. There will be a hiatus and a time to breathe and take stock. There is a new provider, MAXIMUS and the new contract to provide WCAs as well as a wider range of disability benefit assessments.  It is considerably more costly than the old Atos contract. Simply put, there will be more money, and they always say "follow the money". I'm not overly concerned with the stuff for myself, but it can be the difference between success and failure in the "real world".

If there was ever a time to get significant and valuable changes to what now seems universally accepted to be a system that is in serious need of better delivery, it is now. And delivery does matter. It does matter that people are treated with respect, it does matter that people with already often difficult and challenging regimes are not put through any more stress or anxiety than they need to be.

Is it enough to achieve procedural change? Many think not and both Harrington and Litchfield have asked that change comes more quickly and thoroughly. Many are abolitionists - - the latest Work and Pensions Committee report recommends fundamental root and branch reform of the whole process and Litchfield seems to believe that further change will inevitably come too. 

But it does matter that there are accessible formats in order that everyone can   more readily and easily understand the various requirements for support – including documents, forms and letters. It does matter that the assessments feel collaborative, rather than intimidating and that people get a chance to engage properly in the process. It matters that people who want to work, who can work and need support to do so, are assessed in a way that such support can materialise, whatever the impairment. But that signposting and joined up approach simply doesn't exist at present. The two are still entirely separate.

And so to the point. From today, I will be responsible for making sure that as many of those improvements are made during this period of change and pause as possible. MAXIMUS have asked me to be their Head of Customer Experience, and it seems, have given me fairly free reign to devise a strategy to bring about a wide range of improvements to the service from a customer perspective.
The job covers all aspects of customer experience and the easiest thing I can do is copy the job description below.  I hope anyone I've already lost to explosions of horror might at least take a look at it and imagine me doing the job. It is not insignificant in scope. 

Of course there are considerable benefits to both myself and MAXIMUS in this development. I will be giving the same 300% passion and commitment to them that I have been giving to campaigning. I won't be writing about them, I'll be working with them. 

Crucially, it's a campaigner's job  to change things, not just to make a lot of noise. That noise is supposed to lead society, stakeholders and commentators to the point where real change can be achieved. 

In the last 6 years, I never felt that was the case, but at this moment in time, finding myself in this exceptionally unexpected situation, I simply believe that I can do more good now, here, by doing this, than I can do with all of my other interests. 

Whilst I have to make an enormous - almost cosmic - mindset shift to take this direction, MAXIMUS also have to bring me into their trust and with very little to go on, accept that I will attempt to do the job as skilfully and imaginatively as I can. My past opinions have hardly been filtered. Everyone knows that I'm obsessive about changing this, Giving me a job to keep me quiet would be to not know me at all. 

I've had just 3 weeks to think about all of this and come to terms with it. I've already done my worrying and wondering and weighing up. I've already had to decide to change absolutely every last thing about my life and take this step. My husband will give up work - he's already resigned to support me and care for us all, amazing man. I will be working full time, I will lose almost every bit of support I currently get from the social system, I will face criticism, I might hurt people who are disappointed. These are all huge considerations.

But I have to try to finish what I started. MAXIMUS have the contract. Things are being re-thought now. The election period is coming now. The job was available now. 

Someone is going to do it. I can do it, with all of my knowledge and personal experience of what is wrong with the system at the moment and a rich research background to draw on from the Spartacus Network reports and all of the other amazing research done by DPOs, charities, individuals, groups and academics over the last few years. 

If everything continues as before, if change is achingly slow and the reputation of ESA remains as toxic as it ever was, then by me taking on this job, it won't be because no-one cared. It won't be because no-one knew what needed to be done. I believe that I know what to do and there's no doubt that I care. Harrington and Litchfield have recommended what to do, the Work and Pensions Committee have recommended what to do. My own Spartacus Network and many others have recommended what to do. 

Now it just needs to be done. Positive change will take time, but I believe I can help effect that change.  Whatever becomes of ESA and WCAs and whatever party wins power and however public opinion waxes and wanes, whatever assessment may or may not exist now and in the future, it has to be as good as it can be. 

Whoever administers the contract - and now it will be MAXIMUS - if they can make it caring, dignified and clear to understand, whilst making it very clear that decisions are ultimately not taken by them, but by the DWP, then there is no reason for this to be a toxic contract. Clearly, I hope it won't be. I hope I can make a difference, and I'm confident that if I can't, then no-one could have. 

My life will change completely, as will the lives of my family. Yet again, they will throw every last card up into the air and support me to do what I need to do. And I do need to at least try to do it. I need to see if WCAs can become something people don't dread or disdain. But the thing that won't change is my commitment to trying to get it right. That will never change whoever I work for and whatever I do."


Job Description 

JOB DESCRIPTION
Job Title:                   Head of Customer Experience
Reporting to:            Service Management and Improvement Director

Purpose of the role

Reporting to the Service Management and Improvement Director, the Head of Customer Experience will continuously appraise the various aspects of our service to deliver and focus improvements from the perspective of the customer going through the experience.

Key Accountabilities

Define and communicate the new Customer Experience vision by fully engaging with internal colleagues as well external parties including the Customer Reference Group, and other interested stakeholders.
Outline “the journey” to achieve the customer experience vision including key landmarks and measures of success.
Undertake research and analysis activities to build a first-hand understanding of the current customer experience as seen through the claimants’ eyes, across all touch points.  Establish an improvement cycle by formalising regular inputs from stakeholders, claimant complaints received, quality assurance findings, and other sources.
In collaboration with the leadership team, managers, IT and other relevant departments identify potential service improvements that would enhance the experience of customers. This will require the Head of Customer Experience to work collaboratively with all business leads and stakeholders and contribute to the development of business cases for improvements.
Play an ambassadorial role in developing a stronger “customer experience” mind-set and culture within the business, ensuring that all employees are absolutely consistent in their understanding of what their contribution is to the customer experience.
Report on the activities conducted, summary of findings and recommendations made on a monthly basis.
Continue to develop practices and build a collaborative network of internal and external stakeholders with the goal of establishing a strong reputation for customer focus and improvement.

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Essential Experience
  • Able to demonstrate experience in a leadership role with an established relevant network in the sector and a reputation for delivering exceptional “customer experience.”
  • Strategic planning & delivery leadership.
  • Experience of operational management
  • Project leadership on a multi-site, multi-stakeholder level
Competencies
  • Creativity to innovate
  • Analytical, research orientated
  • Commercial acumen – justifying investment
  • Customer engagement/focus
  • Project management – delivery focussed
  • Change orientated
  • Influencing skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication & presentation skills
  • Decisive leadership
  • Inspirational
  • Results orientated

555 comments:

  1. All i would hope is that - people with invisible illnesses like Multiple Sclerosis who 'you look fine' is so often said - Even tho one day/hour/minute changes everythign - I would hope that something can be put in place that they understand how fatigue is, and how an illness like mine - Takes over your whole existence - I do get a few days of grace in between but I can never know when this moment of light may be or how long a moment lasts.

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    1. I REALLY HOPE YOU ENJY YOUR PIECES OF SILVER ONLY WORD SPRINGS TO MIND IS JUDAS !!!!

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    2. The only truth is food. Do what you gotta do to eat and keep warm. The war for the herb is almost won.

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  2. Wow, what a curve ball! Hope for your sake and all those facing assessments that you can get Maximus to transform government policy into something more humane than the current reign of terror.

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  3. Wow! You're brave, Sue. And you're right. All the dogma, all the shouting and all the protest in the world isn't going to make things happen, even though it may influence outcomes to some extent. In fact it has, because you have been hired! You're about to be bullied, cajoled, pressured, criticised - into toeing a corporate line. But as you so rightly say, the job had to go to someone, and I can't think of anyone better equipped to stamp her mark on it and stand up against the odds for justice. My hearty congratulations!

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  4. Sue, I'm sure you will continue to bring your passion, your understanding and your total committment to whatever you do. As you say, someone will be doing this work, and it is far better that it is you than someone without your knowledge and understanding. I am supporting my wife through the WCA process and feel better knowing that you will be on the inside influencing how the WCA develops and changes.

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  5. I'm so happy for you, Sue. The mainstream are listening to you, and that has always been the whole point of my campaigning.

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  6. Hopefully, Sue, come May there'll be a different party in power because as long as IDS heads the DWP, nothing will ever change for the better. He is the main problem, and how he remains in office given his staggering incompetence, not to mention his apparent MH problems (what sane person finds the infliction of so much death and misery hilarious?), will ever be a mystery.

    Best of luck, Sue, and I hope it works out the way you want it to.

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  7. the article give me good idea...thanks...
    find me on Surat Lamaran Pekerjaan

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  8. Go for it, girl. Well done. The person spec misses out one thing - persistence. Everything you suggest is going to measured against profitability, and there will be a thousand ways in which they will be able to delay, redefine and obfuscate. Perhaps they've underestimated how persistent you can be.

    And give your husband a handshake from me, as one husband / carer to another.

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  9. Well done, and all the best for your new role! I'm sure you'll be wonderful.

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  10. Wow! Just don't overdo it - the last thing you need is to wear yourself out and that won't do anyone any good.

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  11. A staggering about face. I see you're already using their language about there being 'too many in the Support Group' who would 'like to work'.

    Litchfield effectively said the WCA was 'unfit for purpose' and could not be improved. The only things that should happen to it is it should be confined to the dustbin of history, along with the poverty pimps and apologists and people who implement it.

    I've never felt so sickened by a blog post.

    I'll leave it at that out of respect for the work you've done in the past.

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  12. I believe you can do more good on the inside,than on the outside.Give it a go,no harm in trying .

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  13. The company you now work for:

    The private provider which not only denies benefits but also treatment » DPAC -

    http://linkis.com/dpac.uk.net/2014/09/DcTq4

    Meet MAXIMUS (the new ATOS) and its list of scandals in the US

    http://tompride.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/meet-maximus-the-new-atos-but-even-worse/

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    1. Sadly, that was my first thought on reading this post. How anyone with decent morals & ethical standards could agree to work for this company. They are, in many ways, no better than Unum & Atos. And that's really saying something.

      For Sue's, sake, I hope she is able to influence things within the company. Key question though is who do MAXIMUS consider to be their customer? The person with disability or illness that they are assessing? Or the Government Department that is paying them?

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  14. Can't imagine what the salary will be for joining the enemy.

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    1. Well there will be plenty of money to pay it once Osborne's benefit cuts are implemented.

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  15. None of us could have foreseen this Sue! But I really do believe you are the best person for this job. You have the charisma, the tenacity and the insight to really make a difference. The WCA and ESA will still be rotten at the core but least if the procedural side is improved the blame will lie more squarely with IDS and the DWP for the misery they cause.
    I really admire you and your family's bravery for staking everything on this role and I pray the Crohn's will be kind to you.

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    1. Really naïve, you have been screwed over

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  16. Hello Sue.

    I'm finding this quite difficult to understand, to be honest.

    Obviously, it would be wrong to discourage you from taking a job with pay which would probably make a huge difference for you and your family - so congratulations are in order for that, certainly.

    But - I feel a bit uneasy about this. It is my view that no amount of "improving the customer journey" (or whatever management-speak is the order of the day) will solve the real problem - ie. it's not how the WCA is delivered that's the problem, it's the WCA itself.

    I do not know if your contract involves a gagging clause, but it seems to me that it will be near impossible to continue to agitate for change in DWP policy while working for one of its contractors.
    The head of medical services at Maximus is the same guy who was in the same job at Atos, and previously Unum; the staff delivering the same WCAs are the same; the centres are the same; it's all the same.
    The only real difference is that Maximus are getting about £100 Million more than Atos did for the same work - plus Atos have a nice new £10 Million contract to supply the IT to Maximus because they still own or lease the Unum LIMA software.
    Maximus does not, as other posters have pointed out, have a particularly good reputation elsewhere.

    However good at this job you will be, and however much you improve delivery of the WCA, you will not be in a position to deal with the fundamental iniquities inherent in the assessments, the lack of experience of the HCPs doing the assessments, the targets set for denying illness and disability, and the stupidity of DWP decision makers.

    You know that I have written and campaigned, as have many others (you especially), for the abolition of the WCA.
    You have been a very powerful voice for me and others like me on this and on the introduction of PIP, and I'm grateful for that.
    I and others do not have the access to the media that you have - and I am sorry to say that I can't help feeling that this new job means we have lost a voice which speaks for us in a media that cares so little about us and what we have to deal with on a daily basis.

    I do not think this will be a popular view here, which I am sorry for; but I am not comfortable with your view that there are many people in the Support Group who "want to work". I really doubt that, frankly.

    I wish you well, Sue. I hope this is a good move for you and your family.
    I hope your health doesn't suffer.

    As to whether you can really effect change, or are forced to become a mouthpiece for a rogue company which is implementing a disgusting policy, only time will tell.

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    1. It's not difficult to understand at all, she is motivated by money, even when working for the enemy. She did attack Simon Stevens for working for Atos didn't she?

      You idiots even paid for her laptops, I'd suggest asking for your donations back because she screwed you all over and will do the same in her new £60k job

      Delete
    2. Ephemerid hit the nail firmly on the head. This appears to me to be a very naive decision.

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    3. Thank you, Jim.

      One of the biggest issues I have with many people who campaign is the same issue I have with Labour's shadow DWP ministers - the conflation of disability with illness.

      I am debilitated by chronic and serious illness, and you could argue that I am thus disabled, in that I am not as able as I used to be.
      But - ESA is not about disability, supposedly; it's about illness and the financial support ill people need while they recover or adjust to what may not be a very long life. Some of those people may be capable of work, some of them may desperately want to work but be unable to do so - but the WCA is not designed to determine any of that.
      It is designed to elicit any tiny bit of capability which is used as evidence that what the claimants and their doctors say regarding fitness to work is untrue. It's based on a disability denial insurance algorithm,

      It may well be the case that Sue can make "the journey" a more comfortable one; it may be that she will be able to address complaints better - but she can't render a vicious policy better just by providing "customer care".
      She knows how harrowing a WCA can be - but it's not the delivery of the WCA that is the root of the problem - it's the WCA itself, the forms, the decision-making, the complete and utter uselessness of ESA as a benefit for sick people.

      I am not impressed with the people who are calling Sue names - I truly have no idea what I would do if I'd been through what she's been through and were offered a job that would make a huge difference to my family.
      But I am also not very impressed with Sue's justification either. Maximus might think they have gained credibility by hiring her; DWP and IDS might be having a quiet chuckle at the thought of a doughty campaigner against the WCA joining the ranks of the ex-Atos gang who have always delivered it - who knows?

      But any credibility she might have had with the media or politicians may well suffer for this - and I can honestly say I wouldn't blame them for not taking her seriously as long as she is associated with this rather nasty company.

      I like and respect Sue. Her battles with her health have a lot of resonance with many of us - and I have appreciated her voice in our media and I am grateful for her work so far.

      But this? I don't know. I really don't.

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    4. "I am not impressed with the people who are calling Sue names"

      I think the replies have been remarkably restrained under the circumstances!

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    5. I have just deleted my subscription & I don't want to say more.

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    6. Well, rednorth, I agree. Remarkably restrained.

      I also said I'm not impressed with Sue's justification, either, to be fair. And I know you're fair!

      I also wonder how, given how very ill she has been and recently, she is now fit for a full-time job.

      In fact, the more I think about this, the angrier I get.

      :-((

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    7. Quite. I know people in WRAG and even ppl who have been found 'fit for work' who would be in no condition to accept a job like this even if it were offered. I confess to being more than a little confused by today's events.

      What's certain is that the next time any campaigner is debating the WCA, Sue's move from Support Group to full time work will be used to vindicate the process and the Government. Superficially, it appears to sustain the underpinning ethos of the WCA, that everyone can work given the opportunity.

      An ethos I resolutely reject.

      Delete
    8. Very well said Rednorth. Sue has shafted her supporters, however understandable considering the amount of money she was offered. The point about someone in the Support Group being able to move to a full time job and how that would be seen to vindicate the government is especially pertinent.

      Delete
  17. Congratulations Sue. This is great news.

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  18. Head of Customer Experience: a customer is someone who can choose whether to buy or not. In this case there is no choice. You have earned the trust and respect of those who need the help of this system but the company you are joining comes with the reputation outlined in http://tompride.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/meet-maximus-the-new-atos-but-even-worse/ as anonymous points out; I hope the terms of your employment will allow you to continue to say it as it is. I wonder how much one campaigner can affect a company that size and with those credentials.

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  19. Congratulations Sue. I will miss your blog but keeping in mind the bigger picture, I hope that your tenacity and energy will bring us great change. Good luck to you and your family in this new adventure

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  20. Wasn't this company also removed from the USA same as atos was.

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  21. The word 'quisling' comes to mind, 'hypocrite' is another one, but as you will be drawing a large salary you won't give a shit what anyone thinks

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    1. she has always been an a tooser,lol, hypocrite bigheaded old moo

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  22. good luck Sue, do what you are good at and ignore the bitter comments. ultimately you have to do what you have to do for yourself but you can help so many others.

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  23. Can people who feel betrayed and donated money for the laptop that you used to screw them over expect their donations back now that you have your nose in the trough?

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  24. I am not going to criticise you for what is a personal decision although I think that you are being naive in the extreme if you think that this job will benefit any of your new "customers". I hope to be proven wrong but I very much doubt that I will.

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  25. Volte-face.... sad :(

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  26. Self preservation comes to mind, 'White Dee' of Channel 4 Benefits Street was exactly the same, all for the people one minute, then she was discovered and found fame, now she is raking in the filthy lucre she couldn't care less, perhaps Sue may even join the tories policy unit with White Dee.

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  27. I am one of those who love and trusted you, I am stunned. I've followed your blog for many years. Every post was a must read. You opened the door to a whole new world and introduced me to people who like me, were afraid and alone. You encouraged me to join them and fight back. Together we were strong. Your compassion and your courage, not only to stand up to the people with power, but so too in your personal battle to fight your illness was nothing short of inspirational. Reading this post made me shake from head to foot. I felt faint and sick. Shock and disbelief. I thought I'd come back to it to see if it got any better on a second reading. It didn't. Happy of course, for you and your family in that you will be financially stable and you can reach the potential of your ambitions. Gutted for the loss of a respected and much loved campaigner.

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    1. My heart goes out to all those who are stunned and sickened by this news

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    2. she can use all her knowledge of peoples experiences to make a provider do their job properly.

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    3. what colour is the sky in the world you live Gary?

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    4. Gary - the provider will do what they are told to do.

      Maximus is the employee of DWP.

      DWP is a department out of control, headed by an ideological ****wit. He has two aims in life - his quasi-religious mission to rid he poor of their worklessness, and his aim to please his betters by saving money by fair means or foul.

      Maximus will do as they're told. That's what they're paid for. If IDS decides that a target will be imposed on FFW decisions, Maximus will implement it.
      If their new Customer Experience lady makes it all a bit more comfortable and pleasant as the claimants get processed, it will not make any difference to what is fundamentally wrong with ESA and the WCA.

      Maximus can do their job "properly" as much as they like - and if Sue can force them to do so, fine - but it doesn't alter the fact that the delivery of the WCA is NOT the issue, the issue is the entire premise of the test.

      Whatever the rights, wrongs, justifications, support, anger, etc. on the subject of Sue and her new job, there is no escaping the fact that she will be working for a government contractor which is being paid very handsomely indeed to deny benefits to people who need them.

      President Lyndon Johnson once said "It's better to be inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in" and perhaps some might feel that is enough justification for someone like Sue to work for Maximus - but the truth is that she will not be able to influence what the government expects her employer to do, and whatever credibility Maximus might gain (and by association, DWP) by having Sue on the inside, Sue will lose by being there.

      That's my view, anyway.

      Delete
  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Sue will be dealing with complaints and ensuring they are properly looked into, would be a better way of putting it.

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    2. Like hell, she will be more interested in her money, has anyone asked if she will be entitled to 'expenses'?

      Brought and owner by Maximus

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    3. How anyone can say that Sue will be dealing with complaints and ensuring people are looked after properly, must be as deluded as her!
      Do you think she is going to be speaking and seeing those of us who are in the SG? She'll be stuck in an office with a whiteboard, numerous tasks until she finally works out that she is actually no-one in Maximus, and that nothing she says and does will make an 'apporth of difference.
      God help us all if this blog, and all her other blogs, pages, tweets etc are left up and Maximus can go through the names of the people.
      I would love to go back to work but have accepted that I never will as I am too disabled and sick to do so. I just want to get on with my life and try to rest when the pain lets me. I live a very frugal life due to the way we are being "looked after" by the system - now I fear that my name could come up when Maximus find all the names of the people who have supported Sue all these years.
      I just know that when everything goes wrong that Sue never asks for help from any of us - we've been played as fools, just like Sue has with this new "job".

      Delete
  29. "money doesn’t talk, it swears" (Bob Dylan)

    http://www.bobdylan.com/us/songs/its-alright-ma-im-only-bleeding

    John McArthur

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  30. You've joined the enemy, now. Enjoy your retirement from activism. You sold your soul and good name for a pot of gold. What were you thinking? God only knows.

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  31. Again Sue, how many times did you criticise Simon Stevens for working for Atos? Nice to be proved right about you BTW

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    1. Simon Stevens regularly referred to disability campaigners and claimants as The Workshy movement. He had no interest in any change to the system. There is a huge difference between having a go at changing things from the inside and buying into the whole 'scrounger narrative, which is what Simon did.

      Delete
    2. "Simon Stevens regularly referred to disability campaigners and claimants as The Workshy movement"

      And Simon has been proven right by Sue's actions, a woman who was in the ESA Support Group and was meant to be too ill to work!

      Delete
    3. I don't think that Simon has been proved right at all unless you're suggesting that the WCA is an accurate assessment process. We've no idea what adjustments have been negotiated, we've no idea what the hours will be, we've no idea if assistance will be available to her, we have no idea what her health is like at the moment.
      And Simon wasn't accusing sue, he was accusing all of us.

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    4. I bet IDS et al is busting a gut laughing at you

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  32. Hmm time will tell, Sorry but I do have my reservations as to your motivations in accepting this job but lie I say time will tell if this is a case of one of us on the inside or just another money grabbing individual

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  33. "Someone is going to do it. I can do it,"
    This reads like a version of of the "If I don't do it, somebody else will.", i.e rationalizing the unethical.

    Didn't Stephen Duckworth use it when he got his job with Capita?
    "Tens of thousands of sick and disabled patients face YEAR-long wait for cash help"
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tens-thousands-sick-disabled-patients-3958136

    John McArthur

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  34. I do hope it really goes well. I hope that people don't blame everything Maximus does on you. I say this because of some of the abuse @JamesTitcombe has faced since joining CQC, a similar change to you. All the best.

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  35. totally disgusted with this woman,lets hope she dosent use the personal info given freely by us fools to enhance her new found career!!!!!!!!!

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    1. She should rename this blog Diary of a benefit fraudster and the miracle of cure ,Mugs ,Don't forget she knows who you are ,

      Delete
  36. i understand the decision from a personal financial position, you are the only one who will have to live with themselves. As a vegetarian all the money in the work wouldn't make me give up my ethics and work in an abattoir, tbh you wont make any difference, the policy was decided by new labour and speeded up under the coalition, they have bought your silence and knowledge, maximus must be laughing, you seriously cant be this naive, can you? ;(

    ReplyDelete
  37. "There Is No Greater Enemy To Sick And Disabled People In The UK: Join The Day of Action Against Maximus – March 2nd 2015"

    https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/there-is-no-greater-enemy-to-sick-and-disabled-people-in-the-uk-join-the-day-of-action-against-maximus-march-2nd-2015/

    ReplyDelete
  38. I am so sorry to say this but I feel betrayed so much I can only now call you JUDAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed. Judas, hypocrite, traitor, take your pick! and to think I've read this sh!t for years :(

      Delete
  39. You cannot fight an enemy by working for them. Does anybody else actually 'get' this contradiction?

    ReplyDelete
  40. gutted, betrayed, sold out, self serving, hung out to dry, disloyal, shockingly let down.....................want anything more ???????? Ive tried my level best to not say bad stuff about you for the last 6 years, instead ive stayed very quiet, you have betrayed everyone. They were all correct about you.

    ReplyDelete
  41. “Once people said: Give me liberty or give me death. Now they say: Make me a slave, just pay me enough.”

    You are dead to me!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Sue - I have never really been a follower of yours, because you are one of the disabled who believe in the fight for disabled to work. Unfortunately some of us are disabled so much by our illness that work for us is impossible and would make our illness worse. You already feel too many are in the support group, why? I do not feel cast off and forgotten by society, I am too ill to work and I and many like me just want to be left alone to get on as best we can manage our living hell. I foresee more of the governments agenda in the future from you wanting to get disabled in to work and forgetting all about those too sick to work - which I have to say you obviously are not as you are taking on a full time job. I am too sick (not disabled) to work even an hour a week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely agree.

      Delete
    2. I agree too, excellently put. https://guj30.wordpress.com/

      Delete
  43. I wish you luck, Sue, but I have a very nasty feeling about it. I hope I'm wrong, but I suspect that you are going to be used, abused, chewed up & ultimately spat out. The corporate machine is ruthless.
    & by the look of many of the comments, you have already lost a lot of support this side of the line.
    Be careful. Be mindful. & get out in one piece if you can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once they are done with you? Please do not come crying for support from the people you betrayed!

      Delete
  44. Has anyone answered this, did the ones defending Money-Money-Marshy slate Simon Stevens for working for Atos? And if you did then what's the difference?

    ReplyDelete
  45. When the inevitable happens, because of IDS and his warped policies (and figures), i hope that Sue will fight our corner because she will be deluged with complaints.

    With a system so unfair it's unavoidable.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Many congratulations! I can't think of anyone more qualified or more dedicated to doing the right thing.

    I just hope you will be very careful of your health. I'm glad you have a supportive family.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I'm utterly disgusted, more with myself than anything for being so taken in by this woman. Since beginning campaigning against these iniquitous reforms under the last government I came to love and admire her, following her through numerous crisis in health via this blog and twitter, and cheering on her brave campaigning when so many others at best ignored us, at worst, lied and distorted our arguments.

    I could hardly believe what I read this morning and contributed a short comment via 'anonymous'. It was my intention to leave at that, but when I make allowances for the personal circumstances and intolerable pressures she has faced and pass by on the other side, I betray the others on this blog, the people who I haven't followed, but who have followed Sue with me, day to day, month to month, year to year. What about their problems that we rarely hear anything about? what about me making allowances for them? what about my mental health problems that see me wake me up EVERY morning wishing I was dead? I betray all of those and myself by remaining silent.

    You can rationalise this however you like, the bottom line is you've been bought, paid for, and silenced. The naive assumption that you can say anything to affect the policies of such a massive, wealthy, global company sounds as deluded as one Iain Duncan Smith's 'I believe it to be true' statements. Which is apt, because you're now effectively employed by him to shut up those pesky disabled people who are constantly getting in the way of his mission to use us all as cheap labour and be hailed as a hero by the swivel-eyes hard right who want to end the Welfare State.

    Because this whole thing is not about Sue Marsh or Rednorth or any of the other posters here, it's about global capitalism moving into new markets previously covered by state provision. In Britain it is about destroying the Welfare State and selling people income protection as a replacement. That you would help with this process disgusts me, and don't insult my intelligence with the "I'll work from the inside" and "I won't change" bollocks. Your posts today contain portions straight out of the disability-denial & welfare-to-work industry handbooks. There are not too many people in the Support Group who want to work, there aren't enough, and it's only though years of hard campaigning by many that there are any at all. Already you're directing our wrath at the DWP because they're the Decision Makers; this much is true, but already it's possible to read an excuse for Maximus in that point. It's only a short step to "I was only following orders".

    I thought after all the good work you have done you didn't deserve too harsh a judgement. I don't know, I'm confused, sad, angry, heartbroken even. But, as I said, this involves others, and they deserve the best, from you, me, and the Government.

    All I know for certain is that they don't deserve this news today.

    Rednorth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sad to say that I agree with a lot of this.

      I don't know what I'd do if I were in Sue's position. Truly. I like to think that I'd be able to say no to a well-paid job, on a point of principle. But I'm a lot older, I've had my chances, and I don't have young children to worry about.

      There have been times when I have not agreed with Sue and some of the things she has said about work etc. but in the main, like you, I've read her struggles with her illness and been inspired by her courage.

      But......as you say, there is confusion, sadness, anger, and even heartbreak.

      It's a shame.

      Delete
    2. Sad to say I agree with Ephemerid and rednorth. I can't see what real influence Sue could possibly have on policy but a strong campaigning voice will be silenced. I'm also confused how someone can be in the support group but suddenly miraculously is able to work in a full time and presumably taxing job. So yes, all those feelings as well and more, loss, confusion, sadness, upset, betrayal.

      Delete
  48. The Labour Party will be rejoicing. It will make their job of continuing to cut disability benefits that much easier.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Well... I can't really come up with the adequate wording for how I feel about this as I'm not really sure right now whether it's a good thing or not - but the decision ultimately belongs to you and your conscience, not to anyone else.

    If you really think you can make a difference from the 'inside' and will be given the chance to, and have the nerve to push them to allow that to happen, I hope that you can achieve that. I'm not entirely sure you'll be allowed to. But good luck all the same.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Urgh, what a lousy start to the New Year. You won't change the system - it will change you.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I'm ashamed to read this, when I received one of those brown envelopes and had no idea where to turn I found a group you were part of on Facebook and you invited me to your secret group, all that support you gave me, all that advice you bad mouthed ATOS you helped to pull me up and gave me hope that I might be okay and when I got got good news after my family and real life friends you were among the first few FB people I thought of as a friend that I told.

    Now you've basically said yes in 2010 I had one of the assessments they saw all my medication put me straight on the new ESA put me in the support group but do you know what I didn't really need to be there because now I've been cured by ATOS sorry MAXIMUS their offer a nice office job has cured all my sickness, pain, I won't need anymore operations because look they're right a previously unfit person to work is actually perfectly able to work and now they've fitted a nice big mouth shaped piece of super glued duct tape on my mouth because "You don't bite the hand that feeds you" so goodbye everybody I've helped now it's "Stuff you Jack I'm fireproof". Don't forget to close your blog as you can't slag off those you were happy to slag off now they will be wholly responsible for feeding your family. Hypocrite!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  52. "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you WIN" ~ An £80k basic salary plus benefits with them

    ReplyDelete
  53. You have been outed by the whiff of lucre! Maximus must be overjoyed and your naivety is staggering! IDS must be laughing his socks off now that you will become the most hated person in the country concerned with "Benefit Reform". Judas doesn't come close!

    ReplyDelete
  54. I believe at best you are deluding yourself and/or completely naive. Or was it that the offer made you feel 'valued' and 'important'? These people are clever at manipulation, did you fall into their trap unaware?

    I wish you no harm however, I seriously wonder if you being head hunted and convinced by Maximus to work for them in this role, is just them playing politics. For one it will GAG you, and upset those who have relied on you to speak up for them. Its quite likely to be a propaganda exercise, to suggest that you really believe that they have employed you out of some deep concern to improve the 'Customer Experience' is just doublespeak. What they are really saying is that they will use your new found position as a mouthpiece to propagate that they are trying.

    You can collect all the data they ask for, you can put over your opinion as much and and as forcefully as you want. but do you really believe that it will be taken seriously, or that they will have any Genuine concern or desire to improve things. The WCA needs scrapping, tinkering with the edges wont achieve anything meaningful, although initially your enthusiasm and efforts might delude you into the belief you are making a difference.

    I do wonder how you will be feeling in say 6 months, when you find you have lost the valuable support and high regard of your own kind. When the friendly faces who are encouraging you at Maximus, take off their masks and show themselves to be the 'Sociopaths', they are likely to be, working in high positions in such a corporation.

    I know how isolation and loneliness can affect someone, I do hope you manage to find your way out of this 'pit' you appear to have willingly thrown you and your family into when they decide that you have served their purpose long enough.

    I wish you luck nevertheless, but I confess to feeling somewhat disgusted with your post. Which spends most of its time trying to justify what to many of us appears unjustifiable.

    ReplyDelete
  55. A dilemma many activists will face.

    Sue knows the problems encountered as she's listened to those affected and sought change. So regarding knowledge she's got the relevant experience.

    As people with disabilities we should be pleased to have someone with this knowledge in this position, however...

    I think Sue is going to be used by IDS and MAXIMUS as a PR toy... "Look we employ people who are 'in touch', our policies are discriminatory but we're showing they're not because we're prepared to employ someone who has disability. "

    I wish you luck Sue and I hope those who have followed this blog become more active campaigners to fill the void your absence will leave.

    Keep an ethical diary and make sure you're in a decent trade union coz they will try and shaft you when you've fulfilled their PR and political needs.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Who am I to judge must be my paramount reaction to this;the utter bewilderment and sadness,not least at my own naivety,is mine to deal with.All the best to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Unless you're going to be able to change the criteria used to assess people you are making money from an evil system. I understand thinking 'I might be able to do some good', and I really understand wanting to have a reasonable source of income, but this list of 'Key Accountabilities' is something of a joke. Improving the journey experience of customers through a system pushing seriously sick and disabled people in to poverty is not a worthwhile job.

    If people at Maximus had a 'stronger “customer experience” mind-set and culture within the business' then they would be fighting against the reforms they are profiting from. Do you think this is likely?

    ReplyDelete
  58. The power elite's playbook: "Isolate the radicals, cultivate the idealists and educate them into becoming realists. Then co-opt the realists."

    ReplyDelete
  59. From the power elite's playbook: "Isolate the radicals, "cultivate" the
    idealists and "educate" them into becoming realists. Then co-opt the
    realists."

    ReplyDelete
  60. No doubt she will be back on DLA when the jobs goes tits up.
    signed totally gutted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats on not knowing what DLA is, I guess? (hint: it's not based on how much money you have)

      Delete
    2. Um, you do know DLA doesn't stop when you get a job, right? Maybe you should stop criticising till you have any idea what you're talking about.

      Delete
    3. Or maybe not, she might find it harder to score any points at all after working Full Time in such a high profile position.

      Delete
    4. ....with her hi-falutin' missing bowel and her IV feeding.

      Delete
    5. It's amazing the depths some people are willing to sink to for money...

      Delete
  61. I'm as depressed as I am disgusted by this decision. You know you will regret it. You can't change anything from the inside and you already know that. You've simply used us all to get the sort of job and pay packet you wanted.

    I'm actually ashamed to say I looked up to you.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Regardless of your personal feelings on this situation, there is not need for rude name calling or nasty personal attacks. I'm sure we can all deal with a difference of opinion without the need to get dirty. If you disagree with her or feel uneasy just say so, no need to get rude, nasty or vile.
    I am posting this as an anonymous as I hate being forced to sign up to stuff just to comment.
    If you wouldn't walk up to a stranger and call them racist names or personally attack them with rude words then why would you do it online?
    It's Ok to disagree but it's vile to start getting nasty just because you don't believe what they are doing.
    I am as surprised as anyone but I don't feel the need to start off on one with rude words and tone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When people feel wronged they get angry and lash out. for the most part I feel comments left have been pretty considered and respectful but honest, as it should be.

      Delete
  63. Surely proof of God's existance? How else can you explain being on ESA and unfit for work one day but ready and able to jump straight into work the next. Either a miracle or your WCA was, in fact, wrong and you've been capable of work the whole time?

    ReplyDelete
  64. Poacher turned gamekeeper comes to mind, sadly.

    ReplyDelete
  65. So sad and disappointed in your actions Sue...whilst I can undertand the income is welcome and will take a lot of stress of your shoulders it is not and never will be enough to wash the stench of betrayal that will be felt by thousands of 'sick' and 'disabled' that believed in you and supported you through your 'illness'....maybe the way forward is to pay all of us a good substantial income and we will all then find we are suddenly capable of 'full time work' and not so sick afterall!

    ReplyDelete
  66. If people at Maximus had a 'stronger “customer experience” mind-set and culture within the business' then they would be fighting against the reforms they are profiting from. Do you think this is likely?

    ReplyDelete
  67. Gutted and disappointed. I thought you spoke on my behalf for many years. You don't any longer so anything you do with Maximus won't have my backing for one. Just wanted to make that clear.
    You'll at best be 'tinkering around the edges' of a system that should be scrapped. Plus DWP make the decisions anyway so what's the use?.
    At worst you'll be giving IDS etc a huge smile on his face now even well-known activist Sue feels there are people in the SG who would love the opportunity to work. Sounds like McVey-speak already!
    PEOPLE ARE DYING
    WCA NEEDS SCRAPPING.

    Totally,totally gutted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps Sue will become E McVey's poster girl. The model of how the governments 'Encouragement & Support' into work actually Works??

      Delete
  68. I hope you are acting out of naivety rather than other reasons. Companies such as these will not change their agendas. This is a PR exercise. You will be powerless.

    ReplyDelete
  69. You've lost all your credibility as a disability campaigner by accepting this job sue, and at best they (Maximus) will keep you on for a year maybe two, then you will be dumped, and you'll be dumped because their are people out there who are far better qualified to toe the line, and who will back with out question any policy Maximus want to impose,you have been bought off, hook line and sinker, one mistake sue thats all it will take, and do you really think I mean really,that to change a profit hungry company all it takes is a few well chosen words from you in a memo to all departments, thats gonna do it is it ?
    I'm horrified at what I can only assume is your naivety and the size of your Ego.

    ReplyDelete
  70. You’ve played right into IDS and the Conservative party's hands. After all you were in the ESA SUPPORT GROUP – the group for people too ill to work. Yet, when offered a big fat pay cheque you make a miraculous recovery. You’ve sold disabled people and all that you campaigned for down the river.

    ReplyDelete
  71. I don't understand? You claimed benefits for years for being unable to work and suddenly you are able to work full time. You are making it look like those in the support group are able to work but just don't want too. No amount of money would make me work for that company. You will make no impact on their policies whatsoever. You are not the one who will get to decide how the assessments are carried out or what criteria they use to assess people and so you will not make a blind bit of difference to the process at all. When I went for my assessment, it was clear that I could bearly walk. In fact the assessor didn't even want to touch me as she could see how much pain I was in. I failed and am now forced to claim JSA and apply for jobs I know I have no hope in hell of doing. It seems that you have sold out and taken the job purely for the money. You won't be able to fight against their policies and you won't be able to speak out against them. Your husband is giving up his job and you will find out all too soon how much they can control you with the threat of losing your job. All I can say is that I am disappointed and saddened that you could throw away your integrity for a bit of cash :(

    ReplyDelete
  72. What sick and disabled people 'want' and exactly what is possible seems to have escaped this Government. I regarded you as a friend. I still do. But warning bells are ringing with your statement 'Too many in the Support Group'. Is another crack down on the way?

    ReplyDelete
  73. I wish Sue Marsh all the best in her new job with Maximus and hope that she will use her influence to make the company's 'fit for work' assessments an ethical and fair experience for all of Britain's sick and disabled benefit claimants.

    That said, her situation is analogous to one that I witnessed first-hand when I was a young student in the early 1970s. The teachers were on strike in Quebec for better pay and working conditions. After the provincial government passed legislation to end the strike, it extended an olive branch to some of the teachers union heads by offering them jobs with the government. One of them who accepted was David Payne, who headed the teachers union at Vanier College. He was born and raised in Middlesbrough in North Yorkshire, and is a politician and former member of the National Assembly of Quebec.

    My knee-jerk reaction is that Sue Marsh is following in the footsteps of David Payne by allowing herself to be "bought out" by Maximus.

    (Montreal, Quebec)

    ReplyDelete
  74. I am frankly dismayed that you believe you can influence a company with an appalling reputation who were done for fraud and are as bad as Atos. They are given their brief from the DWP, you seriously think their position is changing?? Tories won't and Labour have said they won't be changing it, so what exactly do you think you will achieve? WHY are you being negative about the Support Group? That's a few people's only saving grace, and if people in that group can move into work, they bloody do! If you've been bought off sick & disabled people will turn their back on you.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Perhaps this is a good thing, perhaps not. It might, in the end, be up to you. My immediate reaction on reading this line "I won't be writing about them, I'll be working with them." is that Maximus would rather have you in the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in, that last being the relationship you had with Atos. In fact, if you won't be writing about them at all, and you'll no doubt be contractually obligated not to even after you resign should you do so (they'll be citing commercial confidentiality), then effectively you're a turbulent priest they've rid themselves of for a relative few quid. Maximus, let's not forget, aren't coming to this situation cold like Atos did. Maximus can see for themselves the problems that Atos have had and one of the major ones was you. Well, they've silenced you, the most articulate individual critic they were likely to be facing, very likely the biggest thorn they'd have in their side, and at a cost of what for them must be absolute peanuts. I'm not happy about that at all... I can't believe you didn't ask people about this because surely anyone with any understanding would have said this is like entry level corporate strategy; if you can't silence someone, give them a job and shut them up that way. Please tell me you asked for advice from someone in the corporate sphere before you said yes to this Sue? Please tell me you even considered this aspect? You've said before you were naive about so much before you went into all this years ago and I am horribly suspicious that in many ways you still are, you very are....
    On the positive side, you're you, and Maximus might find, to its corporate astonishment, it has a tiger by the tail. Let's hope so!

    ReplyDelete
  76. I've been thinking about this for a few hours now, re-read the blogpost, and I've just noticed something I missed earlier.

    Sue - you say that you will give Maximus the same 300% commitment you did to your campaigning.
    Does this mean that you will happily toe the corporate line? I can't imagine what else you can mean.

    I am also concerned about what you seem to be saying about Support Group claimants.
    Like you, I had a battle to get into the Support Group - but if I was offered a job tomorrow, I still couldn't do it; I'm at a loss to understand how you can now, suddenly be well enough to take on a full-time high-profile high-pressure job.

    You also say that Maximum "asked" you to do this job.
    If that's the case, and there were no other candidates, has it occurred to you that they might be cynically using your name and reputation to bolster their own?
    Has it occurred to you that Maximus, as friends of government, may well have offered you this job to prevent you from campaigning and talking to the media?

    The more I think about this, the more disappointed I feel - it's a shame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ephie, the world turns. The Marsh vs Atos era has ended, and the Maximus vs 'remains to be seen' is upon us. To arms :-) Sue's out of it now. We move on.

      Delete
  77. 'It is not inherently a good thing for Support Group numbers to be high.' > This scares me.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Brilliant. Job hasn't even started and already we're buggered. From SG to full-time job in one day. Thanks a bunch for allowing them to now expect everyone else in the SG to be pushed to do the same. Did you think that one through??

    ReplyDelete
  79. To say I was not shocked and repulsed, initially, would be a lie. MAXIMUS have an awful reputation. However, whether we approve or not of the company is irrelevant: they are de facto in charge of the asessment process. We have to be realists here.

    As I calmed, I realised that the company must know that they have to do things differently to ATOS - despite continuing to use the latter's software - and thus if they are to retain the contract without experiencing large amounts of financial penalties (which I understand are now included in their contract with DWP), they must ameliorate the situation for all of us who are assessed.

    The DWP's system is morally wrong and based on false assumptions - including that many of us are on the fiddle. The system needs to return to permitting volunteer work (which can be much more flexible than paid work) and therapeutic work without us all being too scared to try it, in case we lose all our support. The chances of that changing appear slim at the moment: but who knows what may change after the general election.

    I would rather you, Sue, did this job than some professional who knows next to nothing about the realities of having impairments and trying to live in what is still a very disablist culture. You have personal experience and integrity. I trust you to walk away from the company, if you find you cannot ensure changes are enacted as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

    Yes, I have concerns, that they will make you sign a confidentiality clause that completely gags you; but I think you would whistle-blow if necessary.

    So, after some thought, I wish you all the very best in your new position. %)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "if they are to retain the contract without experiencing large amounts of financial penalties (which I understand are now included in their contract with DWP"

      That's not the case. The Labour Party have said they will do that if elected but there is currently no financial penalty for poor performance..

      Delete
  80. "In order for us to become part of a society that is meaningful, the system under which we now exist has to be radically changed...it means facing a system that does not lend itself to your needs and devising means by which you can change that system." - Quote by Ella Baker

    ReplyDelete
  81. I suspect both MAXIMUS and DWP had their motivations for offering this specific job, to this specific person and and this specific time. It effectively neutralises one of Government's strongest critics. If she turned it down, she'd be forever the person who refused to put her money where her mouth is and improve the process. If she takes it, then she's Judas as far as her co-campaigners and supporters are concerned. There can be few bigger poisoned chalices. I worked a lot of years in corporate, and I've watched a lot of political games played out. I'll rub my crystal ball and put my two pen'oth in on what I think will happen. At first, there will be a 'development' phase, where Sue is invited to attend or run lots of meetings and planning sessions and will be effectively gagged from campaigning until a new Government is in place. Then, there will be a lot of lip-service, and seeming progress - new centres with good access will be proposed and visited; new standards set for running assessments; new letters drafted, budget proposals put in with strong hints that they will be signed off. The smaller, easier changes will begin to be put in place. At some point in all this, Sue's health will dip - it has to; she's going to make herself ill if she does all that will be expected. And, in her absence, small bricks will begin to fall out of the wall she has built. Negotiations will lose momentum, budgets will be chipped away at or serially fail to be signed off, a convenient court case or debate loss will put key parts of the project on ice. It will get mired. Ever so gently, gradually, it will become like pushing a bolder up a hill, because plans to genuinely change the way sick and disabled people are dealt with don't have a core of support - let alone within MAXIMUS, whose interest is in keeping the contract and making it profitable. So, maybe the urine-smelling carpets will be changed and the bars will be taken off the windows, and maybe the letters will be clearer - for a while, at least - but, I cannot help thinking this is all about silencing Sue. Just as big business silences and sidelines troublesome senior people whom it's not politic to get rid of. I wish I could be more positive, but nothing I've seen of the DWP convinces me it will be anything else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you are correct in your views. I am sad that Sue has been taken in by the corporate spivs. Don't know what else to say without sounding nasty.

      Delete
    2. First silenced, then sidelined. Paid for by the taxpayer too!

      Delete
  82. Funny how a Labour party member has given the Conservative party such propaganda.

    I can see it now: "A woman in the ESA Support Group transferred into fulltime work overnight. This highlights how we must help these capable people to work cutting the Support Group."

    ReplyDelete
  83. Sue’s blog is an indication of things to come. Notice how she’s insinuating the support group should be cut.

    ReplyDelete
  84. "Company cultures are like country cultures.Never try to change one. try, instead, to work with what you've got." - Quote by Peter F Drucker

    ReplyDelete
  85. I saw this on jonny void's blog and thought how apt!

    "She is a disgrace! Sue, you are welcome to your 75000 pieces of silver. BTW, Has there been a miracle cure for your illness? Couldn’t work and on benefits and now £75000 is offered to betray disabled people pops up and hey presto!!!!!!!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would seem her blog should have been called “Diary of a Benefit Cheat" as she is clearly well enough to hold down a fulltime job. And seems to have cheated her way into the ESA Support Group - the very group that she now says as too many people in it!

      Delete
    2. She has just come out of hospital after a successful op! I rather gather this was against all reasonable expectation. She might reasonably have expected to remain to ill too work ever but unexpected fortune has smiled on her. Hers is demonstrably an exceptional case and not one which can be used against the majority as evidence they too can work. This is not rocket science, kids. FFS!

      Delete
  86. You've just made people in the Support Group look to be a bunch of scrounging good for nothings, well done Sue!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bill if you do not think that IDS will not use her as someone who was in support group but now in full time employment then you are a fool and by the way when was she reassessed to say that she is now fit for work if you are in support group you can not take employment on . has she been given a fast track reassessment , if she has why was she fast tracked . all this is just ammunition for IDS and his continuing attack on the ill and disabled and nothing good will come out of it

      Delete
  87. MAY YOU BURN IN HELL FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY

    ReplyDelete
  88. So, after all your hard work you decide that you can make the WCA "properly" used, so when they are stripping the mentally ill people's benefits it will done in a proper way?

    "Sorry about your benefits, here is a nice picture of some flowers."

    ReplyDelete
  89. I thought you were more sick then me (according to your blog)!
    Wow, full time work....just a dream for most of us in sg :(

    ReplyDelete
  90. Wow. Congratulations Sue. I think you're the sort of person who should be in this job, but I do wonder if you're well enough to do this? Did your last surgery improve your health so much? Are you no longer bedridden with sick bowl and commode at the ready? If that's the case, then I'm very happy for you and I hope it continues for years to come. But I do worry that the stress that comes with such a high-powered job will make you I'll again and you'll end up worse off, both health-wise and financially, than you have been in the past.

    By offering you this job (was there an interview process? If not, is this even legal?) Maximus has removed you from the political arena. You were one of the loudest voices championing the rights of sick and disabled people, and they've effectively shut you up. I'm afraid I can't help but take the cynical view.

    I wish you luck with the job. I hope it goes as well as you expect it to.

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  91. It bothers me that a lot of people are spewing unjustified hate and outrage here, we are supposed to be better than the vermin Tories who rolled the WCA out based on lies about advice given from Harrington. Give her a break, she hasn't even started yet - nobody knows how this will pan out.
    Sue has done a tremendous job over the years for all of us who needed a voice in the corridors of power, we should be grateful.for all she has done, against great odds and her own personal problems.
    She certainly didn't have to do it, she owes nobody on here a living or has to explain herself.
    Some comments around here are no better than the vile trolls you are supposed to dislike, we are above that. Wait and see, then judge her on the results, it's not her job to wrap us all up in cotton wool and molly coddle us, trust her and support her as she has supported us.

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    Replies
    1. "unjustified hate" oh its justified. Btw, the venomous Tories you talk about well their Sue's new bosses!

      Delete
    2. How about the people that funded her computer? >>> "She certainly didn't have to do it, she owes nobody on here a living or has to explain herself."

      Delete
    3. It's not unjustified! She has effectively screwed people in the support group over by making it look like they are faking it and just don't want to work. A few weeks ago, she was really ill and now she is well enough to do a full time job. How can that be? They are in the SG because they CAN'T work not because they don't want too.

      Delete
  92. All I see is someone has an opportunity to make a difference inside the system while ensuring her families' livelihood. If Sue can do all she has done so far considering her health, I imagine she can do something equally valuable in her new role. Good luck, looks like you'll need it!

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    Replies
    1. That's the problem!

      Sue was allegedly the sickest of the sick who *couldn't* ensure her or her families livelihoods.

      Now, a miracle in the form of this job offer means she is suddenly well enough to work.

      I *couldn't* hold down any job; whether that be minimum wage or £75,000 a year because I am too unwell. Believe me; if I could, I would and wouldn't go through the indignity of assessments for ESA and DLA while also funding medical assessments & treatment for a severe and enduring sickness.

      I imagine Sue will learn many a lesson in her new role. A poster girl for the "hard working disabled" who can show us all that a bit of hard work will cure us.

      "Work will set you free" has never rung more true for many decades within western Europe.

      :-(

      Delete
  93. My hearty congratulations sue well done. like you sue I'm very underweight and there would be no way i could work and i know how you feel as the pressure is never ending to get to work as that is the only place to be

    take care of yourself you have been on a road to hell for most of your life if you can now help stop the negligent deaths of the sick and disabled then that will be fantastic news for everyone concerned

    warmest wishes :)

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  94. I think it's time to leave the lady alone. She's made her decision. This is just abuse and bullying now.

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  95. deletes bookmark.
    see you at my next assessment...

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  96. Congratulations Sue, I really hope you can create change from the inside. Has Maximus given you flexible working in order for you to be able to work full time? I only ask because I'm in the ESA support group and with the best will in the world I couldn't work full time because of the pain and fatigue I have and the number of strong painkillers I have to pop to keep me going. I dearly hope that no-one in the media tries to use your new job as an excuse to tell the rest of us on ESA that we're not trying hard enough, or are too lazy to work. Still, I really hope that everything works out for you and that you can kick ass at the top level!

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  97. Congratulations on your new job Sue - a truly courageous campaigner. My best wishes and hopes that it works out.

    Heddwch. Mike.

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  98. Whoa.

    This is sad.
    As a person who is in the ESA support group, it funds my survival. Am I one of the "too many" in the support group? Am I reading yet another person telling me how unworthy I am of it? That actually, I`m not sick enough?
    Yes, your life will change completely. You will be paraded as a "see? she thought she was too sick, but she isn't" example and used as another weapon to attack those of us incapable of work, and where "getting through" moment to moment is our only option.

    I do not envy your salary. I pity you since you are allowing yourself to be exploited for furthering the propaganda of hatred pre UK general election. I pity that you will be kicked to the kerb by your new employers in the not too distant future and will have lost much of the personal support you have gained since beginning to write here.

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  99. I hope you are not diappointed in this. I know someone who worked for ATOS, thought they could be a catalist for change but had to leave very disillusioned. People who have been through ATOS are very damaged now. You know that. The trust is gone. You think you can tell Maximus how to fix this? I see mental health ruined. Luckily it is someones job to try to fix them. Sadly they seem poorly equiped to tackle such a task. People still have to put themselves through being judged yet again, now by Maximus, when they are scared and don't know how to be, who to be, or who they are anymore. If they can't convey what they are, they stand to lose the finacial support that allows them to survive. Do you think a few tweeks to an assessment can fix this problem? I see folks clinging on to life. Not sure most days if they can endure another. Disapporoval, pain, limitation, lack and utter dispair that their lives will ever improve. These people did not need to be condemned by society and the system for their situation. It was cruel. You now want to tell them that it's all better now and they are not seen as scum? Do you think you know how to convince them? While telling them that they are wrong and capable of going back to work and earning their own living? Can you stop them stressing and ruining further their already frail health? Can you stop them doing messed up rituals that ruin what is left of their limited lives? The vomiting? the cutting? The inability day after day to leave the house for fear? For shame? The negative self talk that continues to erode after ATOS and DWP and the Jobcentre and the media and society at large, have stopped? Making any assessment work after the horror of ATOS, is going to be a miracle. How many people will be destroyed before they get the process right? Does anyone care? And how does a process adapt to the individual needs of each person?. I just got home from a health assessment. After the advice was given we realised she hadn't understood the problem. She had had my notes, and had just assumed so I didn't need to waste time explaining fully. It was OK, it didn't matter apparently. The advice seems to have been good for anything that ails me. She asked if I thought I wanted to see her again and I was so uncomfortable, I said no. People don't listen properly. They don't know all that they should. Too many are undertrained and under pressure. They make mistakes. I've been taking medication that could have killed me because someone made an error. How does Maximus intend to get their assessments right? Are we to continue to believe that it has to be done, so any damage is OK?

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  100. Sue, I don't believe for a second you are stupid enough to think you can make a difference working with MAXIMUS. It's very clear you are doing this for money. You haven't even started the job and already you're talking like Ian Duncan Smith ''too many people in the support group want to work'' You're a hypocrite and you have betrayed us all. No wonder you're getting so many negative comments. WCA should be scrapped, not 'reformed' and you of all people know this. Shame on you.

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  101. There is nothing wrong with a disability campaigner using what they have done to get a job. However I am of the opinion that as soon as a person realises they are hoping to get a job out of what they are doing they should say so. Did Sue ever do that?

    As things stand I am left wondering how much was campaigning, support and friendship from the heart and how much turned into CV building for the job market. Sue has a loyal and caring following so that in itself might have been reward enough.

    I know there has been allsorts of debate about the way Sue's new laptop was funded and to me it did feel like Sue was letting her followers think having that funding would keep her working campaigning for them and for other disabled people. My suggestion is that if Sue is getting paid enough money that she puts the money she was given back into the voluntary campaigners system.

    People have made donations to Ouch Too and the money is kept in a separate fund to pay for things like web hosting. If I were magically well enough to get a job in what I currently do for free it would not mean it is okay to side step a responsibility I created. I would have to spend time teaching someone about website Admin sort out how to keep things running until the funding I had ran out years not months). The new site admin could look for funding themselves or have a team.

    It does concern me a it that a lot of people commenting on the job announcement feel they have to remain anonymous when what they are saying is fair enough especially in terms of debating a topic. I almost went Anon myself because I am posting my personal opinion and not the Ouch Too opinion as such.

    Good Luck Sue I never figured out what you actually did as opposed to try to do but you did not get the following you had by doing nothing. I hope you allow this comment to stay visible.

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  102. i should also add in sues favor in that many hundreds of sick and disabled have paid a very high price by dying owing to great negligence by the DWP over the past few years and these families have to live with this day in day out

    These deaths can never be swept under the carpet those responsible will at some point have to face the courts and to give an account of what went wrong in the assessment of the person who has died and ultimately it will be for the court to decide if the death could have been prevented

    sue will need all the luck in the world to halt further deaths in the future as the DWP system is so vast and any safeguards non existing

    At best all a sick and disabled person has is there mp to help them and at worst someone at the CB who may mean well but with such a huge workload people inevitably fall through the cracks which in many cases leads to their death

    if sue can make headway with getting a better sort of help for people with form filling so that it reads correct that will be of great help to many also to make sure any appeal is death with swiftly via an emergency phone number strictly for appeals only with a one on one reference so that at all times the claimant gets to speak to the same person each time would be very useful in keeping anxiety levels low

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  103. It's strange how quick some people are prepared to distrust the values and heart felt principles of this long term blogger and ally of the Movement. Her principles nor values have changed, sadly for her a lot of her followers are clearly lifetime complainers who find it very easy to complain - that is easy - but don't ever intend to put their words into action and try to effect change.

    Change will only ever happen when courageous people like Sue are prepared to take a risk and get her hands dirty.

    I respect you, I trust you and you deserve credit - you have my full support.

    You don't need these fair weather followers. Mouth and action spring to mind!

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    Replies
    1. You have to be kidding. She's going to work for a company that make ATOS look like some Amnesty International paradise. Just google MAXIMUS and see what this company is responsible for. No respect for you Sue, you've sold your soul to the devil and you know it.

      Delete
    2. It's easy to be a big mouth when you're anonymous. Proves my point exactly!!!

      Delete
    3. Gail how do you think that Iain Duncan Smith is going to react to this , she has just gone from the support group straight into full time employment , he will be rubbing his hands with glee , telling all " there told you so they all can work " did she not think about this , she has just made it so much harder for those of us in the support group to remain or even get placed in it and if you can not see this either then i am afraid that you are a fool also and i am anonymous too as she is now part of the problem she has just lost so many supporters

      Delete
  104. And for all you people saying we should leave Sue alone and not make negative comments, just wait a minute... this woman was an activist supposedly defending the victims of ATOS, now she is going to work for a company ten times worse than ATOS. We trusted her and read her blogs, and now she is stabbing us in the back. Her 'I'm alright Jack' attitude makes her deserve all the negative comments she's getting.

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  105. I feel you are a Charlatan in the fullest sense of the word.

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  106. I'm unsettled by the certainty with which many have responded. If you're going to respond with a series of binary statements, then at least do it right like I have. It's over at The Files.

    I feel that Sue's priority in her new role will be to establish an evidence base that the design of ESA and the WCA can in fact be improved incrementally because I believe that the evidence has already shown that it can not. Only by completely abolishing them can a humane degree of respect be achieved for claimants.

    I think the importance of her Maximus role to disability rights hinges on that.

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  107. A quote on http://dwpexamination.org/forum/ sums it up for me:


    'So you got yourself a nice little earner Sue, well that just great, but somehow I don't think relaxing music in the waiting rooms or getting the HCP's to smile more is going to help us much.

    All of us here know the "real" problem with WCA's, its run by lying scumbags who will do anything to cheat you out of your rightful benefits and undermine any thoughts of security you ever had, its completely corrupt from top to bottom. Sue….. its very simple, the system needs to be honest and fair, anything less is betrayal.'

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  108. For 5 years, I fought a great fight, and I did it with every ounce of energy I had. And with quite a lot that I didn't have.

    In those 5 years I've had 3 major operations to remove yet more bowel and a lot of the things you've read from me have been written from a hospital bed. As mentioned above by some, I helped individuals whenever they came to me. I tried to act on any cry for help I ever received and often advocated for people who were at risk or who needed urgent advice. Unless I was asleep, I was permanently available to answer queries, respond to tweets, refer people to others, read long reports, support other campaigns, watch committee meetings or debates….. I even had 2 TV crews at my house in the middle of Easter Lunch once. A campaigner never says no and you always push forward.

    Campaigning is physically and mentally demanding for anyone, but there is no doubt that it has taken a great toll on both me and my family. They are remarkably supportive, I marvel at them. I spend every spare penny we ever get on getting to London or wherever else campaigning might need me that particular week. My husband used up all of his holiday last year taking me to speeches or events or interviews. My children have a Mum they often can't see because she's ill and a Mum they can't often see because she's got to "work" on something.

    As I've said many times, we've always done it gladly. I can’t tell you how gladly. These last 5 years have been the most fulfilling of my life. I’ve had experiences and opportunities even I can’t sometimes quite believe. My family have supported that remarkable roller-coaster totally and I've pushed and cajoled everyone I can push and cajole from MPs to media. I’ve given talks, I’ve taken part on panels, I’ve gone wherever I was asked to go and done or written what was asked. I literally gave it my life despite what it cost me physically. I wrote one article 1 day after major bowel surgery. No-one can do that indefinitely.

    We ( www.spartacusnetwork.com ) outlined what an ESA type benefit should and could look like in the most recent Spartacus Network report, Beyond the Barriers. we've have led as many as we can to water, but we can't make them drink.

    And I can't rest at that. I’ve been trying, but I can’t. There are 2.5 million people in the country going through the ESA process now, they're being assessed today and tomorrow and every other day. Nearly 100,000 people every singe month, more applying every day. It matters that they aren’t made miserable by being in a situation they didn’t ask for in the first place.

    I plan to set myself a list of goals I want to achieve. If I am able to get through the whole list, I will be delighted I took the job, and will know without a shadow of doubt, that I did the right thing and helped to make life better for millions of people.

    If I can only get a few of them done, well, perhaps they are a few that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t tried. They might still save considerable fear and anxiety. That can only be a good thing.

    If I achieve nothing, or I’m just too physically weak for my stubbornness to overcome, then this will have been a mistake, but i can’t live my life afraid to make mistakes. I was faced with a challenge that was the very last one I expected, but that’s no reason to walk away either.

    The only way to find out if I’m being naive or astute is to try. I can live with feeling a bit of a fool but knowing I did all I could.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck Sue, I'm sure you will achieve your goals x

      Delete
    2. Better to be a 'fool' who tried and gave it their all than to be a fool who cowered away from a challenge because people called them nasty names. It's better to have lived and lost a battle than to have never fought at all.
      Battles are won and battles are lost - But the fight is ongoing.... And at this point we either have to fight along with you - Or do lie down and admit defeat. And even typing one handed with agony in my back - I will NEVER admit defeat! And I believe you will try your best - Call me stupid but I see the good in people before I believe what other people may say.

      If we do not try - Then we may as well just hand them the loaded gun to shoot us.

      Delete
    3. Sue, you fail to mention how you when from ESA Support Group i.e.: too ill to work, straight to a fulltime job. Could you please explain how you managed to become so fit and healthy almost instantly?

      I only ask as now every disabled person in the Support Group will be expected to make a similar move.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous - did you read the original post in full? Did you see the part where Sue's husband has resigned from his job to support her full time? That means he's probably going to do absolutely everything, in order that Sue can do the job, and that will be the only thing she'll be able to do.

      The SG exists because it isn't reasonable to expect people in her situation to do this. But she has chosen to do it and her family have chosen to support her.

      Maximius will have to make adjustments too. Sue mentioned this as well, in her original post.

      Delete
    5. Sue I commented earlier without saying why I was sickened I will now add one reason I am upset by your decision as I too applied for a position, not with Atos or Maximus, mine was for the EHRC Disability Committee.

      That was way back when they took over from the DRC but on my application I stated I would only take the position (which only required me to attend 15 days per year) if I could do so without being paid as that committee needs someone actually living on the benefits being talked about.

      I actually had to take them to the High Court to get the actual interview and it then took another seven years to actually be interviewed but I sat down with the people running the recruitment and repeated my condition of only being willing to take the post if it was unpaid late last year.

      I didn't get the job/position, but then as I had asked why the current committee had spent 7 seven years and done nothing to stop the reforms and in fact had been complicit with a steady decline in the status, well-being and welfare of sick and disabled people that has set us back decades I guess that was why they didn't want me at any price (even nothing).

      Why oh why couldn't you have done something similar i.e try to work from the insider but not by being an insider?

      Delete
    6. I cannot deny that I was shocked when I saw this today....but I have trusted you this far so I will continue to trust you.I just hope you can do as much as you hope to.Good Luck

      Delete
  109. how very very naive of you , do you not see that you will be used as a pawn now to legitimize everything they do . When ever something occurs now they will be dragging you out , " but we got Sue Marsh working for us of course we care " , they will use you in any way they can and i feel completely and utterly let down by you . I have been through 3 WCA in 5 years , 2 of these to appeals , the last one i had to get my MP involved and strangely after this i was placed in the support group where i should have been all along . The WCA can not be fixed it should be scrapped and by you taking 75k you have just made it so much harder to do so , I feel betrayed by you , let down and now they will use you as an example of how all disabled people can work when you know this is not true . You have just made it so much harder for us all now who go through this . Can you imagine that horrible person Iain Duncan Smith using your name , he will be doing it all the time .You should hang your head in shame

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  110. you were the reason i started to fight the fight sue now if they can turn you wats the point

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  111. Ah Sue

    I put my head above the parapet years ago in stating I didn't like you as you were a self-serving narcissist. At that time I did that based on what you put out and what all those poor people you drafted in to be your lackeys during the Spartacus report told me. You've banged your drum, there's no doubt but it was always a drum that sounded the beat of the physically sick and disabled. You struggled to accommodate those with mental illness in your "work" and opposition to policy. For that, I unashamedly bore a grudge.

    You've a page on your blog devoted to health updates, you've proudly displayed photos of yourself bed and hospital bound, yet it seems an offer of [reportedly] £75k pa+ benefits has healed you. You've gone straight from the support group to full time employment, you truly are a modern day miracle, IDS's prayers have been answered.

    You may want to revisit your communication and relationship with those you othered; the mentals as they could maybe shed some light on your current delusion. If you think you're going to effect change you're kidding yourself, you're now complicit in a poisonous organisation within a poisonous system.

    I'm a proud woman and a mother, I too would relish the opportunity to work again in my field, to earn enough to escape the so-called benefits trap but I can't as my health prevents me from doing so. Tonight I'm pondering how much it'd take to cure me.

    You're not an activist Sue, you're a self-serving publicist. You've been bought and allowed that to happen. I always thought it was only a matter of time.

    In this post you postulate on experiencing "real anxiety" when a brown envelope from DWP comes through the door. For many of us, those you gave lip-service to in your "campaigning" anxiety would be respite. You don't and never have got it.

    I've always felt sorry for those you sucked in, in all of this at least there's a comfort in knowing you've revealed yourself so people can make up their own minds. Many of the comments here cheer me, you may have betrayed the movement but the movement's still alive.

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    Replies
    1. just finished reading what you have posted ,i totally agree with everything you have said and the most worrying thing is that Iain Duncan Smith will be rubbing his hands with glee , support group straight into full time employment, he will be shouting from the roof tops , there you are they can all work , she has just made things so much harder for all of us .

      Delete
  112. You say :-If I achieve nothing, or I’m just too physically weak for my stubbornness to overcome, then this will have been a mistake, but i can’t live my life afraid to make mistakes. I was faced with a challenge that was the very last one I expected, but that’s no reason to walk away either.

    The only way to find out if I’m being naive or astute is to try. I can live with feeling a bit of a fool but knowing I did all I could. Do you not realize the this decision just does not effect you , you mention mistakes , but now a mistake of taking this position with Maximus will be a mistake that effects all of us dragged through this horrendous WCA . You might be able to live with being a bit of a fool but what about those that will continue to die after being found fit for work and that will happen no matter what you do . Are you happy to still be part of it then , you will have become part of the problem then not a magical cure which i worrying think you think you are . You will be used by these people surely you can see that !!!!!!

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  113. Sorry sue how can you be posting links on your facebook page criticizing IDS there will be clauses in your contract with Maximus which will state that you can not do this , You can not on one day be fighting the problem then the next be part of it . You have a 75k contract with Maximus you are now theirs to be used in anyway they deem fit . do you really think the IDS will put up with anymore criticism of him from you . He will be contacting Maximus telling them to have a little word in your year or they will lose the contract . Did you not stop and think about this .

    ReplyDelete
  114. Part 1 of 2

    I think Sue's point about the SG is that people don't want to be 'written off'. Let's not forget that people who cannot walk nor push a manual wheelchair 50m go into the SG. If electric wheelchairs were more widely available there would be no reason to put people in the SG on this basis alone. Plus Sue tries very hard to balace the views of those disabled people who feel that if only they had the right support and/or the right opportunities, they could work, with the views of those who are clearly too sick to work.

    Sue herself tried desperately to hang on to work and has always seemed to want to work, despite being considered too sick to do so.

    I am of the opinion that it isn't black and white, who can work and who can't. It depends, not just on someone's functional ability, but on what equipment and support they have available to them, as well as what jobs are on offer. That's one of the reasons that the ESA system isn't working.

    If you actually read this blog post in full, you will see that Sue's husband has given up his job in order to support Sue. This is precisely how she is able to go from the SG to full time work. She hasn't gone into detail about any other access arrangements, but she won't be able to do the job without these, so they must be being put in place.

    The point of the SG is that people in it are not *expected* to work because it would be unreasonable to expect them to work, not that they won't work at all. If someone can find an opportunity that suits them and they want to take it up, why not? I don't think it's fair for people in the SG who find appropriate work to feel they can't take it because they might be made an example of, and other people in the SG be expected to find work.

    I very much doubt Sue is doing this for the money. Whilst it may be more money than her current household income (and we actually don't know for sure that it is), it is far more risky.

    Sue's husband has resigned from his job, so if Sue were to become very sick and unable to do the job, she'd have to go back through the dreaded WCA and he would have to find another job. Far less risky to stay on ESA SG and for Sue's husband to keep his job.

    To those who have speculated whether Sue really is that sick if she can take a full time job, I say this: haven't there been times when someone said to you, 'You can't really be that sick if you can do X?' ? Or at the very least, you might have heard someone else complaining about a similar situation. Please, don't judge Sue as you yourselves have been unfairly judged by others. If we can't lead by example, how can we ever expect attitudes to change for the better?

    As for whether Sue should be doing this in the first case, I think she herself has made her reasons very clear. I understand her frustration. How many reports, petitions, campaigns, protests, meetings have taken place, with no real change as a result? How many opposition MPs with genuine concern for their constituants have been laughed at, shouted down or ignored in the debates campaigners worked so hard to get?

    I imagine Sue feels that she has done as much as she can. She has always been criticised for meeting with 'the enemy', but really, how much can you do without dialogue? And when even that fails? Sue is just trying another way, another method.

    Continued...

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  115. Part 2 of 2

    Again, if you read her post in full, she is well aware of what she is getting into, well aware that it might all come to nothing. Sue agrees that abolishing ESA is the best way forward (and I think that will happen, it's just going to take longer than we'd like, and the govt will probably never fully admit the damage it has done) but she is being pragmatic. She knows that if staff can be trained to be more professional, write better and more accurate reports, if communication with 'customers' could be better, it would go a long way to ensuring that people's dignity remains intact and they end up in the correct group under the current legislation. Sue is willing to try. Willing, yet again, to sacrifice her health and her financial security to try and change things for the better. I don't see any evidence that Sue is not to be trusted to stick to her principles.

    Sue, when I read this post this morning, my reaction was mostly positive (slightly worried for you healthwise). I was getting so frustrated that so much was being done and it all seemed to be falling on deaf ears. The possibility that you might be able to effect real change from the inside gives me so much hope. I wish you so much luck and strength, and dearly hope that your health will hold out. I hope you have an escape plan should you need it!

    Also, can we please stop judging Maximus before they've even begun? Their past may be murky but change is possible. They'd be utterly stupid to ignore what Sue says, because their reputation would be ripped to shreds.

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    Replies
    1. problem is she has gone from support group unable to work then the next day full time employment , IDS will be having a field day with this and there were be far reaching repercussions for all of us in the support group . Did she not think about this aspect , does not matter what she will try to do from " the inside " she herself has said she was unfit for work one day then the next full time employment , are we now all fit for work , we should all be very worried about this and she deserves no praise or luck

      Delete
    2. Don't you have to report a change in circumstances for all disability benefits? - particularly if you have been assessed as unfit to work?

      Delete
  116. Can someone answer me one question, please? How did she manage it get a very nice job with a government contractor without the job being openly advertised? I thought there were rules against that sort of thing?

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  117. Sorry I have to add my name to the list sickened by this decision,

    So sickened in fact I don't even want to try to explain why i find this a betrayal of the trust so many of us placed in you in recent years Sue. :(

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  118. Sell out . Just like all the MP's who go on to work for the multi nationals. So what happened to "I'm in so much pain I can't work, please give me DLA, ".
    I can't wait to see how much of a hypocrite you turn out to be. And be aware you have just marked yourself for a life off hate from people who really are true victims of this and future governments.

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  119. Just for a handful of silver he left us,
    Just for a riband to stick in his coat—
    Found the one gift of which fortune bereft us,
    Lost all the others she lets us devote;
    They, with the gold to give, doled him out silver,
    So much was theirs who so little allowed:
    How all our copper had gone for his service!
    Rags—were they purple, his heart had been proud!

    Robert Browning

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  120. "Nothing about us without us"

    This is a chance for one of us to have an effect. Its got to be worth a shot. It may not pan out but if Sue doesn't try we'll never know.

    Good luck Sue - go give 'em hell ;)

    Dombed

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  121. Well, Maxumus has now shown its hand as to the level of slyness and manipulation we can expect to see in the future. Scooping up the poster-girl Disney princess mouthpiece of it's prospective victims into a suitably mickey mouse job, with the intention of leaving their prey scattered and powerless in shellshocked desolation. So an act of strategic brilliance. So clever that the only thing they could have done better was to have had someone just like Sue onboard two or three years ago as a means to, well, unseat Atos so that they could snag the contract... Not that they would have done anything so underhand...would they?

    As for Sue, yes this is a catastrophic betrayal of all who have supported you over past years, but what do you care as you go laughing all the way to the bank? It seems your supporters were all just a means to a lucrative end - us little tame disabled pets whose 'love and trust' you continue to presume upon and take for granted (I am reaching for the barf bag here).

    There again, this explains WHY you were the media's darling for so long, as no doubt they all knew something about you that the useful idiot grassroots campaigners did not: that you were always one of THEM, just another self-promoting ruthless narcissist playing the compassion card, and never one of us.

    So you are where you belong, revealed by the company you keep, and the mask is finally off.

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  122. A courageous decision. Good luck. I wish you all the best in your new job.
    Very disturbing to read so many vitriolic comments.

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  123. another usefull idiot

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  124. There will always be people who see things as 'us and them' and who will never change their mindset. I don't believe that things can never change and will fight to make things better, but it is the change that I am interested in, not the fight. Some people get too obsessed with the fight, and then run the risk of resisting any change for the better, as they wish to continue the fight.

    It is too soon to condemn Maximus. It is premature to condemn Sue's role with Maximus. Time will tell. There is an election in May, and that is where our focus should be. After all if the Tories win they may scrap the WCA. Sounds unbelievable? Well, why would you have a WCA if you are going to scrap the whole welfare state? A lot can happen in the next 6 months (and then the following 5 years). Give people a chance. But be vigilant, continue the campaigning and react to what is going on rather than what you fear may happen. It's ok to warn of possible dangers ahead, just without all the hysteria and condemnation.

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  125. Maximum, same staff as Atoms, same offices as Atoms, same rules as Atoms. Defend her all you want but she had sold you all out. Still at least she should be able to pay for her own holidays now instead of conning you simpletons

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  126. “No one is an unjust villain in his own mind. Even - perhaps even especially - those who are the worst of us. Some of the cruelest tyrants in history were motivated by noble ideals, or made choices that they would call 'hard but necessary steps' for the good of their nation. We're all the hero of our own story.”
    ― Jim Butcher, Turn Coat

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