Posts Tagged ‘health’

More room for rich foreigners as government cuts Disabled Students Allowance

Some readers may find the above headline a bit strong, but please be assured – this is what it means.

Vox Political became aware of this story in two contrasting ways, as follows.

Firstly, from The Guardian: “From September 2015 [the government] will only pay for support for students with specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, if their needs are ‘complex’, although the definition of this, and who decides it, remains unclear.

“It will no longer pay for standard computers for disabled students, or for much of the higher specification IT it now subsidises.

“And it will no longer fund non-specialist help, likely to include note-takers and learning mentors. The costs of specialist accommodation will be met only in exceptional circumstances.”

Paddy Turner, of the National Association of Disability Practitioners (NADP) is quoted: “This is going to have a disastrous effect on students with specific learning difficulties because it looks very clear that [universities minister David Willetts] is trying to remove them from the DSA. It looks like a knee-jerk reaction to recent reports that specific learning difficulties and dyslexia aren’t really disabilities at all.”

Thanks to Vox Political

I wonder if UKIP’s policies or even the 3rd Reichs policies will/would differ?

M.E. Awareness day

Lies, Dam Lies and Statistics

With many thanks to the brilliant Benefits And Work.

Benefits and Work has obtained documents via the Freedom of Information Act that may undermine claims by Atos that its staff were the subject of nearly two thousand episodes of assault or abuse, including death threats, by claimants in 2013 alone. Atos used the claim to justify wanting to exit early from the contract to carry out work capability assessments (WCAs).

Atos claimed that they were experiencing around 1,956 incidents throughout the year.

This was, by any standards, a very serious accusation.

Characterising thousands of sick and disabled claimants as violent thugs that Atos could no longer expose its staff to is likely to have increased the level of prejudice against benefits claimants. It may even have contributed to a rise in the number of violent hate-crimes committed against disabled people.

Three of the most important figures from our point of view, are:

Security called/police called’ 215

Threat made to staff direct or implied 110

Staff assaulted 5

Readers can decide for themselves whether they believe Atos’ claims by downloading the whole year’s figures here.

Thanks to “same difference” for the original post.

7 lessons from geese

 

 

 

When I’ve not posted for a while It’s usually because I’ve been curled up with pain or wallowing in fatigue, BUT this time I’ve been on holiday in Norfolk with my partner. It is easy to drift apart and holidays are the perfect way to reconnect.

I am inspired to write about the lessons we can learn from geese! Draw your own conclusions.
Animals Waterfowl_Wild Formation

Sharing a commonality:  As each goose flaps its wings it creates “uplift”, an aerodynamic orientation that reduces air friction, for the birds that follow. By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock achieves a 70% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.

Notice what’s happening: Flying in a V-formation increases the visibility as every goose can see what’s happening in front of them.

Rely on each other: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the friction of flying alone. It then quickly adjusts its mistake and moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.

Empower each other: When the lead goose in the front gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and allows another goose to take the lead position.

Constant encouragement: The geese honk to recognize each other and encourage those up front to keep up.

Offering support: When a goose gets sick or wounded, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.

Staying committed: The geese migration routes never vary. They use the same route year after year. Even when the flock members change, the young learn the route from their parents. In the spring they will go back to the spot where they were born.

What political “ism” is this?

billboard-poster-david-cameron

A shocking proposal from a so-called expert at the Department of Health has suggested that people in work should be given priority for treatment in the NHS.

In a move which could hit pensioners, disabled people, lone parents and unemployed people, government advisor Dame Carol Black has said: “I personally think we should perhaps be more honest and debate more fully if we would prioritise such patients if it was a question of getting them back to work.” 

In other words if you are currently without a job, for any reason, then forget about accessing healthcare as you are pushed down to the bottom of NHS waiting lists.  Black’s comments even seem to suggest that the sicker you are, and the less likely to be able to go back to work, then the longer you might have to wait for NHS treatment.

Dame Carol Black made the comments – which were first reported on the Work, Savings and Benefits website – at the recent Health and Wellbeing 2014 conference.  She was joined at the conference by DWP chief medical adviser Dr Bill Gunnyeon who according to the website agreed that there is: “an issue about what priority we give to health related interventions for people of working age

reblogged from “the void”

Keep your health records private, here’s how …,

 Featured Image

Atos…yes, the French firm Atos have been awarded the very important contract to extract patient data!

A company who is responsible for the deaths of disabled people due to their disgraceful handling of ‘fit to work’ tests has been given even more responsibilities…I still can’t believe it, is it April 1st already?!

I won’t elaborate further than The Independent’s article, there’s no need…

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/atos-to-manage-nhs-caredata-project-despite-ongoing-mess-over-disability-benefit-assessments-9153885.html

If ever there was a good time to opt out of this disgraceful mess, it’s now!

Here’s the link to the opt out form, just fill it in for each member of your household and drop it in to the reception desk at your GP surgery. They will probably sell off our data anyway, but opting out is taking a stand and it’s always worth a try to protect our rights.

http://medconfidential.org/how-to-opt-out

NHS hospital data HAS been sold to insurance companies so they can raise their premiums for high risk patients. This is something that is apparently illegal and medical data should only be used for the purposes of research to better our lives. Hiking up insurance premiums certainly isn’t to better our lives!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10656893/Hospital-records-of-all-NHS-patients-sold-to-insurers.html

From Echo Britain

Starvation Strategy?

Longer than my usual but really worth the read!

Dear Mr Cameron,
I have taken the liberty to write to you following an article that appeared in the Guardian a few days ago. I have a specific question that I would be grateful if you could answer but first let me outline the reason for my writing.
I have just read of the tragic story of Mark Wood, who was a 44 year old man with a number of complex mental health conditions. Mr Wood starved to death at his home last August, months after an Atos fitness-for-work assessment found him fit for work. This assessment meant that the jobcentre stopped his sickness benefits, leaving him just £40 a week to live on. His housing benefits were stopped at around the same time. This was despite a plea from his GP not to stop or reduce his benefits as this would have ongoing, significant impacts on his mental health. Mr Wood’s doctor told the inquest that the Atos decision was an “accelerating factor” in Mr Wood’s eventual death. He was very distressed that his housing benefit had been cut off, and by letters about rising rent arrears and warnings from the electricity company his supply would be cut off.
I have no personal knowledge of Mr Wood but for 15 years I have worked, and continue to work in mental health and know that Mr Wood’s tragic circumstances are far from unique. Mr Wood had struggled with undiagnosed mental health issues all his life, which made it impossible for him to work. Although his family ‘worked for years to create a place for him to live safely, this stopped when his benefits were stopped. He tried so hard to survive’. Mr Wood’s sister was distressed that Atos did not seek medical evidence from her brother’s GP, and made the assessment that he was capable of preparing to return to work after a half-hour interview at his home. The Atos report concluded his mental state was “normal”.
Tom Pollard, policy and campaigns manager at Mind confirmed that this tragic case was not an isolated incident for people ‘struggling to navigate a complex, and increasingly punitive, system.’
And now to my query. Mr Alan Budd, who in May 2010 came out of retirement to be the interim Chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility was, as you know, a chief economic advisor to Margaret Thatcher in the early 1980s. Mr Budd has since gone on record in an interview with the Observer in 1992 to confirm that
“…the 1980’s policies of attacking inflation by squeezing the economy and public spending were a cover to bash the workers. Raising unemployment was a very desirable way of reducing the strength of the working class. What was engineered –in Marxist terms-was a crisis of capitalism which re-created a reserve army of labour, and has allowed the capitalists to make high profits ever since” (pp 284-285).
At the time it was always assumed by most that any political activity was always in the interests of the population. This quote served as confirmation that the raising of unemployment during the Thatcher era was a deliberate tactic. As unthinkable as that might have been at the time, there was a clear decision to destroy lives for political capital. My question, and I ask this in all seriousness is whether your administration is currently also having a different set of private conversations to those that the public hear. Just as the Thatcher administration reassured the public they were trying to lower unemployment when they were intentionally increasing it, can I ask whether your cabinet has had conversations about how desirable it would be for a few vulnerable people to starve to death. It could be seen after all that a few examples of what can really happen when the safety net is removed might mobilise others who draw on benefits to stop ‘scrounging from hard working taxpayers’ and move toward the labour market. So my question is
a. Have you deliberately set out to drive a small number of British people to starvation as a political tactic?
The reason I moved to ask such an extreme question is because to make someone die of starvation in a western democracy in 2014 isn’t actually a very easy thing to do. It needs an awful lot of very specific activities to conflate at once in order for it to become possible for vulnerable people like Mr Wood to starve to death. You would need to put in place a systematic regime of wage stagnation, a raft of brutal benefits cuts that disproportionately attack the vulnerable and disabled. You’d need to develop and sustain an orchestrated campaign of misrepresenting vulnerable people through the media and you would need to put in place a privatised work assessment regime that rewards morally bankrupt companies who assess people as fit for work regardless of their circumstances. To achieve this you would need to make possible the most hideous and inhumane political coalition since Asquith’s feckless cabinet contributed to 1m deaths at the Somme.
Regardless of whether a starvation strategy has been deliberately orchestrated or is a tragic by-product of one of the most sustained political failures of modern times, I do wonder Mr Cameron whether you will see Mr Wood’s emaciated and desperate face when you close your eyes to go to sleep at night. For the sake of the many other people around the country approaching such extreme destitution, I genuinely hope that you do.
Yours sincerely,
Dr Carl Walker

From: Since 1545

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