@RachelReevesMP @Debbie_abrahams @AnnMcGauran @annebegg @suey2y @johnpringdns @johnnyvoid @blacktriangle1 @MidWalesMike @theyoungjane @KateGreenSU
The DWP has seriously breached its duty of care by ignoring benefit-related deaths; at minimum, a suicide should automatically trigger an internal case review. A public inquiry into benefit claimant suicides is also urgently needed, and the Labour Party must call for one.
See DWP’s confession: ‘We ignore benefit-related deaths’ http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2014/09/dwps-confession-we-ignore-benefit-related-deaths/
In addition, the DWP needs to re-examine its policy which puts the onus on benefit claimants to procure medical evidence from doctors attesting that they are not fit for work, and the Department must be less inflexible when circumstances warrant. The DWP must also recognize that this responsibility of medical evidence procurement is beyond the capability of some claimants, especially those living with mental health conditions.
In the tragic Mark Wood case, his GP Nicolas Ward was not contacted by Atos or the Department for Work and Pensions about his patient’s medical history. Dr. Ward told the court that, had he been asked, he would have ruled him unfit for work.
In the tragic case of epileptic Trevor Drakard, his family struggled to gain detailed medical records of his multiple hospital visits down the years to make a second appeal. He was given a month to get the information, and, as the deadline approached, Trevor became more and more worried. His GP had just retired and so had his consultant in Sunderland, making it hard to get his history.
See also: http://twishort.com/Nxvgc for further comments and recommendations, and the below news stories:
Disabled Mark Wood starved to death after benefits cut when Atos declared him fit for work - Mirror Online http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/disabled-mark-wood-starved-death-3194250
Man with brain damage and 'uncontrolled' epilepsy hanged himself when DWP threatened to cut benefits - Mirror Online http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/man-brain-damage-uncontrolled-epilepsy-4305508