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SALFORD MP REBECCA LONG-BAILEY ‘HORRIFIED’ BY DEATH OF CLAIMANT PRONOUNCED FIT FOR WORK BY DWP
 

Star date: 5th February 2018

SALFORD MAN PASSED 'FIT FOR WORK' DIES LESS THAN TWO MONTHS LATER

A 54 year old Salford man passed 'fit for work' by the Tory Government's DWP died of a massive heart attack, after suffering stress and anxiety as a result of the disputed decision.

"He had children and a wife, and didn't know where to turn to next" his sister tells the Salford Star "He was put through hell." Salford and Eccles MP, Rebecca Long-Bailey, adds: "I am horrified that they may have contributed to his untimely and shocking passing..."

Full details here...


A 54 year old Salford father of four children died of a massive heart attack on16th January, just seven weeks after being told by a DWP medical tribunal that he was 'fit for work'.

The man, who the family doesn't want naming yet, had been claiming sickness benefit for over a decade due to COPD and a blocked artery but was awarded zero points by the controversial medical assessment test brought in by the Tory Government.

"He phoned me right away and said 'I don't know what I'm going to do now'" his sister recalls "I said 'This will make you even more ill'; he wouldn't ask anyone for help as he was too proud. But we put him onto the Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre who did a report and he was dragged through a tribunal on 21st November, which he was dreading before he even got in there."

Despite having medical records from his GP and consultant, plus support from the Centre and Salford and Eccles MP Rebecca Long-Bailey, his appeal failed.

"He was very depressed, he came back and his breathing was bad" his sister explains "There was a relationship between the decision and what happened; he had a good case but they judged him before he even got in, that's what I believe.

"He was put through hell going to the tribunal trying to prove what was going on inside his body" she adds "But, like he said, 'You can't show these disabilities'. They were overruling his GP. Yet the people who do the assessments are not trained enough; it's almost as if they are impersonating doctors. For me, you're judged before you even go in there, so if you've got a disability and it's on the inside and not on the outside they think that you're alright and everything's fine.

"He didn't go mithering the NHS because they're on their knees and have no money, but the DWP were saying 'We want more evidence' putting even more pressure on the NHS. Was the GP, who had gone through university and training to get qualifications, not worth anything?" she asks "All his medical records were passed onto the tribunal but I think they just didn't like his face. They actually said 'Right, we've finished with you now' and walked out...He lost almost £40 a week but it was about the stress and anxiety, and we all know what happens when you get knocked off these benefits. He had children and a wife and didn't know where to turn to next."

Alec McFadden, manager of the Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre which handled the case, was shocked by the tribunal decision, which read 'Your work capability assessment shows that although you may have illnesses, health conditions or disability you are now capable of doing some work'...

"You've almost got a replication in terms of age of I, Daniel Blake" he says "You've got a guy whose consultant and doctor said he wasn't fit for work; then you've got a life coach, or whatever they're called, in the medical tribunal and in the medical assessment saying he was fit for work, even though they accept he had health conditions.

"It's beyond belief when I read their own statement" he adds "They accepted the fact that he had health conditions, to such an extent that his house was adapted so he lived on one floor; but it appears that they've looked at the house, seen it has three floors, so thought this guy must be running up and down stairs all day.

"He's been on the sick receiving disability benefits for over ten years, yet the suggestion in the letter is that there's been some remarkable miraculous recovery, an on-the-road-to-Damascus like bolt of light. The family were shocked because there clearly hadn't been any improvement in his health whatsoever."

The letter from the tribunal also stated that he should start looking for a job...'We realise that this may not be the same type of work you've done; we can help you by identifying types of work you can do taking into consideration any illness, health condition or disability you may have'...

"He hadn't worked for a number of years but was a security guard and, for that, you have to be on your toes most of the time and you sometimes have to physically restrain people; I don't know how this man was meant to fit into this role" McFadden says "Maybe they were thinking of him being an astronaut or an airline pilot, or a tv host so he could just sit down.

"Whatever, the Centre feels that this is either incompetence or malicious, or both, but also carrying out Tory Government policy, initiated in part by Esther McVey" he insists "There is also a suggestion, after taking legal advice, that the DWP can be sued for negligence."

Now, Salford and Eccles MP, Rebecca Long-Bailey, has criticised both the DWP decision and the cruel benefit system imposed by the Government...

"I am both saddened and shocked to hear about the passing of one of my local constituents, who died last month at the age of only 54" she says "Last year my office referred the man, who suffered long term medical issues, for support from the Salford Unemployment and Community Resource Centre, after the Department for Work and Pensions found him fit for work. Being found fit for work meant he was no longer entitled to Employment Support Allowance and his financial situation was adversely affected.
 
"He is not a number, or a statistic, he is a real person and leaves behind a devastated family" she adds "He should not have been subjected to the stresses and strains of this Government's callous and unfair capability assessments and financial sanctions. I am horrified that they may have contributed to his untimely and shocking passing."

Meanwhile, a mother, four children, sisters and family have been left distraught...

"I shouldn't be seeing my younger brother in a coffin in the chapel" his heartbroken sister says "They twist everything you say; everything..."


Today, Esther McVey, the former Employment Minister who introduced benefit sanctions guidelines, and was recently handed the job of Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, is set to answer questions in Parliament about the cruelty of the benefits regime.

See also today's Salford Star article – Salford songwriter, Dominic Williams, creates national track for the Sack Esther McVey campaign – click here

Carol wrote
at 09:09:38 on 07 February 2018
This happened to my Sister at 59 her husband suddenly died so she had to make a claim for Disabilityshe was so ashamed all her live she as never complained or asked for anything just got on with it.She was born with Spina Biffa and Club feet,she as a child spent years in Hospital learning to walk which she did with the help of calipers,she had constant back pain she was very unstable on her feet and had many falls,She went in on her own on the medical has her Daughter thought she would be ok was asked how long as she had Spina Biffa Fact you are born with it but this so called doctor didn’t know this She came home in tears was she didn’t have Spina Biffa but was told she had MS instead and to go and get a cleaning job who would employ a 59 year old lady who is unstable and falls over every day ,we did Appeal and I went with her Thankfully the Doctors on the Appeal board knew what they were doing and she won But we shouldn’t off had to do that luckily I was there to fight her case;Sorry for the last of grimmer but I am rushing to get ready for work
 
Evan Pritchard wrote
at 12:48:42 on 06 February 2018
BJ Nicholson appears to be profoundly ignorant about the workings of the system. People are not initially assessed by a Tribunal but by a "health care professional", who is frequently a nurse and not a doctor, and frequently someone not even qualified in the area of healthcare relevant to the person being assessed. The DWP does not run the Tribunals, but the Courts and Tribunal Service. In other words Tribunals are part of the judiciary, not the government (ie the DWP). The DWP is a party to a Tribunal, although frequently (usually) they don't bother sending a representative to defend their decision. If the Tribunal is dealing with an ESA or PIP appeal there will be a doctor on the panel. The fact that such a large number of people are successful at Tribunal, if they live long enough to to to one (tragically this individual did not, as has been the case with so many in the same position) is a reflection of just how professional and caring the assessments are, and how ready to believe clearly flawed medical reports DWP decision makers frequently are. In the interests of fairness to some DWP staff, there are cases where serious issues with medical reports from assessors are flagged up and a decision is either made to grant the benefit against the advice of the "health care professional" or where a mandatory reconsideration is successful. But these are few and far between. The bottom line is that this system is not fit for purpose, is cruel, unfair and in some cases hastens medical decline and even death. It has to go, along with those who prop it up. In the meantime, if you are affected, get support, advice and representation. Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre are excellent, as are Greater Manchester Law Centre. Help is available for people with mental health problems specifically from Mind. Evan Pritchard Unite the Union Greater Manchester Community Branch
 
Lr. Broughton Resident wrote
at 06:59:10 on 06 February 2018
Re: BJ Nicholson’s comment The person who assessed me was certainly not a Doctor but medically trained as she told me. Ironically the first assessment, many years ago was carried out by a local GP. Going back to the medically trained assessor she needed a course in touch typing as I had to keep stopping telling her about my problems so she could catch up with typing her report. I was asked numerous times to repeat myself. If I had to go again I would type my own report and just hand it in.1975 LOTEPe
 
B J Nicholson wrote
at 16:43:44 on 05 February 2018
The DWP employ specialist doctors not GPs. A doctor is always there for these tribunals. The civil service is not Tory, mostly hard lefties.
 
Elizabeth Lowes wrote
at 14:35:45 on 05 February 2018
Ive had it done to me l was on dla full for 35 years they took my dla and refused me pip atos woman lied through her teeth she said l could handle money had no arthritis no illnesses l have immune system illness through arthritis vit b12 drficiency d
 
Elizabeth Lowes wrote
at 14:35:29 on 05 February 2018
I have asthma rheumatoid arthritis psoriasis related.diverticulitis.l get tired im full of pain..digestive problems allergies l have problems walking frontal lobe arthritis l get lost if lm alone wake confused the lies she told disgusts me
 
Vincent peak wrote
at 14:35:23 on 05 February 2018
I too am on long term sick leave from work. Im now on universal credit. And 2 times now have had my assessment and they say im fit for work. Im not going to the tribunal to sit in front of people who dont know me.. who have no idea in what my daily life is like. Ive given up on fighting people to listnen to me. I would sooner die than go back to work.
 
Fionna Scott wrote
at 14:35:05 on 05 February 2018
Pip all for females who fake it working claiming go out with no carers do everything there self travel alone all go mecca bingo scarbough about time at long last males get pip my partner disabled seriously ill wake up torys no mire sex discrimination males should be treated same way as females say no males say no females
 
Sandra Bowes-Rennox wrote
at 13:06:46 on 05 February 2018
McVey will say it's complicated and waffle on as useless as this Tory is.
 
FreddiePassenger wrote
at 11:41:09 on 05 February 2018
"...brought in by the Tory Government". No, it wasn't. It was introduced by a Labour government.
 
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