Friday, 29 June 2012

BMA Demand immediate end to WCAs!

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Black Triangle campaign group, I have some rather startlingly good news!

The BMA - that bastion of conservatism (small c) have voted at their annual conference to demand an immediate end to Work Capability Assessments (WCAs). WCAs are the "fit for work" assessment used to determine eligibility for Employment and Support Allowance. (ESA)


WCAs have been found "unfit for purpose" by every major study into them. Recently the Chief Executive of Mind stood down from the Government's WCA advisory panel, unconvinced the Government had any real interest in changing the assessments. Currently 40% of cases go to appeal and 40% of appeal decisions are overturned.

The BMA vote follows votes by GPs in Scotland and England to also demand the immediate withdrawal of WCAs.

It is astonishing that this isn't bigger news today. Without the support of doctors - who say that WCAs are harmful to their patients - the Government faces it's first serious challenge in implementing its welfare reform agenda.

Yet again, we must report our own news, so could I ask that anyone reading this, or reading the Black Triangle page share them everywhere you can? Facebook, Twitter, email, blog it; we must make sure that this story gets the attention it deserves.

It is a landmark in the campaign to see an end to ESA and WCAs or at the very least a total re-design of the system to make it serve the sick and disabled people it currently punishes.

At this point in time, almost every major charity, every campaign group, the CAB, the Liberal Democrat Party and now the BMA, representing doctors, oppose WCAs in their current form. All have called for major improvements to the process of assessing whether someone is able to work or not. Now doctorsw demand that they be withdrawn altogether until they can be made safe for their patients. 

I would remind Liberal Democrats that it is their party's policy to oppose the one year time limit on ESA and to make WCAs fit for purpose.

Finally an enormous "thank you" to doctors up and down Britain for standing up with us, your patients. For seeing what is just and what is not, for speaking out when so many are staying silent. To see our evidence when so many choose to look away




41 comments:

  1. It's so important to get real medical practitioners to support the end to WCA because is humiliating, unfair, degrading, damaging, and just wrong. Need to end the assumption that we're all liars. It's right to stop cheats, and use money to help people who need it most.

    Whatever replaces WCA needs to be based on medical evidence - not the bias of whichever so-called medical expert happens to be in front of the computer at the time.

    Thank you Sue, Spartacus, Black Triangle and everyrone else.

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  2. Yes great news and well done to all involved in this.WE the ones on the recieving end of this and the rest of the governments ideological attacks on anyone not in thier social strata(And who would bloody want to be) know just how devastating its has become.With more of the same to come the fight back has not come to soon and even though we know Labours past in the instigation of this rubbish we should hope that they now get behind this and demand the end of it in the house.
    It is high time that people realise the fraudulent practices perpetrated by the companies involved in all this ,and maxim yet another US company is now involved too so its is an ongoing process,and not only them the whole workfare scheme is a scam too payed for by the taxpayer which by the way in case anyone happens to ask includes the sick/disabled or unemployed too.
    Yes lets hope now we have some leverage and we can topple the tower.
    I do keep saying it but it is really true they can be defeated..they can be made accountable..they can be made to listen to US.Its the votes they want and they will ALL need ours soon enough and that is our currency we just have ALL rise together and stand together and we can do it and you know what THEY know we can thats why they spend so much of OUR bloody money trying to keep us in our place and that folks is all its ever really been about with ANY party .WE have all nothing to lose in fighting cos they are trying to take what we have anyway if we let em BUT that also means....Nothing to fear...and that really scares.Lets keep it up..

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  3. Sadly it is not at all astonishing this isn't bigger news, though it should be of course. Government ministers lining up today to publicly criticize Barclays but actually they know bloody well who their friends are - and that ain't the likes of those scrounging oiks who refuse to work, is it?

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  4. Keep fighting the good fight, such news is always welcome!

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  5. Excellent news! Finally justice and human decency is prevailing.

    I can't help but think of the many people who died waiting for their WCA appeals etc especially those driven to suicide by the corrupt WCA Scheme.

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  6. Wonderful, great news. Heartfelt thanks to all who have made this possible.

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  7. I wouldn't expect too much interest from MPs or Parliament in general. It's been two months since I wrote to Tani Grey and I've yet to have a reply. This news comes just at the time that MPs are planning for their 3 - 4 month recess - even though the economy's down the pan - so disabled people and unemployed people can go hang themselves.....

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  8. Let's hope this is a significant step towards getting all those involved in the PCA/WCA into jail where they should be.

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  9. Great News maybe now I won't have to go to Appeal
    But I'm ready if I have to.
    Mike

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  10. Fabulous news, thanks Sue it's made my day :)

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  11. great news that the bma have come out in favour of the disabled, up against a process that is designed in many cases to harm the sick and disabled. a monumental decision by this professional body .only to hear nothing, on any of the news channels. only continually confirms the blanket coverage and subversive manipulation by government and media is as one. may be we should all mass email the bma congratulating them on eventually supporting their own ethical mandate and in doing so kick this flawed political one sided un fair harmful document designed for reducing claims against the american, service personal, and is in affect illegal in a number of states with in america, where this french ,money motivated profit driven criminal gang, were kicked out. i feel it is only right that an organisation whose core values of empathy, compassion, and the well being of there fellow man should have anything to do with any group that is designed to harm and in many cases, be the core component and the major factor for people, yes people dying .it is only right, that such an organisation such as the bma, have total disregard for this piece of garbage and i can only hope that the gmc ,make a similar statement. steve.

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  13. I'm just waiting to hear if I am to have a WCA. I am really scared and worried. I know I am unable to work - I have several conditions - but I have heard so many horror stories. If they stop my money I just won't be able to live. I am so glad to hear this from the BMA but I don't think this awful government will listen!

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    1. Take a look at www.benefitsandwork.co.uk website..they have amazing guides in their members news section which you can download ..from how to best answer the ESA questionnaire..to what happens and how to present your case at WCA to how to fight an appeal..i've been a member for 2 years now..and their help has been tremendous...also there is a 'forum' section where you can ask questions of the disabled advisors there...tho DO read the FAQ's before posting anything in the forum...as it allows the disbaled advisors themselves to concetrate on the serious and urgent things rather than spend time repeating information already available on the site....it'll be the best £19.45 you'll spend this year..tho if you act quick and enter promo code 25377 on the purchase page you'll get a £4.00 discount..but not sure how long that promo will last..as they are doing some major upgrades to the site soon..so it may be the last discount for awhile

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  14. Brilliant news. It's good to know that the devastation caused by the WCAs has been recognized by the BMA.I had my appeal hearing notice delivered today. I'm terrified! The whole process so far has had a very detrimental affect on my condition(ME)and any hope of an improvement is constantly shattered by the ongoing torture of applying then appealing and then going through the whole process all over again. The fear generated by this system together with the financial hardship endured and it's affect on it's victim's health conditions is not recognized.

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    1. disgustin hunny x my mum has me too! this goverment r toffs as fR AS IM concerned xx bless u hunny x

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  15. Woo hoo! What an endorsement!
    I had to attend a Benefits Tribunal recently where both the chair and doctor agreed that the descriptors did not match my variable condition. I had my appeal dismissed, but it's good to hear that more and more people working with WCAs are unhappy with them.

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  16. Well i hate to be the one.....BUT its only a vote by a body of people who if you think back but ONE week they were striking about thier 60 grand a year pensions so lets get it right here they have put themselves first.I mean come on they have had long enough to take this stance and yet they were more bothered about pensions and pensions most of us will never have ..So yes good news but now go ask them will thier members who have partaken in work for atos now refuse to or indeed those thinking of doing so now not do so.Will they meet with thier individual MPs and press home the point that they will not take part in anything to do with the wca..atos ,unum,maxim or any other company involved AND will they demand of thier Mps that thier vote is acted upon and the wca is scrapped.Because until they continue to press the case then its is and will remain only a vote by a body of people..GOOD news that they have voted yes but we need more..

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  17. none of this matters. they'll do what they like, this coalition of hatred.

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  18. Well I've just emailed this story to BBC News and asked them to say something as repetitiously about this as they are currently doing over the latest banking scandal...which EVERYONE knows its the Bankers who are the REAL 'feckless scroungers'

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  19. it's irreverent what your doctor may think ATOS is outside of the uk law for the purposes of medicine or medical matters all they do is tick box a yes or no and if a yes your fit for work an appeal process
    cant see David Cameron showing any concern or back tracking

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  20. WONDERFUL news , I have facebooked and emailed ch 4, I just watched their A4E expose and asked if they could do one on the WCA. Lets hope that the scuba diving cheat isn't the only disability news today, who sends those indivdual case stories to the press, I thought the Minister does not discuss individual cases!

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  21. Just to be clear the government cant back down on what they have started with ATOS the contract wont allow it and also the legal process would be to long and involve great expense all round in getting the rules and laws changed

    The earliest the welfare reform bill could be changed in law is after the next election by the labour party if elected in to power
    personally i cant this happening either as it's a very complexed piece of policy that only IDS truly understands along with his civil service advisers

    As for anyone else in the country to say that they were to understand it or to be able to re write the welfare reform bill is madness and i for one would be very suspicious if anyone did come forward

    All of us know what is wrong with the welfare reform bill but getting it corrected in a legal framework takes time just as it took a long time to put it together in the first place

    David Cameron is part of the team responsible for continuing with the reform bill which was ultimately put together by the labour party and that's all. Any hardships and deaths that have taken place since the launch of the welfare reform bill under the labour party and continuing this term of office by the conservative party will be addressed at a later date in a crown court setting which is correct under law but as for changing a course of action on a working policy which the welfare reform bill is you will find cant be changed and is not that simple

    The simple part was getting the welfare reform bill put into place the first time around where everyone understood it the young and old the sick and disabled

    i myself put a very good paper forward in which my own Tory mp said was good and simple but never took off because it involved an independent doctor liaising with the patient's doctor and a DWP adviser to make sure that your benefits entitlement was correct and calling on all sick and disabled people in their own home and evaluating them on their home ground which was conceded timely and costly but apart from that it was a good straight forward no nonsense approach which the country would have gone with

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  22. As for the doctors up and down Britain standing up for the sick and disabled from me thank you and to everyone else involved in making sure that the vulnerable are protected

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  23. I am in the process of appealing a decision to stop my esa after a wca by atos. I have a lot of health issues and am awaiting two major ops after which i wont be able to work for some time. Its only because of my support worker that the appeal is happening and as a result of that wca and receiving a letter from dwp stopping my esa my depression dipped to its lowest yet and i didnt know what u was going to do. I hope this does get sorted as its horrendus what they put people thourgh. Well done bma

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  24. This is great news, though the BMA have done very little to advertise it. They sent me a tweet, personally, but didn't tweet it otherwise, nor advertise it as widely as they could or should have. It comes in the midst of a lot of very powerful research in the medical literature which I have tried to summarise on my blog. I think this is an incredibly important issue and I am trying to encourage the RCGP and the local university to set up a project to monitor the effects through GPs in London, Jonathon http://abetternhs.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/perfect-storm/

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    1. Thanks for being a caring GP, Jonathon.
      Read your blog.Great work just - hope other GPs will fight for their patients too.

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  25. I just want to pick up on the bit about doctors striking over pensions.

    They couldn't strike about the NHS and welfare reforms because those are political matters not works matters, they could only act in a political manner and quite a lot of doctors did speak out.

    I think that the WCA is fringe when it comes to taking action because in theory they could all refuse to do anything outside their NHS contracts but if they did, it's the patients who'd suffer because it's the stuff they do outside their contracts, i.e. the reports to help with appeals requested by the patients not the DWP that help the patients.

    They'd probably hit out most effectively at the system by being assertive bordering on aggressive with pursuing their patients' cases.

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    1. WEll thats the whole point isnt it patients are suffering everyone has a doctor so presumably every doc knows whats going on and they could have rallied against this ages ago.Its NOT JUST a political matter everything is political when it comes down to it This is about treating people right.So maybe they couldnt strike ...off course they could they chose not to thats all

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  26. Also note the judge in the call for a judicial review re. WCA and mental health today asked whether the system was 'only' flawed in terms of handling claims from people with mental health problems and described the assessment as "pretty crude" across the board. It's that 'only' we need to focus on. See today's Guardian.

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  27. I'm not in this campaign (in many others) but just dropped in with moral support for your effort. All the best, Howard

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  28. just thought I would let you all know someone has put together a great video on you tube to Celebrate the great news its called ESA GREAT NEWS BY THE RIDDLER????
    http://www.youtube.com/user/LION99926?feature=mhee
    I hope this link works
    Bill

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  29. ::: (\_(\
    *: (=’ :’) :* The urge to celebrate
    •.. (,(”)(”)¤°.¸¸.•´¯`» like Guy Fawkes is in our genes!

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    1. Talking about guy fawkes, the independent website guido fawkes runs many stories about benefit scroungers, disabled people etc. It's tone is ugly, unsentimental and downright abusive. Yesterday it carried a story about someone, who may be ill, set themselves alight outside a job center - opportunity for all the fascist hatemongers to prove that disabled people have a a hell of a road to travel for respect. The twwo recent governments have set in motion the acceptability for disabled people to be abused- to conjure up a hate crime against them - despite the Disability Discrimination Act - any way forward to 'acceptance' is akin to a war now - so whatever the BMA do means little in the scheme of things. Disabled people have been set back 50 years by what is currently happening. Fascism is rather like that.

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  30. So many thanks to John McCardle and the Black Triangle team. This is such an immense achievment. Thankyou for all your hard work.

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  31. Unemployed man sets himself alight outside Birmingham Jobcentre
    An unemployed man tied himself to railings before setting himself alight outside Selly Oak Jobcentre in Birmingham over a problem with a payment, witnesses said.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/9365087/Unemployed-man-sets-himself-alight-outside-Birmingham-Jobcentre.html

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  32. it will not make the news at the bbc as it will be classed as isolated case i would think ?

    It would only make the news if it were in an Arabic country

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  33. Its not just guido who is at it .Just had a glance at carole malones drivel in the sunday people.Where they get this crap from who knows but she is bleating on that to get dla all you have to do is fill in a form and hey presto free money.Someone please inform and educate this stupid woman.....

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  34. sick goverment

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  35. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jul/02/abolish-harmful-work-credibility-test

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    ReplyDelete