X attended the doctors on Friday. It was an emergency appointment. They were very anxious and depressed and wanted to take their own life. The doctor refused a sick note even though X was suicidal. Why? Because young people should be in work. The government wants you in work they quoted. X was very upset at this and it triggered another anxiety attack. They are now challenging this. I do hope this doctor is acting out of the ordinary. Being suicidal is a good enough reason for a sick note.

This led me to undergo a bit more research. I have found out that the government have introduced a scheme where all GPs refer patients that have had a sick note for 4 weeks or more to a private company. Much like ATOS I suspect.

This is supposed to be a trial but as with all government trials they quickly become permanent.

The new scheme will cost £134 million over 4 years and is aimed at people who are off work with long term illnesses.

Source: Sick note refused under government new scheme.  | The poor side of life

This is the ‘Health and Work’ scheme in action.

Run by Maximus (of work capability assessment infamy), the scheme claims to be “dedicated to ensuring that people who spend more than four weeks at a time off work with an illness get back into their job with a minimum of difficulty”.

In fact, as This Blog stated at the time: “This is a scheme to ensure that people are discouraged from claiming incapacity benefits; the idea is that a drop in new claims, coupled with the number of uncontested ‘fit for work’ decisions, might lead to a larger drop in the number of active claims – which means the amount of money being paid out in benefits would also drop.

“Inclusion of the word ‘health’ in the title of the new service is misleading, as it seems unlikely that consideration of an employee’s physical condition will have anything to do with the aim of the exercise.

“No, what we’re most probably seeing is an expansion of the “biopsychosocial” method employed in work capability assessments, in an attempt to convince sick people that their illnesses are all in their minds. Don’t expect this approach to be used for people with broken limbs or easily-medicated diseases; this is for the new kinds of ‘subjective illness’, for which medical science has not been prepared – ‘chronic pain’, ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’, fibromyalgia and the like.

“People with these conditions will probably be sent back to work – with speed. Their conditions may worsen, their lives may become an unending hell of pain and threats – I write from experience, as Mrs Mike spent around two years trying to soldier on in her job before finally giving up and claiming her own incapacity benefits – but that won’t matter to the DWP as long as they’re not claiming benefits.

“That is what we can all expect from the new ‘service’.

“It will be a fake, necessitated by failure.”

Was I right?

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