This is all very interesting – but what was in the report?

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has unearthed a “draft” report that ministers failed to send to a coroner six years ago, following concerns he raised about a suicide linked to flaws in the “fitness for work” test.

The draft report has finally emerged more than three months after Disability News Service (DNS) started questioning why DWP appeared to have failed to respond to a Rule 43 letter about the death of 41-year-old Stephen Carré in January 2010.

That letter, sent to DWP by coroner Tom Osborne on 30 March 2010, linked the suicide with serious flaws in how the work capability assessment (WCA) was used to test the eligibility of people with mental health conditions for out-of-work disability benefits.

But letters from Osborne to DWP and the family of Stephen Carré show that ministers never produced an official response to the Rule 43 letter, as they were legally obliged to do.

Now DWP has finally admitted that it did exchange letters with Osborne during the summer of 2010, and even produced a “draft final response” to his letter in September 2010.

But the department has also admitted that it cannot prove that it sent this final response to Osborne.

DNS has been asking DWP about the Rule 43 letter since being shown a letter from Osborne to the Carré family in October 2010 in which he said that DWP had failed to provide a “substantive response” to his letter, despite its legal duty to do so within 56 days of receiving it in early April 2010.

At the time the letter was received, DWP was headed by Labour’s Yvette Cooper, but a general election was called within days, and Duncan Smith replaced her as work and pensions secretary in May 2010 after the formation of the coalition government.

Source: Stephen Carré scandal: DWP ‘finds’ draft report that was never sent to coroner  

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