Answers please to: Damian Green, Department for Work and Pensions, Caxton House, London.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has refused to consider an inquiry into its repeated failure to prevent the deaths of benefit claimants, despite the release of damning new information from nine secret reviews.
Key information from reviews into the deaths of nine benefit claimants had been requested by Disability News Service (DNS) in April – following the release of 49 earlier reviews– but DWP has only released it now after pressure from the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Although most of the information from the reviews – previously known as peer reviews but now called internal process reviews – was redacted, DWP did release the authors’ recommendations for how procedures should be improved locally and nationally.
Those recommendations show that DWP staff repeatedly failed to follow strict guidelines on how to support benefit claimants who have expressed thoughts of self-harm or threatened to take their own lives, which were introduced in 2009.
That guidance – known as the six-point plan – “sets out the framework for managing suicide and self harm declarations from customers”.
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