In Private Eye this Fortnight: A4E Using Untrained Advisers Working with the Disabled – Beastrabban\’s Weblog

In the ‘In the Back’ section of this fortnight’s Private Eye, 9th-22nd January 2015, is the piece ‘Welfare Gap’, writes the Beast.

This reports the claims made by a former employee and whistleblower, Chris Loder, at an employment tribunal in Manchester, that the ‘welfare to work’ provider is using untrained or inexperienced personnel to deal with claimants with a variety of mental and emotional problems, such as the mentally ill, those with learning difficulties and people who are drug or alcohol dependent.

A4E, as might be expected, deny the charge, stating that its staff complete ‘safeguarding training’ and ‘have access to a dedicated safeguarding team’.

I have to say, I’m highly sceptical of A4E’s claims.

To read why, visit Beastrabban\’s Weblog.

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5 thoughts on “In Private Eye this Fortnight: A4E Using Untrained Advisers Working with the Disabled – Beastrabban\’s Weblog

  1. casalealex

    This looks, to me, like the tip of an iceberg. I checked out A4e in Wikipedia, and found that, as no surprise, there have been “various controversies and criminal investigations”. According to The Times, “A4e is a business consultancy that offers “to make millions from the unemployed by treating them as a commodity” to private and public companies.”

    In September 2011, A4e were awarded a £250,000 contract to advise the Prime Minister David Cameron’s office on future privatisations. It will advise on how to design welfare contracts with private firms and getting value for money in contracting out.

    In November 2011, A4e were taken to task by a Social Security Tribunal for halting the benefit payments of claimants who wished to be accompanied by representatives of their choice at meetings run by A4e. The report also states that members of A4e lied to the DWP in order to cut the benefits to claimants.

    Liam Byrne, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responded to the DWP announcement of 9 March as follows: ‘The time has come for full disclosure. With more questions over A4e and David Cameron’s former family tsar Emma Harrison coming by the day, ministers must now come clean and tell the public exactly what they know and when they were informed about all allegations of fraud at A4e.’

    Prime Minister David Cameron has been criticised after it was revealed that Harrison was paid an £8.6 million shares dividend in 2011, in addition to her £365,000 annual salary, with the majority of this funded by the taxpayer.[44] Margaret Hodge described the dividend as “ripping off the State” and urged ministers to suspend all work with A4e.

    1. casalealex

      In addendum:

      My last paragraph should have mentioned that Emma Harrison was chairman until 24th February 2012.

      On 25 February 2012, it emerged that in addition to her £365,000 annual salary and £8.6m shares dividend, A4e also paid Harrison and her partner around £1.7m over two years for leasing properties, including their 20-bedroom stately home, to her own firm.

      Private Eye has revealed that an additional £4m was shared between the other directors of A4e; in the case of Roy Newey, Hugh Sykes and Steve Boyfield, through Personal Service Companies, thereby avoiding the payment of National Insurance

  2. A-brightfuture

    These work providers take have taken it upon themselves that they can work with the most emotionally challenged amongst us.

    Well good luck with that work providers!
    I hope you have liability insurance for when someone completely flips and seriously injures someone,(or even worse) because the individual cannot cope with the intense demands.

    It takes years to understand the emotional mind of challenging individuals.

    Not five minutes over a coffee and a white board presentation!
    Idiots!!!

  3. A-brightfuture

    I do feel that with all the local authorities cut backs, due to government having short arms and long pockets, mental health centres are being cut.

    But wait!!!!!

    A4E are there to take over the failing centres.

    Privatization.
    Back door style.

    Even if you are lucky to not have issues. With all the hounding over welfare, even the most stable dealing with this mess, probably will have anxiety issues.

    Mental health is big bucks,
    More people with issues, more bucks for “work providers”.

  4. liamtkirk

    So an employment provider is using untrained or inexperienced personnel to deal with claimants with a variety of mental and emotional problems… this is standard in the NHS. The last assessment preformed on myself was by a trainee social worker. It appears there are two types of people in the British population – those who immediately see what is wrong with the previous sentence – and those who will never. Before anyone says the trainee would have been supervised I can confirm he was not. Alone and unassisted he produced a report that influences my present and future health and social care. And again there are those who can immediately see why he should never become qualified and those who rely on his expert opinion to decide the care of the seriously unwell….

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