Protest today against work capability assessment creator

Mansel Aylward, former chief medical officer at the Department of Work and Pensions: Architect of misery?

Mansel Aylward, former chief medical officer at the Department of Work and Pensions: Architect of misery?

The Disabled Activists’ Network Cymru (DAN Cymru) is organising a vigil and protest against a decision by the Socialist Health Association to give a platform to Sir Mansel Aylward, the man behind the Department of Work and Pensions’ Work Capability Assessment.

Data released by the DWP last month show that thousands of people have died after being found “fit to work” by the deeply flawed WCA, which was introduced by Sir Mansel while he was Chief Medical Officer of the DWP.

A statement by DAN Cymru declared: “As disabled people we are dismayed at the lack of solidarity shown to us by Socialist Health Association through their decision to give legitimacy to Sir Mansel and the discredited ‘biopsychosocial model’ of disability on which the WCA is based.”

The biopsychosocial model on which the WCA is based is a brainchild of the US medical insurance industry, particularly Unum, which funds Sir Mansel. Unum Provident Insurance were fined $31.7 million in 2003 in a class action law suit in California for running ‘disability denial factories’ in which they use the pseudoscientific and discredited biopsychosocial model to deny medical insurance payouts to thousands of ill and disabled Americans.

Dr Liza van Zyl, a disabled member of DAN Cymru, said: “A lot of disabled people who become involved in DAN Cymru initially found us when they were searching the internet for ways to commit suicide because the DWP stopped their income after the WCA found them fit to work.

“The WCA has been the cause of so much suffering and destitution of disabled people in Wales. It is staggering beyond belief that the Welsh Government has appointed the man responsible for the WCA to chair Public Health Wales.”

Rob Marsh, convenor of DAN Cymru said: “The biopsychosocial model is a cargo-cult science with no credibility in the medical and scientific establishment.

“The British Medical Association has condemned the WCA and called for it to be scrapped. The BMA has found that eight out of 10 GPs report that their patients find the WCA and the DWP-administered benefits system so stressful that it causes mental ill-health in those patients who did not previously have mental health conditions.

“And over half of WCA assessments are overturned on appeal, at huge cost to the taxpayer. It is staggering that Aylward is considered an appropriate person to advise the Welsh Government on public health and disability matters”.

A summary of the Work Capability Assessment, the Biopsychosocial model of disability, and its introduction into the UK welfare system by Sir Mansel Aylward can be found here.

The protest will take place at 6.30pm today (Tuesday, September 8) outside the Unison Wales offices on Custom House Street, Cardiff CF10 1AP.

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  1. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl) September 8, 2015 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    I wish I could be there but I will be in spirit. It seems to me that the vast majority of these people with titles (certainly not given for their compassion) have a hatred of those for whom they should really be serving. At this moment in time I cannot find any titled person for whom I have respect and, in fact, titles should be plain Mr. Mrs. Miss Ms and nothing more.

  2. Mr.Angry September 8, 2015 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    I can’t believe what I have just read, why don’t they invite him into the House of Lords it’s full of cheap skates like this individual. He could sleep away the rest of remaining years and wine and dine at the expense of the taxpayer in reward for his kindness to mankind.

  3. mili68 September 8, 2015 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Tweeted @melissacade68

  4. Tony Dean September 8, 2015 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    This is well worth a read despite it’s length, interesting thank you in it:-

    The meeting which formed the basis for this book would not have been possible had it not been for the enthusiastic
    support of Professor Mansel Aylward and funding from the Department for Work and

  5. Mr.Angry September 9, 2015 at 9:53 am - Reply

    Yes Tony very interesting albeit a lengthy read, apart from Aylward’s enthusiasm and involvement.

    I truly believe there would have been a huge financial incentive involved for all those named in the research project funded by the US Insurance Companies to ultimately save them “MONEY”.

    The UK thought they would jump in on the band wagon, using the US model for non-payment of claims.

    Again handsome rewards for the few for the demonization of the many.

    Sad world and IDS is recommending young people start paying into a scheme to protect future claims of unemployment or illness, welcome to America.

    Maybe Dr.Death should gain a peerage from the UK government as it appears they don’t really care how many are dished out, sod the expense all logic null and void.

  6. mrmarcpc September 10, 2015 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    Why aren’t there more protests around the whole of the UK and not just Wales, it’s a national problem that we’re all facing and we all should be doing more!

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