‘Fit for work’ suicide man’s sister tried to take her own life after DWP ordeal

The late Paul Donnachie [Image from the DNS story].

The late Paul Donnachie [Image from the DNS story].

This tragic story reinforces what This Blog has been encouraging people with mental health problems to do when they take the DWP’s hated Work Capability Assessment.

For goodness’ sake, if you are vulnerable – especially to thoughts of killing yourself – tell the assessor it is because of the way the government treats you as a sickness/disability benefit claimant. And leave a letter with a friend or family member saying as much.

That is the kind of evidence that could be used against current and former DWP ministers – like Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling, mentioned in the Disability News Service article – in court proceedings.

Follow this advice and it is possible the DWP will treat you in a much more reasonable way.

It is still an indictment against the government that you should have to spell out the situation in such a manner.

But the result should be much better than the alternative.

The sister of a man driven to suicide by the “fitness for work” system tried to take her own life after being “treated like a criminal” by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over her benefit claims.

Eleanor Donnachie believes her brother Paul (pictured) was a victim of DWP’s failure to ensure the safety of people with mental health conditions in vulnerable situations who apply for employment and support allowance (ESA) through the work capability assessment (WCA) system.

She told Scottish journalists earlier this year how DWP had ignored her brother’s need for support and instead punished him for missing appointments for a face-to-face assessment by sanctioning his benefits.

Now Eleanor, from Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, has spoken for the first time about her own struggles with DWP and how fighting for ESA and personal independence payment (PIP) drove her to attempt to take her own life earlier this year.

She told Disability News Service (DNS) that she feels she has been treated “like a criminal” by DWP, just as her brother was.

And she has joined the family of another victim of the UK government’s social security policies in backing calls for former Tory DWP ministers Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling to face a criminal investigation by Police Scotland for their failure to make the WCA safe.

Source: ‘Fit for work’ suicide man’s sister tried to take her own life after DWP ordeal


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7 thoughts on “‘Fit for work’ suicide man’s sister tried to take her own life after DWP ordeal

  1. John

    I can understand the letter, but what’s the point in telling the assessor? They don’t give a sh*t, and won’t record anything like that surely?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Oh yes they will!
      Anything that directly implicates the DWP in a possible death is of vital importance to them because the DWP – and the Conservatives – are already widely considered to be responsible for many thousands of unnecessary disability-related deaths (partly due to the efforts of This Blog).
      They’ll act to prevent any bad publicity – although I do accept that they will find another reason not to push people off benefit.

      1. John

        Don’t really see why they bother, after all, it’s a bit AFTER the event isn’t it?
        i’m confused though – did you really mean to put the word ‘NOT’ in that last sentence?

    2. Justin

      in theory if you tell a assessor that you have a self harm intention they should pay attention,however one recently stated that with support that person would be okay, this was overturned at mandatory reconsideration stage, will anything happen to the wca assessor unless complaints and someone strong enough to follow the complaint through, i doubt it, look at how many of them get reported to there professional body and struck of for, not many when you consider that more nurses get struck of who probably have less complaints where as this lot must have a 50 percent complaint ratio at least

  2. Rik

    It makes my blood boil and I am fuming. ..
    How long can this go on ?
    Something’s got to give it has to, surely ?
    RIP Paul Donnache

Comments are closed.