‘First do no harm’: Public to lobby Parliament over DWP assessments

Activists are to lobby Parliament next month in a bid to persuade MPs to impose stricter rules on the assessors hired by private firms to judge whether people claiming sickness and/or disability benefits are faking it.

The First Do No Harm lobby on February 13 aims to expose the continued harm caused to disabled people by the Tory government’s work capability assessments (WCAs), concentrating on the repeated failure of assessors hired by the Department for Work and Pensions to collect and pay proper regard to further medical evidence, as needed to judge a claimant’s eligibility for sickness and disability benefits.

It has been organised by Labour’s Treasury and work and pensions teams, through shadow chancellor John McDonnell and shadow work and pensions secretary Margaret Greenwood, after campaigning by the disabled people’s grassroots group Black Triangle and other disabled activists.

The aim is to push for the principle of “First Do No Harm” – a concept that should be at the heart of any true medical professional’s moral code – to be included in the benefits assessment process, through a framework that “treats disabled people with dignity and respect”.

This would introduce new “safety protocols” to ensure that the health and lives of disabled people are not put at risk by unfair decisions on eligibility following a WCA.

The lobby also aims to push the Conservative government to bow to years of pressure to carry out a cumulative assessment of the impact of its social security cuts and reforms on disabled people.

And it will call for an end to the government’s sanctions and conditionality regime.

The lobby is due to take place on Wednesday 13 February between 1pm and 6pm, with the briefing from 2-3.30pm, in the Palace of Westminster’s committee room 15. The committee room can be used for one-to-one meetings with MPs or further discussions on the issue from 1-2pm and then from 3.30-6pm

You can read more details in this Disability News Service article – and then you are invited to help out.

While the lobby has been organised by Labour, it is hoped that MPs from all parties will attend – especially Conservatives. And they’re only likely to do so if their constituents demand it.

It doesn’t matter if you are sick, disabled or able-bodied – if you want your MP to attend the lobby, get in touch – for example, by using the website WriteToThem, saying you wish to seek an appointment on the day of the lobby.

One more thing: Spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, and any other social network you use.

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6 thoughts on “‘First do no harm’: Public to lobby Parliament over DWP assessments

  1. foggy

    Tony Lea of Benefit Resolutions has secured, via a solicitor, legal funding direct from the ECHR to look into/investigate the DWP and their systemic issues/practices:

    ‘Irrefutable deliberately flawed/misrepresented medical assessments from these companies have been supplied to the presiding solicitor.’ https://www.facebook.com/TONYSADVOCACY/

  2. Jeffrey Davies

    yet these nurses who to their words of the contractor are very highly trained hmmm assassinations is whot they do but their union midwifery or such why aint they doing more to these nurses you bet they want their fees off them

  3. Tony Dean

    Despite me knowing it will be a waste of time emailing my MP asking him to attend the lobby, I have emailed him.

  4. Michael McNulty

    My right arm was crushed in 2008 and after weeks of amazing care the reconstructive surgeons finally closed it with large skin grafts. I lost dexterity after muscle tissue and the ulna nerve had perished and were cut away, but the DWP stopped my “lifetime” DLA then denied me PIP after ATOS reassessed the arm as okay. I lose £90 pm.

    People with medical training who made diagnoses as though doctors were called quacks, so the Tories have resorted to quackery to deny people proper benefits.

    (I wonder if this kind of treatment is what awaits most of us if the NHS is privatized?)

Comments are closed.