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The Department for Work and Pensions has issued some pretty words in response to a damning report linking it to at least 69 suicides.

The National Audit Office said it could not be sure how many deaths could be linked to poor practice at the government department because the system is so muddled.

So on Monday (February 10), the DWP made a lot of promises.

DWP told the NAO that [it] will look at how its Internal Process Reviews are used to improve processes and prevent harm in future, across three areas –  identification of cases, improving the analysis of recommendations, and better prevention.

It will look at how to improve analysis of the reviews “to ensure that the department is aware of any systemic themes and issues, and is able to act to put in place effective corresponding improvements”.

And it will also look at how staff decide whether to carry out reviews in the first place. It will improve internal guidance and communication “to ensure staff are aware of and understand the processes for reporting a suicide”, the NAO said.

The review will be led by a new unit that has been set up within DWP to “improve the department’s approaches to identifying, investigating and learning lessons from customers’ experiences; and to ensure lessons are fed back into improvement processes”, the NAO report said.

Among other things, the unit will also be tasked with improving the coroner’s focal point – a mechanism put in place in 2016 to improve communication with coroners, including about suicide cases.

It will also be responsible for the serious case panel DWP has established in recent months, which it said would “consider the most serious systemic issues” identified in internal reviews and by the Independent Case Examiner.

We’ve had promises from the DWP before, but the deaths have continued.

And these latest promises? I don’t believe a word of them.

Source: DWP pledges to learn from cases linked to suicide amid call for independent probe | Civil Service World

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