Tag Archives: cancer

Tory government is failing incurable breast cancer patients – because they see no profit in them?

Laughter: I was going to use an image of a patient with a nurse – but then it seemed more appropriate to show how Mrs May might have reacted to a suggestion that the Tories would honour their promise to help people who are never likely to provide a profit for Tory bosses.

Here’s a classic example of Tory priorities.

They promised to provide a designated nurse for all cancer patients three years ago, and no doubt got a lot of good publicity for it.

Three years later, having shown little interest in actually making good on that promise, they’re probably hoping everybody has forgotten it – or died.

Don’t expect the Tories to have a shred of decency because you will always be disappointed.

To me, it makes perfect sense that the Tories haven’t bothered to help people whose illness is not going to be cured.

As far as they see it, these patients are never going to make a profit for a Tory – so why would they bother to help?

They wouldn’t.

And, let’s face it, they haven’t.

A shortage of specialist nurses is leaving patients with incurable breast cancer feeling “abandoned” without critical care, according to a charity.

Breast Cancer Care said thousands of patients continued to be denied crucial care three years after the government promised access to a designated nurse for all cancer patients.

A Freedom of Information request to NHS providers across England, Scotland and Wales [resulted in] figures [that] reveal that 72% of NHS trusts and health boards do not provide a dedicated nurse for people living with incurable breast cancer.

There has been only a 7% increase in the trusts and boards providing nursing support in the two years since the charity’s last research, which it said indicated a “worrying lack of NHS investment in care to help people live well for longer”.

Source: Specialist nurse shortage ‘failing’ incurable breast cancer patients | News | Nursing Times

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Benefits assessor told woman with stage 4 cancer: ‘You’re not sick enough’

Paige Garratt: She managed to recover from Hodgkin’s Lympoma despite the attentions of the Department for Work and Pensions.

Paige Garratt may very well be the one that got away, as far as the Department for Work and Pensions is concerned.

Diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma – advanced cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes and lungs – the 22-year-old from Flintshire found herself fighting for her life.

Her fight was made much more difficult by the DWP – which, as regular readers of This Site will know, exists to make life as difficult as possible for the sick and vulnerable.

Advised that she would be entitled to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – the benefit that we are told is intended to help people with a long-term health condition or disability with the extra cost of living- Ms Garratt was hoping the money would pay for travel costs as she was having to visit the hospital three times a week.

But the assessor sent by the DWP decided that she was not sick enough to receive the benefit.

At the time of her interview, Ms Garratt was couchbound after a chemotherapy round, bald and so lethargic that she had to rest her head on the sofa arm or in her hands, but the assessor said she was physically able to take care of herself – and this person seemed to believe that her mental health was fine, even though she never asked any questions about it.

The conclusion regarding mental health is unsurprising because the PIP assessment never pays any attention to a claimant’s mental well-being. The revelation that no questions were asked about Ms Garratt’s mentality is surprising; I have attended several PIP interviews and it was discussed at length in those. But the decision letters made no reference to those discussions and PIP claimants certainly do not get any points if they are mentally ill.

More worrying still is the lack of attention paid to Ms Garratt’s physical condition. It seems the PIP assessment, a series of tick-box questions with yes/no answers – one example asks whether a claimant can prepare food alone – does not work for people with cancer.

And most worrying of all is the claim that Ms Garratt was not lethargic, when she could not even lift her head. That’s a flat lie – the kind of lie the DWP keeps claiming its assessors don’t make any more.

Put it all together and it seems clear that the intent was to deny Ms Garratt the benefits she was owed, thereby adding to the mental stress and physical incapacity caused by her illness.

Other claimants have been known to die after receiving this kind of treatment – although the DWP insists we are not to suggest that any fatalities are caused by its chequebook euthanasia-style behaviour.

Fortunately for Ms Garratt, the DWP’s best efforts proved to be in vain. Helped by a social worker, she successfully appealed against the decision and was awarded PIP in May this year – two months after she finished her chemotherapy.

A scan has shown she is now cancer-free, so I wonder how long she will be allowed to continue drawing the benefit.

And the DWP? It came out with the usual load of old flannel. “We have never spent more on benefits for disabled people and people with long-term health conditions, totalling over £50bn a year – up £7bn since 2010.” This is a lie.

Still, the announcement that the DWP will pilot video recording of assessments may well lead to improved confidence in the process.

For now, Ms Garratt should consider herself lucky to be alive – in spite of the Department for Work and Pensions.

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Fears for single mum fighting cancer after Tories refuse Personal Independence Payment claim

Roisin McWilliams

Remember, folks, the Department for Work and Pensions is adamant that we must not claim any causal effect between its decisions and any downturn in benefit claimants’ health – including death.

I imagine that will be hard for some of you to accept, given the fact that Esther McVey’s people have refused to provide Personal Independence Payment – the benefit that should be provided to everybody with a serious long-term illness or disability – to a woman with stage four cancer who is immune to chemotherapy and fighting for her life.

Roisin McWilliams’ father said the refusal has had a “profound” harmful effect on her mental health.

But Ms McVey and her cronies at the DWP want you to know that it is nothing to do with them.

Well, I’m sorry; I can’t do it. Ms McVey, her ministers and spokespeople are liars. Of course their decisions – made because they want to save money, not to help people – are costing lives.

Like Alice (of Wonderland fame), I like to believe six impossible things before breakfast. But I would have to be an imbecile to believe their babble.

A 28-year-old single mum fighting for her life against stage four cancer has been denied disability benefit PIP.

Roisin McWilliams spends much of her life exhausted, breathless and in pain after being diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma last Christmas.

Because of the disease, the hardworking chef had to leave her £1,300 a month job because “she couldn’t breathe” and “fractured her rib from coughing, it was that severe”.

The young mum recently learned she is immune to chemotherapy and needs “very expensive” immunotherapy treatment and a stem cell transplant if she is to have any chance of surviving.

This latest blow from PIP has had a “profound effect on her mental health” according to her dad.

Source: Personal Independence Payment refused to young Belfast mum fighting stage four cancer – Belfast Live

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DWP condemned cancer sufferer to die ‘like concentration camp victim’

Joseph MacMillan: Condemned to death by the Tory government’s Department for Work and Pensions.

Did the Department for Work and Pensions not say “lessons have been learned” about its mistreatment of seriously-ill benefit claimants?

Why, then, did it condemn a cancer sufferer to death – apparently by starvation, as his son said he was “like a concentration camp victim. He was just skin and bone”?

Joseph MacMillan was told he was fit for work, apparently because he was capable of walking up and down stairs at the time of his assessment interview – and could make a cup of tea.

I would like to know why the DWP did not reconsider after Mr MacMillan’s appeal had to be postponed – because he was too ill to attend.

Wouldn’t that ring alarm bells with you, if you were responsible for his case?

And that’s the nub of the matter – these benefits are lumped under the umbrella title “welfare” by the Conservative government. Well, if that’s right, then the Conservative government is responsible for the welfare of everybody on state benefits.

According to the dictionary, that means the government is responsible for the “basic physical and material well-being of people in need”.

Clearly it is reneging on this responsibility. Look at the DWP comment: “Assessments for PIP eligibility are not to do with an individual’s ability to work or not but on what impact their medical condition or disability has on their day-to-day lives.”

That’s a quibble about the way the death has been reported.

What about the fact that the DWP’s assessment clearly did not correctly assess the impact of Mr MacMillan’s medical condition on his day-to-day life?

His benefit claim was shut down and now he is dead – and there is a clear connection between the two.

We need an independent inquiry into these deaths.

A dad suffering from cancer died destitute with just £8 in his bank account because heartless benefits officials ruled he was fit for work.

Son Joe, 32, had no idea just how poor Joseph MacMillan was but was convinced he was not fit for work due to his illness.

He said: “He was like a concentration camp victim. He was just skin and bones.

“My dad was on that benefit because he was clearly unable to work and then in March they took it away and he never received it since. He was ­obviously not well enough to work because he died.”

Joseph had to have his nose amputated because of the disease. He also suffered from diabetes, pancreatitis, a heart condition and anxiety and depression linked to his cancer.

His death on August 9 came 15 days before his appeal against having his personal independence payment cut.

He had to postpone an earlier appeal in July because he was too ill to attend. But he had been without PIP since March, costing him around £550 a month.

Joe, a chef, said: “He was on a benefit called PIP but the Tory Government are trying to get people off benefits so he had to go to an ­assessment.

“As far as I am aware it is not even a nurse who does some of these things. It is a physiotherapist.

“My dad was quite confused and wouldn’t admit to being as ill as he was.

“He could get up and down the stairs and make a cup of tea and ­apparently that fitted the criteria for him not ­qualifying for PIP.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Mr MacMillan at this difficult time.”

He added: “Assessments for PIP eligibility are not to do with an individual’s ability to work or not but on what impact their medical condition or disability has on their day-to-day lives.”

Source: Cancer-suffering dad dies with just £8 after DWP stop benefits ruling him ‘fit to work’

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Terminally-ill woman called for reassessment by DWP – as she hasn’t died quickly enough?

Krissy Johnson.

The letter Krissy Johnson received from the DWP stated, “One of our health professionals has looked at the information you sent to the DWP.

“After doing this we have decided that we need to see you for a face-to-face consultation to discuss you health condition or disability further.”

Ms Johnson said it was the third time she had been called to attend a review, where she would have to prove her condition was terminal.

There can be only one conclusion: The DWP wants to know why she isn’t dead yet.

What a disgusting, degrading way to treat a person in the last stages of her life, who deserves to pass away with dignity, rather than being plagued with endless nagging from government lackeys who are desperate for a benefit saving.

That’s all they want – an opportunity to cut off this woman’s benefits.

They might even be persuading themselves they’d be doing her a favour if they did, as forcing her into starvation and homelessness will no doubt help her on her way.

Think about the barbarity of the Conservative government’s attitude.

Then consider what you can do to ensure the Tories are removed from office and never again allowed to blight the lives of your loved ones.

John McDonnell once described Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey as a “stain of inhumanity”. That goes for the whole Conservative government.

A woman diagnosed with terminal cancer has been called to a ‘consultation’ to assess her capability to work.

Krissy Johnson from Clitheroe was diagnosed with incurable metastatic Breast Cancer in September 2015.

Nearly three years later, the 48-year-old has been called to a meeting by the Department for Work and Pensions to determine if she is capable of returning to work.

Source: Anger as woman with terminal cancer is called to benefit re-assessment


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Nurse given a year to live will use it to stop Tories ‘killing’ the NHS

David Bailey was diagnosed with aggressive oesophageal cancer in October [Image: John Gladwin/Sunday Mirror].

I don’t know David Bailey – but it seems he is well-known to others.

So let’s see what they have to say about this:

This is the kind of man who believes the Conservative Party is determined to destroy the NHS and – even though he may not have long to live – will defend it to his dying breath.

Any questions?

For 35 years, David Bailey has dedicated his life to helping save others – working as a nurse on surgical wards and in an overstretched A&E.

Now he faces his own fight for survival, diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Yet despite undergoing gruelling chemotherapy, David is determined to ‘do his bit’ to stop the Tories “killing” his beloved NHS.

He will take to the streets on Saturday [February 3] with thousands of others in a day of protest against the Government’s destruction of the health service.

He blasted a funding crisis which has cut beds, driven out nurses who have had no pay rise for eight years, and strangled recruitment.

He said many NHS services were becoming unsustainable though lack of qualified nursing staff, with 40,000 vacancies available.

David pointed to a 23 per cent drop in trainee nurses since the Tories’ £9,000-a-year tuition fee.

Source: Nurse given a year left to live says he will use time he has left to stop Tories ‘killing’ our beloved NHS – Mirror Online


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Incontinent cancer survivor forced to “re-use baby nappies” is a sign of Tory-run DWP *success*

The estimable Peter Stefanovic has suggested that “when Benefit cuts force an incontinent cancer survivor to ‘re-use nappies’ you know the system is failing on an industrial scale”.

This Writer begs to differ.

The system is doing exactly what the Conservatives want.

The lady Mr Field mentions has been targeted very specifically by the Tory-run Department for Work and Pensions.

The idea was to deprive her of her benefits in order to put this lady under increased levels of stress; the hope was that this would push her towards suicide – or simply kill her off by boosting the level of her illness.

It’s ‘nudge’ theory in action, as the Conservatives practise it.

Obviously, with Frank Field raising the issue in Parliament, the Tories have had to say that something has gone wrong with this lady’s benefit claim.

This is only true if you accept that what went wrong, as far as the Tories are concerned, was the case being publicised by a Labour MP.

Now they can’t get away with it and must actually lift a finger to help this woman instead. They won’t have liked that at all.

This is just the latest in a long series of cases in which the Tories have cut off benefits to individuals. Some of the people they targeted have died as a result.

If these incidents really did represent the system going wrong, then the Tories would have fixed it by now. They haven’t.

The system hasn’t gone wrong.

It is doing exactly what the Tories want.

And it will continue doing so until the Tories are forcibly removed from office.

Spread the word.

A Wirral woman left incontinent by cancer was forced to re-use babies’ nappies after benefit cuts left her penniless, an MP claimed.

The Birkenhead woman, in her 50s, could not even afford adult nappies – and was too ashamed to ask for new ones from a local charity, according to Labour MP Frank Field.

She was reportedly stripped of disability benefit a few weeks ago after assessors said she was not sick enough to receive it in a controversial welfare test.

A government minister admitted “clearly something went wrong” in her assessment after the harrowing story was raised in Parliament, and she has appealed the decision.

Source: Benefit cuts force incontinent cancer survivor to “re-use baby nappies after being left penniless” – Liverpool Echo


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Why should doctors resign because of the #NHSCrisis caused by Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt?

Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt are the Tory fools who have created the crisis in the English NHS. Tell them they are to blame. Tell them they should resign now.

The more I think about the unreasonable comments and demands made by Theresa May and her health secretary Jeremy Hunt, the less acceptable they seem.

We are told senior GPs could resign in huge numbers because Mrs May has irrationally chosen to scapegoat them for the humanitarian crisis sweeping the National Health Service in England. But why should they?

Surely we can all see where responsibility really lies?

The Conservatives aren’t responsible for the NHS in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – and those countries aren’t experiencing any crisis – except possibly where their services are reliant on facilities based in England.

The Conservatives are responsible for the NHS in England, and it is in England that the crisis has occurred.

Therefore Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt are responsible for causing the current crisis; so Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt should resign.

Why are high-profile politicians and medical leaders not already demanding their heads on a plate?

Theresa May seems keen to blame anybody but herself – she tried to pin the crisis on the elderly before claiming that A&E departments are buckling because she thinks GPs are lazy.

Enough is enough.

Whenever Mrs May, Mr Hunt or any other Tory (with the exception of Dr Sarah Wollaston, who has spoken up for the NHS, thereby proving she is in the wrong political party altogether) tries to run down the NHS, its doctors, nurses, specialists, workers or users, let’s just tell them:

“No. You are to blame. Resign.”

It’s a simple message, and easy to repeat.

Put it out there a few times and even our Tory-loving mass media might get the hang of it.

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Tory lies and the #NHSCrisis: Health service ISN’T getting more cash than it wanted

“Let’s not rewrite history,” said NHS England chief Simon Stevens – but Theresa May has tried to do exactly that.

She knows perfectly well that he said the NHS in England would need between £8 billion and £21 billion in order to sustain the service up to 2020.

Her claim that, by giving the service £10 billion over six years, she is providing more than was requested is a lie.

That’s £8.4 billion over five years – the absolute lowest end of the scale presented by Mr Stevens.

It takes no account of cuts to social care, closed walk-in centres, closed pharmacies, limited availability of GP appointments – all caused by Tory mismanagement.

More money than the NHS requested would be at least £22 billion.

And the fact is that Tory cuts to the English health service will amount to nearly £40 billion – including the extra £8.4 billion – by 2020.

Theresa May is a liar and should resign because her lies are threatening people’s lives. Jeremy Hunt is a liar and should resign for the same reason.

The claim: The NHS is being given more money than it asked for.

Reality Check verdict: The amount that the NHS in England is being given over this Parliament is at the bottom end of the range that it asked for. It doesn’t take into account the knock-on effects of shortfalls in other areas such as social care.

“We asked the NHS to work out what it needed over the next five years in terms of… the funding it would need,” Prime Minister Theresa May told Sky News on Sunday.

“We gave them more funding then they required.”

But NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens denied this on Wednesday.

Mr Stevens has made clear that when he mentioned the £8bn figure, that was the minimum amount needed just to plug the funding gap.

But this figure is not enough to keep pace with rising demand, improve services or accommodate plans for seven-day services.

Speaking to NHS leaders last June, he said: “Let’s not rewrite history.

“In the Forward View, we actually said that the National Health Service would need between £8bn and £21bn by 2020 in order to sustain and improve.”

Source: Reality Check: Is the NHS getting more than it wanted? – BBC News

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The #NHSCrisis is only encouraging private firms to bite larger chunks from the health service

[Image: Martin Shovel.]

Even as the UK erupts in protest at the government’s neglect of the NHS, the Tory privatisation plan is working, it seems.

The crisis has created a perception that the public health service is unable to cope. Private firms can capitalise on this – and don’t forget that more private contracts are being offered up for NHS work, every day. Here’s the latest:

It’s for an ‘integrated urgent care service’ (whatever that may be), offered by Kernow CCG (in Cornwall?) and is worth nearly £50 million.

It should be remembered that private healthcare will not offer treatment for the most complicated, long-term conditions; the people who need it most. Instead, they take contracts that draw funding away from their treatment.

And the ‘crisis’ narrative gains momentum – but it lacks one major element.

The only reason there is a humanitarian crisis in the NHS is underfunding by the Conservative Party in government. They will have inflicted nearly £40 billion of cuts by 2020, and have already passed on around £20 billion of funding to private companies, much of which will be transferred to shareholders’ bank accounts as profit, rather than having anything to do with treatment of illness.

The bureaucratic cost of private involvement alone is astronomical.

Yet Theresa May tried to blame the crisis on the increase of elderly patients, in Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

In fact, decades of ward closures have led to the bed crisis. Bed-to-population ratios are worse than in some eastern European countries. Funding of the NHS, in total, is well below the EU average. But Mrs May keeps rattling on about a “strong economy” being the answer. Didn’t Philip Hammond say our economy is the strongest in the developed world, during his Autumn Statement last year? Yes, he did.

The only way the NHS can receive proper funding is the removal of private sector involvement from the National Health Service and the redirection of the funds this frees, back into healthcare.

That must be the first priority of any campaign to save the NHS.

The way to achieve it is simple: Destroy the Tory narrative.

The aging population isn’t blocking up A&E – Tory underfunding and bed closures did that.

Why isn’t the NHS properly funded, considering the Tories say we have the healthiest economy in the developed world?

If the Tories didn’t want A&E departments flooded with non-urgent patients, why did they close walk-in centres and pharmacies?

There must be no let-up, no relief for Conservative pro-privatisation mouthpieces. They must be challenged at every opportunity.

Their answers must always be challenged. If they fail to provide adequate answers, the question should be put again.

Challenge the narrative. Undermine their confidence.

Win back your health service.