Tag Archives: heart

Did you think the Tories would stop hurting children just because there’s an election? Think again

Kori: This eight-year-old boy had a heart transplant last year, but his body is rejecting it. The Tory-run DWP doesn’t care, though. It has cancelled his disability benefit and left him to fend for himself.

Say hi to Kori.

Kori is eight years old. Last year he had a heart transplant – but it wasn’t a wonderful success.

His body is rejecting the new heart and he is fighting for his life in hospital.

And what have the Tories done?

They have cancelled Kori’s claim for Disability Living Allowance and his family’s Motability car.

Their reason: Kori is “as fit as any other child his age”.

Take a look at the photograph. Do you think that’s accurate?

Friends of Kori and his family have launched a crowdfunding page to help them cope with the loss of their means of support.

You can contribute to it by visiting this website.

Please do – you can be sure the Tories won’t want to help at all.

They won’t care what happens to Kori – despite the fact that they have a duty of care towards him.

They’re too busy planning new tax breaks for their rich friends – if we’re stupid enough to elect them again.

Read more on this Facebook page: Kori’s Fight for Life

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Tory treatment of this Down’s Syndrome teen shows their attitude to disability is as evil as ever

Whenever the Conservatives tout new policies they claim will help people with disabilities, I’d like you to think about their treatment of Declan Kemp.

For me, it is reminiscent of an image I used to run on This Site, of a quadruple amputee. The caption stated that the DWP would interview the subject of the image every few months, “in case they’ve grown back”.

That is the level of ignorance and idiocy that the Conservatives show to people with disabilities, every single day.

No wonder so many disabled people have died.

Now we have Declan Kemp. He’s 19 and, besides Down’s Syndrome, he has cerebral palsy, a hole in his heart and scoliosis of the spine.

He visits a day centre three times a week and sometimes has to go into respite care.

His family applied for Universal Credit, making it clear that he would need a home appointment. He didn’t get it.

Instead, heartless DWP authorities summoned him to Job Centre interviews – two so far.

They said Mr Kemp, who could not speak for himself and fell asleep within 15 minutes of the first interview’s start, had to provide evidence from a doctor that he could not work.

He had already provided this evidence for a prior – successful – claim for Personal Independence Payment.

As his family members asked: why should he have to provide this information again?

Worse still, his mother was told to fill in a Universal Credit journal for him – an online record of what claimants are doing to find a job.

He has multiple – progressive – conditions that mean he will never be able to work, as any DWP employee working with people who have disabilities should know.

Challenged to justify its behaviour, the DWP has apologised for mishandling the case and said there was no delay in processing the claim.

That’s what the department says when its habitually harmful treatment of the UK’s most vulnerable people is discovered.

And we’ve had a succession of Tory ministers, who have announced policy after policy they claimed would make it easier for people with serious disabilities to navigate the benefit system and live in comparative comfort.

And nothing has changed.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has been asked to investigate discrimination against disabled people by the DWP – and in This Writer’s opinion, it can’t happen soon enough.

We’re currently in the run-up to a general election, and the Tories have already announced a plan for a £10 million fund to help disabled people claim Universal Credit – that, it seems, is only open to those who are capable of holding down a job.

Declan Kemp would not benefit from it at all.

We have a government that deliberately persecutes people whose health is perceived to be less-than-perfect.

I have stated before that it is as though the Tories were running their own eugenics policy – a plan to remove what a certain kind of people still call “useless eaters” from the benefit system by depriving them of the financial means to survive.

Back in 2015 I managed to force the Tories to publish figures – incomplete figures – that showed an average of 99 people claiming incapacity benefits died every day between January 2011 and February 2014.

The full details were likely to have been much, much worse, even then. Can you imagine how shocking they must be by now?

And the Tories are seeking re-election so they can continue this grisly work.

Anybody who votes for them is supporting this cruelty.

Source: Disabled teen with Down’s syndrome made to attend Jobcentre assessment | Metro News

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Heart attack death is another benefit saving from a false finding of ‘fit for work’

Lawrence Bond.


A certain kind of people are going to say that Lawrence Bond died because he was overweight and his heart could not take the strain being placed on it – that his death had nothing to do with the Department for Work and Pensions. Silly, silly people.

Yes, Mr Bond was obese, and needed help to get his weight down. Did he get it? No.

As a jobseeker, he would have had a certain kind of diet forced on him by budget pressures – cheap food with lots of sugars, salts and fats that pile on the pounds – and add stress to the heart.

Theresa May had a chance to put an end to the addition of such ingredients to cheap food, but in one of her first acts as prime minister, she gave in to the demands of profit-driven food companies. This is the result.

And being a jobseeker added to Mr Bond’s mental health problems, the demands made of him increasing the anxiety he suffered, which also added stress to his heart. Was he getting help for his mental condition? No.

Furthermore, he was in the middle of a second appeal against the ruling that he was ‘fit for work’ by the private American contractor, Maximus – meaning more stress.

It is no wonder this man’s heart could not take the strain any more.

But the DWP can absolve itself of any responsibility: “He was overweight”.

He’ll be another benefit saving from a false finding of ‘fit for work’.

Lawrence Bond, 56, suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after leaving Kentish Town Jobcentre on Thursday. His sister, Iris Green, said that he was in obvious “physical distress” when he arrived at the offices in Kentish Town Road.

Mr Bond suffered from prolonged health problems, including difficulty with mobility and breathing, associated with being heavily overweight. But his incapacity benefit, now known as Employment and Support Allowance, was cut following a second “work capability assessment”, which was carried out by American private firm Maximus in July.

A subsequent appeal was turned down and Mr Bond was awaiting the outcome of a second appeal at the time of his death, his sister said.

His sister said: “I think he suffered from anxiety all his life, but held down regular jobs and was never out of work from the age of 16 … but, of course, his diet was shocking so he put on weight.

“He lost his last long-term job two years ago and by then his weight and unfitness made him unemployable.”

Ms Green said his health deteriorated while he was unemployed, adding: “His anxiety was getting worse as he could not pay bills and was afraid to leave home to go to the shops. Two referrals his GP had made for mental health services had been lost and he said he felt annoyed about that.

“The main thing is that they have the means to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We have such a tick-box society. If we can change that, then people can flag things up and really help someone.”

Source: Man dies from heart attack on way home from Jobcentre after being ruled ‘fit to work’ | Camden New Journal

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The sickening facts behind the Tory lie that they are helping people with long-term illnesses

zken-loach-common-good-private-greedIt took a while, but Greg Clark, Tory minister for de-industrialisation, eventually had to resort to his party’s agreed line on the film I, Daniel Blake, in the face of a barrage of fact-based analysis from the film’s director, Ken Loach.

“It is a fictional film,” he told a BBC Question Time audience in Gloucester. “People… should not think these are the ways people are behaving.”

I beg to differ – and so do members of the great British public who have actually experienced the benefit system.

People are terrified of taking the work capability assessment (WCA), for reasons mentioned on This Blog only a few days ago.

In that article, I asked readers to send in their own stories, and it seems – despite Tory protestations that they have improved the system – that people really are being treated cruelly. “Teasing” – the word Mr Loach used – is the wrong description for it.

One person who was tested in July this year was stripped of ESA for reasons including appearing to “hear his name called in the waiting room”.

So suddenly every WCA is a Catch-22. If you don’t attend, your claim will be cancelled – but if you do attend, you are fit for work and your claim will be cancelled?

Another respondent explained that her husband took the assessment in February this year. He is unable to comment himself as he died on July 31 after his benefit was cut. The assessor told him he looked well, despite the fact that his skin was so thin it was possible to see the definition of his skull beneath his face.

One more? “Classic from my WCA (shortly after my father died of a massive brain haemhorrage and whilst my brother was in hospital on a life support machine after a brain haemhorrage): ‘She enjoys an active social life visiting her brother in hospital on a regular basis.’ Between those two events I had been diagnosed with a rare and incurable and untreatable disease I knew little about and hadn’t even been assessed by NHS at that point. ‘She has no mental health problems’ – I was clinging on by my fingertips.”

Are you angry yet?

What do you think of Tory Greg’s claim that work capability assessors don’t behave as Mr Loach asserts in his film (Daniel Blake is told he is fit for work and forced to apply for a succession of jobs he must then turn down – because he is not fit enough)?

What do you think of the fact that Tory Greg was quoting the Conservative Government’s agreed line about the film – that it is just a work of fiction?

And if you voted Conservative last year or in 2010, what do you think of the fact that your vote supported the torture (and in many cases, death) of your fellow UK citizens – who have committed no crime, and whose misfortune could happen to you at any time?

In the film, Daniel Blake’s suffering at the hands of the DWP is the result of a heart attack. In real life, 53-year-old Stephen Hill was found fit for work, while he was waiting for major heart surgery. He died of a heart attack one month later.

Or how about Brian McArdle, 57 years old, who suffered a fatal heart attack the day after his disability benefits were stopped?

Or David Groves, 56 years old. He died of a heart attack the night before he would have taken his work capability assessment. His widow claimed the stress killed him.

These are just three similar cases. The WCA dead number in their thousands – and that’s just those that are known.

Stephen Hill’s death would not have been recorded by the DWP because it happened too long after his benefits were stopped.

And the Tories tell you, this is just a work of fiction. Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.

Are you angry now?

If not now, when?

It will be too late to be angry when you’re dead too.

Director Ken Loach has condemned the Government for overseeing a culture of “conscious cruelty” in the way it docks people’s benefits.

[The] film-maker hit out at the Government’s benefits regime and fit-to-work tests, which leaves people “living in fear”, when appearing on the BBC’s Question Time [after the release of his film I, Daniel Blake, about about a man’s struggle with the welfare system].

[Mr] Loach made clear he believes sanctions placed on benefits claimants – where the part or all of the payment is docked – are deliberately cruel.

He said: “People are living in fear, and it’s an absolutely intolerable way to live. There’s a conscious cruelty to the way the benefits system is being imposed. The Tory Government knows exactly what it is doing.”

He added: “We know that the Government knows it’s wrong because if you appeal against the assessment you will almost certainly win. They know they are teasing people in a very cruel way.

“When you’re sanctioned your life is forced into chaos and people are going to food banks – there was 1.1 million people getting food parcels. People who would starve otherwise.”

He concluded: “How can we live in a society where hunger is used as a weapon?”

Asked by host David Dimbleby why the Labour Party was in Opposition and trailing in the polls if the Tories were so bad, he blamed the rebellion by MPs who tried to force out Jeremy Corbyn.

He said: “It’s because the Parliamentary Labour Party has done it’s best to undermine its leader, that’s why. People won’t vote for a divided party.”

In response, the Tory Cabinet minister dismissed the account in ‘I, Daniel Blake’ as just a “fictional film”. He said: “Your film, Ken – it is a fictional film. And people seeing it should not think these are the ways people are behaving.”

Loach has said his team “talked to hundreds of people” at the DWP to create the story.

Source: Ken Loach On BBC Question Time Accuses Tory Government Of ‘Conscious Cruelty’ Over Benefits Sanctions | Huffington Post

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DWP hounded diabetic, mentally ill mother to her death after ‘fit for work’ verdict

150920Urbacz pic copy

Your caring government will say there is no evidence to connect its policies with the deaths of benefit claimants. Does anybody – at all – believe that any more?

This was posted on Facebook today.

Peter Urbacz

My mother Ruby Urbacz age 59 was found dead at her home on the 6th September as a result of a heart attack. She had been admitted to hospital a 01/08/15 for chest pains where they found she had had three minor heart attacks. Even though my mother had poor mobility , type 2 diabetes, very basic numeracy and literacy skills and mental health problems including depression, she was deemed “fit for work” by the DWP. She was put on JSA and hounded to show evidence of looking for a job she struggled to write a shopping list and thus constantly worried about money and if her benefits would be stopped.

Her benefits were stopped without without any investigation as she missed her jsa appointment whilst in hospital, after her discharge she had received no money for five consecutive weeks of the £50 per week she would have normally received she was also paying £20 per week in bedroom tax. On only £30 per week She could not afford to feed herself properly as bills were her main priority, so was living off food bought from poundland which obviously worsened her diabetes.
She was getting carer visits from the red cross.

After her discharge from hospital. On the the 4th September the carers notes say “Ruby is worried about money, still waiting for benefits to be sorted.” She died less than 48hours later.

I’m writing this not because I want sympathy but to make you aware that Iain Duncan Smith’s policies are directly contributing to the deaths of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Please do not comment with sympathetic messages as this will not change anything, instead share this post and make as many people aware of the contemptuous nature of our self serving government who punish the poor and give to the rich.
Thank you for sharing.

Source: His diabetic mother was found dead in her home after being sanctioned for being in hospital with heart problems. | Benefit tales

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Let’s support people who stand up against bad government

A principled stand: Dr Gordon Gancz, of Oxford, is fighting the government's plan to sell his patients' confidential records to private companies for profit.

A principled stand: Dr Gordon Gancz, of Oxford, is fighting the government’s plan to sell his patients’ confidential records to private companies for profit.

A refreshing change seems to be sweeping through local news media here in the UK, with stories starting to appear about people who are fighting unjust behaviour by the government.

The rest of us should support this.

For example: Workington woman Jeanette Johnston, 29, had a job until recently but has been forced to give it up due to congenital health problems which mean she has already had a kidney removed and will need a heart and lung transplant in the future.

She had been receiving Disability Living Allowance but this was stopped last August after aids including bed ladders were fitted at her home, following recommendations from an occupational health expert.

DWP advisors told her that the benefits would stop until she was reassessed for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – and she has now spent half a year waiting for that appointment.

Jeanette’s tale raises several questions. Why does it take so long for anyone to have the now-legally-demanded medical assessment of their disabilities? Could it be because benefits are stopped until those assessments take place, and it is a chance for the government to claim benefit savings? This seems extremely likely.

Also, Jeanette’s benefit was stopped after living aids were installed in her home on the advice of an occupational health expert. The government has just announced a plan to let employers send occupational health experts to advise workers who are off sick for more than four weeks. Does this signify an intention to deprive people of sickness benefits?

Finally, we should note that Jeanette’s condition is serious, involving a heart condition – and it is entirely possible that the stress of trying to make ends meet could worsen her health enough to hospitalise her or even end her life. Is this the government’s intention? If so, then we should all be asking questions about criminal intent.

Elsewhere – in Oxford – a local doctor is defying plans to collect patients’ confidential information and sell it to businesses.

Vox Political has reported on the plan many times in the past, focusing on patients’ right to ‘opt out’ of the scheme, called variously the Health and Social Care Information Centre, the General Patient Extraction Service or simply care.data by the government.

The records are said to be ‘pseudonymised’ by the government – an attempt at hiding patients’ identities that, in fact, allows anyone buying the information to work out the personal details of everybody on the list if they so choose.

Oxford GP Dr Gordon Gancz said: “It removes my right to protect my patients’ confidential information.” He has vowed to take the government to court if it takes action against him.

Both of these stories have been reported in the local press, where the online versions have ‘comment’ columns to which readers can post opinions. It seems likely that the papers involved will also have letters pages.

If you believe that the delays caused by the government disability assessment system are dangerous, you can say so – directly, to the newspaper. If you believe that Dr Gancz is right to protect his patients, you can say so – directly, to the newspaper.

I’m not going to urge you to go and do it because – as we all know – the Department for Work and Pensions took a previous comment of this kind as evidence that I was co-ordinating a campaign of harassment against it (new readers: this is not a joke!) and a future such incident would not help anyone.

But it seems likely that a few words of support for these people, in the pages of their local paper, might help rouse other readers into declaring their own opinions.

It is easy to keep people quiet about controversial changes when they think they are the only ones who are concerned; it’s not so easy when people have evidence that others feel the same way.

What are you going to do?

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