Educating Dr Litchfield – a few facts about the Work Capability Assessment

Ignorance is most definitely not bliss for Dr Paul Litchfield. The man was hand-picked by the Coalition government to review its hated Work Capability Assessment system of handling Employment and Support Allowance claims, amid rumours that previous incumbent Professor Malcolm Harrington had been unhappy with political decisions that ran against his findings. But he delivered a woeful performance to the House of Commons’ Work and Pensions committee last month. He claimed to have no information about the staggering number of people who have died after going through the assessment system he…

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How can the government’s new ESA specialist claim he knows nothing about all the deaths?

An evidence session on Employment and Support Allowance and Work Capability Assessments was held by the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee on Wednesday – and was notable for the fact that the ‘expert’ hired to review the system claimed to know nothing about the thousands of deaths taking place because of the current system. Dr Paul Litchfield OBE was hired to take over from Professor Malcolm Harrington to carry out the fourth annual independent review of the assessment process. It seems Prof Harrington was replaced amicably, but evidence…

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DWP’s shame: Facts reveal how ministers duped the press

Today the DWP finally released its press release claiming that huge numbers of people who wanted Employment and Support Allowance have been found fit for work instead. Interestingly, the DWP story differs from that published by the BBC, even though the corporation must have used a version of the press release provided to it in advance. In the BBC story, released on Saturday, “More than a million others withdrew their claims after interviews” – but the DWP press notice, released today, claims “More than a million others withdrew their claims before…

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Call for evidence on Work Capability Assessment: My submission

An article on this site earlier today publicised the DWP’s call for submissions to its independent review of the Work Capability Assessment and called for anyone with experience of the process to contribute by answering the four questions at this web address: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/fourth-independent-review-of-the-work-capability-assessment-wca As someone with direct experience of the assessment procedure, I made my own submission shortly after writing the piece, and I am reproducing it here. I threw as much information into the submission as I could, and I would like to take this opportunity to beg everybody…

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Work Capability Assessment: Time to make your experience count

The Coalition government is launching a call for evidence to help with its fourth annual independent review into the Work Capability Assessment process – and I, for one, will be delighted to be part of it. The review will be carried out by Dr Paul Litchfield, a senior occupational physician replacing Professor Malcolm Harrington, who ran the review process for the previous three years. According to the Department for Work and Pensions’ press release, it “will continue the process of monitoring whether the assessment is effective in identifying people who…

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