‘Fit to work’ tests come under attack from Bradford councillors

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Coun Doreen Lee Coun Doreen Lee

Representatives from the Department for Work and Pensions should come to Bradford to answer questions about the controversial ‘fit to work’ assessments.

That was the view of councillors at a meeting of the Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee last night. The meeting was part of an scrutiny investigation into how people in Bradford have been affected by Atos and the Work Capability Assessment (WCA).

Both were criticised by councillors, who listened to presentations from organisations working with people who are experiencing the WCA process.

Last year, Bradford Council started an investigation into the Government disability assessments. Councillor Jeanette Sunderland (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley) called for the DWP to face Bradford, adding: “This work must represent the Bradford district.”

It was agreed that councillors could submit questions to go on a “long list” to be sent to DWP.

Councillor Doreen Lee (Lab, Keighley East) derided the WCA system. She said: “The original aim was to get rid of shirkers – but it has gone into reverse.”

She told of a couple, both unable to work because of learning difficulties and handicaps, “spiralling out of control” because the man had been declared fit to work.

“He cannot go to work,” said Coun Lee. “They are in a state. Their doctor is fighting for them, I am fighting for them, we are all fighting for them.

The meeting also heard that there had been 160 sanctions in Bradford district between December, 2012, and September, 2013, against people who had ‘failed to undertake specific work-related activities’. Of those, 120 were disabled people.

Coun Sunderland wanted a breakdown of the figures. Coun Lee said: “We want figures for Bradford. We are scrutinising it on behalf of Bradford residents. The figures should be available.”

Nick Hodgkinson, manager at Advice Network and Training Partnership (Bradford District) gave a presentation to the committee about the WCA and answered councillors’ questions.

He said: “There is a universal distrust with the performance of Atos. We must ensure people are treated with greater dignity and respect.”

The meeting also heard ‘horror stories’ including one that a member of Atos staff had asked if someone with Down’s Syndrome would “get better”.

Comments (10)

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8:16am Thu 13 Mar 14

bd7 helper says...

It's a system that doesn't work and needs updating.
It's a system that doesn't work and needs updating. bd7 helper
  • Score: 5

9:14am Thu 13 Mar 14

LadWithCF says...

Asking a person with a Genetic condition about wether it will get better is purely disgusting, i myself suffer from multiple disabilities Cystic fibrosis, Aspergers syndrome and i have a mild learning disability.

Yet Atos thinks it will be ok to ask if my Cf will get better Which is a fluid question in which to say how can you know if your cf will get better or worse. for me cf can varies on days some days you are ok but other days you will end up feeling like death.

one of the troubling things with the DWP is how they are reluctant to deal with students at university with a disability. after my benefits were stopped i had to ring up the DWP and ask what was going on and they said i had to reply, on a interesting note i told them at i was at university and they said "university students should not claim" i am entitle to claim yet they are very reluctant to acknowledge this.
Asking a person with a Genetic condition about wether it will get better is purely disgusting, i myself suffer from multiple disabilities Cystic fibrosis, Aspergers syndrome and i have a mild learning disability. Yet Atos thinks it will be ok to ask if my Cf will get better Which is a fluid question in which to say how can you know if your cf will get better or worse. for me cf can varies on days some days you are ok but other days you will end up feeling like death. one of the troubling things with the DWP is how they are reluctant to deal with students at university with a disability. after my benefits were stopped i had to ring up the DWP and ask what was going on and they said i had to reply, on a interesting note i told them at i was at university and they said "university students should not claim" i am entitle to claim yet they are very reluctant to acknowledge this. LadWithCF
  • Score: -2

9:20am Thu 13 Mar 14

BierleyBoy says...

Why is bradford council spending time on this? If anyone who has undergone a WCA and isn't happy about the outcome can appeal and get help to do so.

It really is not a council issue.

Surprisingly the Labour councillor quoted omits to mention it was her party that introduced them and gave ATOS the contract. Of course there were never any issues before 2010.
Why is bradford council spending time on this? If anyone who has undergone a WCA and isn't happy about the outcome can appeal and get help to do so. It really is not a council issue. Surprisingly the Labour councillor quoted omits to mention it was her party that introduced them and gave ATOS the contract. Of course there were never any issues before 2010. BierleyBoy
  • Score: -5

4:32pm Thu 13 Mar 14

sorrow&anger says...

BierleyBoy wrote:
Why is bradford council spending time on this? If anyone who has undergone a WCA and isn't happy about the outcome can appeal and get help to do so.

It really is not a council issue.

Surprisingly the Labour councillor quoted omits to mention it was her party that introduced them and gave ATOS the contract. Of course there were never any issues before 2010.
It is the Council's business because somebody has to stand up for the individual and the Government won't.

On our own we are powerless against big business, that is why we need to organise and get a strong socialist state to fight on our behalf. The Tories always reduce the power of the state because they want to give their rich friends all the help they can when it comes to ripping-off us punters. Just look at the electricity, gas, water, rail and other 'service' companies like G4S and ATOS.
[quote][p][bold]BierleyBoy[/bold] wrote: Why is bradford council spending time on this? If anyone who has undergone a WCA and isn't happy about the outcome can appeal and get help to do so. It really is not a council issue. Surprisingly the Labour councillor quoted omits to mention it was her party that introduced them and gave ATOS the contract. Of course there were never any issues before 2010.[/p][/quote]It is the Council's business because somebody has to stand up for the individual and the Government won't. On our own we are powerless against big business, that is why we need to organise and get a strong socialist state to fight on our behalf. The Tories always reduce the power of the state because they want to give their rich friends all the help they can when it comes to ripping-off us punters. Just look at the electricity, gas, water, rail and other 'service' companies like G4S and ATOS. sorrow&anger
  • Score: 5

5:02pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Grumpygirl says...

BierleyBoy wrote:
Why is bradford council spending time on this? If anyone who has undergone a WCA and isn't happy about the outcome can appeal and get help to do so.

It really is not a council issue.

Surprisingly the Labour councillor quoted omits to mention it was her party that introduced them and gave ATOS the contract. Of course there were never any issues before 2010.
No, all was not right before 2010. There were clearly too many people on sickness benefit and Labour quite rightly did something about it. Only the true-blue and Daily Mail readers believe that Labour encourages a benefit culture.

As everybody knows, the problem with ATOS is that they are given money every time they find somebody fit for work. Under Labour this incentivisation was under control. However under the Tories, and fuelled by their culture of greed and contempt for anybody who isn't rich, it has got completely out of hand. This is clearly demonstrated that, even with the new rules, the number off successful appeals is rising. It is now about half. ATOS still get paid whatever the outcome of the appeal.

If Labour was in power ATOS would have been reined in long before now. The fact that the Tories are doing nothing says all you need to know about their attitude towards the sick, weak and underpriveliged in society.
[quote][p][bold]BierleyBoy[/bold] wrote: Why is bradford council spending time on this? If anyone who has undergone a WCA and isn't happy about the outcome can appeal and get help to do so. It really is not a council issue. Surprisingly the Labour councillor quoted omits to mention it was her party that introduced them and gave ATOS the contract. Of course there were never any issues before 2010.[/p][/quote]No, all was not right before 2010. There were clearly too many people on sickness benefit and Labour quite rightly did something about it. Only the true-blue and Daily Mail readers believe that Labour encourages a benefit culture. As everybody knows, the problem with ATOS is that they are given money every time they find somebody fit for work. Under Labour this incentivisation was under control. However under the Tories, and fuelled by their culture of greed and contempt for anybody who isn't rich, it has got completely out of hand. This is clearly demonstrated that, even with the new rules, the number off successful appeals is rising. It is now about half. ATOS still get paid whatever the outcome of the appeal. If Labour was in power ATOS would have been reined in long before now. The fact that the Tories are doing nothing says all you need to know about their attitude towards the sick, weak and underpriveliged in society. Grumpygirl
  • Score: 3

5:20pm Thu 13 Mar 14

alive and awake says...

Not Council business at all, The Councillors are just chasing votes in my opinion.
Not Council business at all, The Councillors are just chasing votes in my opinion. alive and awake
  • Score: -1

7:12pm Thu 13 Mar 14

RollandSmoke says...

alive and awake wrote:
Not Council business at all, The Councillors are just chasing votes in my opinion.
What by speaking up about the concerns of their constituents? It's a novel idea I'll give you that but you know what? it might just work.
[quote][p][bold]alive and awake[/bold] wrote: Not Council business at all, The Councillors are just chasing votes in my opinion.[/p][/quote]What by speaking up about the concerns of their constituents? It's a novel idea I'll give you that but you know what? it might just work. RollandSmoke
  • Score: -3

7:59pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Sadbrad says...

alive and awake wrote:
Not Council business at all, The Councillors are just chasing votes in my opinion.
Even if they are chasing votes, in this case, the council are doing the right thing (first time for everything!). As someone mentioned, vulnerable people require others to stand up for them.
[quote][p][bold]alive and awake[/bold] wrote: Not Council business at all, The Councillors are just chasing votes in my opinion.[/p][/quote]Even if they are chasing votes, in this case, the council are doing the right thing (first time for everything!). As someone mentioned, vulnerable people require others to stand up for them. Sadbrad
  • Score: 3

8:29pm Thu 13 Mar 14

alive and awake says...

RollandSmoke wrote:
alive and awake wrote:
Not Council business at all, The Councillors are just chasing votes in my opinion.
What by speaking up about the concerns of their constituents? It's a novel idea I'll give you that but you know what? it might just work.
We are all their constituents, and deserving cases are just that, my point is as the elections approach we will hear more and more from the absent elected. They make me sick.
[quote][p][bold]RollandSmoke[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]alive and awake[/bold] wrote: Not Council business at all, The Councillors are just chasing votes in my opinion.[/p][/quote]What by speaking up about the concerns of their constituents? It's a novel idea I'll give you that but you know what? it might just work.[/p][/quote]We are all their constituents, and deserving cases are just that, my point is as the elections approach we will hear more and more from the absent elected. They make me sick. alive and awake
  • Score: 2

10:48pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Papa Smurfs Wig says...

Grumpygirl wrote:
BierleyBoy wrote:
Why is bradford council spending time on this? If anyone who has undergone a WCA and isn't happy about the outcome can appeal and get help to do so.

It really is not a council issue.

Surprisingly the Labour councillor quoted omits to mention it was her party that introduced them and gave ATOS the contract. Of course there were never any issues before 2010.
No, all was not right before 2010. There were clearly too many people on sickness benefit and Labour quite rightly did something about it. Only the true-blue and Daily Mail readers believe that Labour encourages a benefit culture.

As everybody knows, the problem with ATOS is that they are given money every time they find somebody fit for work. Under Labour this incentivisation was under control. However under the Tories, and fuelled by their culture of greed and contempt for anybody who isn't rich, it has got completely out of hand. This is clearly demonstrated that, even with the new rules, the number off successful appeals is rising. It is now about half. ATOS still get paid whatever the outcome of the appeal.

If Labour was in power ATOS would have been reined in long before now. The fact that the Tories are doing nothing says all you need to know about their attitude towards the sick, weak and underpriveliged in society.
Do you ever find anything wrong with Labour? Also, why are they not in power now?
I just wondered because you always stand up for them even when they are totally wrong.
Anyone who is disabled yhat they need aid should be able to claim, it would be stupid not to think that but there are a lot of shirkers. I witnessed one at the Ridge Medical Centre. This woman pulled up in her car then walked quite fine with speed to open the door for a woman then got two crutches out of the boot and went into the building like she had a bad war wound.
She was of course putting it on as she was fine without sticks just before.
[quote][p][bold]Grumpygirl[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BierleyBoy[/bold] wrote: Why is bradford council spending time on this? If anyone who has undergone a WCA and isn't happy about the outcome can appeal and get help to do so. It really is not a council issue. Surprisingly the Labour councillor quoted omits to mention it was her party that introduced them and gave ATOS the contract. Of course there were never any issues before 2010.[/p][/quote]No, all was not right before 2010. There were clearly too many people on sickness benefit and Labour quite rightly did something about it. Only the true-blue and Daily Mail readers believe that Labour encourages a benefit culture. As everybody knows, the problem with ATOS is that they are given money every time they find somebody fit for work. Under Labour this incentivisation was under control. However under the Tories, and fuelled by their culture of greed and contempt for anybody who isn't rich, it has got completely out of hand. This is clearly demonstrated that, even with the new rules, the number off successful appeals is rising. It is now about half. ATOS still get paid whatever the outcome of the appeal. If Labour was in power ATOS would have been reined in long before now. The fact that the Tories are doing nothing says all you need to know about their attitude towards the sick, weak and underpriveliged in society.[/p][/quote]Do you ever find anything wrong with Labour? Also, why are they not in power now? I just wondered because you always stand up for them even when they are totally wrong. Anyone who is disabled yhat they need aid should be able to claim, it would be stupid not to think that but there are a lot of shirkers. I witnessed one at the Ridge Medical Centre. This woman pulled up in her car then walked quite fine with speed to open the door for a woman then got two crutches out of the boot and went into the building like she had a bad war wound. She was of course putting it on as she was fine without sticks just before. Papa Smurfs Wig
  • Score: 0

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