Disabled man took own life due to benefits ruling

Cahal Milno writing in The Independent – A coroner concluded for the first time that a man with severe mental illness killed himself as a direct result of being found “fit for work” by the Government’s disability assessors.

Michael O’Sullivan, a 60-year-old father from north London, hung himself after his disability benefits were removed despite the opinion of three doctors that he was suffering from recurrent depression and certified as unable to work by his GP.

Figures released b the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) last month showed that nearly 90 people a month died between 2011 and 2014 after being declared fit for employment following a work capability assessment (WCA).

Ministers insisted the statistics provided no basis for a link to welcome reforms but a coroner has ruled that in the case of Mr O’Sullivan the WCA and anxiety caused to him by its findings were the direct cause of his death. Mary Hassal, senior coroner for Inner London, wrote to the DWP warning that she believed there was a risk of similar future deaths and demanded preventative action.

PM David CameronIt’s official –  this guy and his cronies destroy lives

It is believed  to be the first time that a coroner has explicitly blamed suicide on the welfare reforms being spearheaded by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

Mr O’sullivan died in 2013. In its 16-page response to the coroner, the DWP admitted that its own “clear policy” that further evidence should be sought when claimants mention suicide was “regrettably not followed in this case” and it was issuing a “reminder” to staff about its guidance.

“It would not do for me ! – Judicial Review at least and find a solicitor to take it on. They killed this bloke and you can’t get better legitimate evidence than from a coroner’s investigation into a death. Iain Duncan Smith and his masters and underlings don’t give a damn”

 

The NHS could collapse within two years

Olivia Blair writing in The Independent – Former health minister Norman Lamb has warned the NHS could collapse within two years, unless the government pumps billions of pounds into services.

Former health minister Norman Lamb has warned the NHS could collapse within two years, unless the government pumps billions of pounds into services.

National Helth ServiceMr Lamb told the Observer that the NHS currently faces a “make or break” crisis and that, as things stand, it is heading for a “crash”.

The Liberal Democrat MP, who has long been an advocate of mental health awareness, added that without the necessary funds it will be mental health patients who are hit hardest by the crisis as that is “where the squeeze always comes”.

Mr Lamb accused the Conservative government of failing to own up to the vast nature of the problem and that the extra £8bn they pledge to put into the service by 2020 will neither be enough nor come soon enough.

The former minister for care and support said: “If the investment is not made upfront and in the early period of this parliament, you could see serious failures in the system. The system will crash.”

He aslo warned “elderly people won’t get the care they need” as local authorities which contract private care providers can no longer afford to pay them enough due to budget cuts.

Mr Lamb will address the Liberal Democrat conference in Bournemouth on Tuesday and is expected to announce he is open to new ideas for funding, including the possibility of an NHS tax.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: “We are investing the additional £8billion that the NHS itself has said it needs to implement its own plan for the future.”

“The NHS must deliver its side of the plan by implementing cost-control initiatives the Government has brought forward, like clamping down on staffing agencies and expensive management consultants.

“We’re already bringing the NHS and councils together, which is helping people to live independently at home and saving money in the long term.”

“It’s awful watching this happen to our NHS – It just can’t cope – the rot has never been stopped”