Archive for November, 2010

The Cruellest cut – Mark Shrimpton from RADAR

26 November 2010

So here we are, just over six months into the new Coalition Government’s term of office. The emergency budget and the Comprehensive Spending Review are behind us. There was, of course, very little good news for disabled people – some small wins on housing allowance for those that employ a live in carer and an extra slice of local money to be spent on social care. But that was it. The rest was negative – especially plans on work related benefits, reductions in housing benefit, reductions in the value of Disability Living Allowance and so on.

Read in full here

Mencap have a letter to use – details here


Harrington Reports

23 November 2010

So today Professor Harrington delivered his report on the nefarious Work Capability Assessment (WCA)  test. In case any one doesn’t know – this is the test that decides whether a person with ill health or a person with disability is allocated to the support group of Employment Support Allowance (ESA), ( this is only for a very few people with no hope of ever working) or the work related activity group of ESA (WRAG where you suffer under the threats of conditionality) or goes straight to JSA without passing GO.

If you want to read the Harrington Report report you can read it here 

If you want to read the response from MIND (Paul Farmer the MIND CEO was a member of the Harrington Commission) you can read it here

Read what Rhydian fon James form Broken of Britain says about Harrrington in the Guardian here

It’s packed full of excellent suggestions. And it isn’t really Professor Harrington’s fault that it completely misses the point. Professor Harrington was only asked to look at WCA and that was the extent of his brief.

It isn’t Professor Harrington’s fault that ESA isn’t fit for purpose and that the ESA groups are flawed and that there isn’t a safe group for people with severe and enduring illness or disability. It isn’t his fault that the dreaded ‘conditionality’ that is terrorising people with disability runs right through the WRAG and makes it unfit for people with severe disability. It really isn’t his fault that ESA in unfit for purpose.

Until a safe place is made  under ESA  for people with long term disability free of conditionality – no matter what you do to the WCA – it has nowhere safe to allocate them.

ESA isn’t fit for purpose

 No threats and conditionality on people with severe and enduring disability

When is someone going to sort this out.


The Burch Story – How things can go so badly wrong

22 November 2010

Guest post by  – Angela Cavill-Burch        MBA / NEBOSH

Terence is C3-5 partial tetraplegic in inhumane pain, spasticity and spasm. His Spasticity is so bad that I have to regularly forcibly straighten his legs, causing myself injuries to my neck, shoulder and back. He does not sleep so I do not sleep, we are imprisoned in our home except for two weekly trips to private physio, NHS one being withdrawn on 26 June 2010.

19 May 09 first email to Stoke Mandeville asking for help.

05 June 09 Out patient assessment at SM


Carer’s allowance and older carers – AGE UK

21 November 2010

All photography is by Sam Mellish

Carer Watch have long had serious concerns regarding older carers and how there is so little support for them. 

Therefore we are pleased to see this campaign by Age UK   and fully support it.
Carer Watch believe the situation faced by many elderly carers is in crisis now, and with further cutbacks planned from Coalition government, with changes to welfare reform/ funding of Social Care – we believe this situation will worsen as time unfolds.
It is time for action from government, not more words
 We contacted Age UK and received this

Equality and Human Rights commission – your views wanted on home care

17 November 2010

Do you or someone you know receive home care or are you a carer?

We want to know your views on the quality of care delivered to older people (aged 65 and over) in the home (the good and the bad) in relation to human rights. By human rights we mean whether people are treated with respect and dignity, for example receiving appropriate privacy, and have choice and control over how they live.

We have compiled a short list of questions to help you feed back to us which should take no longer than fifteen minutes to answer.

The Commission’s formal Inquiry launches on the 10th November. Our evidence gathering will run until 4th February 2011.

See full details here

Personal Health Budgets in Mental Health

12 November 2010

The Mental Health Foundation is conducting a survey of service user and carer views on personal health budgets in mental health. The survey is commissioned by the National Mental Health Development Unit and funded by the NHS Confederation. The survey aims to collect your views on:

*         Personal health budgets and how they would be useful to you or to the
person you look after

*         What help and support you would need to make use of personal health budgets

*         Your experiences if you already receive personal budgets or direct
payments in relation to your social care needs (or if you manage one for someone you
look after)

We hope the survey will help in understanding what support needs there are for
people who want to make use of personal health budgets and how to provide this

Please tell us your views by completing the survey at:

Alternatively, you can fill in the attached questionnaire  Personal health budgets email questionnaire  and send it back to

Thank you very much for your interest.

Survivor Research

Universal Credit: welfare that works

12 November 2010

The White Paper “Universal Credit: welfare that works”, published on 11 November 2010, sets out the Coalition Government’s plans to introduce legislation to reform the welfare system by creating a new Universal Credit. Universal Credit will radically simplify the system to make work pay and combat worklessness and poverty. The White Paper outlines:

  • the need for change
  • how Universal Credit will work
  • how it will affect benefit recipients, and
  • its broader impact.

Full document can be downloaded here

Carer Watch will be posting a response soon

Voices of experience – Independent Living – RNIB

9 November 2010

A report by the Royal National Institute of Blind People for the Office for Disability Issues, as part of the Network of Networks initiative

Voices of experience:

blind and partially sighted people respond to questions on independent living

 A report by the Royal National Institute of Blind People for the Office for Disability Issues, as part of the Network of Networks initiative

 October 2010

Voices of Experience (Network of Networks consultation response)RNIB

Challenged on ‘cheats’, Miller blames media

9 November 2010

It’s not the coalition government’s fault that disabled people have been demonised as ‘cheats’ and ‘scroungers’ under moves to reform the welfare state, the Minister for Disabled People has said. Instead she claimed the media was responsible for propagating this view.

Maria Miller made the comments at a joint meeting of all-party parliamentary groups including disability, autism, learning disability, Parkinson’s, and visual impairment and which looked at the impact of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) on disabled people.

read article on DisabilityNow website

ACT NOW – You’re the voice

5 November 2010


The Budget Cuts to Local Authorities and the Benefit Assessments will begin in 2011 for those on the Autistic Spectrum who are in receipt of Incapacity Benefit and Employment Support Allowance, with Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Benefit Assessments coming into play in 2013.The cuts across Local Authorities and the demise of Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are set to have a catastrophic effect on the autism community, a group whose vulnerability already creates high levels of stress and anxiety to those involved.


The cuts being made to benefits and the proposed assessments that will be carried out on children and adults who are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA) in addition to the changes that will take place in other benefits, are a huge cause of concern to us. There are many issues that need urgent consideration before changes are made to the benefit system and assessments of those in receipt of benefits.

YOU’RE THE VOICE – watch video here

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