Archive for the ‘Cancer’ Category

Work Capability Assessment ‘consultation’- Cancer

18 January 2012

This consultation ends 9 March 2012

Tom Greatrex (Rutherglen and Hamilton West, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many responses his Department has received to date to its consultation entitled Work Capability Assessment: accounting for the effects of cancer treatment.

Chris Grayling (Minister of State (Employment), Work and Pensions; Epsom and Ewell, Conservative)

To date we have received 12 responses to the consultation. The consultation runs until 9 March 2012 and during this time we are seeking views from interested stakeholders, particularly from individuals who have been or are being affected by cancer, their families and carers, health care practitioners and cancer specialists, and employers.

Details here

“Put the Fair into Welfare” – Macmillan Cancer Support

5 January 2012

Macmillan is concerned that proposed benefits changes in the Welfare Reform Bill could leave thousands of people with cancer without vital financial support. You can find more details about our “Put the fair into welfare” campaign.

Given your members close interest in the Governments’ welfare reform plans, I wanted to bring our campaign and petition to your attention. I would be very grateful therefore for any help you can give this month in promoting our petition on your website, newsletters and forums

Thank you for your help

Best wishes,

Bryan Jones
Macmillan Campaigns Team
Macmillan Cancer Support

If anyone would like further information they can contact Bryan



Hardest Hit Rally – Edinburgh

24 October 2011

CarerWatch member Pat Onions attended the Hardest Hit rally in Edinburgh. Here is her thoughts.

The rally, in the beautiful Princes Street gardens of Edinburgh, was the largest ever staged in Scotland with over 1,000 of us. Many disabled people and their carers couldn’t make it to the capital but I know you were with us in spirit.

The organisers held it in the band stand which has a stage and tiered seating AND chairs! AND vital for me…. loos!

David and I found access somewhat difficult. It seemed a choice of 39 steps or parachuting from a cliff top. David, who had insisted he would walk with his trundler, chose the cliff. Slowly and painfully we made it. Yes of course there was disabled access but buggered if we could find it!

The march itself had to be cancelled. The authorities could not guarantee  access for everyone along the proposed route. This had a lot to do with the fact that the controversial trams are now on the build again.

No matter I don’t think we could have negotiated the North face of the Eiger again!

Pam Duncan, of Inclusion Scotland, was the chair and damned good she was too. I don’t know if a chair is supposed to say quite as much but she wasn’t for stopping! I loved her.

Lord (Colin) Low was our first speaker and he, like the other speakers, didn’t really need the microphone. Such was their knowledge & passion in their words.

The young lad Jay Wakefield, from student disabilities, had a little trouble with the high winds & his kilt. This was a bonus especially for the ladies!

All the speakers talked on a different aspect of the proposed welfare reforms but the same message from them all. We ARE the Hardest Hit and we will NOT take it. I almost felt sorry for the Labour MSP who was heckled. I am sure he didn’t start the welfare reform ball in motion personally but our heckler felt he did. Brave MSP to come along.  Strangely noticeable by there absence was the Tories & LibDems. Now that would have been brave or very stupid.

If the British Gov thought disabled people would be an easy target they couldn’t have been more wrong. We have all had to develop our own survival skills which has made us stronger. Camerout & his millionaire buddies seem to have overlooked this.

It was an excellent rally in the late autumn sunshine. Frighteningly there was nothing said I didn’t already know but we left with as much determination to carry on campaigning as we’d had on arrival.

Those of us there came from all walks of life with all sorts of disability. Carers, children & families. They all came. Came with their own struggles to share.

I was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with my adopted compatriots. If Mr Salmond ever wants a vote on ‘Devolution from Westminster;….he will have mine.

A sort of PS.

David proudly wore his service medals. While walking back along Princes Street a young man, in his 30’s, came up to us. Is that a medal from the Royal Navy he asked. My Dad served with them and it looks the same. David told him what the medals were for. The young man wanted to know how long David had served. A brief history of how long & why he was medically discharged followed.

The young man, who called David Sir, asked if he could shake his hand? It was very moving and done out of pure respect for David and what he had stood for. This young man told us he was waiting for an operation for cataracts which he was unlikely to get due to the NHS cuts. He said it was nothing compared with what David had lived through and was still living through. A few more words as to why David was walking through the middle of the Capital with his medals. This young man made me even more determined to fight on. It was a extraordinary brief encounter from a total stranger.

A lesson there for all those who think they can dismiss any disabled person as unimportant.

David was very quiet on the way home.

Major shake-up of adult social care in Lincolnshire is approved

5 October 2011


HUNDREDS of elderly and vulnerable people will have their home help removed as part of the biggest shake-up of adult social care in Lincolnshire for more than 60 years.

County councillors agreed yesterday to remove care allowances to people who need help with simple household tasks like cooking or cleaning.

Major shake-up of adult social care in Lincolnshire is approved | This is Lincolnshire

Proposal to replace Disability Living Allowance with Personal Independence Payment (16th September 2011)

22 September 2011


3.1 Carers UK is surprised and disappointed at the lack of adequate assessment of the impact of the PIP proposals on carers:

· There was no mention of carers in the initial Impact Assessment of the DLA reforms, published with the Bill; or in the Equality Impact Assessments published during the Committee stage. The Government’s response to the DLA reform consultation, published in April, simply states that the Government is considering the implications for Carer’s Allowance of DLA reform.

· This lack of upfront information not only makes adequate scrutiny of the proposals impossible – but it is also causing a huge amount of distress for families, including those affected by the most severe disability and terminal illness, who fear the loss of their disability and carers’ benefits because they do not know if they may be affected.

· Given that 73% of current Carer’s Allowance claimants are women, it is also concerning that the potential loss of independent income for a group predominantly made up of women was not a key part of the gender impact assessment for the Bill.

3.2 We believe that it is critical that a full evaluation of the impact on carers is conducted as a matter of urgency. This must include an estimate of the number of carers expected to lose Carer’s Allowance, a disability impact assessment and a carer equality impact assessment which looks at the impact on gender equality of the likely loss of Carer’s Allowance .

Proposal to replace Disability Living Allowance with Personal Independence Payment (16th September 2011)

An opportunity to raise YOUR voice to break the silence

21 September 2011

This is a joint venture between CarerWatch, The Broken of Britain, Disabled people Against Cuts and ACTnow

Everyone is urged to support this.

To all our members and supporters;

The Labour party conference starts in Liverpool on Saturday. As we all know, Labour were the architects of Employment Support Allowance and the ‘not fit for purpose’ Work Capability Assessment which is so stressful and traumatic it was linked to the suicide of claimants whilst Labour were still in power. The Labour party are the official party of opposition, but they are not opposing the Welfare Reform Bill as they should be and seem to have forgotten that the 10 million sick and or disabled people plus carers, friends and family in the UK have the power to vote. It is time for us to remind Labour that they will not get any of our votes if they do not start to oppose the parts of the Welfare Reform Bill set to return sick people, disabled people and carers to a life of desperation, dependency, despair and charity.

We are asking you to help with a mass email to the Labour party to remind them of our voting power. Please include the following details in your email and send it to Ed Miliband, Margaret Curran (shadow minister for disability) and Liam Byrne (shadow minister for DWP). If you have time please also email it to any Labour MP and particularly any members of the shadow cabinet. We have provided a list of email contacts below.

Please aim to send your email at 11am tomorrow (Thursday the 22nd September) If you can’t send the email at 11am, don’t worry, just please try to send it at any time between then and the end of Labour party conference on Wednesday 29th September.

The email subject should read “Your Silence Is Deafening”

We suggest embedding a link to this youtube video “The Sound of Silence” To embed the video into your email just copy and paste the link below.  

Then please copy the following text into your email;

Dear (insert name here)

‘The 10 million disabled people in this country plus their carers, relatives and friends are watching what your party do in relation to disability issues and wondering why you seem disinterested in trying to get their votes by opposing the savage attacks against disabled people being made by the Coalition government. During conference season we wish to remind you, the architects of Employment and Support Allowance to ‘never fall ill, never grow old, never become disabled, never become a carer’, for if you do, as we have found, not even Labour will speak up for you.’

If you would like to add a short, personal message explaining to Labour how you feel about their lack of support for sick, disabled people and carers then please include it after the suggested text. You might also like to include a photo of yourself, or perhaps a photo of what disability, sickness or caring means to you. Don’t worry if you don’t want to personalise the email, sending the suggested text is fine.

Contact details below

Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4778
Shadow Secretary of State for Work & Pensions
Liam Byrne
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6953
Fax: 020 7219 1431
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8102
Fax: 020 7219 6656
Shadow Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities
Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP
Shadow Chief Secretary
Angela Eagle
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills
John Denham
Cabinet Office and Minister for the Olympics
Tessa Jowell
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Caroline Flint
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4407
Fax: 020 7219 1277
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport
Ivan Lewis
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 2609
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons 
Hilary Benn
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 5770
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
Jim Murphy
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4615
Fax: 020 7219 5657
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Mary Creagh
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6984/020 7219 8766
Fax: 020 7219 4257
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Election Coordinator
Andy Burnham
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8250
Shadow Lord Chancellor, Secretary of State for Justice
Sadiq Khan
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6967
Fax: 020 7219 6477
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Meg Hillier
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 5325
Fax: 020 7219 8768
Shadow Secretary of State for Health
John Healey
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6359
Fax: 020 7219 2451
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Shaun Woodward
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 2680
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
Ann McKechin
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8239
Fax: 020 7219 1770
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
Maria Eagle
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4019
Fax: 020 7219 1157
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
Peter Hain
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 3925
Fax: 020 7219 3816
Steven Timms MP

Karen Buck MP

Leaky bottoms and Bowel screening

19 September 2011

Guest post by Pat Onions. Regular readers here will remember Pat is registered blind so you will understand the difficulties she outlines below.

David has a bit of a problem. One of many but this is something that many will not like to hear. He has a leaky bottom. It could be related to his spinal injuries or it may not. It could be his age or it may not.

Numerous visits to neurology, pain and incontinent consultants who have carried out assorted ‘procedures’ have shown nothing concrete. Ooooh that could be painful.

He was referred to the incontinence nurse who, whilst sympathetic, are really more concerned with other leaky orifices. They recommended him to wear a type of nappy. He does in spite of being conscious of the inconvenience. (Sorry about dreadful puns.)

Some years ago when I reached that magical 50 when bits start to wear out or drop off I was sent a bowel cancer testing kit. Many of similar age will understand what you have to do but for those younger it involves a minute wooden spatula, some even smaller instructions and you provide your own marigolds. I won’t explain the method…. suffice to say it is a delight for everyone to look forward too.

I peered into this tiny package and in very bold very large letters I was instructed DO NOT OPEN. Nope I wasn’t going to manage it so it was resigned to the bin.

Last week by now several years older I received another package just as tiny. This time i called the help line and asked if I could have mine in a larger format. Hoping the whole lot would be large enough for me to manage I was disappointed. Only the instructions had been enlarged. Once again I peered hopelessly at it. I would leave it a bit and ‘see’ what I could do.

A phone call from the District Nurse at our surgery sent my blood pressure rocketing. She wanted to visit David to check he is wearing his nappies correctly. You can’t make these things up.

‘Oh good’ – she can help me perform with my tiny spatula and I promise that I will wear the marigolds.

She arrived to see David armed with THE TICK BOX LIST. Don’t we just love them? Wanted to know which drugs he takes. Fair enough. Marital status? That’s relevant. How much he drank? For why? Type of accommodation we lived in. Interesting. I felt we were fast becoming a statistic. X% of men aged 60+ who live in old mining villages, take 14 different drugs a day, like a tipple or 3 and have a wife called Pat and have leaky bots…..

Anyway. Big dos and little dos and she finished. I spotted my chance to ask for her help with my ‘little’ package. She was so helpful and read out all the instructions for me. The same ones the ever so nice helpline had enlarged for me. She even showed me what to do. “But I can’t see the little windows” I lamented. Silence while she worked out what was coming next. “Give it a try” she answered heading for the door….”Any problems see your GP.”

Bowel screening is a vital test to catch that type of cancer early. It is treatable, successfully, if caught early enough and I want to do the test.

My brother died a short time ago from bowel cancer. He didn’t die because he didn’t wear the nappies correctly.

Pat Onions

If you have any further questions call the national bowel screening helpline on 0800 0121 833


Welfare reform Bill – House of Lords –

14 September 2011

Tuesday 13th sept 2011 witnessed the 2nd reading of this Bill – House of Lords.

Transcript from Hansard can be found here

Also available on Theyworkforyou websiteannotations can be added on right hand side relating to each speech made.

23 references made to carersdetails here

Put the fair in to Welfare – Macmillan campaigns

12 September 2011

We’re campaigning to ‘put the fair into welfare’ as the Welfare Reform Bill moves through parliament. Thank you to the thousands of you who have already emailed your MP to support our campaign.

Now we need two minutes of your time to ask the Liberal Democrat party to protect benefits for people living with cancer.

Political party conference season is fast approaching and we have a real opportunity to influence the Bill. The government plans to take away a person’s Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) after just one year. ESA is a vital benefit for people who cannot work due to long-term illness, and people with cancer could lose up to £94 a week if it’s taken away.

On 17 September 2011, at their party conference, the Liberal Democrat party will vote on whether to support a motion to oppose this aspect of the Bill.

You can help by emailing your local Liberal Democrat representatives now 

This is a crucial moment. If the Liberal Democrat party opposes the government’s plans, we’ll have an even greater chance of changing the Bill. And, in turn, we’ll stop people with cancer losing up to £94 a week in benefits. 

Please email your local Liberal Democrat representatives today 

Thank you so much for your support.

Best wishes,
Claire Williams
Macmillan campaigns team

PS There’ll be more ways to get involved with our campaign over the next few weeks, so look out for another email from me.

Coalition government – a ‘machine’ made from steel

8 September 2011

For countless years, with successive governments, family carers have continuously raised their voices outlining the many problems they face, about resources, finances, respite and/or equipment.

Yet no matter how much they chipped away at the brick wall no real action has been taken, by past and present govts. Campaigns have followed one after the other from many individuals, groups, and charities.

We are currently witnessing the biggest shake up of welfare benefits in over 60 years and still the issues surrounding Carers Allowance are not being addressed.  It is the LOWEST of all benefits at £55.55  per week.

As campaigners we will not give up even though the brick wall is now made of re enforced steel. Behind that wall lies a Coalition machine made from cold steel too. It shows NO understanding, NO compassion. It operates so clinically, so precise and its actions prove that it has no heart.

It speaks of Responsibility, Big Society, yet continues on its mission to persecute many disabled people, their families, and carers, with this current Welfare Reform Bill.

Is this the future we want for ourselves, for our children?

A future where disabled people and their families are battered from all directions.

Borrowing the famous words from Winston Churchill and altering them slightly…

Never has so much been given so freely by so few, for the benefit of so many.

 Carers need action and they need it NOW

 Please contact any groups/charities you belong to. Tell them your concerns surrounding Welfare Reform.

Contact your MP . Add your postcode in the box on this link to find their details

Feel free to use this template from Sue Marsh of The Broken of Britain

Support the Hardest Hit campaign which following on from a successful march in May 2011 are now planning local protests.

One simple change re ESA

As individuals any action we take may seem so small, but collectively we can be stronger.

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