Archive for the ‘diabetes’ Category

What EVERY MP should know about welfare reform

16 October 2011

Sue Marsh of Diary of a Benefit Scrounger  has sent this over asking everyone to help raise awareness.

Since Employment and Support Allowance was introduced back in 2008, campaigners and those affected have warned that it is flawed. Not because people must face assessment to qualify for support but because the wrong people are declared “fit for work”.

People clearly too disabled to work get harassed and pressurised into work programmes they clearly cannot comply with, while the number of “cheats” or “scroungers” caught, remains at exactly the same level it always did.

Throughout the last year, we have warned of a tipping point.  With over 110,000 decisions already found to be wrong and overturned, 11,000 people a week are being put through flawed assessments. It is only a matter of time before this becomes the toxic story of recent years. MP mailbags are already bursting with letters about this.

Read in full here

What EVERY MP should know about welfare reform

Can you help raise awareness by sharing this post with your contacts, on Facebook and twitter too.

Contact your MP with your concerns.

Please leave a comment on Sues’ blog or contact her direct with links to any reports in your own local newspapers. suey2yblog@hotmail.co.uk

For those that dont know, Sue is one of the founder members of  The Broken Of Britain team

 

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

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvsX03LOMhI  

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
ed.miliband.mp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Work & Pensions
Liam Byrne
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6953
Fax: 020 7219 1431
byrnel@parliament.uk
 
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8102
Fax: 020 7219 6656
margaret.curran.mp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities
Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP
coopery@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Chief Secretary
Angela Eagle
eaglea@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills
John Denham
denhamj@parliament.uk
 
Cabinet Office and Minister for the Olympics
Tessa Jowell
jowellt@parliament.uk
 
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
caroline.flint.mp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport
Ivan Lewis
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 2609
lewisi@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons 
Hilary Benn
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 5770
hilary.benn.mp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
Jim Murphy
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4615
Fax: 020 7219 5657
jimmurphymp@parliament.uk
 
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
creaghm@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Election Coordinator
Andy Burnham
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8250
andy.burnham.mp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Lord Chancellor, Secretary of State for Justice
Sadiq Khan
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6967
Fax: 020 7219 6477
sadiqkhanmp@parliament.uk
 
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
meghilliermp@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Health
John Healey
 
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6359
Fax: 020 7219 2451
healeyj@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Shaun Woodward
 
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 2680
woodwardsh@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
Ann McKechin
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8239
Fax: 020 7219 1770
ann.mckechin.mp@parliament.uk
Constituency
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
Maria Eagle
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4019
Fax: 020 7219 1157
eaglem@parliament.uk
 
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
Peter Hain
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 3925
Fax: 020 7219 3816
hainp@parliament.uk
 
 
Steven Timms MP
timmss@parliament.uk
stephen@stephentimms.org.uk

Karen Buck MP

buckk@parliament.uk

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.

What does the future hold for family carers?

8 August 2011

Can we afford to ignore family carers?

Care provided by them is a necessity and will be even more so as the population ages.  Plus as medicine breakthroughs continue and many people with disabilities and illnesses will live longer, the country will rely even more on the foundation that family carers provide.  They are a group of people who provide a vital service, yet governments, past and present, have taken them for granted, have taken their love for granted.

In this present economic climate we are already witnessing many cutbacks within Local Authorities:

  • Care criteria being tightened
  • Day centres closing
  • Respite allocations reducing in many areas
  • Meals on wheels costs increasing dramatically
  • Care package costs increasing
  • Transport for disabled people either stopping or priced out of reach
  • Carers’ grants under threat

…………… and so the list could go on.

Yet through all this, the one thing that remains constant is the love and support given freely by families. They provide a foundation that would be a great folly for any government to ignore.

We recognise that many carers want to return to/remain in work, and realise that any support given to them is vital.

However we cannot, and must not, ignore full-time carers.  Failing to recognise their input is storing up even further trouble for the future by placing added pressure on already stretched Social Services departments and the NHS.

Carer Watch were pleased to learn in the publication of the Welfare Reform Bill that Carers Allowance will remain outside the proposed Universal Credit. Along with many others we campaigned long and hard for this. However Carers Allowance has always been completely inadequate and carers still seem to be overlooked and forgotten as other benefits are changed around them in the biggest shake up of our benefit system in over 60 years.

To date, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mr Iain Duncan Smith, and his department, have maintained silence as to their intentions re:CA. Leaving it outside the proposed UC is not enough. They need to address the problems that have surrounded this benefit for far too long.

There have been many campaigns over the years by various organisations (see notes below) all asking for the same – the reform of Carers Allowance – to remove the restrictions therein and also to increase the monetary pittance that CA is.
 
In the report Breakthrough Britain (2007) from the Social Justice Policy Group (policy recommendations to the Conservative Party) it was recommended –

 doubling the carers allowance to £90 a week because of the vast amounts carers save the taxpayer by looking after their sick and elderly relatives at home and not relying on the state to care for them.

Other measures would need to be put in place to ensure that families claiming other benefits/premiums were no worse off.

The report also states –  

Family carers are undervalued in our society and receive a disproportionately low level of financial support given the many hours of work that they do.

We cannot and must not allow this opportunity to fully reform CA to pass us by.

Carers are used to words of praise, more of which can be heard here from David Cameron but it is NOT enough. No matter how much understanding he says the Coalition has, no matter how many times he says Thank you, it is NOT enough.

Carers need action and they need it now

Notes

Carer Watch campaigns    

National Pensioners Convention      

Carers UK         

Daily Mirror

Age UK – Invisible but invaluable

A space to discuss the Dilnot report – funding of Care and Support

4 July 2011

Tomorrow sees the publication of the Dilnot Commission’s report into the funding of care and support – a significant policy development for anyone interested in social care for people of all ages.

Discussion on Twitter has used the #dilnot hashtag for people’s thoughts and to share links/information regarding the Commission. ( also #carecrisis and #socialcare)

People on Twitter have built networks and will be interested in the many responses that will be published by individuals/groups/charities etc. For many time will be limited.

Therefore after a discussion among a few people who host highly respected blogs, it was agreed that ArbitraryConstant  (aka Rich Watt) would offer space, so a frank and open discussion could take place by anyone interested in social care issues.

With many thanks to @rich_w, @monstertalk and @jrfemma for their willingness to try this.

So once you have read the Dilnot report, if you want to discuss the details, please join in with the discussion here

Burstow: pensioners will have to pay for their own elderly care

29 June 2011

Paul Burstow, the health minister, said he expected a public outcry when detailed plans for the future funding of the social care system in England are announced next week, as he ruled out an NHS-style free national care service for all.

However, the minister suggested that the government would delay a final decision on reforming the social care system, prompting concerns that the issue could yet again be “kicked into the long grass”.

On Monday, a commission led by the economist and broadcaster, Andrew Dilnot, will publish its long-awaited blueprint for funding care and support for elderly and disabled adults.

Mr Dilnot was appointed by ministers to draw up plans for a new system in July last year, two months after the coalition took power, in an attempt to resolve one of the longest-running and most difficult issues facing public policy.

READ IN FULL HERE

Carers need statement from Coalition Government re Carers Allowance

22 June 2011

In support of Carers Week 2011, CarerWatch set up an information stand in a local Gala hall covering the period Wednesday 15th June through to Sunday 19th June 2011.  

The theme was the True Face of Caring and facts and figures can be found here

It has always been important to reach carers, to provide advice and information, and this year it has become even more vital.

Changes proposed within the Welfare Reform Bill, coupled with cuts to Social Services are going to have a massive effect on many familys.

Families providing care are a necessity and as the number of elderly increases and medicine breakthroughs continue, many people with illnesses will live longer…and the country will rely even more on the foundation that family carers provide.  Carers are a group of people who provide a vital service, yet governments past and present have taken them for granted, have taken their Love for granted.

Carers seem to have been completely forgotten, as benefits are changed around them. Both ‘Refresh Carers Strategy’ and ’21st Century Welfare’ – failed to address the issue of Carers Allowance and now the WR Bill is repeating that mistake. The only detail we know is that CA will remain outside of the Universal Credit.

 However, it still remains the lowest of all benefits, claimed by a group of people that contribute immensely to our society. We cannot and must not allow this opportunity to fully reform CA pass us by.

Carers are used to words of praise, more of which can be heard here from David Cameron last week  but it is NOT enough. No matter how much understanding he says the Coalition has, no matter how many times he says…Thank you, it is NOT enough.

Carers need action and they need it now

Campaigners hope peers will secure changes to welfare reforms

22 June 2011

 News provided by John Pring at www.disabilitynewsservice.com

Campaigners are hoping to persuade peers to make significant changes to the government’s welfare reform bill, after coalition MPs approved measures that could see hundreds of thousands of disabled people lose some or all of their benefits.

The bill passed its report and third reading stages in the Commons, despite Labour opposition, and now passes to the Lords.

But campaigners believe that peers – seen as more independent-minded than MPs – will secure important changes to the proposed legislation.

Neil Coyle, director of policy for Disability Alliance, said it was “disappointing” that the bill had been approved by MPs, but added: “We are hopeful for significant change in the House of Lords.”

He said MPs’ decision-making had been “hampered” by the “deeply harmful” refusal of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to provide “even a rough estimate of the number of people who stand to lose out”.

He said: “We are desperately trying to find out who is affected, so decision-makers [in parliament] can have that information to hand.”

Among the measures still causing concern are proposals to remove the mobility component of personal independence payment (PIP) – the planned replacement for disability living allowance (DLA) – from most disabled people in residential care.

Campaigners hope peers will secure changes to welfare reforms

Time to care? by Laura Bradley

21 June 2011

 

It is becoming increasingly clear that social care is in crisis. The travails of Southern Cross care homes, coupled with yesterday’s revelations about the inadequate state of home-care, point to the strain the system is under.

A mixture of budget cuts and increased demand mean local councils mean the amount they are willing to spend on care is falling, putting pressure on organisations providing care. There has also been a reduction in council admissions to care homes, with Southern Cross reporting a 14 per cent reduction over the last year. But neither are councils willing to support these people by providing carers to visit them in their own homes. Most councils now only offer home-care to people with the most critical needs, and the remainder will soon follow-suit.

Time to care? | Laura Bradley | Independent Notebook Blogs


%d bloggers like this: