Wednesday, March 28, 2012

THE FULL FACTS • A guide to ESA, ATOS claim form and medical examination, assessments

THE FULL FACTS • Index page

A guide to ESA, ATOS claim form and medical examination, assessments

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Ex-Atos HCP exposes WCA’s bias against the sick « downwithallthat

Ex-Atos HCP exposes WCA’s bias against the sick « downwithallthat

This bias which initially grabbed my attention through scrutinising my own and others’ WCA reports, expanded into a pattern permeating these other instruments/literature. The form it takes, that of deliberately undermining the claims a person makes about how their illness/disability affects their capacity to work, is to the discredit of not only Atos, but also the DWP and the government.
It has been very gratifying, then, to come across this account by one of Atos’ ex Healthcare Professionals, which bears out my own, and others’, observations that the process underlying the WCA is a ‘sham’.
“I worked for Atos as a ‘disability analyst’ thinking I would be helping vulnerable people to access their benefits,” she said.
“I soon discovered that nothing could be further from the truth. The rules laid down by the bosses are designed to catch people out.”
Jean worked for Atos Healthcare in Scotland, but found she was unable to continue in a role which went against her professional, and personal, ethics.
“The job was making me sick,” she said. “It’s against my principles to treat people with long term illnesses in such a disgusting way, so I had to give it up.
“People go into those interviews and talk openly to you because you are a nurse and they trust you.
“Then your skills are used against them, to take away their benefits and destroy their lives.
“I can’t be a part of that.”
Its to be hoped that, similarly to the A4e scandal, more and more Atos Healthcare personnel will have the courage to tell the truth about this shameful process.

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WHAT TO DO IF YOU ‘FAIL’ YOUR WORK CAPABILITY ASSESSMENT

Crutch Collective « Wessex Solidarity
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ‘FAIL’ YOUR WORK CAPABILITY ASSESSMENT
When you first receive the results of your Atos W.C.A and it is a fail, the first thing that many do, as they are panicked and desperate, as they have had their money stopped, is to panic and phone the Job Centre Plus and ask about signing on for Jobseekers Allowance, which is what they want you to do, but there is an alternative and that is by asking for a Reconsideration.
How to request reconsideration

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

CND: Fibromyalgia Pain Isn't All In Patient's Heads, New Brain Study Finds

CND: Fibromyalgia Pain Isn't All In Patient's Heads, New Brain Study Finds

"While the debate has raged, neuroscientists have begun to use brain scan technology to identify the areas of the normal human brain that become most active during pain. A few studies have even assessed the blood flow in those areas in fibromyalgia patients during baseline brain scans. The new study is the first to use both high-speed scanning and a painful stimulus.

In the study, fibromyalgia patients and healthy control subjects had their brains scanned for more than 10 minutes while a small, piston-controlled device applied precisely calibrated, rapidly pulsing pressure to the base of their left thumbnail. The pressures were varied over time, using painful and non-painful levels that had been set for each patient prior to the scan.

The study's design gave two opportunities to compare patients and controls: the pressure levels at which the pain rating given by patients and control subjects was the same, and the rating that the two different types of participants gave when the same level of pressure was applied.

The researchers found that it only took a mild pressure to produce self-reported feelings of pain in the fibromyalgia patients, while the control subjects tolerated the same pressure with little pain.

"In the patients, that same mild pressure also produced measurable brain responses in areas that process the sensation of pain," says Clauw. "But the same kind of brain responses weren't seen in control subjects until the pressure on their thumb was more than doubled."

Though brain activity increased in many of the same areas in both patients and control subjects, there were striking differences too. Patients feeling pain from mild pressure had increased activity in 12 areas of their brains, while the control subjects feeling the same pressure had activation in only two areas. When the pressure on the control subjects' thumbs was increased, so did their pain rating and the number of brain areas activated. But only eight of the areas were the same as those in patients' brains.

In all, the fibromyalgia patients' brains had both some areas that were activated in them but not in controls, and some areas that stayed "quiet" in them but became active in the brains of controls feeling the same level of pain. This response suggests that patients have enhanced response to pain in some brain regions, and a diminished response in others, Clauw says.

The study was supported in part by the National Fibromyalgia Research Association, the U.S. Army and the NIH. In addition to Clauw and Gracely, the research team included Frank Petzke, M.D.; and Julie M. Wolf, BA"

Summary of original article

Arthritis & Rheumatism


Volume 46, Issue 5, pages 1333–1343, May 2002

Functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence of augmented pain processing in fibromyalgia


  1. Richard H. Gracely1,
  2. Frank Petzke2,
  3. Julie M. Wolf3,
  4. Daniel J. Clauw2,*
Article first published online: 8 MAY 2002
DOI: 10.1002/art.10225
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/art.10225/abstract

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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Suicide training in Job Centres? Cancer patients scrubbing floors? Welcome to Cameron¿s Brave New World | Mail Online

Suicide training in Job Centres? Cancer patients scrubbing floors? Welcome to Cameron¿s Brave New World | Mail Online "This may not affect you. Perhaps your parents, or yourself even, have a sufficient financial cushion not to worry about that. What an enviable position to be in.

But what about those less fortunate?

I believe - and I’ve 47 years of a colourful life to base this judgement on - that the UK is comprised of essentially decent people. Citizens who care enough to see beyond their own selfish existence.

The people I know don’t want to be - and neither are they - the type of people who turn their backs when the going gets tough. They actually seek a more compassionate life on earth where we are prepared to support and contribute to each others lives.

In is unconscionable that these disability reforms have been allowed to happen. To be fair, we all knew it was a Conservative agenda, but a Liberal one as well? Goodness how Nick Clegg can ever recover from this I do not know. My imagination is not that good.

So the Welfare Reform Bill, after decades in the making, has finally come to pass. Oh, how proud are we as a nation? We did it. Gave those sick and crippled unfortunates a good old kicking. Let’s give ourselves a collective pat on the back for allowing this to proceed. Makes you proud to be British, doesn't it?"

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Thursday, March 01, 2012

Latest from the doc

A bit late posting but saw GP last Friday re her saying that I do not have fibromyalgia or CFS/ME ...think she was expecting me to challenge her as she said that she didnt mean it to sound that way and that both are in my notes but as depression and suicide attempts with pills and alcohol preceded fibro cfs the former are my main diagnoses...hmmmmmm

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Newswire Article: GP leader calls upon Government to withdraw the Health and Social Care Bill and commence dialogue on an alternative 01/03/2012

Newswire Article: GP leader calls upon Government to withdraw the Health and Social Care Bill and commence dialogue on an alternative 01/03/2012 The Chairman of the BMA’s GPs Committee has today (Thursday 1 March 2012) written to all GPs in England1 setting out the Committee’s opposition to the Health and Social Care Bill, amid fears about the wide-ranging impact the Government’s reforms will have on GPs’ working practices and their relationship with patients.

Dr Laurence Buckman warns GPs that “over time, it has become clear that this is the most top-down reorganisation the NHS has seen since its inception” and that, despite what the Government says, “the ability for ordinary GPs to change things will diminish” under the Health and Social Care Bill.

The concerns set out by Dr Buckman in the letter include:

Ordinary GPs within Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) not having the ability to improve the health service - a key plank of the original proposals - as CCGs are forced to develop into ever larger and more remote units in order to be approved by the NHS Commissioning Board
Pressure to adhere to an unrealistic timetable for approval, known as “authorisation”, forcing GPs to make decisions about the running of their local health service which they might not make if they had more time
CCGs becoming the vehicles for turning the NHS into a competitive marketplace where services have to compete for their business and where patient care becomes increasingly fragmented
The potential for commissioning to be controlled not by clinicians but by the private organisations, operating outside of the NHS, which could end up not only running the ‘back office functions’ for CCGs but also disempowering them2
Proposals for a “quality reward” - an incentive for CCGs if they are deemed to have commissioned “well” - which could cause irreparable damage to the relationship GPs have with their patients
GPs being blamed by their patients for having to close services for financial reasons

Dr Buckman has urged the Government “to listen and act on the concerns of GPs in the interests of the future of the NHS and what is best for patients – there is a sensible alternative to proceeding with this Bill.”

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