Workfare Revisited : What Everyone Should Know About the New Work and Health Program

A punitive attempt at halving the disability employment gap which looks set to fail those it professes to help

…. Under the radar, with a new name; ‘The Work and Health Programme,’ It seems that mistakes are about to be repeated. This time however, it’s the long term sick and mentally ill who are finding themselves at risk from this punitive policy scheme.

Due to come into action at the beginning of next year, The WHP will not only inherit the same moral deficiency as it’s parent program (the now defunct Work Program) but has been loaded with the sensitivity of a sledgehammer with regard to provisions to tackle the complex needs of its intended participants.

At the beginning of 2015, the government set themselves a pretty lofty target. They vowed to halve the disability employment gap which currently stands at 33%. To achieve this target, one million people with a disability must be supported back into employment. I believe that the impetus for this new focus for workfare can be traced back to this ambitious aim. One that is fundamentally misguided in regard to how we should approach the betterment of those farthest from the job market; The unemployed long term sick and mentally ill.

read more here:

An NHS hospital is being forced to CROWDFUND to buy beds, thanks to Jeremy Hunt

A London hospital has been forced to crowdfund for vital equipment, including beds, because it cannot afford to invest the money itself.

Begging for beds

The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in Stanmore, north-west London, set up the appeal in a bid to raise £400,000 for its spinal injuries unit. The money will go towards six extra beds for the ward, plus new rehabilitation equipment. The RNOH has so far raised £126,000.

The campaign, called the ‘Make it Possible’, is thought to be the first time any NHS hospital has crowdfunded for investment. The project works by allowing patients and families to suggest where money could be spent. Then an appointed committee selects one of the suggestions, and the crowdfunding begins. The spinal injuries unit was the first to be chosen.

Chief Executive of the RNOH, Rob Hurd said that because all the hospital’s money goes into frontline services, very little is left for investment:

We have to be frank, capital is constrained in our NHS and investment in facilities is really difficult at this time. That means the infrastructure that we have got doesn’t get replaced as quickly as we would like. So we need the help of donations and charitable sources to make those additional investments. So we really value those donations because without them we cannot even get started.

Financial uncertainty

The RNOH is one of the country’s flagship orthopedic hospitals, where one in five orthopedic surgeons are trained. But it has fallen into financial difficulties. A proposed renovation of the hospital’s century-old buildings, signed off under Labour in 2010, was delayed by more than five years. The RNOH was initially looking for a private company to fund the work (paywall). But in August the Department of Health (DoH) signed off the first phase of funding. This was only possible because part of the RNOH site was sold off to private developers, and loans were taken out.

The £49.9m awarded to the RNOH will go towards a new inpatient block. The hope is that the DoH will then sign off another £31m for a training centre and biomedical facilities. But, as the crowdfunding project has shown, this only covers the bare essentials. And even on a day-to-day basis the hospital is struggling. It warned in October 2015 that it faced losing £15.2m in income in 2016/17, due to changes in the way the DoH allocates funding.

Read more here:

Behavioural “Insights” Team on Sanctions and “Identity-building activities.”

Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Somewhere we hope never to go…

Most of us are familiar with the way the DWP Job Centre, and all the rest of the schemes we are on, are run on the basis of some kind of managerial theory which tries to ‘nudge’ (force) us to behave in order to fit into their idea of what we should do to get employment.

On the Work Programme this could involve being told to “get out of your comfort zone”, listening to heroic tales of how the trainers obtained their magnificent positions through hard work, or (job centre) somebody going through your Job Seeker’s Agreement with a fine tooth comb to find if you have spent every waking hour asking “giv us a job”.

People have made money out of theorising this practice, and no doubt drawing up the guidelines for DWP and Trainers to follow.

Indeed their is a whole ‘unit’…

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You’re on benefits. How dare you enjoy a hamburger, a cigarette, a drink or a life?

“The world likes to think that people who claim benefits are suffering. Increasingly, the world wants to inflict further suffering. Any suggestion that someone who claims a benefit might have enjoyed a treat is pounced on. No matter that the whole point of state assistance is (or was) to keep everybody above a certain line, rather than below one”

Read Kate Belgrave‘s article here:


Peterborough Council to make £5.3 million from evicting tenants — SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites)

Peterborough City Council has taken a decision to evict and make homeless 72 existing tenants in order to make £1.77 million per year by replacing them with more homeless families. That’s £5.3 million over three years the council makes! The Peterborough case in which the council is supporting up to 72 existing social tenants being […]

via Peterborough Council to make £5.3 million from evicting tenants — SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites)

Dying after being judged fit to work.

Jack Monroe writes:

I would like to publicly apologise to the Department of Work And Pensions for an inaccurate statistic in my Observer article yesterday on the grim reality of the welfare system in what was once ‘Great’ Britain.

In my article I stated that 2,400 people had died shortly after their Employment Support Allowance had been severed, having been (clearly wrongly) judged as Fit To Work.

The DWP informs me that the correct figure is in fact 2,380.

As they are so keen on accuracy, and transparency, I thought I should provide the rest of the stats.

Between December 2011 and February 2014, 50,850 people who were claiming ESA, died.

Of these, 7,200 had been judged as ‘able to return to work in the future’ and placed in the ‘work group’ category of ESA to undergo regular gruelling testing in order to continue to claim the pithy pittances they needed in order to stay alive. (For avoidance of doubt, humans do generally need food and shelter to survive.) Spoiler alert- THEY DIED.

On top of these, 2,380 people who had been stripped of financial support and judged fit to work, subsequently DIED.

Seeing the DWP are so very keen on accuracy that they send bollocking letters to my editor, I expect they will be now opening the case files of the 9,580 people in a 2 year period who DIED having been judged as ‘fit to work’ or ‘fit to work in the future’. God forbid I make 20 mistakes in the face of your 9,580.

Your move, DWP. Your fucking move.