UN confirms that UK government’s disability treaty violations were both grave AND systematic

The United Nations (UN) committee that found the UK government guilty of violating the UN disability convention has revealed for the first time that its breaches of the human rights treaty were both “grave” and “systematic”.

The decision to clarify the seriousness of the UK’s breaches of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) shows for the first time just how seriously the committee viewed those violations.

read the full story here: https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/un-confirms-that-uk-governments-treaty-violations-were-both-grave-and-systematic/

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Coxhoe man left almost blind in road accident ruled fit to work just weeks after coming out of coma

BENEFIT assessors have ruled a man left almost blind by a road accident as fit to work – just weeks after he came out of a coma.

Alex Howe, from Coxhoe, County Durham, is blind in one eye and has severely reduced visibility in the other, struggles to walk and has lost hearing in one ear. He was left reeling when he was told he is not eligible for disability benefits.

The father-of-one said: “It feels like I’m being called a liar. It’s a big weight on me. I can’t believe it.”

Mr Howe was seriously injured in a crash on February 2, when he was thrown into a metal post after his motorbike collided with a car near the Poachers Pub in Metal Bridge, between Coxhoe and Spennymoor.

After being airlifted to hospital, the 35-year-old was in a coma for ten days and had to spend almost two months in hospital recovering. He had a fractured face, back and ribs, and punctured lungs.

Mr Howe, who was a chef at KFC before the accident, was discharged from hospital on March 30 and applied for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Following an assessment, he found out this week that he was not eligible for the disability benefit.

He said: “It gets you down not being able to do stuff for myself. I can’t even play games with my daughter. I used to be able to cook anything and the other day I nearly set fire to the house making a bacon sandwich. It feels like the assessment has been written about someone else.”

read more here: http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/15381175.Man_left_almost_blind_in_road_accident_ruled_fit_to_work_just_weeks_after_coming_out_of_coma/?ref=fbshr

Disabled woman felt “dehumanised” after being forced to crawl up stairs for benefits appointment

Maria Quinn, 32, has blasted the centre for its shocking disabled access after she was told staff would not be able to attach a wheelchair ramp over the stairs for her to use

A disabled woman has told how she felt “dehumanised” at being made to crawl on her hands and knees into her local benefit assessment centre.

Maria Quinn, 32, has blasted the centre for its shocking disabled access after she was told staff would not be able to attach a wheelchair ramp over the stairs for her to use.

Humiliated but having no choice but to attend her appointment, Maria crawled up two flights of stairs on her hands and knees.

While she does not use a wheelchair, Maria, from Glasgow, walks with a wheeled walking frame and needs portable breathing apparatus.

Despite her mobility issues, she claims staff at the Department of Work and Pensions building in Cadogan Street, told her the ramp was to be used for wheelchair users only, reports the Daily Record .

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/disabled-woman-felt-dehumanised-after-10713341

Blind, severely autistic teenager ordered to be reassessed for benefit he was promised for life

A TEENAGER who is blind, severely autistic and barely able to speak has been ordered to attend a meeting – to check if he should continue to receive benefits.

NHS cuts are forcing disabled patients to crowdfund in order to pay for wheelchairs

Doctors are warning that savage cuts to services and a postcode lottery mean growing numbers rely on the public to help raise funds for the mobility aid online

Patients are being forced to crowdfund to pay for wheelchairs because of cuts to the NHS, doctors have warned. Savage cuts to services and a postcode lottery mean growing numbers rely on the public to help raise funds online.

Medics at the British Medical Association ’s annual meeting in Bournemouth today passed a motion calling for users to have “timely access to chairs suitable for their individual conditions”.

Dr Hannah Barham-Brown, a junior doctor working in south London, said hundreds of patients were fundraising online for their wheelchairs. Standard NHS chairs can weigh around 44lb (20kg) and, for some patients, manoeuvring the devices could cause damage, she said.

Dr Barham-Brown, who presented the motion, used crowdfunding to pay for her own wheelchair – which weighs 26.5lb (12kg) and cost around £2,000.

The 29-year-old said: “I had to crowdfund my wheelchair halfway through medical school when I was told that it was going to cost around £2,000 to get this chair and the NHS were able to offer me a £140 voucher or an NHS chair which weighs up to 20 kilos and is very bad, and not remotely ergonomic.

“That was ultimately going to do me more harm than good so my best friend set up a crowdfunding page for me and managed to raise £2,000 in 24 hours.

“The standard NHS chair can weigh up to around 20 kilos and it’s very poorly designed – it’s not remotely ergonomic. NHS chairs are very heavy and very hard to manoeuvre easily. In terms of public transport I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere in an NHS chair unless there was someone with me helping me. You need to be pushed.

“More and more I’m seeing on social media pleas from people begging for support to buy wheelchairs, not only chairs like this – lightweight self-propelling chairs – but electric chairs.   “The guidelines for getting chairs now are so strict, wheelchair services across the country are being privatised and it’s just getting harder and harder to get access.”

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nhs-cuts-forcing-disabled-patients-10692239

Report reveals scale of food bank use in the UK

Project by Independent Food Aid Network finds at least 2,000 food banks giving out parcels, with demand continuing to grow

There are at least 2,000 food banks operating in the UK, giving out emergency food parcels on a weekly basis to people in hardship, according to research that shines fresh light on the rapid growth of charity food provision in austerity Britain.

The research complements established information on UK food bank use compiled by the Trussell Trust, Britain’s biggest food bank network, which collects extensive data from its members and recently reported that it gave out a record 1.2m food parcels to families and individuals in need in 2016-17, the ninth successive year in which demand had risen.

Emerging results from the mapping project undertaken by the Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan), confirm that the Trussell figures represent only a partial picture of the scale of organised food bank provision, and suggest that the level of food bank use is far greater than headline figures indicate.

Ifan’s findings, seen by the Guardian, suggest that there are at least 651 grassroots food banks operating independently of the Trussell network, ranging from tiny voluntary groups that give out a few food parcels each week, to larger charity operations that hand out thousands of parcels to hundreds of clients each year.

read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/may/29/report-reveals-scale-of-food-bank-use-in-the-uk-ifan

Tories will press ahead with cruel benefits freeze despite soaring inflation

New Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke refused to bow to pressure to ease the misery of some of the most poverty-hit households

The Tories will press ahead with their cruel benefits freeze which is crippling hard-up families despite soaring inflation, the Work and Pensions Secretary confirmed today.

David Gauke refused to bow to pressure to ease the misery of some of the most poverty-hit households battling rising prices and falling real incomes.

He also renewed fears for a fresh attack on OAPs, suggesting the pensions triple lock could be axed within three years.

Inflation has climbed to 2.9% and is predicted to rise further before the end of the year.

But the freeze on working-age benefits, which came into force last year, sees most payments capped at their current rate until 2019.

Speaking at a Westminster lunch, Mr Gauke dashed hopes of an end to austerity, saying: “I would expect the benefit freeze to continue.”

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tories-press-ahead-cruel-benefits-10670783#ICID