My local Accident & Emergency department is rammed with suicidal residents going to A and E as they have no where else to go

This was posted today on Facebook by Paula Peters.

“I want to share a couple of experiences of the mental health services cuts with you today.

I have a local CMHT ( community mental health team) in south London, we had three CMHTs it went down to two, and the discharge rate in the last four years is massive. You will only stay under a CMHT if you are on Clozapine medication, other than that you are back to primary care and GP. You can imagine for clients, as the team calls them, what that does for them with no treatment, no support and no supporting medical evidence needed for (disability benefits) ESA and PIP and support for UC (universal Credit) Claims. My local A and E is rammed with suicidal residents going to A and E as they have no where to go, and local counseling services have an 18 month and longer wait for therapy. The average wait to see a GP in some practices in Bromley is now 8 weeks and climbing. as not only is there a shortage of consultant psychiatrists, but, there is a shortage of GPs.

Just recently, i saw my local consultant psychiatrist who I have not seen since October 2016. I have not been able to see them because they have been on sick leave and there was no one else to help out. I found out when I saw them, what happened.

They now manage two teams within the CMHT, psychosis and adapt. They have 5,000 clients to deal with, appointments and paperwork. That does not include dr training, management of staff, in patient work on the local unit and any other work required of them.

At Christmas they were so tired and wrung out that they caught their bag in a slam door in the office that severely broke their wrist. They did not know the wrist was broken at the time and they went back to the desk they share with 6 other members of staff and wrote up 7 people’s medical notes as they were behind on doing so.
They ended up in A and E for 9 hours and a plaster cast on and off for the next 8 months after a series of operations. They were so stressed when I saw them they were at breaking point.

All they talked about was targets targets targets. Many of them unachieveable and they pointed out the three people going around with clipboards harassing staff. Apparently the next round of redundancies were due. They said they are not sleeping, scared and worried about their jobs and worried about clients who are not getting the support they need.

They cant send anyone for treatment at the local inpatient unit because well there are no beds for 300 miles there are nursing shortages and dr shortages.

When I saw my consultant they said the suicide rate and self harm rate is rocketing due to lack of support. They are angry at the government for the lack of service support and further cuts to come.

As for me, well i am on my third support worker in 9 months. They keep leaving. They are so stressed and depressed am surprised they don’t label the place the titanic!

The support worker who i will only see for six sessions is not sure when she will see me next as she has 1200 clients to see. She is not sure if she is sticking around either. As i need continuity of care with GP i cant get a GP appointment right now she is off sick and they are not sure when she is coming back and the other GP has no openings on the appointment book until December, they can’t get a locum as there is a shortage of those and many of them are engaged elsewhere in the coming weeks.

The cuts to mental health services are claiming lives, putting lives at risk, not just the patients, but the staff too. Patients are being denied the support they so need to get through each day. There is no support available and no good going to local MINDs as it is all work is a health outcome and jog your way through depression which is not helpful to anyone with a severe mental health condition and in serious mental distress.
The person needs support and compassion not to be told they are a burden, told its all their fault and get back to work as soon as possible.

Before you donate to a local mental health charity check first they are not involved in the health and work programme, they do not employ staff and zero hours contracts and they are not bidding for local council and DWP contracts. If they are avoid them, because they are not working for claimants in mental distress but against them. National Mind being paramount to working and colluding with national government and DWP on health and work programme contracts who think if we go out jogging we can jog our way through depression and anxiety and if we think ourselves better, we will be better.

Here is my response to MIND – jog on what utter bollox! If i could jog my way out of depression, and having RA and fibro and HMS its out of the question I would have done it by now and think better and everything will be well?

No, with a tory government and national charities working with them and they persecuting people in mental distress as well as disabled people everything is not well. Its a bloody mess and people are taking their own lives.

We need to talk about this every day, not one day a year because the cuts are going to get worse and with the UC roll out accelerating the deaths and poverty will go through the roof too.

……………………………………………………………

this was posted in the comments:

“I know 3 people who rang crisis team for help as they felt suicidal, one was recently an inpatient after an attempt 2 had both made attempts in the past year, they were all told they would only get help if they attempted suicide. Very sadly, one did and is no longer with us 😦 Those of us who are working in mental health are doing so with not enough resources and far too little time and many of us are becoming unwell too”

If you are having dark thoughts yourself please contact the Samaritans on their free number (free for mobiles, too) 116 123.

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Blind from birth, epileptic and unable to leave home alone – but Government says she’s fit to work

Hazel Macrae has been told by the Department of Work and Pensions that she must go back to work despite being blind from birth

Blind since birth and stricken by a string of disabilities but told she is fit to work – this is the reality of Government benefit cuts.

Hazel Macrae, who also suffers from epilepsy, Type 2 Diabetes and osteoarthritis, was claiming Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and was told she’d have to undertake a back to work assessment.

The 62-year-old filled in a questionnaire explaining she’s unable to leave her home without the help of her partner or son because she is afraid of falling, can’t use a pen or pencil, telephone, and would be unable to “move safely” in a workplace.

She was also required to meet with a health professional in Gosforth to undergo a face-to-face assessment where she was asked a series of questions about her daily activities.

Echoing the award-winning Ken Loach film I, Daniel Blake – which was shot in Newcastle – Miss Macrae has been told she has “limited capability for work” and her ESA has been moved from the Support Group to Work Related Activity Group, and reduced by £15 per fortnight.

Miss Macrae, who has artificial eyes, will now have to regularly meet with a work coach to discuss how she can get back into work.

read more here: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/blind-birth-epileptic-unable-leave-13737805

Video: Learning and literacy difficulties and need to drop a sick note to the jobcentre? Too bad. You’re banned. Get out

from Kate Belgrave’s blog:

Here’s one you should see: a recent* video which shows a woman with learning and literacy difficulties being told to Get Out of Kilburn jobcentre – even though she needed to drop off an all-important sick note at the jobcentre.

I post this to show you how unpleasant things can be at these places for long-term unemployed people who have support needs. People in these situations really are at the bottom of the pile. They have no power and absolutely no means of challenging the DWP.

I hate that.

The woman, Linda (name changed. I’ve written about her many times) is in her 50s. The day I took the video, Linda, as I say, needed the jobcentre to accept a sick note she had from her doctor. She risked sanctions if the jobcentre did not accept the note.

Nonetheless, the jobcentre adviser we saw refused to take the sick note.

Read more, and see the video here: http://www.katebelgrave.com/2017/10/video-learning-and-literacy-difficulties-and-need-to-drop-a-sick-note-to-the-jobcentre-too-bad-youre-banned-get-out/

Seriously ill woman lives by candlelight with no power or heating after her benefits were axed

“The worst thing is the constant cold”

A severely ill woman has lived alone by candle light for a year without electricity or gas after her benefits were axed.

Donna Cross is a tragic example of how vulnerable people are slipping through the cracks of society

The 56-year-old lives out of a crumbling living room in Walton with only a stained sofa and duvet to keep her warm.  According to Ms Cross: “The worst thing is the constant cold.”

This only worsens her deteriorating health: she has anaemia, type two diabetes and a chest infection that often causes her skin to bleed.

Ms Cross, had her Employment and Support Allowance cut last year and can no longer afford electricity, gas or heating. When she does have food she has to go to a friend’s house to heat it up.

Ms Cross, from Liverpool, lives out of a derelict and damp room where both the flooring and wallpaper is peeling off. She said: “It’s getting to winter. There are times when I’ve wanted to go up to the candle for heat. Even under the quilt I can still feel the cold. When the electricity goes off, I’m in total darkness. I can’t even read a book. It’s too cold to even get out under the duvet and get a biscuit. Normal houses are warmer than this, aren’t they?”

Ms Cross has been receiving benefits since she left school. But they were cut last year after she failed to turn up to a medical assessment because she had to go a doctor’s appointment.

She said: “I used to get Jobseekers Allowance even though I’ve told them I’m not well enough to work. “If I’m too ill to work, how can I look for a job? And how can I look for a job if I can’t use a computer? When they stopped the benefits last year, that’s when I felt I was in a situation where I didn’t know if I was going to cope.”

Without hot water, Ms Cross has been unable to wash for months and only has one soiled pair of clothes. She said: “When there’s no hot water I can’t even wash my clothes because I can’t boil a kettle.”

Although she has an electric heater, she rarely has the electricity to power it. And Ms Cross often has to brave the freezing cold on an empty stomach.

read more here: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/seriously-ill-woman-lives-candlelight-13730000#

Universal credit and tax credit debt collection… wtf is going on here. My god

From Kate belgrave’s blog.

Let’s finish the week as we started it – ie trying to make sense of the Universal Credit “system”:

I just finished speaking to the young Universal Credit claimant I wrote about earlier in the week. Readers of this site will be familiar with this woman’s story. This woman must carry out her Universal Credit compliance activities through Croydon jobcentre even though she lives in Colchester. She’s also been having £100+ deducted from her Universal Credit payments each month to repay a Universal Credit advance payment – the advance payments that David Gauke assures us will help people avoid (don’t laugh) the debts caused by delays in Universal Credit payments.

Now, the DWP has landed another debt on this young woman. This is a tax credit debt that she is sure she does not owe. The DWP has suddenly (this week) started deducting £25 a month from this woman’s Universal Credit payments. That’s another £25 gone each month from this woman’s money. She didn’t expect this deduction (at all) and she hasn’t budgeted for it. You see what I mean when I say that the state keeps broadsiding people with debts they can’t pay.

read her story here: http://www.katebelgrave.com/2017/10/universal-credit-and-tax-credit-debt-collection-wtf-is-going-on-here-my-god/

 

Former DWP ministers could face police investigation over fit-to-work tests

A complaint was made against Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling

Police in Scotland are assessing whether to launch a criminal investigation into two former DWP ministers’ handling of so-called disability fit-to-work tests.

Disabled activist John McArdle of the Black Triangle campaign lodged a complaint with police in March against Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling, according to the Disability News Service news agency.

He told police in Edinburgh that the two ministers had ignored a coronor’s concerns about the safety of the tests, which are used to judge whether a disabled person receives benefits.

He also produced evidence of suicides he said were related to fitness-to-work tests.

Mr McArdle says the ministers may be guilty of “willful neglect of duty by a public official”, which is a criminal offence.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, willful neglect “can be the result of a positive act or a failure to act”.

“There must also be an element of knowledge or at least recklessness about the way in which the duty is carried out or neglected,” the CPS explains.

“The test is a subjective one and the public officer must be aware that his/her behaviour is capable of being misconduct.”

Revealed: universal credit sends rent arrears soaring

Housing chiefs’ warning on effect of flagship Tory welfare reform

Ministers are coming under intense pressure to put the brakes on the government’s flagship welfare reform programme, following damning new evidence that it is leaving thousands of low-paid workers unable to pay their rent and at risk of homelessness.

The Observer can reveal a catalogue of concerns from landlords, councils and charities about universal credit, which have been handed to a parliamentary inquiry investigating the programme.

With the accelerated roll-out of the new system just weeks away, some warn that rent arrears among tenants receiving universal credit are running at three, four or even five times the level of those on the old system. Three councils whose tenants have already been moved on to universal credit said they had built up about £8m in rent arrears. Croydon, Hounslow and Southwark said that more than 2,500 tenants claiming it were now at risk of eviction.

Some food banks reported that marriages had broken down as a result of the extra pressures of waiting for payments, while some landlords are now choosing not to accept tenants on universal credit.

Figures obtained by the Observer under the Freedom of Information Act also show that half of all council tenants across 105 local authorities who receive the housing element of universal credit – which replaces housing benefit – are at least a month behind on their rent, with 30% two months behind.

By contrast, less than 10% of council tenants on housing benefit are a month behind on their rent, with under 5% running more than two months behind.

read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/16/universal-credit-rent-arrears-soar?