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DWP fails to meet Information Commissioner deadline for possible benefit related deaths

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Owen_Stevens
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UC London Adviser, CPAG

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Owen_Stevens
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Very interesting on how cases which were subject to the IPR process first came to the attention of the SSWP: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2022-03-01/132264

Benny Fitzpatrick
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Welfare Rights Officer, Southway Housing Trust, Manchester

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Even more interesting is the lack of data pre-2020. The issue was already being flagged up well before 2020, but obviously, the death of a few human beings wasn’t seen as important.

Owen_Stevens
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More IPR stats: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2022-03-10/138031

Somewhat confusingly the recent spate of written questions on this topic have been under the heading ‘industrial accidents’

Owen_Stevens
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Owen_Stevens
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Following on from the last post…

I’ve been keeping my timeline fairly up to date and thought I’d post here.  Mine looks like it has a different focus to that covered in the previous post but I hope it is of interest.

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Owen_Stevens
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The EHRC is requiring the Department for Work and Pensions to improve its treatment of disabled benefit claimants.

Through 2021, the Commission questioned DWP officials about the concerns that its legal obligations to disabled customers were not being met. The DWP outlined the steps being taken to address the problems identified. However, the Commission has concluded that further action is necessary, given the seriousness of the issues. It is therefore drawing up a legally-binding agreement with the DWP [...]
This legally-binding action plan is focused on resolving issues for DWP customers, and offers a fast, effective means of redress, and helps to avoid lengthy investigations.
[...]
The details of the Section 23 agreement (a measure under the Equality Act 2006) will be agreed when it has been signed, likely by summer 2022

https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/our-work/news/ehrc-taking-action-improve-treatment-disabled-benefit-claimants

Debbie Abrahams quoted in the Mirror:
Labour MP Debbie Abrahams, who has campaigned for an inquiry, said: “It is a step forward but it is just not good enough.
“I want them to go much further - a full independent transparent inquiry looking at the scale of the deaths, the responsibility round the culture of the organisation, and the policies that contributed to it.”
She added: “We don’t know the full scale of it - the NAO identified the 69 deaths and said this was the tip of the iceberg - we believe far more are dying without this being properly acknowledged. I’ve had people contacting me - brothers, sisters, parents, saying my relative died but they don’t want to go public.”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/dwp-ordered-change-human-rights-26744897

[ Edited: 19 Apr 2022 at 02:41 pm by Owen_Stevens ]
Owen_Stevens
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Owen_Stevens
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Includes discussion of DWP complaints, benefit deaths, and the serious case panel: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09649069.2022.2067681?src=

Owen_Stevens
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Owen_Stevens
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DWP have provided some of the recommendations made in IPRs.  See attached.  I’ve also included the original DWP Response and original DWP IR response.

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