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

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shawn mach
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ClairemHodgson
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whilst clearly it is right that people’s names/ni numbers/personal identifiers are redacted, i really can’t see why the rest would be.

these are as much use as the proverbial chocolate fireguard….....

Dan_Manville
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ClairemHodgson - 16 May 2016 07:45 AM

these are as much use as the proverbial chocolate fireguard….....

Especially considering that a lot of the redacted information is already in the public realm, however they seem happy with their scalp.

Considering they’ve had counsel acting pro bono I can’t call them names.

BC Welfare Rights
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Summary of the unredacted information available can be found via the Benefits & Work website - good effort trawling through this Steve & co.

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shawn mach
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Billy Durrant - 18 May 2016 11:37 AM

Summary of the unredacted information available can be found via the Benefits & Work website - good effort trawling through this Steve & co.

Hi Billy .. best to link to the Benefits and Work site, in light of all their hard work ... here we go ...

http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/3508-why-claimants-died-the-49-peer-reviews

Cheers - Shawn

 

Stuart
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Written answer in the Commons yesterday sets out the number of DWP internal reviews carried out in cases of suicide or attempted suicide where DWP activity is alleged to have been a contributory factor - total of 60 since 2012 with six reviews undertaken in 2016/2017.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-04-18/71183

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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The government failed for more than three years to keep a record of what actions it took – if any – after carrying out secret reviews into the suicides of benefit claimants, Disability News Service (DNS) can reveal.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has admitted to the information commissioner that from February 2012 until September 2015 it kept no records of what happened to recommendations made by internal reviews into cases in which the department’s own actions may have contributed to suicides and other deaths of claimants.

The information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, told DNS that she “found it unusual that a Central Government Department would dedicate resources to a process of case reviews and recommendations but not require the relevant departments to report back or record the actions taken in response to those recommendations”.

She concluded that, “on the balance of probabilities”, DWP did not hold the information requested by DNS, following a detailed search of the “electronic and manual records” of DWP’s “ESA customer journey team”.

Government admits failing to record actions after benefit suicide inquiries

Benny Fitzpatrick
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“The department takes the safety and wellbeing of claimants very seriously, and regularly reviews processes and procedures to ensure claimants are supported.”

Apparently not!

Has anyone been sacked?

Owen Stevens
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Mike Hughes
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Benny Fitzpatrick - 02 May 2017 10:49 AM

“The department takes the safety and wellbeing of claimants very seriously, and regularly reviews processes and procedures to ensure claimants are supported.”

Apparently not!

Has anyone been sacked?

Promoted surely?

Owen_Stevens
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Here is the FOI response on which the DNS stories in the previous post are based.

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Owen_Stevens
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https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/jodey-whiting-dwp-ignored-five-safeguarding-chances-before-wca-suicide/
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-47332954
The family are being supported by Inquest: https://twitter.com/INQUEST_ORG/status/1107673014710210561?s=09

Update: the families have started a petition calling for an inquiry into these deaths (including failure to follow DWP safeguarding procedures): https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/six-families-back-petition-to-mps-calling-for-inquiry-into-dwp-benefit-deaths/

Co-leader of the Green party has backed the inquiry into the deaths: https://twitter.com/jon_bartley/status/1107617805267075073

Marsha de Cordova, Shadow Minister for Disabled People has supported the petition: https://twitter.com/MarshadeCordova/status/1108429683677429760

...as has Hugh Grant(of all people): https://twitter.com/HackedOffHugh/status/1109428596328812544

[ Edited: 25 Mar 2019 at 03:19 pm by Owen_Stevens ]
Owen_Stevens
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The government have responded to the Jodey Whiting petition as follows:

“DWP has apologised unreservedly for the failings in the case of Ms Whiting and recognises the importance of safeguarding. The Government has no plans to hold an inquiry into deaths of claimants.

The case of Ms Whiting is undeniably tragic and complex. Her case has been looked at in detail by the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) who regrettably found several failings in the way her case was handled. We aim to maintain a very high level of customer service and one mistake is obviously one too many. Unfortunately, in this instance the expected standard of customer service was not achieved. The Department has apologised unreservedly for these failings and awarded the family compensation.

We currently have no plans to hold an independent inquiry into deaths relating to actions taken by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The ICE did not find any evidence of misconduct by Civil Servants or Ministers. The DWP supports people with a wide variety of needs and staff are trained to identify signs of vulnerability which may include offering extra help with people’s benefits should they need it. The safeguarding of claimants is a priority and the department has a number of processes in place, including a home visiting service to check on people’s well-being, or offering help with completing forms, as well as signposting to specialist support provided by other organisations we work closely with.

Claimants of working age who wish to apply for Employment and Support Allowance because their health or disability impacts on their ability to work are usually required to attend a Work Capability Assessment. If a claimant fails to attend the assessment, our decision makers must check the claimant’s records for any history of mental health or other vulnerability. Where there are issues noted on the claimant’s record, decision makers are required to consider whether the claimant would benefit from a home visit.

We are committed to safeguarding vulnerable claimants and, in the tragic case where someone dies, ensuring that we respond swiftly and sensitively. In response to this case, we have changed guidance so that our staff update a claim where someone has sadly died within 48 hours, making sure we stop all unnecessary contact as quickly as possible. We keep our safeguarding guidance under constant review to ensure it provides the highest standard of protection to vulnerable people.

Whilst the Department absolutely recognises that in this particular case errors were made and the appropriate level of service was not met, we would emphasise the thousands of decisions that our staff make every day which result in claimants receiving the health and disability benefits that they need, as well as the assistance they require.

As previously stated, the DWP has apologised unreservedly for the failings in the case of Ms Whiting. “

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/243337?fbclid=IwAR2Flmh0wE_Z1N4RelPfWgiMJa8Rqson3hQgwXTwqDNttm-GQ11PPyblzQo

Owen_Stevens
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