Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The Hydra Wakes, coughs, then sleeps

At last, one of the Hydra's heads, Mind ( with independent franchises everywhere ) speaks out against the the Work Capability Assessment, which they declare ( correctly, if belatedly )  is 'Having a devastating effect on people with mental health problems'  "Hoorah" we say, as I have represented five 'clients' recently and found the test to be nothing more than a way to dupe the poor souls with acute problems. Having attended my first such assessment, I was astounded when the nurse asked, "Can you move that box of tissues on the desk, dear ?" After a "Uh ?" reply, she stated, "There you are, you see you are able to do some work". Through clenched teeth I asked the dear lady, if she was conducting a mental or physical assessment and.........was she qualified to conduct either ? Eventually, we saw a doctor who knew something about mental and physical ailments, who quickly determined that my client was incapable of holding down any job.  Apparently, this ATOS algorythingy provides a script of stupid questions which seem, inevitably, to conclude that anyone with any mental health problem is fit for work and, therefore, shouldn't be on incapacity benefit, or even Disability Living Allowance.
So, let's hear all the Hydra's heads condemn this Work Capability Assessment, and ensure that it is changed immediately.  By way of ending this little piece, I must say that I found it astonishing that Mind failed to condemn the bullying of people 'with mental health problems' after the Panorama programme, but then they kept quiet over all the bullying, fires and suicides at Whitchurch for years.

By the way, it's nice to hear  Paul Hollard ( Planning Director for the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board ) stating the glaringly obvious about the inadequacy of orthopaedic services after this has been of major concern for over 20 years ( Echo 31st May ). What a shame he didn't state the same about Mental Health Services during the recent 'sham' consultation and his publishing of the laughable 'Outline Business Case' for the new hospital proposed for Llandough.  Perhaps the new Minister is working on the 'Lethal Disease Outbreaks' ( same Echo edition ), before tackling the lethal incompetence within the health board(s) ?  We live in hope !

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