Thursday, 26 January 2012

Welfare Reform and how this Gov't is bullying sick/poor people

Hello all,

Robin has been poorly with his chest and a bad dose of man flu so I thought I'd come on and copy and paste an email I have sent to Alun Cairns, my MP, in response to his information on the Welfare Reform Bill.

A lot of people are aware that this is going through parliament at the moment although I'm sure most people have very clouded, incorrect views on how people on benefits truly live. Especially those who are mentally and physically incapable of work.

Please do not believe the Tory spin on a life of state benefits, no family I know get anywhere close to £26k income and certainly do not live in homes that 'they couldn't otherwise afford if they were working'.

Anyway, here's my email to Alun:

Hi Alun

Thanks so much for your reply, I really appreciate it.

Further to the idea of limiting the contributory element of ESA (Employment Support Allowance) to 12 months - I am on Contributory ESA because I bought a house with a friend about 5/6 years ago, which I do not live in and pay towards/get money for, however, due to the fact that I am still named on the mortgage at present (friend & husband now live there and are switching it over) the DWP (Dept. of Work & Pensions) said it'd be easier for now to be on contributory based rather than income based. I would imagine with the divorce/separation rates in Britain and the fact that lots of people would have had to have bought with a friend/relative with prices for housing so high, there are a lot of people in my situation; named on a mortgage but not living in the house/gaining from it in any way. Maybe a thought for those who cannot claim income related due to this complication?

Also, the main complaint that I (don't want to speak for others) have with the Assessments for ESA is that the so called assessors are not qualified to be either physically or mentally assessing the claimants and so how can they possibly state to what level someone is 'able to work?' I know this because my advocate (who has to take me to and accompany me at ATOS assessments) asked one of the ladies who got very angry and stormed out!

The questions asked in the assessments are closed and do not allow you to explain how you are able to do certain things, if you are able, they are just yes/no and it really is like russian roulette as to whether you get someone who wants to listen and makes a note of everything you say (like my initial assessment) or someone who couldn't give a damn and makes no notes at all (my second assessment).

At the moment I am in the appeal stage after having my assessment rated 'zero', interestingly enough in the last 3 weeks I have been hospitalised twice with palpitations, high BP, tachycardia, chest pain etc and yet no cause found, anxiety is listed as a possibility on my latest discharge letter to GP and my medication has been doubled, yet I am completely fit for work. I can tell you now, if I could work I would love to - I do not want to be sat at home with the constant worry of money and benefit updates and proving my income to all in sundry, especially with my anxiety issues! Given the low fraud rate of ESA it seems ridiculous to me that people like me have to go through this time and time again.

The idea of this Universal Credit scares me a little, all those forms rolled into one form - imagine how many pages people would have to fill out, all the questions that would need to be asked for each and every benefit that this takes over from. It is absolutely ridiculous to expect sick and disabled people to complete page after page of forms, and no doubt it'll be a regular occurrence. I can only imagine also that given that you're merging 6 benefits into one, there will be a huge backlog whereby people will have to wait weeks just for a decision and I don't even want to think about the percentage of likely lost paperwork.

I am quoting Iain Duncan Smith here :
He said for the majority of people, claiming benefits was only a temporary situation and Universal Credit would help move them back into work.
"But there is, for a relatively small number of people, a process which has kind of trapped them... in an invidious position of not being able to go back into work, because they are now being paid so much money by the state, mostly to do with the size of the house they are in."

I can assure you that (as you know) I live in a terraced house, which I do not get full help for as you don't get paid 'for the size of your house' - what rubbish, you get paid for 'how many bedrooms are in use' so me, my husband and Laura = 2 bedrooms. I think Iain Duncan Smith needs to find out the facts before he spouts such utter rubbish! I can also assure him that we do not get more in benefits than we would do working, far from it in fact. When I worked I earned £21k\yr and I still got Child tax and benefit for Laura. Now I get about £10k/yr as well as the child tax\benefit - bit different eh!! Would I choose to be in this situation? You know the answer to that one!

Again Iain Duncan Smith :
Asked if the cap was really a distraction from the changes to disability benefits, ESA and housing benefits, from which people were suffering, he said: "But they're not suffering. The point about this is that what makes you suffer is the state that plunges you into dependency."

Sorry but this guy seriously needs a gag, he is completely out of touch with what is happening with the above and how people really are affected by the proposed changes with welfare, especially DLA, ESA etc. The ATOS reviews in themselves are bad enough without the worry then that even if you qualify you may not get enough to live on or be on it longer than 12 months, do you have any idea of the pressure that puts on already sick people to 'get well within a Government proposed timeframe'?

Obviously this isn't an attack on you Alun, it's just an emotive subject I guess and I really appreciate your help.

Thanks again

Lynnette Spragg

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Get it Off Your Chest !

Breaking News - More Costly Boobs by NHS Wales and the Welsh Government

I'll say I ruddy well will 'get it off my chest'.  Nothing has made me more mad this week than listening to our Dear Health Minister announce that the NHS Wales is to pay £150m+, just to preserve women's vanity.  Even after David Sissling's two pages of promises that said a lot but meant absolutely nothing, what madness is it that has infected our Welsh Government to hear them confirm that the faulty boob implants will be removed and replaced at our ruddy expense ?  Who asked the public ? Who made this stupid decision ? and what absolute tripe they trotted out that said " We're leading England on this.......".  Did they all drink too much over the holidays that their brains have become completely sozzled, beyond the power to reason ? Do they really think that the English NHS will do the same ? "Not bloomin' likely matey, the Taffy's may be mad enough but we're certainly not".

If the vain women went to private clinics and received these faulty boob-lifters, why don't they go back to these crooks and get them to do the job - for nothing ?  Do women seriously think that this mistake is OUR problem ?***  Of course it isn't, and to expect us to pay to preserve their inflated vanity is stone-raving-bonkers ! Didn't any of you out there in cloud cuckoo land hear the broadcast ?  £150 Million quid, that won't be available for essential surgery for those genuinely needy health patients - One hundred and fifty bleedin' million quid - that's  £150,000,000, you apathetic berks.  And think of the operating theatre time, the staff and all the other costs that will be added -  just so that women can parade themselves along streets like tarts, pushing their tits in everyon's faces, then snearing at you for looking ???  This is absotively ridiculous and the people who made this decision should be fired immediately.

Can you imagine if 100 men had faulty penile extensions, what the response would be to a request from the femi-nazi regime in Cardiff Bay would be ???? Not one ruddy quid would they spend, they'd say "It's your fault, you made the stupid decion, and you paid a cosmetic surgeon to have it done - so piddle off and sort yourselves out !"  But, because it's women - as with the millions wasted on Herceptin, on a 'maybe' it'll do a few women good - open up the vaults and let them have what they want.  What's next - botched nose-jobs, messed up facials, or cellulose removal on the NHS ? Why, even the contemptuous dissmissive letter from Joanna Jordan, Director of Health, didn't cheer me up.

Where the blazes is that Glass Ceiling installer I requested ???   R. W.

*** N.B. Women who had surgery, for breast cancer, involving implants used for reconstructuring SHOULD receive relacement surgery on the NHS free of charge.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Another Bitter Pill to Swallow - it's All Our Fault

How about Three MILLION Scapegoats ?

After reading the article which reports Dr Tony Jewell, Chief Medical Officer, it is natural for all of us to shrink back away in horror at the figure of 94% of the population of Wales that is ‘failing to heed advice on improving lifestyles’. Of course this must be true – but is it , really ? Where and when was this survey conducted ? What percentage of the population were interviewed, or, is the result of a full epidemiology study or Needs Assessment ( that haven’t been conducted in Wales for a decade ) that Dr Jewell seems reluctant to tell us about ?

When alarm of this type is spread through the media, people tend to think well it must be true – “it’s in the papers, isn’t it you daft idiot, you must be ‘Tup’ to think they’d print lies now Bach”. Well, I for one am not ‘tup’ yet I fail to see why the eminent Dr doesn’t publish this survey and its’ detailed findings – especially as this apparently puts the blame for bad health onto the populace. He makes no mention of the cuts and rationalisation that have been going on for the past 10 years, so he obviously doesn’t want NHS Wales to take any of the blame for providing us with inadequate and less accessible health services than before. Many of you will say “ Ah but he’s always being saying the same unhelpful things, running our health service down”, but why should this be any more true than Dr Jewell’s remarks ?

Well, I’m afraid I’m going to have be the ‘habitual complainer’ that they have labelled me, in order to avoid answering any of my searching ( and justifiable ) intelligent and informed comments I have put to them over the past 11 –14 years. To be frank, this is more scaremongering by the NHS in order to shift the blame for the incompetent management from them to the poor uninformed populace of Wales. In exactly the same way that we have to suffer the incompetence of our economy, by being made to pay for the mistakes of the banks and the government financial advisors. It really is long overdue that we begin to realise that the only management going on is of us, the poor dabs who pay the salaries of our fat-cat leaders and so-called experts. We are being made to believe that we are to blame, so ‘let’s all pull together and realise this simple fact. We caused the problem, so we fix it – right ? WRONG ! If I may quote the eminent, retiring doctor – this is, indeed, “A Poor State of Affairs” where shifting the blame onto us is becoming accepted policy by government and its’ loyal but subordinate authorities. Every reader must have realised that – at every level of our society – every senior‘public servant’ that the public purse keeps in a job is passing the buck. In the Health Service, this has been all too evident in spurious claims that ‘essential’ changes will cost. However, not one change, or one sham consultation has given us any evidence to support these nonsensical chunks of our money that are supposedly ‘ring-fenced’ to provide services that are ‘fit for purpose’ – whatever these vacuous words are meant to mean. We are paying millions of pounds on the production of mountains of empty rhetoric, passed off to us as being ‘good governance’ that are meaningless and insincere as anything we have ever heard in our history.

Personally, I think it is about time that the PEOPLE started telling the authorities that we won’t swallow this misinformation any more, and that we are entitled to all the facts, instead of the bilge-water we have been expected to swallow without explanation. We should all make a stand and demand that we are told the truth and insist that we be fully involved in the processes that have resulted in such incompetent management of out national and local authority budgets.      R.W.

"Don't Sell the Sausage - sell the 'Sissle'"

Welcome to Healthscape Cardiff and Vale, Mr David Sisslin, new Chief Executive of NHS Wales, and welcome replacement to the departing Paul Williams - self-titled Director General NHS etc etc. and absolute pillock who was incapable of original thought.  Mr Sissling sends out a further 'alarm' that 'NHS Workers to Face Axe' So - having placed every employee of the NHS and Social Services on 'Notice', he trots out the figures that we spent £50m on agency nurses and locums last year.  Then, he goes on with the mantra 'We need to eliminate inefficiencies and waste, ensure we have good procurement, and make sure that we manage the workforce efficiently - we need to try and reduce or eliminate spending on agency and locum staff'.  Wonderful ! - why didn't anyone think of these before ??? did ? - these topics have been discussed for years, you say ? Oh deary, deary me.......

Mr Sissling  should be aware of historical fact.  The nurses left to join ( and form ) agencies, because they were refused the pay increases that they felt they deserved, eons ago, and doctors have been leaving us in droves for over a decade because they can find more lucrative and more satisfying jobs in England.  If I may be so bold as to say, Mr Sissling, Wales produces the best doctors and nurses anywhere but, what is the point in such good and successful training if we can't keep them gainfully employed in Wales ? Also, the result of failing to meet fair pay grades means that we have ( for years now ) been forced to pay these fairer pay grades, PLUS the high profits the agencies made on top.
On reflection, it doesn't look to good, does it Mr S ? So, in my opinion, the issue you first have to admit and address is the issue of Appalling Management that has been allowed to continue, ever since the old health authorities lost us millions through blatantly obvious incopmetence.  Which leads me to ask you, Sir - "Why have all of these incompetent old lags, with their outdated ( or non-existent ) ideas, been kept on to continue their malpractices of 'Poor Governance', as we now like to call bad management with ( to quote Mrs Hart AM OBE O St.John ) 'No need for any redundancies'.

If only they'd keep their mouths shut - eh ?  Especially the new girl, Leslie Griffiths, decalaring rather stupidly that "The CommunityCouncils ARE the voice of the people" when, in reality, they are incompetent in every sense of the word.  They've made a complete cock-up of every 'consultation' they have involved in and have - invariably - betrayed the opinions of the people by helping the Universally Inept Health Board force through its' uncosted and poorly thought out Plans.  Oh but Leslie wants to close the recently elected ( and broadcast - TV Radio, Press ) People's Forum that genuinely did reflect the views of the Patients and Public, as intended by Section 11 of the Health and Social Care Act ( Public and Patient Involvement ).

Therefore Mr 'S', you a bit more on your plate than you think, so you better roll your sleeves up, or are you going to 'follow suit' and just take your huge salary and let the incompetents 'get on with it' ???  R.W.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

No Waiting at Aneurin Bevan Health Board - Good News, at last

Hope for the Newport area, at least.

At last, someone is tackling the long waiting times for appointments to see your G.P. – as long as you live in the Newport and surrounding area . Still it’s a wonderful beginning, and I wish them every success with their  5 ‘A’s system for success.  With surgery appointments starting at 8.00am, with the last appointment at 5.50pm – with a duty doctor available throughout the day – it’s hard to imagine any long waits for patients. Never mind listing all five ‘A’s ( I forgot them immediately after the news item – ruddy typical ! ) this system of grading G.P. surgeries seems a positive change that finally puts the patient at the forefront of healthcare.  Congratulations to this Trust, and good luck with similar initiatives in the future.

I  can only hope that this scheme is replicated by the University Health Board for benefit of patients in the Cardiff & Vale catchment area.  This would indeed make a much needed Good News story to give hope that all Trusts will put patient care as the no.1 priority for 2012.  R.W.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

'The Citizens Commission for Human Rights' - A Wolf in Wolf's clothing

Post No. 60 :

Happy New Year, once again - I hope that all of you have a healthier year, and that the Minister, L.G., finally makes Mental Health ( and all other health services still in existence, albeit smaller and supposedly 'Fit for Purpose'. ) more accessible to those in need.  My reference in the title is to an organisation that has declared war on the accepted treatment of the mentally ill.  I refer of course, to that collection of rabidly insane evangelists from outer space known as The Church of Scientology, trying to disguise itself as a 'Citizens Commission etc ' in order to dupe the less well-informed amongst us.  Although we can all laugh at Tom Cruise, Kirsty Alley, and John Travolta's ravings on television interviews, this so-called Church poses a very real threat to the accepted, modern day treatment of the mentally ill.  You have only to see the documentary, showing how they indoctrinate easily led people by asking them to place their hands on a metal egg-shaped object that helps the 'tutor' to read your thoughts ( stop that laughing - it's all true I tell you ) to see how 'off the wall' these purveyors of reconstituted Science Fiction garbage really are.  Ron Hubble-bubble ( the church's creator ) must be standing knee-deep in green cheese, laughing his frock off at what he started as the biggest April Fool joke ever.  That's as kindly as I can be towards this bunch of mal-adjusted, misfits, who believe that they are part of the 'new deity'.  Doo-lally-tap - the lot of 'em, I say, so be careful not to be taken in by their doctrine of lies that do more than just stigmatise the mentally ill.     R. W.