I’ve been ill for over a week now and today my daughter has woke up feeling ill, she’s got the same symptoms as I and we are both fed up, can’t stop coughing.
We’ve tested for Covid using the rapid flow tests and I know that we need to do the other test and send it off. This raises a problem. though…. Both of us feel too ill to go out.
It is what it it I suppose. I’m still waiting for a doctor to phone me back because I can’t get to either the doctors or hospital because I’m skint.
My internet bill was due out today and I can’t afford to pay it, so if I’m quiet that is why.
I’m so annoyed with myself for getting ill again, and I know that you’re probably fed up with my complaining about it.
Before I became ill again I was almost over my Long Covid, but now I feel like my recovery will be delayed once again.
I didn’t choose to be in this situation, none of us do but I am. Once again apologies in advance if I go quiet because my internet has been cut off.
I’m praying that I’m better soon and my daughter is too.
It was also my son’s inquest on Tuesday, it went as expected but I was still heartbroken. GMP Oldham also dropped off his belongings that will be put in his chest that I made for him.
Logging off for now because I feel dreadful. Lots of love to you all.
I really hope that there’s brighter days ahead for us all.
I’ll hopefully be back to normal next week.
Please can you like, share, tweet and email my blog posts? Doing this makes a massive difference and it helps the truth get out there.
Theres a donate button at the top and side if this blog post. Every penny makes a huge difference because this makes me able to continue with my blog and campaign. Having my internet cut off will be awful because I do use it a lot helping people etc etc.
A massive thank you to everyone for being here for me and my campaign
It has been reported this week by Rightsnet that the work capability assessment contract with Maximus has been extended by two years to 31 July 2023. The continuation of contract will supposedly ‘secure service continuity and stability’ whilst at the same time allowing the transfer of caseloads and services into a unified assessment service trial.
The DWP (Department of Works And Pensions) have also confirmed that they have extended the existing contract with Maximus UK Services Ltd to provide work capability assessments for employment and support allowance (ESA) and universal credit. This will continue for an additional two years to 31 July 2023.
The DWP have had plans to create a unified, integrated assessment service from 1 August 2021.
The DWPs plans to merge the separate PIP (Personal Independence Payments) health assessments and work capability assessments, ESA (Employment and Support Allowance and universal credit, were put on hold last year as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak .
This was confirmed earlier this year in a written statement to Parliament in July 2020, quoting ‘We recognise that it is vital for our claimants to have a safe and stable service. Consequently, my Department intends to explore options to extend the current contracts for up to two years, which will ensure continuity of services when the current contracts end on 31 July 2021.’
In a contract modification notice published last week, the DWP now confirms that it has extended the existing contract to provide work capability assessments – that was awarded to Maximus for the period 29 October 2014 to 31 July 2021 (at a value of £938 million). This now continues until 31 July 2023.
This will add a further £300 million to the Maximus contract value.
The DWP have commented saying that they will -‘Secure assessment service continuity and stability beyond the current contracts end date on 31/07/21’ .This will provide the contractual flexibility needed for any subsequent changes to the ongoing service design necessitated by Covid-19 measures.
This will enable any associated policy changes made during the extension period.
It will also allow the DWP to implement pre-Covid flexibilities and to remove volume and service from the Supplier into a Departmental Transformation Area/to deliver devolution of specific areas of the service (related to specific welfare benefits) if this is required’
‘For more information, see Health and Disability Assessment Services – contract extension from gov.ukSource Rightsnet
I’m sure that we all agree that these ‘medical assesments’ are cruel and unnecessary for disabled and ill claimants. A doctors and/ or evidence from a medical consultant should be more than adequate to prove to the DWP that they are disabled and/or ill. Any government that genuinely cares for disabled and ill people would of course accept this.
This Tory government have proven time and time again that they don’t care. Instead of compassion they issue a relentless barrage of cruel tests and examinations that cause physical and mental distress to thousands of people everyday.
We have a prime minister that happily spends millions of tax payers money on decorating number 10 and suchlike whilst giving huge contracts to their friends regardless of if they can’t do the job they’ve been contracted to do.
It’s easy for the government to target the most vulnerable because they believe that they won’t fight back. However as we have seen from groups such as DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) and campaigners like myself they can and do fight back in the quest to change things. They do and have made a difference.
Its exhausting though, constantly fighting against the government machine who’s policies reflect the fact that they want to get rid of us. However they forget that there are more of us than they are of them and we will continue to fight to make changes that we need.
Today is my son’s inquest and as you can expect I’m upset, the pain sometimes can be overwhelming. I have to be strong for my girls and my grandchildren.
Long gone are the flowers that I used to place on the little shrine that I’ve created at home. Flowers are expensive as is everything else these days.
I hate living like this and I hate the fact that my son is no longer with us. He had plans to do lots of things including sorting my oldest daughters gardens out and to do mine that I can’t use because its a mess. Little unimportant things like this always remind me of my son and the wonderful young man that he was.
I will be ok though, it will get better but I’ll always grieve for his loss but I will learn to live with it better. No one ever gets over loosing a child.
I’ll be back next week with another blog post.
Please if you can share, tweet, like and email my blog. This does make a massive difference and it gets the truth out there which is extremely important to do.
I don’t get paid for any of the writing that I do and it’s a struggle to say the least. I want to continue blogging and campaigning because its very important to help people.
For anyone that would like to donate theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A huge thank you also to everyone that subscribes, shares and has and does help my blog and campaign to continue. It means the world to me.
As many of you will already know my son died earlier this year. His death was very unexpected and it was due to no fault of his own. To say that it’s been a struggle is an understatement, after all we aren’t supposed to outlive our children.
My son had plans to go travelling and to work near family in Estonia and Latvia, something that he was looking forward to. Josephs death has changed us all in one way or another.
The sudden death team over at Greater Manchester Police have been amazing, they’ve literally held my hand through it all, from daily phone calls to see if I was ok and other phone calls about Joseph and the horrible stuff that every person has to go through when a loved one dies suddenly.
The loss of Joseph hit me hard again when last week I received a phone call from the coroners office. She phoned to tell me that I would be getting a full copy of his postmortem and notification that they’ve been able to bring his inquest back to the 2nd September rather than October.
Good news I suppose but not the news that any parent wants.
I really didn’t know what to expect when I received my first copy of his postmortem via email, but I did know that reading it would be extremely hard for me. My little boy (even though he was almost 6ft tall) has gone. I had proof in the black and white print I was reading on my laptop.
I suppose that it’s easier to hold onto him before the postmortem results even though we’d already given him a lovely funeral and memorial thanks to everyone that helped me with this. It’s a totally different ball game when you’re faced with it in black and white.
So back to the Postmortem… The coroner couldn’t find a cause of death and this will be the report given at the inquest. I had been warned that this would probably happen. Privately she said that even though theres no obvious cause of death it could have been one extra painkiller that took him away.
I do know however that he fell asleep happily listening to his music after talking to his sister and myself and he wouldn’t have felt any discomfort etc.
The hardest thing to deal with physically was going to his flat and sorting things out. I did this with my oldest daughter and we were very distressed because once again it was a reality check.
We could see exactly what his last movements were. He washed his pots, got changed and went to bed. Everything was left as it was. In a corner we spotted Josephs Easter chocolates for all of us that we no longer would be getting.
Back home I made a wooden chest for Josephs clothes and belongings and I locked them all away safely. I’m hoping that he approves.
Joseph had many struggles during his short life, the most notable ones being his primary and secondary schools refusing to recognise that he was autistic and he had to learn differently to others. I know that many parents of children with additional needs are still fighting this battle.
The sad reality is that years after my son left school, thousands of parents are still forced to fight to have their children educational needs met… From autism, dyslexia and many other additional needs that they might have.
Parents shouldn’t be forced to have to fight for a decent education but still they have to.
Joseph didn’t give up though and despite the odds he did extremely well for himself and I was very proud of him. He was a very special person that is missed by so many.
Never give up fighting for your children, they deserve to be treated well and have their needs met. I did my best but absolutely no one would listen to me.
I’m sorry that this weeks blog is different than usual. I’ll be back to normal next week. Thanks for reading and sharing my blog posts it means the world to me.
Please read, share and tweet my blog. A huge thank you to everyone that does and has supported my blog and campaign, I couldn’t do it without you.
I don’t receive any funding for the work that I do and I’m finding it much harder since my son died.
If you would like to donate theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Thank you.
Charities such as Women’s Aid highlighted their concerns about the increasing risk of domestic violence due to isolation when the first lockdown was announced in March 2020
Refuge, a charity that helps people suffering from domestic abuse recorded an average of 13,162 calls and messages to its National Domestic Abuse helpline every month between April 2020 and February 2021.
This figure is a 60% increase on the average number of monthly contacts at the start of 2020, they report..
Between January and March 2020just before the first lockdown in the UK, the charity recorded an average of 8,176 calls and messages per month.
Between April 2020 and February 2021, it logged a total of more than 131,000 such contacts.
Refuge also reported that 72% of these were from women who said they were experiencing violence and abuse, and nearly a fifth said their abuser had threatened to kill them.
They also say that many calls were from women who were being terrorised in their own homes, and who were afraid to seek treatment for their injuries in case they overburdened hospital staff.
Many women were also making plans to flee their homes, while others had no home to go to, leaving them at a high risk of becoming homeless.
Lisa King Refuges director of communications and external relations, said “home is not a safe place” for women and children experiencing domestic abuse.
She also went onto say “Lockdown measures, where women have been isolated and confined with their perpetrators, have compounded their exposure to violence and abuse.”
Refuge report that the largest number of calls and contacts had come from women in their 30s.
Many 16- to 25-year-old women as well as their concerned family members, friends and neighbours, reached out via the helpline’s Live Chat facility to report worries of domestic abuse taking place. The live chat facility enables people to communicate with helpline advisors online and, crucially, in anonymity.
It was reported that in 2020, Refuge made almost 4,500 referrals to refuges across the country, enabling women to flee abusive partners.
When the first lockdown was lifted last year, refuge also reported there was an increase in women seeking emergency accommodation. Refuge have shared their concerns that this could be repeated during the latest lockdown easing.
Respect, a charity that runs an advice line for male victims of domestic abuse, have also reported a 70% increase in calls, emails and webchats in 2020 compared to 2019. And during the latest lockdown, appeals for help continued to increase.
The most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in the period from March to June 2020 there was a 7% rise in domestic abuse offences recorded by the police in England and Wales.
Police figures report that in the four weeks to the middle of January, covering the first two weeks of the last lockdown, there was a 4% fall in recorded incidents of domestic abuse.
But the National Police Chiefs’ Council said not all such incidents would result in a crime being recorded and hidden abuse was not captured in this data.
Charities have always stressed that many victims do not report to the police so the figures are likely to be much higher than reported.
The Home Office said the government had given more than £27m to domestic abuse organisations to help them deal with the effects of the pandemic.
A spokesperson added: “Our landmark Domestic Abuse Bill will bolster the response to domestic abuse on every level, strengthening protections for victims whilst also ensuring perpetrators feel the full force of the law.”
The Domestic Abuse Act
In February 2021, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, told the Home Affairs Committee that the “tail” of the pandemic’s impact on domestic abuse would extend “well beyond” the easing of lockdown, and that survivors depended on these services.
The Commissioner welcomed the Government’s emergency funding throughout the pandemic but said this was nowhere near “the kind of sustainable foundation” needed.
The Domestic Abuse Act 2021, which came into force on 29 April 2021, aims to make changes to better protect victims of domestic violence.
.Organisations such as refuge and Women’s Aid have also welcomed the Act, but they stress that it’s effectiveness relies upon the correct implementation and adequate funding to ensure that it succeeds and meets the needs of people suffering from domestic violence.
On 11 April 2020, the Home Secretary announced £2 million to immediately bolster domestic abuse helplines and online support. By July 2020, £1.2m of this funding had been allocated to service providers.
A further funding announcement followed On the2 May 2020 the government announced that it had pledged £76 million emergency funding to support vulnerable people.. £25 million of this was allocated to domestic abuse services including £10 million to fund safe accommodation for victims of domestic violence.
The Government also launched a public awareness campaign aiming to reassure survivors of domestic abuse that police and specialist services remained open.
On 18 November 2020, midway through the second English lockdown, the Ministry of Justice provided £10.1 million to boost funding for victims of rape and domestic violence with a further £683,000 from the Home Office for domestic abuse organisations.
In January 2021, shortly after England entered its third lockdown, the Government announced that it had partnered with pharmacies across the country to launch the ‘Ask for ANI’ ‘Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) to help survivors.
Pharmacies participating are supposed to display material to let survivors know that trained staff are available to offer a safe and private space, with the option to call the police or other support services if needed.
Whilst the government has given extra funding to domestic violence organisations and charities it still doesn’t cover the amount of funding that has been taken away from these organisations throughout the years since the Tory Party were first elected.
The safety of everyone that is a victim of domestic violence, including children and men should be a priority for any elected government. For that to happen we need to continue to campaign with and on behalf of these organisations to try to get the government to accept that they’re failing victims of violence and abuse.
Personally I believe that the funding given should be increased and extended to exceed the full funding that they were previously given. If not the government will continue to fail those most in need of help and support.
Please like, share and email my blog posts. Every single share and like does make an enormous difference and it enables others to see that this is actually happening.
I don’t receive any funding for my blog and campaign. I’m worried about my ability to continue to do this.
If you would like to make a donation theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my campaign and blog. I literally couldn’t do this without you x.