As reported by the amazing team over at Benefits And Work a coroner has issued a Prevention of Future Deaths (PFD) report after the DWP forced a severely ill claimant to leave hospital to make a claim, without giving him the option him to do so electronically.
Terence Talbot, who had Bipolar Affective Disorder, was at the time being detained at hospital under the Mental Health Act because he had suffered a rare reaction to the medication he had been prescribed.
This reaction had made him very vulnerable to infection and ultimately resulted in his death.
According to Benefits And Work the DWP had refused to let Mr Talbot make a claim for benefits electronically which he was entitled to do and instead insisted that he had to make the claim in person.
As a result of having to leave the hospital to make his claim Mr Talbot died in hospital.
The Coroner said in her report that the health professionals that cared for Mr Talbot had never experienced such an ill patient being forced to make a claim in person.
She went on to say “I heard from all the doctors and a senior nurse in this case who have a considerable experience across a range of specialties and across several different NHS Trusts. They have never experienced nor heard of a case where a severely ill inpatient was required by the Department of Work and Pensions to leave hospital to attend its offices in person to make a claim for welfare benefits.”
The secretary of state for Work and Pensions has until 28 January to tell the Coroner how the DWP will make sure that nothing like this happens again.
Don’t depend on this changing anything though. The DWP has a very long record of making promises that they have no intention of keeping. It isn’t important to them, nor is the welfare of claimants important as well. Sadly I expect that they won’t ‘learn’ from Mr Talbots death, instead they’ll file it away to be forgotten.
For a long time now the government has regarded claimants as stock, ready to be used and neglected at their whim. Once a claimant isn’t able to be of use for the DWP and government they more or less wipe their hands of them, making life extremely hard forcing them to complete impossible tasks.
This then results in deaths such as Mr Talbots and thousands more like him.
Sue Jones over on Twitter explains it perfectly.
I’d like to say that this isn’t true but it is. They regard people with disabilities and illnesses with such disdain and hate that many find it impossible to continue. Many refuse to make a claim for benefits because they’re too scared of doing so. Indeed, many of the people that I help and have helped have been in this position. Judged by society for being disabled or ill and then treated with cruelty by the DWP.
There is a desperate need for change in how the DWP and society views people that claim benefits and also how they treat people with disabilities. This won’t happen whilst the Conservative government is in power, but we can continue to put pressure upon them by sharing campaigns and blogs like mine. It makes a massive difference.
My thoughts and prayers go to Mr Talbot, his family and everyone that has died as a result of cruel decisions made by the DWP and their representatives.
A huge thank you once again to Benefits And Work for sharing this and for all of their hard work. You can find them here https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk
How am I? Struggling this week as usual. Like so many of you I’ve had to make the choice between heating and eating. Truth be told like you I can’t afford to do either but I have to make sure my daughters wellbeing comes first.
If you are interested in getting involved with campaigning or need support I can’t recommend DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) enough. It’s a fantastic network run by real people experiencing the same difficulties as you might be. You can find them on their Facebook page and Twitter.
If you live in the Greater Manchester area you can join Manchester DPAC here https:\\manchesterdpac.com
If you like my work and campaign and can afford to would like to donate to keep both my blog and campaign going there is a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every penny makes a huge difference for both. I have to pay my internet bill tomorrow and I’m really struggling to do so.
Thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign. You have all kept me going through the extremely bad past year. We are all still struggling with my sons death, he leaves a massive hole in our hearts that can’t be filled.