Unemployed sickness benefit claimants who are too unwell to work will be required to have regular meetings with a government appointed healthcare professional as a precondition to receiving their benefits, in a pilot scheme beginning in parts of central England from this November.
Around 3,000 people in the work-related activity group for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) living in the Black Country, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Staffordshire and Shropshire will take part in the scheme.
The government have entered into a contract with Ingeus UK who provide employment and training services, but the DWP insist that they have not been brought in to replace the professional healthcare provision provided by a claimant’s GP.
Ingeus UK is a provider of the controversial Work Programme. According to a government press release, Ingeus will work with the claimant and their GP to “…signpost claimants to activities and information to help them manage their condition to improve their readiness for getting a job, and work with local services to provide a holistic approach to health interventions.”
For those unfamiliar with the company, Ingeus UK is 50% owned by government accounting and advisory firm Delotte. The value of the medical contract is unknown, but we can be sure that the only ones who will benefit from this arrangement are Delotte and its shareholders at the expense of the taxpayer.
The government is sending a clear insulting message to thousands of medical professionals, including GPs, consultants, and front line staff who engage with patients on a daily basis, that their extensive experience, training, and knowledge of the patient mean nothing.
As with Atos, this contract is nothing more than a money making scam for members of the ‘old-boys’ network. There is no need for such a scheme, and it will only make life more stressed and unbearable for thousands of genuinely sick and disabled people.
We also wonder what kind of ‘medical professionals’ the company will be employing and the quality of their training and experience. Again, as with Atos, no doubt decisions will be made with a very strong bias towards government agendas and will not be in the best interest of the person.
As we see another gross abuse of taxpayer’s money by the government, and (yet again) the targeting of the poor and vulnerable in society (instead of addressing REAL issues) we can only expect the march of the police state to continue until the current government are kicked out and stopped from looking after their own interests, and those of their cronies.