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Seriously ill patients 'told to work' - BBC NEWS 24 & WEB

 

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Ultimately the decision on whether you get benefit or not is down to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), but they have contracted a private healthcare company called Atos to carry out the initial medical assessments.

I've spoken to two doctors who used to work for Atos. They say they are concerned about the way checks are being done. They both say they are worried that speaking out will affect their medical careers so we've agreed not to reveal their names.

This is what one of the doctors told me: "We would frequently have appraisals. They were all about how many clients you had seen and the average length of time it took to complete each assessment and write the reports.

"I wanted to know if they were happy with the quality of the reports I'd done but they hadn't even looked at my reports, only at the time it had taken. It's really tough to qualify for ESA.

"When doctors go in for the day's assessments, they pretty much know the clients are going to be turned down."

The other doctor I spoke to backed up those claims.

We asked to do an interview with Atos, but they refused.

Gaining skills

Instead they gave us a statement saying: "We are continually monitored and audited by the government to ensure that it completes the highest standard of assessment and that medical advice is correct.

"Atos Healthcare and its employees are not advised of the result of the assessment and the outcome has no bearing on Atos Healthcare targets or remuneration."

Helping people back to work is one of the key aims of ESA. But the government can't tell us how many people this new scheme has got back into work.

The minister for Disabled People at Westminster is Jonathan Shaw, MP. I asked him why his department couldn't tell us how many people ESA had successfully got back to work.

He said: "What's essential is that we are providing a programme, across the board, not just for ESA claimants but for youngsters, for disabled people for elderly people, to try and gain the skills that they can to stay in the labour market and return to work.

"We've got the pathways to work programme, which as I say is helping thousands of people who I've met up and down the country… this is early days, for the Employment Support Allowance."

Mr Shaw also said he would be looking into the way cancer patients are treated.

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BBC Inside Out London covers the new "fit note" and the issues for GP's

Click here to view the BBC Inside Out London programme 12th October 2009 on "Fit Notes" that replace" sick notes.<

Click here for iplayer version.<

GP's are concerned they now have to act as Occupational Therapists a job they say they are not qualified to do.

The London Wide Medical Committee which represents the interests of 6000 London based GP's surveyed there members.

From 458 GP's that replied to the survey.

79.9% said they lacked the expertise to complete a "fit note".

81% said the "fit note" should be done by Occupational Health.

96% said they had no Occupational Health Training.

Concern that Occupational Therapists are professionals and specialist in their own right. GP's are not training and are concerned at the risk to GP patient relationship and patient health.

Lord McKenzie, Minster at the Department of Work & Pensions was "surprised" at the poor response from GP's.

 

HPV vaccination hits 70% uptake - BBC

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HPV vaccination hits 70% uptake<

Some 70% of 12-to-13-year-olds in England have been fully vaccinated against cervical cancer in the first year of the programme, figures show.<<

In the last school year 87% had at least one of the three doses needed to protect against HPV - the virus linked with most cervical cancers.<

The Department of Health says 80% coverage is needed to achieve "herd immunity" but it has not set a target.<

A staggered catch-up campaign is planned for older schoolgirls.<


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“ <The programme's biggest challenge is to ensure that all girls who are eligible for the catch-up vaccine are immunised <” <

Robert Music, Jo's Trust<



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The HPV vaccine had attracted some controversy as it works by making girls immune to a sexually transmitted infection.<

It was initially offered to all 12-to-13-year-olds across the UK but a staggered catch-up campaign for 14-to-18-year-olds is due to get underway in England, Wales and Northern Ireland when schools go back in September.<

In Scotland, vaccination of older girls has already started.<

Robert Music, director of the Jo's Trust cervical cancer charity, said: "Given the HPV vaccine was only introduced last September, it is a positive start to this important programme for 70% of eligible girls to have received all three doses of the vaccine.<

"The programme's biggest challenge is to ensure that all girls who are eligible for the catch-up vaccine are immunised."<

Other vaccines<<

The NHS Information Centre report also showed that in 2008-09 uptake levels of MMR vaccine for two-year olds remained at around 85% for the third year running - still short of the 90% target.<

By age five, when children are recommended to have a second dose, the latest uptake figures are 78% - the highest level since the data was first collected in 1998.<

There are still many children out there who were not vaccinated as toddlers over the past decade and remain unprotected<

Since 2005, the number of cases of measles has been rising year on year.<

The figures also show that 74% of over 65s received the seasonal flu vaccine last winter.<

Story from BBC NEWS:<

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/health/8235832.stm<


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Published: 2009/09/03 13:30:30 GMT<


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© BBC MMIX<

Billions in benefits go unclaimed - BBC

 <BBC NEWS<

Up to £10.5bn in income-related benefits went unclaimed in Britain in 2007-8, government figures reveal.<<

A calculation of take-up of the five key benefits showed that the estimated amount that went unclaimed shifted up slightly compared with a year earlier.<

Unclaimed funds from the five benefits was between £6.3bn and £10.5bn, or 15% to 23% of all entitlement money.<

The data includes Income Support, Pension Credit, Jobseekers Allowance, and housing and council tax benefits.<

No longer able to take early retirement

With international and national banking and financial markers in turmoil. The value of many peoples pensions and savings have seen a dramatic fall in the value of return.

Remember to claim for all your benefits to supplement your pension click here for information<.

The BBC Website today is running two stories that may be of interest "Over 50's needing to work longer<" & "Birthday Lottery over pensions<". 

HPV Vaccination for boys in the news.

Tonight on the BBC London News Broadcast< there was an article about Jade Goody who is laid to rest tomorrow, 4th April 2009.  

Part of the legacy of this young lady is that she has not only raised awareness of cervical cancer but the vaccination for HPV for young girls and now boys. 

They interviewed many young men who were all for having the vaccination if it would reduce the incidence of cervical cancer.

Of course it would go much further than that. It would reduce the incidence of penile and anal cancers as well as deal with the issue of genital warts.

We believe however that government has missed an oppourtunity here.  There choice of vaccine offers the least protection, only 2 strains of HPV. We call for government to vaccinate all girls with the alternative, it covers 4 strains of HPV, and extend the programme to boys as well.

Often referred to as the "herd" effect. Vaccinating boys would reduce further transmission especially where any female partner was not vaccinated.

Our sympathy is with Ms. Goody's family at this time.

Answers to our question put to Tony McNulty MP & Minister DWP - BBC 'Have your say.'

Further to the request to lodge questions to the Minster for Employment & Welfare Reform, Tony McNulty MP, on the BBC 'Have your say' forum.<

 

I asked a question and here is is with the answer -

 

How is the minister reforming welfare to make people who have been out of work, say with HIV, and find it difficult to get work because of stigma and needs arising from disability? I understand the Jobcentre only has an intranet for guidance, with no training in the needs of people with HIV - so your team at the DWP tell me.
John, Fulham, UK <

 

TONY McNULTY MP: Jobcentre Plus decision-makers get independent, accurate and authoritative medical advice from approved healthcare professionals. These professionals are trained to provide advice on the effects of any disability or condition. The training includes material on HIV/AIDS. <

More generally, while the vast majority of employers don't deliberately discriminate against disabled people, too many still perceive that employing a disabled person may carry additional risks for their organisation. So whilst we are making encouraging progress, we still have work to do to demonstrate to employers that employing disabled people really does not carry such risks and that there are many advantages and opportunities to be gained from a more diverse workforce. Once in work, disabled people are often very loyal employees who have less time off sick. I do accept, though, that we have some ways to go with some employers. <

 

If you want to see the whole article click here.<

 

Further to the request to lodge questions to the Minster for Employment & Welfare Reform, Tony McNulty MP, on the BBC 'Have your say' forum.<

 

I asked a question and here is is with the answer -

 

How is the minister reforming welfare to make people who have been out of work, say with HIV, and find it difficult to get work because of stigma and needs arising from disability? I understand the Jobcentre only has an intranet for guidance, with no training in the needs of people with HIV - so your team at the DWP tell me.
John, Fulham, UK <

 

TONY McNULTY MP: Jobcentre Plus decision-makers get independent, accurate and authoritative medical advice from approved healthcare professionals. These professionals are trained to provide advice on the effects of any disability or condition. The training includes material on HIV/AIDS. <

More generally, while the vast majority of employers don't deliberately discriminate against disabled people, too many still perceive that employing a disabled person may carry additional risks for their organisation. So whilst we are making encouraging progress, we still have work to do to demonstrate to employers that employing disabled people really does not carry such risks and that there are many advantages and opportunities to be gained from a more diverse workforce. Once in work, disabled people are often very loyal employees who have less time off sick. I do accept, though, that we have some ways to go with some employers. <

 

If you want to see the whole article click here.<

Questions to Tony McNulty MP Minister for Welfare Reform - BBC Have you say.

You may be interested in lodging a question for Tony McNulty the minister at the Department for Work & Pensions responsible for Welfare Reform.

The BBC "Have you say" are running this forum - click here for more information. <

NHS at 60 & BBC Newsnight

Posted in
05/06/2008 14:29

 The BBC are running a debate on the NHS at 60. You can find and contribute here - 

http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?forumID=4884&edition=1&ttl=20080605142532<

This, as I understand will feed into the Newnight programme.

As we all use and rely on the NHS I mention this for your information.

Media

12/06/2008 17:00

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