Posts Tagged ‘Bipolar Disorder’

Tory Chequebook Euthanasia: ConcernedKev’s Experience

December 8, 2014

Yesterday and today I posted a couple of pieces reporting posts over at Mike’s site, Vox Political, on the way ATOS/ Maximus staff are asking ESA claimants with depression why they have not committed suicide during their assessments.

So many of Mike’s readers have commented on the piece, reporting that they too have been asked the same question that it seems to me that it is no longer due to callousness and irresponsibility on the part of individual staff members, but actually part of the script handed down to them to follow by the DWP and the wretched think tank that formulated the whole foul process in the first place.

Several of Mike’s commenters have medical experience, and state that if a nurse or doctor asked this question of mentally or emotionally vulnerable people, a question, which could very well lead to that person taking their own life, they would be disciplined and struck off.

One of the commenters to this blog, Concernedkev, raised the same point with regards to his personal experience with his nephew after he was asked the question at his ESA assessment. Concernedkev’s first comment ran:

My nephew was told by an assessor that he could not be suicidal otherwise he would not be here now as he would have done it. This in front of his mother. This person was not trained in mental health but on the General Register. If I had my way she should be struck off.

He later expanded on this comment, giving further details of his family’s experience at the hands of the DWP, in a subsequent comment on my second piece about this. He said

Hi I left a comment yesterday about my nephew. I also stated that the so called nurse should be struck off. I did not state that I am a qualified mental nurse (retired) and if I had been known to have asked the question like she asked when I was working, then I would have been suspended then sacked following a disciplinary hearing. I would then have been reported to the Nurses and Midwives Council with a view to being struck off. The event was a major setback to my nephews recovery and the local mental health services were less than supportive having no emergency beds or qualified community staff to cater for his needs. My sister, his mother was tearing her hair out trying to get help as the nature of his condition was a dual problem being bi-polar he then, because of the stress, went high and his behaviour was irrational and unpredictable. I took the liberty of medicating him myself, as I too am a sufferer, so I used my own medication which got him back in a reasonable state of mind to be able to manage him safely. He was lucky to have me as his uncle. We eventually got him the right help. How many thousands of sufferers out there are not so fortunate. I know from personal experience how hard it is to cope with the present system as I have to protect my wife from it as she has Multiple Sclerosis and had a battle to get into the ESA support group and despite it being a progressive and eventually terminal illness the DWP (Gestapo) will be putting her through the indignity of reassessment next year. In her last assessment the nurse who allegedly filled out a report without seeing her, omitted vital information that would have placed her automatically in the support group. If we had not challenged them she would have gone unpaid. In the case of those who are isolated without support it is easy to see why suicide is inevitable. Ian Duncan Smith and Freud et al know this and in my mind this makes them culpable of assisting suicide which still carries a 14 year maximum imprisonment.

Concernedkev’s nephew was indeed lucky to have an uncle with such training in psychiatric care, and who was able to give him the right medication to control his mood swings.

It is absolutely disgusting that this happened, just as it is that Concernedkev’s wife has to be reassessed for her benefit, despite suffering from a progressively degenerative condition. Sadly, she is not alone, and many others have reported having to suffer the same repeat assessments. The situation is so scandalous that I believe some of the more notorious examples have been reported in Private Eye.

Doctors have already reported a rise in mental problems amongst those with mental health issues due to the stress of the assessment process, including instances where the sufferer has had to be hospitalised because of the extremity of their distress. Private Eye a little while ago reported a case where a severely depressed young woman, with a history of suicide attempts, did intend attempt to take her own life after an ATOS interview. The Eye explicitly stated in their report on this that ATOS therefore explicitly broke the law, and quoted chapter and verse of the regulation that states that no questions may be asked which would lead the vulnerable to harm or kill themselves.

Now this has gone on long enough. No more vulnerable people should be put at risk through this. I have no medical knowledge or experience myself, so I am appealing to anyone out there who has the relevant knowledge: is there a professional body or ombudsman to whom we can complain about this? I realise one starting point would be Iain Duncan Smith as the head of the DWP itself, but is there anyone else, who may be appealed to, in order to stop this?