The DWP have confirmed that they will not change their decision to refuse to provide information on vulnerable claimant deaths. As a result the issue has, once again, been referred to the Information Commissioner’s Office(ICO).
Disability News Service discovered last year that the DWP had carried out secret reviews into the deaths of 49 claimants. The DWP have refused to publish details of those reviews.
In June of this year Benefits and Work made a freedom of information request asking:
a) How many of the 49 claimants whose deaths were peer reviewed were ESA claimants who were, or had recently been, on the work programme.
b) How many of these were deemed to be vulnerable claimants in relation to ‘safeguarding’ procedures.
However, while the DWP admit that they hold this information, they refuse to hand it over.
We asked for a review of the decision. But the DWP repeatedly missed deadlines and ignored our emails.
It was only when we took the matter to the ICO that the DWP carried out a review of their decision. The result of this review was a confirmation that they would not give us the information.
Benefits and Work has once again asked the ICO for a ruling on this issue.
We’ll keep readers informed.