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Sheila Holt, a claimant with severe bipolar disorder, died last week after many months in a coma. Sheila had been wrongly been forced to prepare for work and hospitalised as a result. Her father has warned that there are “hundreds like her”.

Sheila Holt became unwell and was sectioned in December 2013 after being placed in the work-related activity group of employment and support allowance and then being threatened with loss of benefits if she did not take part in ‘intensive job-focused activity’.

Following her admission to a psychiatric hospital Sheila had a heart attack and fell into a coma.

The threatening letters continued even after Sheila was in a coma, however, and the issue was raised by her MP in February 2014.

At the time , Mike Penning, minister for disabled people, apologised in the House of Commons, saying:

"It's about time politicians did stand up and apologise when things went wrong. It clearly has gone wrong and the family have every right to be aggrieved and I hope she makes a full recovery, as much as she can."

Sadly, a recovery proved impossible and Sheila died last week without recovering consciousness, as a result of oxygen starvation to the brain experienced at the time of her heart attack.

Her father, Ken, told the Daily Mirror

“There’s no more bipolar episodes for her to suffer any more. But it’s not just her.

“There are hundreds like her. People are dying because they are being hounded.

“It’s got to stop here.”


+3 #5 angela 2015-03-20 08:37
Condolences to Sheila,s family this has got to stop this goverment has got a duty of care to protect what is going on here
+3 #4 Frogman9 2015-03-20 07:53
The problem is though......... no one listens they just get on with their lives and forget about the sick and disabled . This government hasn't helped the situation by demonising claiments.
+3 #3 Paul Richards 2015-03-19 22:40
Hi all,
Yes, Drizzle, I am sure that all of us on here will also send condolences to Sheila's family. She (and her family) has truly been the victim in all of this terrible and totally unfair treatment.
Not one of these organisations will admit any responsibility at all - they will automatically refer back to the DWP and 'THEY' will say that 'due to their policies, they are helping more people into work than ever before'!
The whole system is absolutely cruel - with no regard at all for any individual person. All that they are concerned with is (1) the private companies taking as much (taxpayer!) millions of pounds from the Government as possible and (2) the DWP negating all responsibility for their actions - as far as ALL of them are concerned - if you can work, then you should (or lose all of your benefits for a prescribed term of time directly through their 'sanctions' system) and if you cannot, either through sickness or disability then you should be tirelessly and regularly tortured (not physically), but psychologically,
which really is worse. This is the worst form of torture about what exactly is going to happen next and when is the 'brown envelope' going to come through the letterbox!
+9 #2 Drizzle 2015-03-19 13:52
Condolences to Sheila's family and everyone else who's suffered at the hands of this governement. :(
+11 #1 tintack 2015-03-19 12:44
Will anyone at Atos, Seetec or the DWP be brought to book for this? I think we all know the answer to that one.

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