Login FormClose

Free ESA, PIP and DLA Updates

With over 140,000 subscribers our fortnightly updates bulletin is the UK's leading source of benefits news. Get the facts about what's changing, how it affects you and how to prepare.   Get your free benefits updates now.

NHS hospitals are to begin to offer food parcels to patients they believe are suffering from malnutrition, whilst the DWP has finally acknowledged, by its deeds if not its words, that benefits cuts cause foodbank use.

The number of people of people admitted to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of malnutrition has increased by almost 20% in the last year alone, from 5,469 to 6,520, the Guardian reports.

The European Nutrition for Health Alliance believes that the problem is much more severe, however, estimating that up to 40% of UK patients are malnourished when they are admitted to hospital.

Around the country, hospitals in Birmingham, Newcastle and Manchester have set up foodbanks on their premises and have begun giving food parcels to patients.

Meanwhile, the DWP are piloting placing benefits advisers in foodbanks. Iain Duncan Smith told the Work and Pensions Committee:

“I am trialling at the moment a job adviser situating themselves in the food bank for the time that the food bank is open, and we are already getting very strong feedback about that.

“If this works and if the other food banks are willing to encompass this and we think it works, we think we would like to roll this out across the whole of the UK.”

The plan is a tacit admission that benefits problems are at the root of much of the increase in foodbank use, something which the DWP continues to deny officially.

Read the full story in the Guardian


+7 #4 angela 2015-10-30 16:10
I think the people that run the foodbanks should really put a full stop to this right now before it gets out of hand after all its the torys that put people in this position in the first place IDS once said there was no need for foodbanks so why put advisers in them now
+11 #3 carruthers 2015-10-30 11:30
I am trialling at the moment a job adviser situating themselves in the food bank for the time that the food bank is open, and we are already getting very strong feedback about that.
This is bad in so many ways. There's IDS smug "look how compassionate we are - I am sending people to foodbanks to help those who use them." Personally briefing them on how to spot people going to foodbanks when they should be on job search, no doubt.

Then there's the "for the time that the foodbank is open" - making it clear that these things are a purely temporary phenomenon and will go away as soon as IDS has got everything sorted out.

But the worst is - as angela says - that he is not putting benefits advisors in the food banks. That might just be useful - someone who could help with matters such as Emergency Loans.

But no, IDS realises that someone coming to try and get some badly needed food really needs to have someone from the Job Centre there saying, "Have you considered extending your hours?"

And everyone knowing that you can't say, "Listen I've left the kids with my sister and I've got to get back and get tea on in enough time to get away for the evening shift at the petrol station. I've no time for this b******t"

Because if you do, they might start finding ways to get back at you. So they can sit and inspect your time-keeping or how many people you seem to be feeding whilst doing sod-all to help.

I'm not surprised that IDS is getting "very strong feedback" about this scheme. I'm producing a fairly strong reaction myself and I don't have to use a foodbank - or run one.
+8 #2 shell 2015-10-30 10:19
never heard anything like it may be if IDS did his job right in the first place and the rest of this gov stopped trying to pay the countries deficit back on the backs of those on welfare state and those with half a brain can see that the clue is in the name welfare, these people would not need a food back let alone some condescending jumped up little jobs worth telling them what they should be doing disgusting talk about hypocrisy
+11 #1 angela 2015-10-29 18:49
The last the thing anybody who needs to visit the food banks needs is a smug job adviser there what next are they going to say what kind of food we can have

You need to be logged in to comment