The DWP is trying to prevent an inquest considering the role they may have played in her death, according to her solicitors.

Philippa Day, 27 and mother of a young child, died last October as a result of an insulin overdose.

Philippa was diabetic and had been diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder which resulted in her being afraid to leave home following an abusive relationship.

Philippa’s community psychiatric nurse requested that she have her PIP assessment at home because of her acute distress. But despite several such requests, Capita insisted that she must have a face-to-face assessment at an assessment centre.

A letter was found beside her body refusing to allow her to have a PIP medical at home and instead obliging her to attend a face-to-face assessment at an assessment centre.

The day after receiving the letter Philippa took an overdose of insulin.

Later, a note written by Phillipa was found by her family. It bore two dates, the date of her birth and the date on which she took the overdose which proved fatal. It said:

“I’ve been so trapped for so long and then along comes the government who people would assume are there to help.

“Since January the 11th 2019 my benefits have been severely cut, this has caused me to get payday loans to simply live and that has escalated into a hole I can never get out of.

“Not just that having nothing has isolated me from the world, has effected my identity.”

A three day inquest into Philippa’s death is due to take place next month.

Philippa’s family, who knew her as Pip, are determined to fight to end the outsourcing of benefits and for an overhaul of DWP policies and procedures.

Merry Varney, the family’s solicitor and a partner at Leigh Day, told the Disability News Service:

“We shall be supporting Pip’s family through the inquest process and seeking on their behalf a full and fearless investigation into whether the acts and omissions of Capita and the DWP caused or contributed to Pip’s death.”

She said the coroner had heard evidence on why Philippa’s family were seeking an inquest that would look at the wider circumstances of her death and would allow the coroner to make “judgmental findings”.

Varney added: “The DWP and Capita, both with legal representation, argued against this and we await a decision from the coroner.”

With Jodey Whiting’s family fighting for a new inquest for her and Philippa Day’s family fighting to get the DWP into the spotlight at her inquest, there’s renewed hope that the DWP will be forced to adopt follow procedures that genuinely safeguard claimants.


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