Three inpatients at a mental health clinic in Dorset were told that they had to attend jobcentre interviews, in a disturbing incident which highlights the dangers of giving inadequately trained work coaches any discretion whatsoever.  It also underlines the foolhardiness of the Tory plans to abolish the work capability assessment (WCA) and allow work coaches to decide who is capable of work.

According to the Guardian, the three claimants were all inpatients at Forton Clinic near Dorchester and were in receipt of universal credit.  At least one of the patients appears to have been sectioned.

All three claimants were told that they had to attend interviews with work coaches or risk having their benefit sanctioned This is in breach of DWP guidance which does not require inpatients to attend interviews and allows work coaches to waive the requirement for any sort of claimant commitment whilst a claimant is an inpatient in  a hospital.

Fortunately, Citizens Advice have an outreach worker base at the clinic and they were able to persuade to DWP to remove the requirement for two of the patients to attend.  However, the third interview did go ahead in order to prevent the UC claim being delayed.

Management at the Jobcentre in question have refused to guarantee that other inpatients at the clinic will not be asked to attend interviews in the future.

Under Conservative plans, the WCA is to be abolished for new claims in 2026/27.  Instead, claimants who get PIP will be entitled to an additional health element in their UC.  But decisions about whether a claimant is capable of work and what work-related activities, if any, they should undertake will be entirely left up to poorly trained work coaches.

Whilst these plans may never be put in place if there is a change of government later this year, incidents such as this demonstrate how disastrous it would be if they are not shelved.

You can read the full story in the Guardian

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    The Dog mother · 6 days ago
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2024/feb/16/jobcentres-told-to-stop-referring-benefit-claimants-to-food-banks

    And now this. Thankfully I've never had to use a food bank (yet) but many others have. A travesty there is need for them, Another travesty those in desperate need won't be pointed in the right direction to use them. Sinking lower and lower in the UK. 
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    The Dog Mother · 7 days ago
    Just how ill must you be before you get peace? Do you have to be on a slab! 
    My MH is in absolute tatters.
    I'm waking 5-6 times per night in a state of total panic because I'm awaiting my WCA for esa,to see if I'll be iinterrogated het paper based as I have past 4times.I'm jumpy, shaking,sick,And tbh I don't know how I'll make ot through to its conclusion. 
    It's making my physical health conditions far worse too.
    It's like groundhog day each time a wca or pip review comes up.
    How many ways do you need to spell it out. Something has to change. As for harassing ppl With MH problems in hospital, I've heard of similar in the past and it hit me like a ton of bricks ,We are safe nowhere from them. 

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    Lisa · 7 days ago
    Don’t vote for conservatives ! 
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    Fred · 7 days ago
    This only goes to show. They have incompetent morons making life changing decisions. Never have I seen such deluded mentality used and beggars belief why Gps across the country are not up in arms about all this. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Fred · 2 days ago
      @The Dog Mother Your GP shows much promise for any vacancies at a job centre. 
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      The Dog Mother · 7 days ago
      @Fred Fred, if I was waiting on my gp raising as much as an eyebrow I'd have a long wait,She could not care less, can't even write what's she's being told, plays everything down,if you told her you suffered six months with an illness she'd tell you to go home and see how it is in another two weeks. And knowing appointments are as rare as hens teeth. I had a terrible bowel bleed, I was on my floor ten hours, it was like being cut in my lower stomach with a scaple. Horrible as it is and I apologise,  I passed hundreds of clots, from a few mm in size up to golf ball sizes.. In my medical notes she put 'Passed one or two clots', no mention of my agony, being on the floor etc. That's just one example. 
      She simply did not believe me. I told my friend if it ever happens again I'm bringing then down to her in a bucket as proof. Maybe then she'll believe me. 

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    Peter · 7 days ago
    Someone's in hospital. Nurse contacts social worker/Community team to let them know or just enters it into a shared portal and DWP get notified. Any problems Consultant writes a letter. 

    Isn't that how it works under social contract. Aye what social contract right enough. NHS taking all the hits while it also cracks.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Bob · 6 days ago
      @Peter Lucky if they get support for benefits to be reinstated as part of discharge planning...why would money to live on, pay the rent etc etc  be part of a successful discharge plan? Then staff moan about revolving door patients and scratch their heads 🙄 
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    Rosie · 7 days ago
    In 2010 I was taken by the police to the local Mental Health Unit at the hospital under S136 of the Mental Health Act - this is when the police take you to a "place of safety" because you are a danger to yourself or others and you need an assessment. At the time I didn't need to be sectioned, but I was certainly in need of being in a protected environment for my own safety. I was deemed to be there voluntarily, but I was terrified to actually leave the ward, even though I could do so. I was there for a month, during which time I was called to the Jobcentre for them to assess my claim for ESA, a benefit I had only just claimed. They wouldn't take no for an answer. I was traumatised to leave the ward and terrified to be at the Jobcentre. The assessment lasted all of 5 minutes before they realised that I just couldn't cope with it. 13 years later I still have flashbacks about the whole thing, which leave me feeling extremely anxious and stressed.  I was disgusted and saddened when I read this article; nothing has changed! I also read recently of claimants receiving text messages on Christmas Day informing them that their claim was being reviewed - how insensitive is that?? There is obviously no hope of the DWP embracing the "do as you would be done by" approach; their motto should be "kick them when they're down".
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Bob · 6 days ago
      @Rosie It's a behavioural psychology 'nudge' tactic, did it with subpostmasters too. Hit them at emotional times rg, Xmas, birthdays, valentines, mothers day etc etc etc. The BPA should strike these psychologists off it's register, it's sick
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    Michael · 8 days ago
    When I first read this, my reaction was one of horror. What the hell did the DWP management think they were doing calling in those who were subject to sectioning under the Mental Health Act? When a person is sectioned, it is because they are incapable of making an informed decision and unable to administer their own affairs. Those at DWP who crossed the line and called those involved in for interview should be dismissed or, at the very least, moved to a role where they are not dealing with the public, directly or indirectly, and, certainly, must not be allowed to have any involvement in any form of assessment in the future. This is typical Tory dogma, that is, listen to some "think tank" which meets their way of thinking and implementing it as "policy" without thinking it through thoroughly taking account of potential consequences.  
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      Fred · 7 days ago
      @MrFibro Very well said. I also don't see Labour changing this system for the better. It's truly tragic as I feel many will have been looking towards them as a becaon of hope but seems not.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      MrFibro · 8 days ago
      @Michael Hi Michael,

      This shower of manure are just a load of toffy nosed clowns, joking around with vulnerable peoples life's.  This so called think tank and those in it, are just in extreme denial of the real world in which disabled ill, sick people live in..
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jane · 8 days ago
    How disgusting, I visited everyday for 2 and half months a relative under section, they aren't allowed to do anything much and done not allowed out without someone else.  If those under section aren't allowed to visit relatives,which itself is a travesty if freedom, why should they be allowed to go to jobcentres. Under section some, very few ,people are in fact dangerous in public that's the point of a section. This is a total dictatorship 
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