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Wisbech researcher slams health and disability paper

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A Wisbech resident and independent disability studies researcher has slammed a new Government green paper.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published a Health and Disability Green Paper for public consultation.

As the research lead for the Preventable Harm Project that she led for 10 years, Mo Stewart was invited to offer a briefing in response to the paper. The briefing has just been published, and identifies the ongoing negative impact on the chronically ill and disabled community of future DWP reforms.

The Green Paper (51072304)
The Green Paper (51072304)

In the briefing Mo exposes many unsubstantiated claims in the Green Paper, identifies various DWP reforms that would be detrimental to those in greatest need, and highlights the preventable harm created by the DWP who use a “fatally flawed assessment” to restrict disability funding for the chronically ill and disabled community.

Mo says that over the years thousands of chronically ill and disabled people have died when subjected to the disability assessment, which she says failed all academic scrutiny. She also says the assessment was identified by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Royal College of General Practice, the British Medical Association, and the British Psychological Society as being “unfit for purpose”, which the DWP disregarded.

Mo said: “This is the continuation of social policy reforms initially began in 2008 and significantly increased since 2010 by the Coalition administration, and continued by successive Conservative governments.

“Regardless of DWP rhetoric, this Green Paper is unrelated to helping and supporting disabled people.

“The DWP’s only concerns are the costs of the disability budget, despite the fact that historically the UK government have funded the smallest amount of Gross Domestic Product on public policy for the past 40 years when compared with 14 other affluent European counties.

“The assessment model used to limit access to disability benefit is fatally flawed by design, and was adopted when influenced by the private health insurance industry who have been advisers on UK welfare claims management since 1994.”

Published in 2016, Mo’s book ‘Cash Not Care: the planned demolition of the UK welfare state’ is now required reading for social policy courses at universities in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.”

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