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Things must change?

onebigvoice Scope Member Posts: 762 Pioneering
edited April 2023 in Work and employment
In looking at the way in which we look for work and the "advances" that the job centre has compared to when I was looking for a job, have thing got better?
  I don't really think so, since in the "olden days" as my grand son says, I would go to the job centre to sign on and you would be asked to if you were looking for work and have you looked at the jobs on display today?  There were boards with categories above stating every thing from skilled, semi-skilled to part time or even work with the forces or police.  Choose a job you would like to look at take it to the offer in charge of signing, he would look to see if the job was still available check your skills or whether training was on the job, and arrange an interview.
  These days it seems that everything is done with a journal, and there does not seem to be much interaction unless you are called in for an interview?  I am not saying every young person, but most I have seen and taught don't seem to look further than next week, never mind where they will be in 5 or 10 years time.
  They all want to make big bucks, without the effort, and that means from other means.  Now I know this according to some is tar and feathering or Pidgeon holing all young people, but it does not have to be this way.
  They are not being given direction so that when leaving school they are already looking at a target career.  I have placed hundreds with a hands on experience to see if they actually want to do what they are looking to achieve.  There have been others who have drifted off track and believe that other means of support are for them.
  My point today is that we are in the middle of a struggle for wages in most jobs but these also include conditions, and when we talk about the NHS and the rise they ask for, does anyone actually know the conditions or hours needed to work in order to achieve their wage?
  We have seen that they turned up to work in the pandemic irrespective of whether they had PPE, as the "patient came first" or they were working in hospital or a care home which had an out break and instead of going home spent months behind closed doors, or the reverse where they were refused entry so that they would not catch anything, but didn't just go home they became the supply chain on the "outside" to help ALL caught up in the pandemic. 
  How long did it take to react?  you all know, they were already working in these conditions, people were already being infected, did the government really support them?  Not really, lets clap and hit saucepans to show our appreciation?  these people were risking their lives and some died as we know.  Is the government supporting them now.
  What do you think?  We built Nightingale Hospitals and kitted them out with every thing.  How many know how many beds were actually occupied with patients?  In Cardiff one such unit was used by 20 patients, not because of the pandemic, but so they could paint the 40 year old unit to freshen it up?  once completed they moved them back? 
  How many units in a town or village near you was used?  One thing people are not looking at is how are or were you going to run these units?
If people from abroad were to be used to "supplement" our NHS then why didn't this happen?  These units that were purpose build to be self contained were TAKEN DOWN AND DISMANTLED?  WHY?  If A & E is inundated with NO HOSPITAL BEDS, as we are finding now then, OK you made a mistake in taking them apart, but why not rebuild them since some where there is all this "stock" surly this would help the NHS as this has ALREADY BEEN PAID FOR FROM THE NHS BUDGET.  By the time you start training the staff to run these units they could have been rebuilt.  We could use the private assessment companies to assist the NHS and supplement the NHS to allow the Nurses and Doctors to do what they were trained to do and that is get the NHS waiting times down, and get the treatment plans that have been put on the back burner into the front again and make the NHS what it was supposed to be. Run by the NHS for the people at source.
  When people look to "jump the queue" with private medical insurance, please read the small print.
  The best bit states that PREIXISTING CONDITIONS WILL NOT BE COVERED?  So how are you going to allow private medical insurance companies to assess pre-existing conditions if there would be no treatment plan at the end?  Some one is going to have to be on the NHS otherwise what is National Insurance for?
  I know this is a long read but to fix the future which is here now, something need to be done to get NHS workers back and to train the next generation of NHS workers since like most jobs and if you want to blame the pandemic you can, we now have a Big Gap in the work market which is only getting bigger.
  I have retired but can still lecture in many subjects yet because of the system I can't work as it would impact my pension?
  There is no incentive to work if money is the driving force.
  I have offered my time free but this is not acceptable to people who I am working with.  I cannot be a member of retired members plus if I have a job, I have to join Community Section?  
  Where do we go from here?  You tell me?  I need to support my family and am being penalised for a private pension.


  • durhamjaide2001
    durhamjaide2001 Community Co-Production Group, Scope Member Posts: 11,128 Disability Gamechanger
    That's a very interesting read 
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,983 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for sharing this with us @onebigvoice. A really powerful post, covering things like the lack of change over time with the job centre, lack of interaction, lack of information (particularly around working for the NHS) and your own experiences. 

    When you mention you need to support your family but are being penalised for a private pension, would you feel comfortable sharing a little more with us about this and where the struggles, in particular, are for you at the moment?  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • onebigvoice
    onebigvoice Scope Member Posts: 762 Pioneering
    Yes its no problem, as my struggle, and it is a struggle is not only applicable to me but to everyone that has retired or is about to retire.
      I will list the problems, and this is not a complete list but some that affect us all.
    1.  The ability of the government to change the retirement age with what I can only say is no discussion.
    ( this applies to men and women)
    2.  The ability to save for your retirement and investment plans available.
    finishing up on ill health.
    3.  Finishing up because you have a good pension and have sufficient in the "pot" to retire but are still of working age.
    4.  The need to sell or cap savings and once reached, including other investments, need to be sold before care can be given.
    5.  The stopping and starting of PIP's benefits, which result in having to surrender some of the dividends or ISA's to live.
    and finally,
    6.  everything becomes taxable if you have a state pension plus a private pension (big or small) it is classed as "unearned income" 

      Most are well aware of the answers to most but when fighting to get a benefit just before a pension age or on ill health and on ESA your only source of income stops because of an assessment and have to go through the FOI and MR route, then a Tribunal and even after all this you may get a result but may be less that expected yet in order to change the assessors report, the only person that can change it is the Decision Maker since the report is not for the claimant its for the decision maker?
      Charters and laws about complaints to the Assessors seem to fall on deaf ears and although they say they will have a thorough review, and in doing so always side with the assessors and their report, since they are Disability Analysts and do not give a medical assessment but how it affects the claim on a daily basis to do a list of already listed tasks with answers that have been given by a medical board or specialist.
    All these answers have been collated under a system called LiMA.  This system is Logic Integrated Medical Access.
      The system is fine and the assessment needs to be given to every Claimant for access to benefits. but from its creation when ATOS brought it out, there was no way of altering or accessing the program and when revisited in 2009 found that, things were starting to go wrong.  So by the time Professor Harrington and his reports and later the Grayling report to name some the system was in a bit of a melt down.
      Soon ATOS gave up the contract worth £650 MILLION and was taken over by Capita, Maximus, Concentrix, leaving ATOS to hold the LiMA contract which assessments are based on, and although there is some access to the system, errors are still being made.
      Rebranding seems to be the way in which the government get round issues raised at all levels.  But in rebranding contracts have to be rewritten, this also includes their content.
      Although before 2014 Duty of Care Act protected the claimant to a certain extent it was not used, and again in February and August 2022 was rewritten again with amendments to wording within the contract, with wording within the Charters, and most of all with wording in the form filling process, where "every" claimant fills in personal details about themselves, to be used by any government department as long as they are approved by the DWP and in some cases are required to sign a declaration within there reports      ( Assessors & Decision Makers) which is not being done.
      The decision Maker should when information gathering separate the information into what the Claimant has supplied and in a separate section ( called justification of the report) list the evidence s/he has used to arrive at their decision.  Since the assessor is being used for their expertise in stating we used the HCP, should stipulate its source as the report may depend on this to justify that report.
      As we know it is the claimant to send what they want to the Decision Maker, but all is on headed paper showing their expertise, and separate letters of support although they can still be used like carers or family members.  If they have used one of the claimants reports then state it, since altering words within the document can change the whole context.
      When benefits are stopped or a sanction takes place, are these people worried as to how you are going to survive?
      I was told to get family members to help and in waiting 20 weeks for a reply, some other governments are not that lenient and will issue you with a section 21 notice to quit if council owned, but the same applies to your mortgage, and if no insurance is in place to cover sickness ( not a legal requirement) they also will repossess.  Are you financial stable to be able to last say 6 months with no income? while they check.  they offer the minimum and because you have nothing will except anything, or will pay money into your account before you have had a copy of either report, and then not allowing you to sign a declaration stating I except its content and no further action will take place.
      It is a mine field and a long post but this is what everyone goes through.  You may have been through this already and some are still trying to get what is rightfully theirs, but who do you write to to talk to about the claim you have made?  If this was done correctly or fairly we would have an assessment that at least feels fair, and a Tribunal service that will listen and be given the authority to call in the assessor and question them in a Tribunal. 
      Also sending a letter to the DWP to instruct them that the report cannot be used and to show that Tribunal Decision reflects this.  And to also ask for the work completed by the Assessor be reviewed by either the Tribunal service to see if the report was a one off or whether this has been ongoing thing and there was a lack of communication within the department which would then mean the whole department or assessment centre to come under review.
      Sound drastic?  No, because recently 3 from the 10 people I have seen have been the same assessor with the same paste and copy report.  Even when questioning the validity of the report and taking 20 weeks with a further 20 weeks when asked you have answered nothing told me "the assessor has now left the business"  but obviously not since I have 2 further reports completed by the same person?
      I have no recourse to question the Assessors, as they say speak to the Decision Maker or the DWP? 
    I could go on about pensions but it would take longer to explain ask anyone here who has retired and saved for their retirement whether they are comfortable, or how capita gains tax is about to alter everything.  And how much tax the pay on benefits since the State Pension is £1500 below the tax threshold? yet most still have an "excess of income" for benefit purposes.   

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