NO LONGER SHALL I BE BAILING OUT THIS COALITION

One family man’s truthful story on how these Governmental policies and cuts are affecting his family.

Mr Cameron,

Since May 2010 when your coalition party came to office I have sat here and took great interest in how your coalition governments policies would have a devastating effect on our nations citizens indeed I have blogged and tweeted much about it and tried to do what I can to help my fellow citizens after all it was you that said “BIG SOCIETY” in a keynote speech.

big broken societyWe are helping people to come together to improve their own lives.The Big Society is about putting more power in people’s hands – a massive transfer of power from Whitehall to local communities. We want to see people encouraged and enabled to play a more active role in society.

I think it is safe to say and many would agree, rather than bringing citizens together you are literally driving them away with your defunct bedroom tax policies and if not driving them away you are killing them. Do you call cutting surestart centres and many other great community facilities a part of the great Big Society plan? because I certainly don’t because surestart centres are not just a place of caring for children they are also a place where parents talk and get to know each other and thus are community building.

I am not subject to bedroom tax because I own my own home via a mortgage, however that does not mean I am excluded from your draconian cuts far from it and if the truth is known I now feel a bit guilty for owning my own home why? because I was one that brought a council house under the Thatcher years and believed that the money would be invested in new council housing which it was not even now that is not happening how it should be.

However come October when my Contribution ESA runs out I may have to sell up due to not being able to meet the payments any longer you see I have morality and never claimed mortgage interest relief like many of you MP’s have because I am off the opinion right or wrong that it was my choice to buy it and thus see no reason why the Government should help in paying for it and when it is paid for I can feel safe in the knowledge that it is truly mine.

Never in my time have I seen a political party that is so out of touch with reality and has no morality, indeed right now I am very disillusioned and scared of what the future holds for me and my family because gone are the time when a family could plan ahead into the future and be safe in the knowledge that they were respected at work and could have a long and fruitful career.

I live in my 4 bedroomed home with 6 others and it is overcrowded with my eldest son his partner and their 8 month old son in one room, our elderly mum in another room my youngest son in another plus me and my wife in the other that is four generations in one house but don’t get me wrong because I love it but it should not be that way because my eldest son his partner and baby should be in there own property but cannot afford too because the council will not house them as they are under 25 yrs old and private rents are sky high so they have to live here until the council is prepared to house them.

Our mother is ill and disabled she lives here in a room that is too small for her indeed her doctor and health visitor has told her this but she cannot move back into the bigger room she had because my son partner and baby are in there.

She does not want to go into a care home because she loves being with us and after all all her memories are here in this house she once shared with her husband indeed this is the reality you MP’s do not see or understand.

We would not move her out anyway because we love her and it is our duty to look after her until her dying days so clap your hands Mr Cameron because yet again you have saved a fortune in care home fees and not only that the pittance of carers allowance my wife got for all these years you want back yes my wife is being threatened by you bully boys to pay back over 10 years worth of carers allowance coming to over 16k , my you must be a proud man without an ounce of morality I may add.

I should be right now having a rest due to fatigued caused by my SAH Stroke to give my overworked brain a rest but the fact is I cannot because I have so much I want to say, that is an impossible task.

So not only has my wife cared for her mother she has also cared for me, due to having a life threatening SAH Stroke at just 27 years old through no fault of my own and had to have a deep invasive craniotomy followed by 2 months of induced coma, my surgeon gave me the choice of have the operation or die can you imagine that Mr Cameron blimey what a choice to be given and if I knew then what I know now I would probably have given up.

However I did not and am testament to the good life that can be had following an SAH Stroke  but boy you and your Government have not made it any easier in your time in office because between April 1990 and September 2008 I never claimed a penny in government help and went back to work full time, yes I know I was entitled to DLA but again I had morals and rightly or wrongly thought there was citizens more in need of it than me besides I was working on a good wage at the time so could live without it however that changed when I was made redundant in 2008 due to the financial meltdown.

Do you remember saying ” No one should claim benefits unless they had a real need” well that was me long before you said that comment and thus thought when the time came the government would look after me, after all I have bailed the government out all these years and saved them thousands of pounds how wrong was I indeed they have not an ounce of decency or morality and is where this government is so fucked up.

Mr Cameron I am really tired of your party politics which serves no useful purpose at all, you constantly blame The Labour Party for all the ills in government and yes whilst they may not be perfect tell me a party that is in the 21st century, but at least they did more to raise the living standards of many and thus bring them out of poverty than your coalition will ever do and that Mr Cameron is worth it at any cost and should be praised.

You said after the local elections that your party had to do more to win back the vote of the electorate due to losing many seats well you can start by bringing back some dignity to peoples lives by scraping the bedroom tax, stop treating the ill and disabled with such disdain and scrap the ATOS Contract in totality because it is an absolute disgrace.

Capitalism is a fine thing when it is working right with the right balance after all that is what brings a vibrant society and growth that this country so desperately needs but that fact it is not working in the right balance and citizens are suffering gravely.

It is time to weigh up other nations policy and ask ourselves is it good for us not go ahead and follow them knowing full well it will never work for us. We should be using other nations policy as a yardstick for us only and research it more, look at the NHS a prime example that appears to be following the american model to prop up the insurance industry, it is not working there as many are excluded from healthcare due to not being able to afford the insurance cost so what makes you think it will work here? because it will put more profits in the hands of MP’s with an interest in the healthcare market?

There are many many more examples of where our government is going wrong but I would need a bundle of A4 to write it all, but you can see where you have got it all wrong and thus will need more than the 2 years you have left in office to put it all right.

You have created a society of doom and gloom and no hope and thus will never create any sizable growth as that takes more than money alone, it takes citizens of all walks of life as well and all you have done is demonize them and lost their trust.

So Mr Cameron it is goodbye from me and goodbye from him because I have done enough to bail you out of this mess you have caused.

 

Advertisements

The Mental Health Act Should Only Be Used as a Last Resort and With Extreme Care

2paulfarmer

It is very rare that society believes the state should intervene against someone’s will to restrict their rights to liberty and choice for the good of their health. We don’t go to such extremes to stop people smoking or binge-drinking or participating in dangerous sports. But if someone has a serious mental health problem or lacks mental capacity to make decisions for themselves, we accept that the state should step in.

In the case of a serious mental health problem, the law is designed to balance the rights of the individual with the need to protect them from harming themselves or others. Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, ‘patients’, families and politicians all agree on one thing – being detained under a section of the Mental Health Act is a last resort and it’s a power that should be used carefully.

Ask anyone who’s ever been ‘sectioned’ and you’ll understand why. It’s a painful, humiliating and dehumanising process. It usually involves an ambulance, the police, doctors and social workers and sometimes it involves officers in riot gear, physical restraint and a brush with the law. It is often experienced by people as violent and criminalising. It can destroy family relationships and set back prospects of recovery by years. Many people I’ve spoken to about their experiences tell me it was the worst day of their life.

For these reasons, we should all be concerned by the latest report by the Care Quality Commission. As part of its crucial role as the health regulator, it tells Parliament and the public how this powerful law is being applied. Today’s report makes for worrying reading.

Use of the Act is up, with many more people now being detained under section. Use of the new Community Treatment Orders, which enable people to be compulsorily treated outside of hospital, now far exceeds original government projections. In some parts of the country, you can only get a hospital bed if you are under section. Access to advocacy – a crucial safeguard to help people express their wishes when detained against their will – is patchy. Use of physical restraint is up. And the numbers of those detained from certain black and minority ethnic communities remains unacceptably high.

So why is this happening? There’s an easy conclusion to draw, especially when we know that services are overstretched – spend less money on mental health care and more people will be detained. If people can’t get help early on, their needs are likely to spiral into a crisis. The last resort becomes the first resort in a cash-strapped system where prevention and early intervention are scarce. Add to that the general rise in demand for mental health services and the challenge is clear to see.

But it doesn’t have to be a disaster. The CQC is for the first time reporting good practice, in places like Lancashire and East London, proving that services can work well. Mind’s crisis care inquiry, Listening to Experience, found examples of excellent practice, with staff treating patients with dignity and respect. Early intervention and crisis teams both have a vital role to play here – if help is available at the right time, sectioning can revert to its rightful place as a last resort.

Mental health is, slowly but surely, working its way up the agenda and into the public consciousness. There’s a good government-led, cross-departmental mental health strategy led by a committed Minister, Norman Lamb, and the new NHS Mandate has set an ambitious target for mental health over the next few years – to achieve equity or a ‘parity of esteem’ with physical health care. The way in which the numbers of people being treated under the Act change will be a powerful litmus test of this.

Follow Paul Farmer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/paulfarmermind

Birdseye View Of The State Of Our NHS

QA HospitalWhilst I am proud to be living in an area that has a spanking new state of the art Hospital I am somewhat disappointed with the level of service it offers.

You see these past two weeks I have had the unfortunate privilege to visit it’s A&E Department twice the second time due to them failing to treat me properly the first time adding unnecessary expense at a time when NHS budgets are cut and many paying down PFI bills left from a previous Government.

Let me explain in more detail, I was working on my car using a chisel and it slipped cutting across my knuckles deep on my hand that has spasticity due to SAH Stroke and thus had to take a taxi to A&E due to the deepness of the cut and my concerns due to it being on my hand that has spasticity.

I thought right or wrong the main hospital was the place to go rather than the minor injuries unit at another hospital a bit further away.

Now given the deepness of this cut which was some 3″ long across my knuckles I thought they would stitch it given the movement of the skin when I try to bend my fingers and the fact that I do not have full control of muscle and nerves in that hand and thus movement of fingers is a spontaneous affair.

I was surprised when they said no, sterile butterfly strips will do the job nicely and me knowing they would not hold the 10 days until I had to visit the GP surgery for a dressing change, still I was hardly in a place to argue with the medical profession so took their word.

I was also not given any antibiotics or a tetanus jab quiet odd given the severity of the cut and the length of time since my last injection.

However I returned home and made an advanced appointment with the practitioner nurse at my GP surgery in 10 days time in the knowledge I was assured all will be ok.

This turned out to be wrong as 5 days later the wound became infected and my fingers swelled up and became very painful necessitating a return visit on Christmas Eve at 10pm, this was not a promising prospect given the time of day indeed there was a 7 hour waiting time.

The place was full of drunks and people with injuries caused by excess alcohol, but I took my place knowing that it had to be seen to and wrongly thought I would be seen according to seriousness of injury and thus I should not be too long I was wrong again as I did not get out until 5am in the morning feeling really shattered.

The nursing staff were apologetic of course but still they did not stitch the wound and just changed the dressings and gave me antibiotics this time although I had to insist as the practitioner nurse was in two minds whether I needed them, no doubt due to the cuts in the NHS budgets.

Despite this terrible turn of events I still do not blame the frontline medical staff because this is none of their doing indeed they are under staffed and in much pressure to turn around their patients.

This is no ones fault but the governments due to the cuts they have imposed on a hospital that was already struggling due to the PFI contract they are having to pay.

I went to my GP Surgery yesterday and was thankful for the more personal service I received the practitioner nurse at my GP surgery was not pleased with the service I had received at the hospital and said had it been stitched she would be taking then out today as it would have closed the wound and had a better healing process she also said I should have been given antibiotics on first visit and that due to my spasticity they should not have used elasticated bandages as they pull the bones and muscle in my spasticity hand making it more painful.

One other point she made is that leaving it for 10 days before visiting her is too long and should have been 3 days thus I have my next appointment with her this Thursday morning.

All this really should have gone smoothly without the need for another visit to the hospital but am now glad I am under the care of the GP surgery.

An open letter to Government

To whom it may concern,

I would like to write a unique account of how these cuts are affecting me and my family both in health and day to day living, because what this Government are doing is so wrong and are no more than a bunch of arrogant and uncaring posh boys that will do great harm to this nation if they are not stopped indeed the writing is already on the wall.

I watched the chancellor’s autumn statement and was horrified at what I was watching because they seem hell bent of swinging that wrecking ball all in the name of capitalism and the square mile that is the so called city, does humanity, compassion and understanding count for nothing anymore? Because they seem to have an “I’m alright jack” attitude that will do nothing to repair the damage left behind by the banking and financial sector and create growth that this nation is crying out for. Not a week goes by without still reading the damage done by our banking industry from Money laundering to libor rate fixing these are very serious issues and what happens? They get away with a fine that the citizens will end up paying for over the long term these are like I say very serious issues that the banks must be held account for and punished and not given a slap on the wrist.

The low paid, disabled, unemployed, elderly and single mothers are the ones paying for the mistakes, grave errors and no doubt criminality of the financial industry this is quite simply not fair at all.

Growth is what is needed and to create growth you need citizens from all walks of life spending as it is that alone that increases manufacturing and building, this is why this Governments policies will not work because the more citizens spend the more revenue in taxes is brought in to pay down the deficit, why is Osborne not listening?

The Welfare System is a very important part of our nation’s fabric and it should be added that welfare claimants are also tax payers indeed everyone is as there is no escaping from it because they will also be paying via vat, fuel duty, insurance premium tax and many others taxes imposed on its citizens indeed so much of what is paid in welfare benefits the Government claws back via taxation whether that be via stealth or any other method.

I am one of a few who choose not to believe what is written in the press as most if not all does not give the real facts and thus is written to confuse and deceive instead I use press articles as a medium to do my own research as that gives a more balanced view and a conclusion nearer to the truth.

As I said above I am disabled and thus under the cosh of this Government is that fair? Hell no as my text below will explain.

At the age of just 27 my life nearly ended so much so that my heart stopped beating on the operating table this my wife tells me, I had a subarachnoid hemorrhage of the middle cerebral artery that needed a 12 hr operation to carry out a deep invasive craniotomy so that the aneurysm could be clipped. I was then put under induced coma for 2 months to limit brain activity and help reduced the swelling of my brain due to the trauma caused.

This operation caused a stroke of which I was warned could happen by the surgeon but it was either that or die, so no choice really and thus gave consent for the operation, from this point my life changed completely as I was a wheelchair user at just 27 years old, however I was not one for giving up and chose the hard route back to relative fitness.

I am now 49 years old and have dumped the wheelchair but walking is still limited due to right sided spasticity indeed I will never regain 100% fitness and health, I have come to accept that although the DWP and ATOS think I will be fit enough to return to work in 11 months. My mind boggles how that will be possible.

You see I did return to full time employment for 17 yrs post stroke doing various manual labour jobs until the spasticity pain and joint degeneration got too much to bare any longer so on getting made redundant from my last job in 2007 I decided to take 6 months out to recover and seek more physiotherapy of my hand and drop foot in the hope I could continue with the job search because I am far from being a scrounger perceived by Government, I am old school and value the ethos of a working life as it was taught to me from a very early age from my late dad who was a serving Royal Marine from 42 Commando.

After this period of employment inactivity due to having a well earned break and having more physiotherapy I decided to look for more work as by this time I was getting bored at home and was far from being a lazy scrounger as this Government likes to call us however it was during the time of the banking crash and mass redundancies so jobs were few and far between but still refusing to give up until one employer committed discrimination and refused to interview me sighting that their was no way he could employ me with the disabilities I had and given that their was 16 able bodied citizens also in the queue for interview.

I so wish I could have brought him to tribunal however the is no employment law for interviewees so just had to suck it and move on, this employer said I would be better off on disability benefits if only he knew now how hard they are to get and keep if you do not tow the Governments line of mandatory work fare that now applies to all disabled citizens whether they can work or not.

So on the bus home in deep thought as to my next move I thought maybe he is right, why am I putting myself through this, after all I had been working for the last 17yrs full time often doing many hours overtime so maybe he is right and I should claim the benefits I have never claimed before but had entitlement too having paid my tax and national insurance all these past years since I returned to work and the years before the SAH Stroke.

Maybe then I could devote my time to caring for my elderly mother in law with my wife and doing some hours voluntary for the stroke association and/or league of friends as that would be working with citizens who care and understand the rock and a hard place I find myself in.

So that was my plan going forward which I am sure you will agree is honourable and worthy so I went back to my GP to explain this in the hope he would sign me off so I could claim Incapacity Benefit, this he did and I found my simple life being fulfilled and away from the dogma that the private sector is becoming in their pursuit for fat profits.

I never wanted to be rich just earning enough to pay my way and be the good British citizen is all I ever wanted and that still holds true as I find humanity, compassion and understanding greater than the power of money which I see as the beholder of war.

I am grateful of the SAH Stroke that struck me down in a matter of minutes why? Because it has made me the person I am today and I feel that is a better person than the one before however please tell me why I feel the need to watch prime ministers question time because all I see is a load of spoilt brats who feel the need to slander the opposite party, make derogatory remarks and belittle the British citizen indeed some of the quotes which I will not repeat here are simply disgusting and thus parliamentary standards have never been so low. Oh how this Government make their citizens out to be so bad which they pass to the press and media all in their pursuit to swell there bank balances never has the gap between the haves and the have not’s been so great they must be so proud of themselves oh to be an MP.

I have never claimed any disability benefits until October 2008 and never claimed any mortgage interest help because buying my home was my decision and thus fail to see why I should get help with that indeed I want to pay my mortgage by me and me alone as the feeling of ownership once paid will be greater, sadly I cannot say the same for our Government who think it is a god given right to have there mortgage interest paid on second homes the disparity between MP’s and its citizens is truly shocking indeed.

David Cameron once said that this Government would be transparent is that a true reflection I ask myself, well it depends in what context he uses the word transparent because in some ways yes he is because I and many others can see right through him and what his aims are like a sheet of glass on the shard building.

I now have a health condition called Keratinizing Squamous Metaplasia of the bladder as if the SAH Stroke was not enough to deal with it is a condition that not enough is known about but suffice to say it can lead to a carcinoma if not regularly kept in check via cystoscopy of the bladder.

I had to move GP because of a misdiagnosis and a failure to carry out a simple swab test that takes seconds to do and had he had done so the white blood cells in urine would have been spotted 2 years ago and possibly saved my bladder which now may have to be removed, I have another biopsy this Friday 14th December but as I have seen the cystoscopy images I know the prospect is not good a fine Christmas present indeed.

Have you ever had incontinence? It is not good having to have a radar key and having to plan everywhere I go to ensure toilets are available.

So again I find myself having to fight the DWP and ATOS to get the benefits I am entitled to, am I not disabled enough, over the years I have saved this wonderful government of ours thousands of pounds by not claiming benefit until their was a real need as I had an entitlement to Disability Living Allowance since April 1990 but did not claim this until October 2008 and never claimed support for mortgage interest.

We also care for our mum at home and would never dream of putting her in care so have saved this wonderful Government thousands of pounds their too and not forgetting the under payments since my claim due to them being wrong.

Do I really deserve the shocking treatment being given to me? Do I really deserve more cuts that will be imposed on us come April 2013? I truly believe not but then who am I to say as I am just a British citizen and no more than cannon fodder to be trampled on.

I live in hope that our wonderful Government sees the light and changes its ways before my life comes to an end and that I can then live out my life in peace without the constant worry of just what will this Government do next.

Finally I will apologise if this letter is blunt in places, however it is no more that is dished out by our government often on a day by day basis.

I look forward to hearing from you

GP’s must do more to support Disabled Persons with Disability Benefit Claims.

Like us disabled persons most GP’s are stuck between a rock and a hard place in offering support with disability benefit claims on the grounds of disability this is no doubt due to pressure from the GOVT, DWP and ATOS plus a fear of there GMC licence to practice being at threat.

This is clearly wrong no GP should have to fear for the lose of there registration for helping a claimant claim what is rightfully a just entitlement.

The BMA and LMC’S have made there stance on such matters of the WCA very clear and have thus vetoed it in it’s current form however many GP,s are probably not aware of these latest events due to the eminence pressure they are already under so we must take it to them and write setting out quiet clearly why they must support disability benefits claimants.

To that end I have prepared a letter below which I will be hand delivering to my medical practice, anyone who reads my blog is more than welcome to copy and paste my letter and edit to suit there circumstances then use to imform there GP.

Letter Below:

Dear Dr …..,

I write to you today requiring your support, as you may know on the 22nd and 23rd May 2012 at the LMC Conference in Liverpool the Hampshire and Isle of Wight LMC along with the Scottish LMC carried a motion that the BMA should veto the DWP work capability Assessment (WCA) in totality this motion was carried and voted on unanimously.

I am sure that you understand that this WCA is unfit for purpose and falls hard on the most vulnerable in society and the coalition Govt has totally failed the genuinely disabled persons in our society I ask the question just what has become of our country a nation that ranks in the top 10 of wealth and can afford to look after our most vulnerable citizens and treat them with respect and compassion.

I am not sure if you are aware but two persons who must remain anonymous by order of the Judge has brought a Judicial Review (JR) in the high court this JR has been granted to be heard on a date to be confirmed and centres around the WCA and persons with mental health conditions as they were totally ignored when the ESA 50 form and it’s descriptors were written and released.

I hope that this court case is won as it will open the door for a further JR to be brought to scrape it in its current form and force the Govt to rewrite it so it relates to all with mental and physical health conditions.

You may also be aware of two TV documentaries on the BBC and CH4 recently that were shown back to back one of which had an undercover GP at ATOS Healthcare and these assessments were described as TOXIC by one ATOS healthcare Trainer, I watched these as part of my research and could not believe what I was seeing clearly this cannot go on.

I do not need to remind you of your duties under your GMC registration but suffice to say there is much that GP, s can do to end this farcical nonsense and it is now time that all GP’s stood fast with their patients and as per the BMA vote and helped them in every way they can as GP’s are well aware of who the genuine cases for disability benefits support are.

I hear of many cases in my disability research of were GP’s are not supportive because they say ATOS/DWP walk all over them and do not take medical evidence sent into consideration, this must stop and GP’s must reunite as they all now have the backing of the BMA and many colleges so their registrations are not under threat. I do understand how hard it must be for the medical profession in these matters; however it can be 10 fold for our most vulnerable citizens who need to be supported. This neither the medical profession or our Govt see as it happens in the household the majority of the time.

What the Govt, DWP and ATOS are doing is law breaking and it goes against the EHRC and especially Article 27, how can this be allowed to happen?

I am well aware that GP’s as a whole do a good job, but the truth is many are simply too busy to keep track of what is happening in the world of disability and benefits especially now the NHS is under greater attack from this Govt., However what we see and hear here is a situation that strikes right at the heart of many families and thus has a greater impact on how they manage and cope with daily living.

Ian Duncan Smith MP and Chris Grayling MP simply think everyone is a prime target for work and thus there is no such thing as a disability and if there was they should offer a pay cut to gain employment that is nothing short of draconian and far from reality the truth is no employer would take on someone with a disability over an able bodied person as it quite simply does not fit in with their ideal of business I know as I have been in that situation and asked the questions.

We live in a world where profit and money is king and disability and profit do not go hand in hand that is the stark reality and one that I have accepted and instead go down a path of work in the voluntary sector that suits me as I am with a section of society that understands and thus can make allowances.

I am on Incapacity Benefit and am just one of many citizens that is facing the cuts under the Govt welfare reform, welfare reform by the way is a term I would not chose to use as what we have here is the biggest threat to welfare in 60 years and thus it is affecting many hard far harder than any Govt is prepared to reveal

Dr Allen I worked for 17 yrs in manual labour jobs post SAH Stroke and it just got too much to bear as the spasticity pain was too great I had to make a choice as to whether carry on and shorten my life span or leave and seek other avenues that were not such a burden on my body, however my employer got there first and made me redundant in September 2007 not a good time at the start of the first recession so I felt it was a good time to enter the voluntary sector and claim Incapacity Benefit this works for me very well and it is where I feel most happy.

It now seems that this cannot continue as I am being verbally bullied by the DWP and no doubt shortly by ATOS as I am awaiting the dreaded WCA the DWP have already sanctioned me once and stopped my Incapacity Benefit due to me not returning the form within their draconian time limit of 30 days I did manage to get it reinstated by writing to them but it should not have happened anyway due to Mental Health issues and in particular poor Executive Function. That letter is enclosed for you to attach to my medical records.

I am formally asking you for your full support in my endeavours to seek rightful and just justice as I am not a benefit scrounger as the Govt perceive and have real health conditions both physical and mental that entitles me to the support they offer and are trying their hardest to cut because only then can I be at harmony with myself and my loving family.

All this stress and worry is taking up too much of my time that could be better spent helping others more than I do now.

Shortly I will be applying for copies of my medical records so I would be grateful if your practice manager could assist with that and I also ask if you could provide a medical statement detailing my stroke and urology conditions so that I can forward it to the Dept of Work and Pensions.

I apologize for the long letter but felt it had to be said

Yours Sincerely