I travelled in to my local city recently. Not a big deal, given I live only 11 miles from the centre. Stroll down to the local station (10 mins) and hop on the train used to do very well.
Except now I can’t walk even 100 metres in one go – or do so more than once in a day - and I can’t use stairs.
So when I had two days’ notice of a meeting I wanted to attend, it took more planning than a perusal of time tables and more effort than a half-mile stroll.
I wrote this post for Hardest Hit, and have simply cross-posted here.
Hardest Hit was pleased to see Isabel Hardman’s piece in the Telegraph on ESA. Ms Hardman wrote to explain that, “Disability testing isn’t working as it should – and Conservatives must have the courage to admit it.” This is an encouraging stance from a right-leaning newspaper and could become the start of increased accuracy in the debate around welfare.
When I first started on disability research, I just saw the numbers. I saw that 40% of ESA claimants told they are fit to work then appeal that decision, and most of them win. I saw that nurses under-award points for people with physical health conditions, and physiotherapists under-award points for people with mental health conditions. I saw that most assessments are carried out by either nurses or physiotherapists. I saw that decision makers are not consistent in the accuracy or quality of the decisions they make.
Disabled children should be euthanised, according to Cllr Colin Brewer. According to Baroness Warnock, disabled adults should be euthanised.
In both cases this is based on the cost to society.
It’s such a shame. There was a wonderful opportunity to make something that worked. To get rid of what was failing and bring in new things that improved on the original. To end the mess and confusion. To repair the holes.
Instead we have more holes. Bigger holes. Holes in places that used to work.