The government’s “cruel” and “unacceptable” emphasis on linking health and job outcomes in its new work, health and disability strategy will have a significant negative impact on people in mental distress, say campaigners and experts.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department of Health released their joint 10-year Improving Lives strategy last week, and it repeatedly stresses the need to “join up work and health”.The strategy includes proposals across social security, the workplace and healthcare, in response to a consultation that produced about 6,000 comments, including more than 3,000 emails.David Gauke, the work and pensions secretary, described the strategy as “ambitious” and said the aim was to secure jobs for one million more disabled people by 2027, increasing the number of disabled people in work from 3.5 million to 4.5 million by 2027.Among the plans on healthcare are to more than double the number of employment advisers sent in to work within Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services, which provide treatment for people with anxiety and depression.The strategy – which contains the government’s response to last year’s Improving Lives work, health and disability green paper – also says the government is already running trials to test different ways of delivering “joined up health and work support” in settings such as GP surgeries.It claims that “many healthcare professionals recognise that good work generally improves health and act positively on this knowledge”, but adds that there is “more we need to do to ensure this practice is better embedded across all healthcare professions”.And it says it will work with NHS England “to explore opportunities to increase, where appropriate, the focus on work as a route to improved health and wellbeing, and to embed employment outcomes into evaluation measures”.But ‘Rita Bins’, a spokesperson for the user-led group Recovery in the Bin, said the strategy was “more of the same disastrous and cruel work as cure ideology” and represented a continuing emphasis on forcing people off disability benefits.Bins added: “It is also dishonest [because] there are twice as many unemployed people as vacancies, so a million jobs for disabled people would need government to create those jobs, government refuses to do so and its own growth forecast shows it can’t.“So in reality what this means is not a million more disabled people in work, but really a million more disabled people being cut off benefits.”Ellen Clifford, campaigns and policy manager for Inclusion London, said: “Concerns about the dangers of conflating work and health have been ignored, with proposals to put more employment advisers in IAPT and invest in research to support policy linking health and work.”Dr Jay Watts, a consultant clinical psychologist and a member of the campaigning Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy, said the government had been “obsessed with the idea that work is the true goal of life for a number of years”.She said that although the strategy’s intention was supposed to be to “improve lives”, there was no commitment to halting benefit sanctions, despite the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities calling in August for a review of their “detrimental impact” on disabled people. Disabled activists have repeatedly highlighted the deaths of disabled benefit claimants they believe were linked to the government’s sanctions regime, including those of David Clapson and Alan McArdle.And DWP admitted in 2015 that 10 of 49 benefit claimants whose deaths were subject to secret reviews by the department had had their payments sanctioned at some stage.Only last week, DNS reported “shocking” NHS statistics that showed almost half of the people in England claiming the main out-of-work disability benefit, employment and support allowance (ESA), had attempted suicide at some point in their life.Campaigners believe that those figures – uncovered by Watts – highlight the need for DWP to abandon its hard-line approach to forcing disabled people off benefits and into work through damaging rhetoric and unforgiving sanctions, but there was no sign of such a shift in the new strategy.Watts called last week for DWP to start treating ESA claimants with “dignity and respect” and shift from a regime of punishment “to a culture that encourages things like voluntary work which are good for mental health, but too frightening a possibility for many claimants who fear any sign of activity will be used to stop their benefits”.She said this week: “The pressure to pursue work makes many people feel like failures when they are not well enough to work, when there are no jobs available or when they are forced to accept jobs that are demonstrably bad for mental health.“Everyone I speak too feels guilt and shame at not working, with disastrous effects on mental health.“This is a direct cause of the current mental health crisis, and a direct result of government policy that situates the workless as worthless.“Both Improving Lives and evidence from the influential New Savoy Partnership suggests therapists will be under increasing pressure to ‘encourage’ patients into jobs. This is simply unacceptable.“Therapists must not follow the money, but clear the therapeutic space away from any demands other than listening to patients, and focusing on the goals they, rather than the government, set.” One mental health professional has already resigned in protest at links between the organisation she is a member of and the government’s work and health agenda.Patricia Murphy, an independent therapist who practises cognitive behavioural therapy, said on Twitter that she had resigned as a member of the branch liaison committee of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), after almost 20 years serving on various BABCP committees.She said she felt she was being “co-opted to get people back into employment” and was “disappointed and dismayed” that BABCP was “engaging so actively” with DWP.Both BABCP and Murphy had failed to comment on her resignation by noon today (Thursday).
A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… The Welsh government has been criticised for a “ludicrous” and “insulting” failure to address the adult social care funding crisis in a new draft framework on independent living.Action on Disability, its new draft framework and action plan, was put out to consultation this week, and aims to “develop and improve access to help, advice and services for disabled people in Wales”.The plan will eventually replace the Welsh government’s 2013 framework for action on independent living and follows a series of meetings and engagement events with disabled people, disability organisations and other stakeholders.The report says that this public engagement process saw concerns raised about “cuts to social care provision” which had led to “lower allocations” of direct payments, leaving disabled people “increasingly isolated, and the impacts to their wellbeing compromised”.But despite these concerns, the action plan refers only to previous strategies on services for visually-impaired people, Deaf and autistic people and those with learning difficulties, and fails to include any measures to address the cuts to support and the social care funding crisis.This contrasts with its 2013 framework, which included lengthy sections on access to social care, direct payments and personalised support.Of 44 actions supposedly aimed at improving the right to independent living in the new action plan, not one of them explicitly addresses the need to improve the overall access to care and support, although it does promise a review of the aids and adaptations system that supports disabled and older people to live independently in their own homes.Instead, the action plan covers areas including disability employment, higher education – including a planned review of policy on disabled students’ allowance – public appointments, and access to public transport.There is also no mention of social care in the section describing the Welsh government’s “commitments” on independent living, even though it promises to “work for continuous improvement” on how it fulfils its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).The failure of the action plan to suggest any measures to address the funding crisis and cuts to support suggests the Welsh government is in breach of the convention’s article 19, which says that governments signed up to UNCRPD should take “effective and appropriate measures” to enable disabled people to live in the community with “full inclusion and participation”.There is also no mention in the document of the Independent Living Fund (ILF), and the Welsh government’s decision to close its interim Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) scheme, which it has been running as a stopgap with UK government transition funding since ILF closed in June 2015.Because of the WILG closure, Welsh local authorities will be solely responsible for meeting the support needs of all former ILF-recipients by 31 March 2019.Nathan Lee Davies (pictured), who is leading the campaign to persuade the Welsh government to overturn its decision to scrap WILG, said the failure to address social care in the action plan was “ludicrous” and “insulting”.He said: “They seem like a load of ostriches burying their heads in the sand. It’s just really worrying.“I am disillusioned but far from surprised. It just seems like they are copying what the Tories have done in Westminster, with the same devaluing of disabled people.”He suggested that the Welsh Labour government had simply published a “flimsy” framework document in order to “placate the UN, and to be able to say, ‘look, we are doing something to support disabled people’”.He said that ministers – by closing the WILG – were “washing their hands” of responsibility for social care and handing it to local councils, which could not afford to meet their responsibilities promised under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, which Davies said should be renamed the Pie in the Sky Act.Responding to criticisms of the document, a Welsh government official said: “Our ‘Action on Disability: the Right to Independent Living’ framework is a high-level plan covering a wide range of issues in line with our national strategy, Prosperity for All.“A number of the actions in this draft action plan relate to social care; nevertheless we are open to suggestions on how the plan could be strengthened.“We encourage everyone to contribute to the consultation – which we launched this week – to influence our future work to support disabled people as best we can.”Davies has contrasted the actions of the Welsh Labour government with those of the UK Labour party, whose leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has publicly supported his campaign to save the WILG, as did members of Welsh Labour at their annual conference earlier this year.Davies is determined to persuade the Welsh government to keep the current system, which allows former ILF-recipients some security by receiving funding from three different “pots”: WILG, local authorities and their own personal contributions.He said that this “tripartite” system had provided the support he needed that led to him being recognised with an honorary degree by Wrexham Glyndwr University for his services to disability rights.He has also been involved with Wrexham football club, Disabled People Against Cuts, and the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales, as well as writing a new book, and running his campaign and a blog.He also worked with Disability Arts Cymru on a #SaveWILG exhibition of visual art and poetry earlier this year.Davies is now waiting to hear what will happen to his support package when WILG closes.
Jeremy Corbyn has said that the Conservative Party’s claims to care about workers rights are insincere, given their past record.Theresa May had claimed to be committed to protecting and extending workers’ rights in an attempt to get Labour MPs to support her Brexit deal.However, Corbyn said that, for many Tory MPs, weakening workers’ rights is part of the appeal of Brexit.“Just look at the record of the party opposite,” he said, “they attacked trade union rights through the trade union act. They kept this house up all night, opposing the minimum wage in 1997. They’re the party that introduced employment tribunal fees and introduced the public sector pay cap.”“For many of them, Mr Speaker,” he finished, “ripping up rights is what Brexit is all about. Tags:Tories /Labour /Minimum Wage /Conservatives /Worker’s Rights /Trade Unions /Employment Tribunal fees /Corbyn /trade union act / The Conservatives claim they care about workers’ rights.Their record says otherwise. pic.twitter.com/hydBI0u2mv— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) February 12, 2019
RICKY Hatton MBE will be at the Saints Superstore on this Wednesday (Oct 30) to promote his book ‘War and Peace’.The Boxing legend will be signing copies of his best-selling autobiography from 1pm-2pm.Retailing at £20, it tells the story of one of British boxing’s true icons.From a Manchester council estate to the bright lights of Las Vegas, Ricky Hatton experienced incredible highs in his career, including one of the greatest ever wins by a British boxer, over the IBF Light Welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu.But heavy defeats to two legends of the ring, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, brought him quickly down to earth to face a new set of battles against depression, drink and drugs.Through it all, however, Ricky Hatton has remained the same charismatic, funny, eloquent man – a man who boxing fans have always taken to their hearts.A man who has survived a lifetime of wars both in and out of the ring, and who in defeat has finally found something close to peace.Get along to the store on Wednesday to meet one of sport’s all time greats.
GET yourself along to Saints Superstore at Langtree Park or click here for the perfect Father’s Day gift.We have a large selection of Mugs, Glasses, Wallets, Hats and Caps… plus check out our fab new Limited Edition Faro Leisurewear Range in store or online.Show your Saintly Dad how much you mean to him.Father’s Day June 21 2015
THE first team and Academy enjoyed their traditional Christmas run on the dunes at Formby this year.Head of Strength and Conditioning Matt Daniels put them through a gruelling session before they took a dip and wished Saints fans far and wide a Merry Christmas.Mobile users can view the video here
HospitalityWe have great deals available on Hospitality for our remaining games this season.We’ve recently been nominated at the Stadium Experience Awards for Best Hospitality, so we would welcome the opportunity to entertain you and your guests to help you celebrate or secure that new deal for your business.Enjoy great food, excellent Stadium seats and interviews with first-team squad members, former players and finish your evening with a visit from Man of the Match.Places are selling quickly – lounges and boxes for our game with Salford Red Devils have now sold out – so we recommend that you call us to secure your place.AdvertisingPromote your business with Stadium advertising; perimeter boards are available from £250 + vat for the remainder of this season with first-refusal for the 2018 season.Far more effective than door drop leafleting or traditional newspaper advertising as you will achieve much better recall with continued views from an average of 10,000 supporters at each home game.Staff TrainingWe’ve recently launched our business improvement training packages based here at the Stadium using local training provider Executive Solutions.We are here to support your business as you work to develop your staff and their implementation of your strategies. As a professional sporting organisation, we clearly understand the need for regular training and feedback to help improve performance, so let us work with you to achieve your goals.ChristmasEvery business needs to celebrate their successes, so let us help with that too. We have several themed party nights available throughout December to bring a year of hard work to a close with prices starting from just £30 per person.Let us take the stress away and we will organise your night for you, we can also hold private parties for your business for groups between 100 – 350 people. Click here for more information.For Further InformationFor further information click on the link below. Mini-BrochureCall us on 01744 455053 or 01744 455080 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, but if you prefer to email, our address is email@example.comWe look forward to working with you!Saints Commercial Team
BELVILLE, NC (WWAY) — If you live in Belville and believe you can lead, there is a new vacancy on the Town’s Board of Commissioners.Belville Commissioner Pat O’Bryant announced his resignation from the board on Monday, Feb. 26th.- Advertisement – Commissioner Joseph Breault confirms O’Bryant had to make a decision between his job, family and the town. The town is accepting applications from those interested in filling O’Bryant’s seat.The deadline is Thursday March 22. Click here for more information and link to the application.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY/Star News) — After reports came out about a woman allegedly trying to abduct babies from hospitals across the Carolinas, an area hospital spokesperson said she has been arrested.According to a New Hanover Regional Medical Center Spokesperson, a woman named Linda Everett faces charges for felony breaking and entering and larceny. The hospital spokesperson says Everett was arrested in High Point, and is out on bond.- Advertisement – Law enforcement believes Everett, 36, was trying to abduct a child from neonatal units across the Carolinas and entered NHRMC without authorization earlier this month, police and the hospital said.RELATED: Woman arrested for being inside NHRMC: ‘I did not go in there to try and kidnap any child’According to a law enforcement bulletin, Linda Mae Everett, 36, is wanted on four warrants from New Hanover Regional Medical Center Police. According to court records, the warrants include three counts of felony breaking and entering and one count of misdemeanor larceny. Everett is wanted on an additional misdemeanor larceny warrant in Brunswick County.Related Article: Just Cut It Barbershop offers haircuts to those with learning disabilities“Everett is believed to be going to neonatal units of hospitals in North and South Carolina possibly in attempts to abduct a child,” the April 13 bulletin states before calling on law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout, according to the Star News.According to Carolyn Fisher with New Hanover Regional, a woman presented herself at the check-in desk on April 5 at the Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital, where she was denied entry.The woman eventually entered patient care areas without authorization, Fisher said. Seeing she did not have a visitor’s badge, staff alerted New Hanover Regional Medical Center Company Police, who responded and questioned her.NHRMC Company Police later charged Everett with felony breaking and entering based on the unauthorized entry to patient care areas. No patients were injured or endangered.Among other security measures, New Hanover Regional Medical Center requires all visitors, including family members, to the women’s and children’s patient units to present photo identification at the front desk and be issued a visitor’s sticker to wear while visiting. Visitors must also state the name of the patient they wish to see.NHRMC is committed to ensuring the safety and security of our patients, visitors and staff.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – They want to incorporate art in every school subject.Wednesday the Wilmington School of the Arts hosts a launch party to update on where things stand with the charter school.Board members still have an uphill climb to get there but say they’re getting closer and closer to a first for downtown Wilmington. The bell will not ring until 2019 for the planned school.- Advertisement – “All of the current charter schools in New Hanover County are outside of the core city of Wilmington,” said Barry Rice who sits as the chair on the Wilmington School of the Arts board of directors.It’s focus is to eventually teach kids Kindergarten through 8th grade on a Core Knowledge curriculum incorporating art of any kind in every core subject. Something board members say current arts centered schools cannot guarantee.“We’ll be incorporating and integrating all phases of the arts,” said Rice. “Theatre, drama, dance, pottery, drawing, music, choral everything. Snipes doesn’t do that,” Rice added referring to the Snipes Academy that sits as an arts school for New Hanover County public schools.Related Article: Charter school addresses water damage as students returnThey plan to launch the charter school in August of 2019. Right now board members are interviewing and are set to apply for chartered status with the state.It’s not all singing and dancing, the school will teach core subjects but with a twist.“It’s very structured, but it’s structured based on how the students learn,” said board vice chair Jill Hatfield.The idea formed here at Flytrap Brewery with hopes to keep it near the Brooklyn Arts District or downtown to give students exposure to the arts Wilmington has to offer. Rice says several local leaders and business leaders have shown interest in seeing the school come to the area. He adds that initially they will launch a K through 2nd grade school with roughly 80 to 100 students each grade level.