As a result of my taking up the case of my constituent Colin Trayner in a House of Commons adjournment debate, who was an epileptic since birth subject to grand mal seizures and who at the age of 29 was declared fit for work but died in a grand mal fit before his appeal could be heard, I have now received several more heart-rending messages about many others who have been similarly appallingly badly treated. I attach here a few notes about some of these cases.
* Mr. A has been HIV positive for 15 years. As well as symptoms of his disease, the side effects of his medication, which keeps him alive, consist of constant incontinence of the bowel. The only way he is able to leave the house is to fast the day before. He was called to a medical, and starved himself the day before so he could attend. The medical took 2 hours, during which he explained the symptoms of his illness to the nurse. She said she had enough evidence and therefore did not physically examine him. When he received the decision, he had scored no points (you need 15 points to be declared unfit for work).
* Mrs. B has fibromyalgia, Paget’s disease (swelling of the brain causing deafness inter alia), and rheumatism. She can’t walk without severe discomfort, and is confined to bed 3or 4 days per fortnight. She scored no p;oints.
* Mrs. C has lupus, migraine, agarophobia, and gets anxiety and panic attacks. She got no points.
* Mr. D had diabetes, heart condition, and lymphoedema. The DWP made 3 appointments for him because he had major walking difficulties. The DWP then agreed that he could complete the ESA form in his car, though he had asked the DWP officer to come out to complete the form, which was refused. Mr. D died while completing the form.
* Mr. E has arthritis, diabetes, depression and anxiety. He received the ESA form, and rang the DWP to inform them that he couldn’t fill the form in for the moment because his son had hanged himself 2 weeks before. The DWP warned him that if he did not fill in the form and return it by a specified date, his benefit would be stopped.
*Ms. F has two children aged 8 and 11. She has a serious mental health problem, but can cope on benefit. When she was seen, she had 29p left in the electricity meter and no food. It’s not only adults who can be the victims of Atos, but children as well.