Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Cognitive Therapy for the Unemployed: G4S Crooks to Deliver ‘Service’ in Surrey, Sussex and Kent.

with 48 comments

Image result for cognitive therapy for unemployed protests

“We are saving the taxpayer £120 million a year in benefit savings.” Sean Williams – Welfare to Work, Managing Director, G4S.

Carillon’s collapse, which involved the farce of having fire-engines on standby today in Oxfordshire in case the company could not deliver school meals for one of their many outsourced contracts, has not stopped the government from continuing their policy of giving large sums of money to private companies to deliver ‘services’.

 The problems of Universal Credit have tended to obscure other aspects of the government’s welfare policy.

One of the most outrageous sides  is this, which we have previously posted on.

It is part of the Work and Health Programme, rolling out this year.

The key service providers are:

Service Providers

It will be run by five service providers across six regions in England and Wales. The successful providers were:

  • Shaw Trust (Central England and Home Counties)
  • Reed in Partnership (North East)
  • Ingeus (North West)
  • Pluss (Southern)
  • Remploy (Wales)

But some parts of the programme are delivered by other ‘providers’.

Last year this was reported by Brian Wheeler on the BBC site. June 2015.

Unemployment is being “rebranded” by the government as a psychological disorder, a new study claims.

Those that do not exhibit a “positive” outlook must undergo “reprogramming” or face having their benefits cut, says the Wellcome Trust-backed report.

This year (2016)  they took a step forward in their plans,

Disabled activists are to march on a surgery next month in protest at its involvement in a government scheme that is placing welfare-to-work advisors from a discredited US outsourcing giant in GP practices.

In 2017 the Guardian published this letter signed  by more than 400 psychologists, counsellors and academics signed an open letter   protesting against chancellor George Osborne’s plans, laid out in the latest budget, to embed psychological therapy in a coercive back-to-work agenda.

The linkage of social security benefits to the receipt of “state therapy”, as announced in the chancellor’s latest budget, this is totally unacceptable. “Get to work therapy” is manifestly not therapy at all. With the ominous news that Maximus (the US company replacing Atos to do work capability assessments) will also be managing the new national Fit for Work programme, it is time for the field’s key professional organisations to wake up to these malign developments, and unequivocally denounce such so-called “therapy” as damaging and professionally unethical.

More generally, the wider reality of a society thrown completely off balance by the emotional toxicity of neoliberal thinking is affecting Britain in profound ways, the distressing effects of which are often most visible in the therapist’s consulting room. This letter sounds the starting-bell for a broadly based campaign of organisations and professionals against the damage that neoliberalism is doing to the nation’s mental health. For now, we call on all the parties in this election – and particularly Labour – to make it clear that they will urgently review such anti-therapeutic practices, and appropriately refashion their much-trumpeted commitment to mental health if and when they enter government.

To remind us of this Kitty S jones wrote last year

A major concern that many of us have raised is regarding consent to participation, as, if benefit conditionality is attached to what ought to be a voluntary engagement, that undermines the fundamental principles of the right to physical and mental care. Such an approach would reduce psychologists to simply acting as agents of state control, enforcing compliance and conformity. That is not therapy: it’s psychopolitics and policy-making founded on a blunt behaviourism, which is pro-status quo, imbued with Conservative values and prejudices. It’s an approach that does nothing whatsoever to improve public life or meet people’s needs.

Kitty noted that,

The highly controversial security company G4S are currently advertising for Cognitive Behavioural Therapists to deliver “return-to-work” advise in Surrey, Sussex and Kent.

This is yet another lucrative opportunity for private companies to radically reduce essential provision for those that really need support, nonetheless, costing the public purse far more to administer than such an arrangement could possibly save, despite the government’s dogged determination to rip every single penny from sick and disabled people and drive them into low paid, insecure jobs.

Yes, G4S is a player in the delivery of the “new Work and Health Programme 2017 – 2020/21. Commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions, the programme is intended to assist people who are long term unemployed or who have disabilities and health conditions into work.”

Well it was all announced.

For those with the stomach to read it you can see this many pages long Wiki entry:

Controversies surrounding G4S

At the start of last year this  was one response.

G4S, Maximus and ‘A4E’ all set to win contracts under Work and Health Programme

Some of the country’s most controversial and discredited outsourcing companies are set to win contracts under the government’s new programme to find jobs for disabled people and other marginalised groups.

The 11 organisations that have been successful in the bidding process will be allowed to tender for the back-to-work contracts that will be offered under the Work and Health Programme.

They were all bidding for the right to tender for contracts across six regional areas in England and Wales, and a single national contract across the two countries.

The Work and Health Programme will support disabled people, those who are long-term unemployed, and other groups such as ex-carers, ex-offenders, homeless people and those with drug or alcohol dependencies.

Among those successful in the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Umbrella Agreement for Employment and Health Related Services were Maximus, People Plus (formerly known as A4E) and G4S.

G4S has been successful in every area apart from Wales, while People Plus has been successful in all seven lots.

Maximus, through its UK company Remploy, has been selected only for the Wales lot.

Maximus has a disturbing track record of discrimination, incompetence and fraud in the US, while Remploy, formerly owned by the government, revealed plans last year to halve the pay of service-users who take part in inspections of health and care facilities.

Last year, Maximus was accused in the House of Commons of falsifying the results of “fitness for work” assessments, and of “a disconcerting pattern of behaviour that indicates that the trade-off between cost-cutting and profit maximisation is being felt by very vulnerable people”.

People Plus, which has secured places in all seven lots, was formerly known as A4E, but in 2015 was taken over by another company and rebranded, after 10 former A4e employees were sentenced for a back-to-work fraud.

The previous year, DNS reported allegations that emerged during an employment tribunal – and were strongly refuted by the company – that A4E had introduced a new policy that forced advisers with no specialist training or experience to start working with “vulnerable” claimants with mental health conditions, learning difficulties and drug and alcohol problems on the Work Programme.

Last year, the disabled crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell, criticising the decision to hand the government contract to run the national discrimination helpline to G4S, told fellow peers that the company had “an appalling history of abuse and mismanagement”.

G4S’s track record includes claims of assault and racism at immigration detention centres, the failure to provide enough security staff for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a coroner’s verdict of “unlawful killing” at the hands of G4S staff after the death of Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga in 2010, and serious allegations concerning G4S staff at secure training centres for children.

The other successful organisations are Ingeus, Reed, Shaw Trust, APM, Working Links, The Work Company, Pluss and Prospects.

Many of the country’s largest disability charities are likely to seek funding under the Work and Health Programme as sub-contractors for the organisations that win the main contracts, in a move which many activists believe could make it harder for them to speak out on welfare reform.

The Work and Health Programme will replace the mainstream Work Programme and the specialist Work Choice scheme for disabled people, but there have been concerns that it will see a significant cut in funding.

The government has promised £100 million a year by 2020-21 for disabled people found to have limited capability for work – paid for from cuts of more than £1 billion over the four years from April this year to new claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) placed in the work-related activity group (WRAG) – as well as another £130 million a year for the overall programme.

But industry research has suggested that this will mean a sizeable overall drop from the £750 million spent on employment support in 2013-14.

DWP said yesterday (Wednesday) that it did not recognise this figure but was not able to say how much the overall budget on employment support had been and how much it would be under the new programme.

She said the budget for the new programme was not yet “in the public domain”.

Asked about the track records of Maximus, G4S and People Plus, the DWP spokeswoman said the umbrella agreement had been subject to public sector procurement regulations, and was conducted in an “open, transparent non-discriminatory manner”.

She said: “Each competition is designed to identify the winning bids over a range of pre-determined criteria.”

She said contracts would be awarded this autumn.

Meanwhile, the consultation on the government’s work, health and disability green paper – which outlines its plans for the Work and Health Programme – is due to end tomorrow (17 February).

The green paper revealed that the government was considering forcing all sick and disabled people on out-of-work disability benefits to take part in “mandatory” activity, including those who are terminally-ill or have the very highest support needs and have been placed in the ESA support group.

It also repeatedly emphasised that the government wanted to “reinforce work as a health outcome”, increasing the number of job advisers in healthcare settings and making “the benefits of work an ingrained part of the training and professional approach of the health and social care workforce”.

It will be interesting to see how this lot fare in the present climate of private provider failure…

Esther McVee has got off to a flying start!

48 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on disabledsingleparent.

    mili68

    January 15, 2018 at 5:21 pm

  2. Tweeted @melissacade68

    mili68

    January 15, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    • G4s and disability are not a good mix.

      ken

      January 15, 2018 at 5:32 pm

  3. Birmingham MP demands Universal Credit freeze as he visits foodbank for struggling constituent

    Clutching the provisions, the Labour Northfield MP paused in a busy corridor during his SOS mission to tell the Birmingham Mail why the “cack-handed” reform needs to be halted.

    http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/birmingham-mp-demands-universal-credit-14155782

    ken

    January 15, 2018 at 5:28 pm

  4. Runcorn MP welcomes new role to scrutinise government’s welfare policy

    Mr Amesbury said: “One of the biggest areas of concern for my constituents since I was elected has been the government’s shocking approach to things such as personal independence payments (PIP) assessments and the shambolic rollout of Universal Credit.

    “Myself and my team have seen and heard many examples locally of the suffering caused by these policies and it’s something that comes up at my constituents surgeries again and again.”

    http://www.runcornandwidnesworld.co.uk/news/15828243.MP_pledges_welcomes_new_role_to_scrutinise_government_s_welfare_policy/

    ken

    January 15, 2018 at 5:29 pm

  5. Forcing anyone to work for nothing is wrong but compelling the sick, disabled and TERMINALLY ILL(!) to labour for no reward is cruel. Esther will love it! The question is what will the MPs and general public will make of it and how far McVey and her minions will get with it.

    Tim

    January 15, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    • It is wrong but this is where we;re headed.

      Foundations of the Workfare State – Reflections on the Political Transformation of the Welfare State in Britain

      Abstract

      The British ‘welfare state’ has been transformed. ‘Welfare’ has been replaced by a new ‘workfare’ regime (the ‘Work Programme’) defined by tougher state regulatory practices for those receiving out-of-work benefits. US-style mandatory community work programmes are being revived and expanded. This article, therefore, considers shifting public attitudes to work and welfare in Britain and changing attitudes to working-age welfare and out-of-work benefits in particular. It also considers the extent to which recent transformations of the state may be explained by declines in traditional labourist politics and class-based solidarity. Thus, we attempt to develop a richer understanding of changing public attitudes towards welfare and the punitive regulatory ‘workfare’ practices engaged by the modern state in the liberal market economy; reflecting on the nature of the relations between ideology, party policies, popular attitudes and their political impact.

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/spol.12096/full

      whoknew

      January 16, 2018 at 9:47 am

      • A very good summary.

        The other aspect is that large parts of it – the theme of this post – are run by the same kind of chancers and profiteers who have led to Carillion’s downfall.

        Andrew Coates

        January 16, 2018 at 10:20 am

      • Andrew Coates

        January 16, 2018 at 10:27 am

      • Most of the population will be laid off from their jobs, as the workforce of Carillion are, then on UC only then to be taken on again in the same jobs, same employers with no wages, no benefits except for the little amount one receives when on UC.

        whoknew

        January 16, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      • I would be surprised to see workfare come back in a big way. Why? Because it cost money to administer and run, in the past not enough places could be found for all people supposed to undergo it, and “sticking it” to the unemployed and benefit claimants isn’t the vote winner it once was. It is hard to believe but a lot of the nasty things that people like George Osborne and Esther McVey did weren’t only done to try to save money but done because punishing benefit claimants was actually popular amongst the public. This is so to the same extent these days.

        Plus: Wherever it has been tried – Australia, America, UK and elsewhere – workfare has always been shown to fail to get people who have been on it into work. Any government which brought back workfare in a big way must know this and hence would only be doing it for showboating reasons. If Theresa May and her cabinet are persuaded that forced labour for the sick, disabled, single parents, unemployed, whoever can be afforded and do them a bit of good electorally workfare will rise from the grave like a zombie.

        Otherwise not.

        Tim

        January 16, 2018 at 6:24 pm

  6. Reblogged this on Politics and Insights.

    Kitty S Jones

    January 15, 2018 at 5:44 pm

  7. Can you provide links to confirm “Cognitive Therapy ” is to be delivered by G4S or anyone else funded via the DWP?.

    Worth noting the £21 million eCBT [2015] contract has NEVER been tended for. https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/fcdf22ca-cac8-45da-a614-fbc5754de037

    Pilot health and employment support services have been running in Greater Manchester for many years and GP referrals are greater than JCP. https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/2491/08_work_and_skills_highlight_report

    There is no need to speculate about how the Work and Health Programme will operate, just look at https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/

    Frank Zola

    January 15, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    • but do they require a claimers signature to keep attending or not other than the day of the referral ie sign contracts with provider.

      superted

      January 15, 2018 at 6:05 pm

  8. but do they require a claimers signature to keep attending or not other than the day of the referral ie sign contracts with provider.

    superted

    January 15, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    • superted

      A good question to which I would point out – if a external service is being provided it will be, being done under a contract, which means as you have pointed out they need a signature – there is NO PROVISION under law to force the signing which is a Contract – to DO SO IS Fraud with Menaces if anyone says anything negative to you about not signing.

      So for further attendance a signature is required from there on – no signature it bounces right back to DWP.

      [Apologies Andrew for the CAPS but I want emphasis to people here forcing signing is a non-starter]

      Gazza

      January 16, 2018 at 11:53 am

    • Gazza and superted

      Apart from a few brave souls like superted, how many people have actually got the nerve, or have had the nerve to actually decline to sign provider documents? Not many I fear.

      jj joop

      January 16, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    • They were giving this “helicopter view” cognitive therapy on the Work Programme it made absolutely no difference to finding employment nor did any of the other attempts that could not be found just by looking on the internet.Being on the Work Programme didn’t give me an improvement in the chances of being interviewed or being taken on,the application was the same work programme or not.People had adequate CV’s before being placed on this programme.

      There were comments from fellow unemployed of bullying and intimidation taking place at one later provider who later left the area for other a more lucrative area some miles away leaving people high and dry.When it doesn’t go well this is the behaviour that creeps in blaiming the individual who is often vulnerable lacks the ability to cope and might well have a disability.Good skills/trades’ education are needed not everyone has or can gain that level.This can lead to all types of negative situations arising and simply taking it out on people is not the answer.

      ken

      January 16, 2018 at 6:42 am

      • Agreed ken and I only ever did induction with them! The venue I attended didn’t even have a private room for clients to speak to advisors

        katrehman

        January 16, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    • Jj joop …luckily I only ever did induction on the waste programme and then hot a job off my own bat . It was interesting though…every other word the “teacher ” said was” mandatory” but when he raised the data waiver he “suggested we read it properly and thought very carefully what to do as THAT bit wasn’t mandatory. Thanks to the archived refuse the work programme I knew all about it and said out loud I’m not signing this I don’t want you lot ringing any employer asking if I turned up! A couple ppl asked what is it and he was forced to explain. I don’t know if the others signed or not

      katrehman

      January 17, 2018 at 5:29 pm

      • Before the Work Programme was active I did an extensive search on the Internet and after seeing so many posts claiming how brilliant it was going to be I also found the blog Refuse the Work Programme . I downloaded massive amounts of it, stripped it down to useful information, printed it out and used the advice to also refuse signing the data waiver and used a FOI to deny them my CV.
        The idiots in charge were dumbfounded when I refused to co-operate. I got parked and only had to go in, at most, once a fortnight. I’ve still got some of it on my USB and am going over it for any information that may still be useful.

        ben

        January 18, 2018 at 1:56 pm

  9. Benefit fraud ‘witch-hunt’: 280,000 public tip-offs led to no action taken due to lack of evidence

    More than 280,000 public tip-offs on benefit fraud in the past two years have resulted in no action being taken against a claimant due to lack of evidence, The Independent can disclose.

    The revelation has led to claims the Government is guilty of creating a “witch-hunt”, with critics calling on ministers to re-evaluate the contentious system, suggesting members of the public should not have a role in identifying and investigating fraud within the welfare state.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/benefit-fraud-public-tip-offs-legal-action-police-no-evidence-dwp-work-pensions-department-a8144096.html

    whoknew

    January 16, 2018 at 4:42 am

  10. Andrew Coates

    January 16, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    • There was a high rate of DLA rejections when applying and awarded on review.People do need to appeal as well as loss of the benefit they are likely to lose their extra council tax reduction as well.There is also premium payments on top of Jobseekers Allowance,most DLA claims are related to learning difficulties which are specific or global.

      People in this situation find it harder to find employment and encounter negative attitudes in the time they do spend in work falling behind on expectation and seen as different people have returned to the jobcentre through no fault of their own simply sacked or driven out sthis can be also through a lack of understanding.

      Once bullying begins it snowballs often in a small workplace where a number of people can become involved quickly and turn very nasty.

      Coming back to the above these companies have no background into peoples lives and are at risk of blaming the person for a condition that was never or diagnosed in their first few years.There is a risk people can come away worse then they started.While cognative can help understanding it cannot for everyone.

      ken

      January 16, 2018 at 5:49 pm

      • Jj joop sorry just saw your question about the URL. I think it’s archived but it’s an off shot of this very place intensive activity and Ipswich unemployed action….Mr Coates any info u csn give?

        katrehman

        January 21, 2018 at 10:45 am

  11. How government policy is forcing poor people into catastrophic debt

    It is extraordinarily expensive to be poor. The less money you have, the more expensive many things are likely to cost. Those with the lowest incomes are often forced to access electricity and gas via prepaid meters – forking out hundreds of pounds more annually than those who pay by direct debit.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/16/government-policy-poor-people-debt-benefits-universal-credit

    ken

    January 16, 2018 at 5:53 pm

  12. Digital challenge of Universal Credit

    With an online portal the entry point for most Universal Credit (UC) claimants, basic questions are being asked about how easy it will be for people to correctly apply for and receive their benefits, without receiving delays on receipt of benefits

    https://www.localgov.co.uk/Digital-challenge-of-Universal-Credit/44530

    ken

    January 16, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    • Eventually there will be serious data breaches in the UC system too. Right now the IT world has been rocked by the Spectre and Meltdown exploits, hardware flaws in most processor chips created over the last ten years, possibly even back as far as 1995, which are very difficult to mitigate and might allow hackers to steal private data like passwords etc., without leaving a trace of evidence behind them.

      Forcing millions of people who are not technically expert and might be using old hardware and software which has not been patched and updated, or actually redundant, to exchange sensitive information and manage social security claims digitally is a disaster waiting to happen.

      Tim

      January 16, 2018 at 6:36 pm

  13. Agreed ken and I only ever did induction with them! The venue I attended didn’t even have a private room for clients to speak to advisors

    katrehman

    January 16, 2018 at 7:47 pm

  14. Maximus has a disturbing track record of discrimination, incompetence and fraud in the US,

    That is the organisation here where fellow clamants made the comments about bullying and intimidation on the Work Programme before deciding to leave the area for financial reasons.I agree with Superted here fully I would be very wary signing any rights away to what is listed above in their own interests.these courses are run badly negative expeiences are plentiful outcomes very poor.When in that situation any cognative therapy is pointless when tensions are high and people stressed.

    ken

    January 16, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    • if they send you to one of these places all you have to do is turn up on the day listen to there bs then ask unless you are going to be put on a coarse where you get real accredited qualification that can be checked to put on ur cv there is absolute no point at all signing there contract/enrolment form because a 6 week course making bubble bath just so they can get there funding, as why would they put you on a real coarse when they can make up new rubbish to do and have you back over and over again as that is there business model to make as much profit as possible thus the nonsense courses and a useless bit of paper at the end.

      now you still have to participate and make that clear as day and also you will sign nothing so take up a space that needs to get funding for and you guess what will happen out the door you will go, just ask in writing why they are asking you to leave.

      if they refuse like they tried it with me i said im not leaving until i have it or phone the police to have me removed.

      took 45 mins but i got one and talk about digging ur own grave there that stupid they dont even understand what it says on there paper work that they ask you to sign.
      DSC_0596

      they will share ur data with 3rd partys
      they will get you sanctioned
      they dont care if you find work or not
      they will send you on work fair
      they dont even care if you complete the so called coarse or not

      all you are to them is a profit unit and the only way to get what they want is ur wet sig on there paper work.

      and dont forget to smile for ur pic on there face book page.

      14500635_1139276779493579_7768184268266297583_o

      superted

      January 16, 2018 at 10:10 pm

  15. There are of course more drastic options some Tories support:

    Andrew Coates

    January 17, 2018 at 10:34 am

  16. Courses to get funding, yeah the bubble bath course. I been on enough mickey mouse courses even though I have a disability, two courses mirrored the same whilst I was with Remploy and that was voluntary but still was required to turn up once per month to do some job search.

    myfinalusername

    February 19, 2018 at 9:48 am

  17. Ask questions what you are signing for, what this, and get an action plan to what you want, only give them your house phone number, not your mobile phone number (if you own one less chance of them hounding you if you do find a job yourself during work hours) if things become sticky block their number especially if you find a job, If for some reason the provider manages to find where you are working and come into the workplace to ask to you sign the paperwork tell them no.

    On the work programme for the induction it was a group session, we complained as we thought it would be a one to one. (even though I have a disability) I was parked to go one of their sub contractors and the advisor tried his best but his hands were tied, I was later sent back to the main one due these pulling out the contract.

    I think these providers will tried their hardest to sanction you, the provider in the region where I live I dont much about them I am with reed in partnership, so I read their handbook download reed.co.uk app. I love the section what we ask of you,

    myfinalusername

    February 25, 2018 at 1:54 pm

  18. Reed in Partnershit… with the Devil are SCUM of the lowest order!

    RiP You SCUM!!

    February 26, 2018 at 12:03 am

  19. I will be reading the papework with a fine toothcomb once I start this work and health programme, after their I wonder what will happen to those people who refused to sign the paperwork so these providers can get funding, I will have see about the action plan first.

    I am more concerned about the outcome payments, how much hounding people will get or I get to chase for the paperwork to be signed if you are foolish enough to sign the introuction paperwork if we get employment.

    I am being re-referred as I been away on holiday to the programme and could not come for my introduction I was told my job centre advisor there were a 50% chance of being put on the programme from a questionnaire as it was all random.
    the advisor at the provider cheeky left 8 recorded messages (I thought our phone could block numbers) and sent me two appointments times for the same day in the post (with the threat of if you dont attend it will be referred back to the job centre with possibly sanctions) I reported this to the job centre why I could not attend she says dont take it personal there are just up for the programme because it is new and you will be referred again as a new starter.

    I have tried to be on on courses but found out I cannot do them due to the double funding (european funding) i have already done it at another provider, even qualifications I done 10 years ago I cannot re-do them which are IT ones.

    myfinalusername

    February 26, 2018 at 11:44 am


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