Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Cornwall: Work Coaches to refer people with mental health conditions to specialist support, without the need for a GP or clinical assessment.

with 72 comments

Image result for mental health assessment work coach dwp

Work “coaches” to refer people with mental health conditions to specialist one to one support, without the need for a GP or clinical assessment

This is controversial.

The  DWP announcement:

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd announces funding for life-changing project.

Hundreds of residents from Bude to Penzance are set to benefit from improved mental health support as Amber Rudd announces £100,000 funding for a life-changing project.

The initiative means work coaches can continue to refer people with mental health conditions to specialist one to one support, without the need for a GP or clinical assessment.

As a result, people are able to get help early to tackle their condition before it worsens. The support is also designed to help people find their way back into the workplace when they’re ready.

Amber Rudd, Work and Pensions Secretary, said:

We want to reach people before their mental health spirals downwards – and this money will help to do just that.

The pilot proved that work coaches are well placed to make sure people get help quickly and are supported to get their lives back on track so I’m delighted that it can continue.

Importantly it has also shown that people trust their work coach to help them during their toughest times – and I’m very proud of that.

Now a 100,000 pounds is barely enough for a few paragraphs of Boris Johnson’s ramblings in the Telegraph.

But the principle, and above all the potential practice, is worrying.

 

Jobcentre Staff to ‘Assess’ Claimants Mental Health

 

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has come under fire after it announced a scheme whereby jobcentre staff assess claimants mental health. The £100,000 scheme being rolled out in Cornwall will see claimants on Universal Credit assessed by the work coach to as “to avoid seeing their GP”.

The DWP have announced a controvertial £100,000 scheme for benefit claimants in Cornwall. The plan is for Universal Credit claimants to have their mental health assessed by their Work Coach to determine if they require extra support. The DWP describe the scheme as;

“The initiative means work coaches can continue to refer people with mental health conditions to specialist one to one support, without the need for a GP or clinical assessment.”

Now usually, offering claimants extra support would not be an issue. However, the last sentence above shows the DWP have an ulterior motive – “without the need for a GP or clinical assessment.”

While training work coaches how to interact with claimants with mental health conditions is a good step, Having them replace trained health professionals is simply unacceptable.

Claimants with a health condition already have to go through assessments with “Healthcare Professionals” who’ve done a 30 minute seminar on mental health. These leads to, as it did in my own case, the initial assessment being incorrect.

Only a GP or HCP involved in a person’s ongoing care can give a qualified opinion on a patients mental state. Outsourcing it to staff who are already overworked is bound to see more mistakes made.

The Blog Black isle Media rightly comments,

Now they think work coaches can replace a claimants GP. This is yet another way to force vulnerable benefit claimants to seek work before they are ready.

I hope I am wrong, but unfortunately when it comes to the DWP, I like many others, am not.

The story has a background:

DWP slammed by charity for plan to hold mental health assessments in JobCentres

Mirror March 2010.

EXCLUSIVE: Mind told the Mirror Jobcentres are “completely inappropriate” and could throw vulnerable benefit claimants into further distress

New pilot for jobcentres to refer claimants directly to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies

4 APRIL 2019, 01:49 PM

This seems quite dangerous to me.  Surely someone with mental health problems needs referral to a specialist through the NHS by their GP?  If they need a referral to this kind of clinician I have not heard of before – a work psychologist – and are not getting it then we need to be concerned that such a valuable resource is not available on the NHS.  If they don’t need it why is an unqualified jobcentre plus employee allowed to refer them to the wrong specialist, possibly with damaging effects? This seems an outrageous way of bullying people with mental health issues.  Why stop there? Could people with back problems be referred to chiropractors? With Crohn’s disease prescribed probiotics? Ruth

Written by Andrew Coates

August 27, 2019 at 4:02 pm

72 Responses

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  1. Jobcentres and providers have always done this. “Were you dropped on the head as a baby?” “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHY HAVEN’T YOU GOT A JOB?” It is always done to undermine the self-confidence and self-esteem of the claimant. It is a bullying tactic pure and simple. The implication is that unemployment and mental ill health go hand in hand. Nowt to do with there being no blooming jobs.

    Mad Mental Mary

    August 27, 2019 at 4:20 pm

  2. We’ve been up this road with the DWP before, where the Work Coaches start acting like doctors. It’s a cruel idea, that has nothing to do with ‘mental health’, and everything to do with forcing sick and disabled people into work. What is next ? DWP ‘Hospitals’ where the unemployed can go, and still do some light work ?
    Shame on you Amber Rudd for this, even if you have sold your soul to the forces of darkness, that is no excuse for this.

    Jeff Smith

    August 27, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    • I have not sold my immortal soul to Boris or the forces of darkness !

      Amber

      August 28, 2019 at 2:47 pm

  3. Now you can avoid NHS waiting lists ! Go direct to your Jobcentre and speak to your Work Coach Surgeon. Many surgeries available on the day in the medical room of your local Jobcentre. Troublesome Appendix ? Need a liver transplant ? Don’t worry, nothing is too much trouble for your DWP approved Work Coach Surgeon. Get better today, and get back to work all the faster !

    Jobcentre Health

    August 27, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    • Wow ! is this really true ? I was going to make a doctors appointment, but now I think I’ll see my Work Coach Surgeon instead.

      Andy

      August 28, 2019 at 9:41 pm

  4. NB: Cornwall as ‘Cornwell’ in title of article.

    Sub Editor

    August 27, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    • Yes, as in ‘Oliver Cromwell’.

      Chinese Whisper

      August 28, 2019 at 8:55 am

    • Thanks, oddly I had just noticed that!

      Must be a voice from my Illuminati bosses.

      Andrew Coates

      August 28, 2019 at 10:39 am

      • We will always be here to guide you Andrew. May the power of the unseen light be upon you.

        Illuminati

        August 28, 2019 at 9:45 pm

      • You will always be welcome amongst us, Andrew.

        Grand Master and Paladin Illuminatus of the Grand Encampment of Tutonic Knights Templar

        August 30, 2019 at 11:42 am

  5. Medical treatment and advice, except under extraordinary circumstances, requires consent from the patient/client. When the Tories started floating the idea of stripping benefits from drug addicts unless they went for treatment to wean them off their poison(s) of choice – an idea from the brain of that toerag Maria Miller – they weren’t able to pursue it after being warned by legal experts that addicts had to give unforced consent to be treated unless they were a danger to the public. This move from the DWP sounds very iffy to me.

    Ro

    August 28, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    • It doesn’t make sense. If you declare a physical or mental illness to the jobcentre to restrict the types of work you are available for they won’t accept. They will ask for a note from your doctor detailing the illness, the medication your are on etc. Same if you say you are not ‘fit to work’ you will be sent for an assessment.
      So what exactly is this shit all about?

      Bo Tox

      August 28, 2019 at 1:36 pm

      • It sound very suspect to me. Sick people cannot be forced to take medicines, have treatments, undergo surgery, have dialysis or blood transfusions and so on without consent as a rule. People can normally decline any kind of intervention even if it costs them their lives. I really don’t believe that the DWP can bully or force mentally ill people to undergo any kind of therapy or take any kind of drug, without them volunteering their consent, in order to try to make them “work ready”. The question is: Are these DWP interventions voluntary or compulsory? Are the penalties for refusing interventions suggested by non-medical DWP representatives?

        This all seem well beyond the pale to me.

        Ro

        August 28, 2019 at 3:38 pm

      • Sick people cannot be forced to take medicines.

        They can do if someone has been held under the Mental Health act or sectioned.

        Again all is not what the publicity suggests.Stress is caused by work overload/too few staff.Better companies’ encourage a more positive workplace regular breaks,mental health taken seriously,a better staff regime where time off for depression someone isn’t mocked but seen as a positive team member.Having seen and experienced both ends in the workplace it’s the caliber of staff that play a crucial role.

        According to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive), in 2015/16 over 480,000 people in the UK reported that work-related stress was making them ill. This amounts to nearly 40% of all work-related illness.

        Yet many employees are reluctant to talk about stress at work. There is still a stigma attached to stress and people still think they will be seen as weak if they admit they are struggling. But stress is not a weakness, and can affect anyone at any level of an organisation.

        https://www.acas.org.uk/article/6062/Dealing-with-stress-in-the-workplace

        ken

        August 28, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    • @Ro – it’s very wrong that the DWP are sticking their noses into these areas. This should be for doctors and patients to decide. As it always was before.

      Tom Sutton

      August 28, 2019 at 2:56 pm

      • I agree. This sounds live a very sinister move on the part of the DWP to me, where they decide what is best for you and try to foist that on you for what they think is your own good whether you want it or not.

        Ro

        August 28, 2019 at 3:40 pm

      • Ken you’re right sick ppl can’t be forced to take meds. If you’re sectioned I believe your legally required to take your mental health meds and can be forced of not compliant but u might be considered well enough to make decisions about other meds…ef refusing statins or something. Whole I think it’s an outrage about work coaches getting involved in peopled medical health or mental health sadly women have been controlled for years via the dataBase Open Exeter . We have been bullied into having cervical screening for years. Probably because doctors get financial incentives if enough of us at herded into screnin. Should a woman refuse she can be de registered or denied meds or even an appointment until she complies. Her data has also been compromised for years under open Exeter. Agree with screening or not it’s elective but we are pushed into it. It’s called bikini medicine. I continue to be harassed even though I formally opted out. This is illegal under data protection laws.

        katrehman

        August 30, 2019 at 6:25 am

      • Indeed, kat! Even us virgins are being forced into cervical scraping. Virgins cannot get cervical cancer. Doctors simply won’t accept my howls of protest. And I am proud to be a virgin.

        Anne Widdecombe

        August 30, 2019 at 7:25 am

  6. Wasn’t Komrade Koates sent to a jobcentre shrink?

    Faraqih

    August 28, 2019 at 1:44 pm

  7. It shows how wide-ranging the system is going to be in the future. Not just dealing with employment, but mental and physical health. The whole lifestyle of the claimant, up to and including retirement. It really will be a Universal system.

    Alan Turner

    August 28, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    • @Alan Tuner – It’s like that UN guy said about social engineering, that’s what they are doing. The Tories and the DWP are trying to change the whole idea of working. And the way that benefits are given out.

      Darren

      August 29, 2019 at 12:26 pm

  8. No Work Coach Surgeon will be allowed to operate within Jobcentres unless they have passed a Level 2 examination in Surgical Procedure. It is not true that unqualified Work Coaches will be undertaking surgical procedures.

    Doctor Foster

    August 28, 2019 at 3:01 pm

  9. Who is Jeremy Corbyn ?

    Her Majesty

    August 28, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    • The Leader your Majesty ….. Of your Loyal Opposition.

      Villiers Darnforth

      August 28, 2019 at 3:42 pm

  10. Is he a rather stout gentleman with blond hair ?

    Her Majesty

    August 28, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    • No Ma’am, that is the Prime Minister.

      Villiers Darnforth

      August 28, 2019 at 4:06 pm

      • Ah yes, of course….. Villiers, when you next see this gentleman who is the Leader of my Loyal Opposition, do be sure to point him out to me.

        Her Majesty

        August 28, 2019 at 4:09 pm

  11. The DWP only see one form of mental health & that is suicide. It makes the DWPs job so much easier rolling up many mental health in conditions into one easy mental health benefit suicide. At £500 a suicide bonus for DWP workers & suicide work coaches. Can you carry a litre of piss 50M? All rolled up as failed care of duty.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    August 28, 2019 at 8:24 pm

  12. Prince Charles is King the Queen could not take the pressure any more. Brexit is not 2020 because the Queen is dead. Boris Johnson goes “It wasn’t me it was shaggy”.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    August 28, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    • The Queen hasn’t been seen in public for over 20 years! Supposedly she has a ‘cold’. A cold for over 20 years? Pull the other one!

      Lafiiqah

      August 28, 2019 at 8:41 pm

  13. How much can we sell the Isle Of Wight to Donald Trump !!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    August 28, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    • First it was Coronation Chicken. Now its Chlorination Chicken – still just as tasty, yee-hah !

      Rosco

      August 29, 2019 at 11:09 am

    • I only wish The Donald has asked to buy one of our islands, before his state visit, and that Theresa May had called his request “absurd” at which point he spat the dummy and cancelled his state visit to the UK from his end out of spite just like he did with Denmark.

      Hamilton

      August 29, 2019 at 12:40 pm

      • Why keep calling me ‘the Donald’? I am the President of the United States of America – the most powerful man in the world.

        Donald J Trump

        August 29, 2019 at 1:10 pm

  14. DWP suicide is the DWPs suicide policy. Suicide is a key word in making money like suicide going to work for some suicide DWP & Tory party. There are now 50,000 suicide people in work. They don’t need a GP they have ATOS. ATOS carries out the Tories suicide policy like a suicide sick note.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    August 28, 2019 at 8:30 pm

  15. Do the DWP need a suicide reminder or will the DWP cure suicide? What makes the most money !! But the DWP said they can cure all medical issues with non medical staff. Perhaps the DWP should drop Wiki some money for using the Wiki medical pages to become a medical expert.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    August 28, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    • Can you get me the expert suicide lawyer because Michael Mansfield is shitting himself.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      August 28, 2019 at 8:35 pm

      • QC

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        August 28, 2019 at 8:35 pm

  16. The DWP is like a giant octopus spreading its tentacles everywhere. Not content with forcing sick and disabled people into work. Now they have got to interfere with the whole doctor / patient relationship.
    A Work Coach is not a psychiatrist, or a psychologist, or even a properly qualified counsellor.
    A two- week DWP tick-box course in ‘psychology’ that they have bodged up from Wikipedia is not the same as genuine medical advice. It is very wrong that Jobcentres are getting away with putting up work as some sort of medical cure. And even worse that the DWP are trying to pretend that they can replace genuine psychiatric care with some gum-chewing Work Coach with an ‘O’ Level in Woodwork.

    Jack Reid

    August 29, 2019 at 11:17 am

    • @Jack Reid – You are right there . The DWP are getting away with more and more of this . Should be stopped.

      Lennie

      August 29, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    • @Jack – The real doctors need to get into this. Suppose these DWP clowns give wrong advice and then something bad happens ?

      Fred

      August 29, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    • What if it becomes mandatory like to attend some sort of mental health check up with some joke centre employee and you have got to ask lots of intrusive question like when did you last masturbate or they stop your money like?

      Dariqah

      August 29, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    • What if the Work Coaches hold unusual beliefs ? Religious or otherwise ? Are they still going to advise people ?

      Kurt

      August 29, 2019 at 12:17 pm

  17. Unemployment IS treated as a mental illness. That’s why there are strategies such as ‘early intervention’. They talk about getting clients out of their ‘comfort zones’, ‘mixing’, ‘interacting’, etc.

    Every interaction with the jobcentre/’provider’ is an attempt at diagnosis. Are you depressed? Paranoid? Bi-polar? Schizophrenic? And it is what you say that counts. And if you don’t say anything or very little that in itself is a diagnosis.

    Why not play them at their own game a la One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and tell coachy about the voices you keep hearing in your head saying “KILL! KILL!” or the great big 👿 DEMON 👿 sat besides them.

    Trying to make out that the unemployed are nuts without giving them a proper diagnosis is tantamount to bullying just like an abusive partner does. If you truly were, say, schizophrenic you would be receiving over 4 times in benefits what an unemployed person receives plus a Motability car to boot.

    Of course a diagnosis of, say, schizophrenia can only be made by a properly qualified psychiatrist not a gum-chewing ‘work coach; who has had a flick through a couple of Wikipedia pages.

    Or is this new ‘holistic’ approach nothing more than a sinister attempt to invade the personal space and lives of claimant to get under their skin so to speak, or to use jobcentre-speak – botherability.

    The jobcentre can’t have its cake and eat it.

    Mental Maggie

    August 29, 2019 at 11:45 am

    • Oh yes we can !!

      Senior Official

      August 29, 2019 at 12:05 pm

  18. If work was that good people wouldn’t have to pay you to do it. You don’t hear about that from the DWP.

    Dave Blunt

    August 29, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    • Yeah good point Dave. What if the work is boring, doesn’t pay much and you have to get up early to do it ?

      Sam Skiver

      August 29, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    • Indeed, Dave 😀 Us rich fok would keep all the work to ourselves 😀

      Lady Toffingham

      August 29, 2019 at 12:26 pm

      • Yes that would be typical. Tory toffs keeping all the paid work to themselves and letting everyone else be unemployed !!

        Burt Barker

        August 29, 2019 at 12:29 pm

      • If shit was valuable the poor would be born with no arseholes.

        Casteneda

        August 29, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    • ndeed, Dave 😀 Us rich folk would keep all the work to ourselves 😀

      Lady Toffingham

      August 29, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    • If work is so wonderful why don’t the rich want to do it?

      Car

      August 29, 2019 at 3:34 pm

  19. So really if you think about it, it’s Tories taking all the work that causes unemployment ? And then they have the brass nerve to lecture the working-class about being unemployed ?

    Roger Reversal

    August 29, 2019 at 12:31 pm

  20. During the worst days of the communist regime in the USSR, political opponents to the status quo and dissidents of all stripes used to be sent to mental hospital and detained indefinitely because the state said that only the insane could oppose and/or criticism of the powers that be. Is this what the DWP are about? Are they actually insinuating that mental illness causes dependency on benefits and if you can rejig the mentality of benefit claimants they will get jobs and become shiny happy people?

    Hamsterman

    August 29, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    • Indeed! This new DWP ‘initiative’ has shades of the old USSR. ‘Mental illness’ can be both politically motivated and socially constructed.

      Joseph Stalin

      August 29, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    • It also has shades of Chairman Mao and his infamous ‘mould’. The DWP will keep pressing on you until you ‘fit’. Or what psychologists call ‘readjustment’.

      Chairman Mao

      August 29, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    • Actually “behavioural change” in benefit claimants in particular and the labour market generally WAS a key part of Universal Credit’s design.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-understanding-how-it-influences-employment-behaviour

      Basically Universal Credit is supposed to “reprogram” claimants in ways favourable to the requirements of employers and make them fit in better with the Tory view of society.

      Jim

      August 30, 2019 at 11:39 am

  21. Voight-Kampff test questions

    It’s your birthday. Someone gives you a calfskin wallet.

    You’ve got a little boy. He shows you his butterfly collection plus the killing jar.

    You’re watching television. Suddenly you realize there’s a wasp crawling on your arm.

    You’re in a desert walking along in the sand when all of the sudden you look down, and you see a tortoise, it’s crawling toward you. You reach down, you flip the tortoise over on its back. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t, not without your help. But you’re not helping. Why is that?

    Describe in single words, only the good things that come into your mind about your mother.

    You’re reading a magazine. You come across a full-page nude photo of a girl. You show it to your husband. He likes it so much, he hangs it on your bedroom wall.

    You become pregnant by a man who runs off with your best friend, and you decide to get an abortion.

    One more question: You’re watching a stage play – a banquet is in progress. The guests are enjoying an appetizer of raw oysters. The entree consists of boiled dog.

    Last Runner

    August 29, 2019 at 2:14 pm

  22. But surely these questions show if someone is an android ? Not if they don’t want to work ?

    Colin

    August 29, 2019 at 2:17 pm

  23. Voight-Kampff test questions
    ( DWP Modified). V1.21
    These questions should be used in conjunction with your Work Coach Psychological Assessment Tool.

    It your birthday, and somebody tells you about a good job going at the local factory.
    But you must get to the factory straight away for the interview sessions.
    You have arranged a birthday party, and all your family and friends are coming.
    Do you go to the important job interview ?
    Or do you lose the chance of employment and go to the party instead ?

    You’re watching television. Suddenly you realize that everyone on the screen has got a job. Except you .How do you feel about that ? And what are you going to do about it ?
    You’re in the desert when all of the sudden you look down, and you see a tortoise, it’s crawling toward you. It looks like your last employer. The one that fired you. The one that made you unemployed. You reach down, you flip the tortoise over on its back. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t, not without your help. But you’re not helping. Why is that? You hate it don’t you ? It made you unemployed and now you are going to make it suffer.

    Describe in single words, only the good things that come into your mind about your Work Coach.

    Nexus

    August 29, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    • Holy smoke! Coachy has a Psychological Assessment Tool?! Was wondering why they kept asking about tortoises!

      Batwoman

      August 29, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    • Hmm… go to the party instead.

      Hmm… I feel fabulous… Do a job search on find a job when the library opens

      Hmm.. Why would I flip a tortoise over in the first place? And anyway, it’s a tortoise, not an employer – stupid!

      Hmm.. piece, of. shit

      How did I do?

      Rachel the Replicant

      August 29, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    • I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe…

      Roy

      August 30, 2019 at 11:35 am

  24. Psychological Assessment Tool is a Tick Box System questions points system called Merlin Systems who run the Tick Boxes.

    Do Work Coaches have to see a Work Coach because all the Work Coaches are on Universal Credit?

    Tick Box 1 for I Don’t Know
    Tick Box 2 for I can’t say I have a gagging order
    Tick Box 3 for You will have to tall to a DWP spokesperson said .. . .

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    August 29, 2019 at 3:08 pm

  25. Amber Rudd has the early signs of Dementia. How have you missed that Amber & having to cure other people Dementia.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    August 29, 2019 at 3:12 pm

  26. What next. Work Coaches performing free full frontal lobotomies!

    jj joop

    August 29, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    • My Work Coach has once again abondoned me to fate.

      ken

      August 29, 2019 at 7:12 pm

      • i not got one of those wc either must have hit a nerve or 2 lol 😉

        Importantly it has also shown that people trust their work coach to help them during their toughest times – and I’m very proud of that.

        im still waiting for my cup of tea and plate of biscuits when i visit, not going to happen pmsl 😉

        superted

        August 29, 2019 at 10:00 pm

      • @ken – That is very sad. Aren’t they supposed to be helping you ?

        Jane

        August 30, 2019 at 10:16 am

      • You are supposed to treat a jobcentre meeting as an interview so you would refuse… politely decline the kind offer of tea and biscuits in any case 😉

        Recruiter

        August 30, 2019 at 11:24 am

  27. Amber Rudd to extend the Blue Badge scheme to people with non-physical disabilities such as stress, anxiety, depression.

    Disablity News Service

    August 30, 2019 at 8:29 am

    • Free parking for people with non-physical disabilities to help puch… sorry… help them go to work?

      Darrow

      August 30, 2019 at 11:34 am


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