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Edward Jacques- A Name We Must Never Forget

October 10, 2013

One of so many.  Stephanie Bottrill was not the first ATOS-related suicide. Only God knows who will be the last. But we cannot forget any of them.

A 47-YEAR-OLD man overdosed on a cocktail of drugs after he had his benefits stopped because he was not given a proper medical assessment by the Department for Work and Pensions, an inquest heard.


Edward Jacques was found dead in his house in Loughborough Avenue, Sneinton, on September 25 last year. He had a history of self harm and depression, which stemmed from physical and emotional abuse as a child, the inquest was told.


Mr Jacques’ family told the Post they considered the decision to stop his benefits was a “major trigger” in a spiral which led him to overdose on heroin, cocaine and alcohol.


Mr Jacques was told his benefits of £90-a-week would be stopped on September 18 last year, the same day he took to social networking site Facebook to vent his frustration at Prime Minister David Cameron and Atos – the company which carries out medical assessments on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.


The assessments determine whether a person is eligible for employment and support allowance.


After writing of his disapproval of the system he wrote on Facebook: “It’s time to say goodbye, goodbye.”


At his inquest, which lasted two days, the court heard that Mr Jacques’ medical assessment took just 23 minutes and his allowance was stopped despite him suffering from HIV, hepatitis C, sciatica, severe depression, insomnia and dental pain. The Nottinghamshire coroner, Miss Mairin Casey, branded it a “crude assessment”. She said: “I find the assessment process in Edward’s case did not fully or properly reflect Edward’s physical and mental health at that time.


“It is conceded by those involved in the [assessment] process that if the information as to Edward’s physical and mental health as shared by his GP had been known at the time of the assessment, the outcome would have been very different. It is desperately sad that such evidence was not available either to the nurse or to the decision maker.”


Mr Jacques’s GP at Sneinton Dale Surgery, Dr Prit Chahal, said that the assessor arrived at a conclusion which was “not in line with his professional view” of his patient.


Giving evidence on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions, Jag Sanghera, said: “The more evidence that is sought the easier the decision maker’s job.”


Mr Jacques’s elder brother, Richard Jacques, 58, and his twin sister Margaret Hudson, 48, said: “We have no doubt that the decision to stop his allowance was a major trigger which led him on to a severe depression and desperate action.


“We do not believe that Edward is an isolated case and we think thousands of assessments have been made like this across the country.”


Miss Casey recorded a narrative verdict.


She said: “Edward Jacques died as a result of central nervous system depression following a drug overdose and alcohol consumption. It is not possible for me to say if he intended that this action would result in his death.”


A DWP spokesman said: “Our sympathy goes out to the family of Mr Jacques. A decision on whether someone is well enough to work is taken following a thorough assessment and after consideration of all supporting medical evidence from the claimant’s GP or medical specialist. The percentage of people entitled to employment and support allowance is now at its highest level with over half of people completing a work capability assessment eligible for the benefit.”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Nick permalink
    October 10, 2013 8:51 am

    they keep adding up and i keep a record of all the names and pass them on the the UN. it’s the least i can do as i myself know the DWP very well. they make error after error and get you in such a state i have to call the police to unwind if i were fit I’d love to be in the police force and arrest those in the DWP who are just out to kill others just for the sheer hell of it

    it’s very tough on me also being very ill and with the responsibility of keeping the logs of the sick and disabled on my own to pass on to the UN. This is a hell of a job i can tell you and there are many deaths that i don’t post to you as they are still awaiting clarification but do post them once they come through. there are many hundreds outstanding so if your sick and disabled watch your back and keep in contact with your friends so not to cause them worry if you go absent

    this is our the sick and disabled 9/11 and no matter how long the fight is with IDS it’s very important to fight every step of the way for justice because if we don’t he will just rid all of the UK’s sick and disabled in the same way as what Hitler set out to do but failed as he only killed half of Germanys sick and disabled before he killed himself

  2. October 10, 2013 10:05 am

    Reblogged this on The Greater Fool.

  3. October 10, 2013 10:50 am

    Is this our legacy and how we will be judged by future generations? Abandoning the vunerable and those in need of help to deep despair. My sympathy to his family, my outrage to the government and my disgust for those who negligently assessed him. This should not and did not have to happen. People should always come before profit. Why have the unions not called a general strike and a vote of no confidence in the PM.

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