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Disabled People Protest Sir Mansel Aylward And Socialist Health Association

September 8, 2015

A press release:

For immediate release: 7th September 2015
The Disabled Activists’ Network Cymru (DAN Cymru) is organising a vigil and protest tomorrow evening to protest the decision of the Socialist Health Association, a body affiliated to the Labour Party, to give a platform to Sir Mansel Aylward, Chair of Public Health Wales and the man behind the Department of Work and Pension’s Work Capability Assessment (WCA).

Data released by the DWP last month show that thousands of people have died after being found “fit to work” by the deeply flawed WCA [1]. The WCA was introduced by Sir Mansel while he was Chief Medical Officer of the DWP. As disabled people we are dismayed at the lack of solidarity shown to us by Socialist Health Association through their decision to give legitimacy to Sir Mansel and the discredited “biopsychosocial model” of disability on which the WCA is based.

It is particularly puzzling to us that a socialist association within the Labour Party feels it is appropriate to give a platform to the UK’s leading proponent of the biopsychosocial model, given that Labour leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn voted against the introduction of the WCA eight years ago and called for it to be scrapped, saying it had caused “immense distress and suffering for thousands of disabled claimants”.

The biopsychosocial model on which the WCA is based is a brainchild of the US medical insurance industry, particularly Unum, which funds Sir Mansel. Unum Provident Insurance were fined $31.7 million in 2003 in a class action law suit in California for running ‘disability denial factories’ in which they use the pseudoscientific and discredited biopsychosocial model to deny medical insurance payouts to thousands of ill and disabled Americans [2].

Dr Liza van Zyl, a disabled member of DAN Cymru, said, “A lot of disabled people who become involved in DAN Cymru initially found us when they were searching the internet for ways to commit suicide because the DWP stopped their income after the WCA found them fit to work. The WCA has been the cause of so much suffering and destitution of disabled people in Wales. It is staggering beyond belief that the Welsh Government has appointed the man responsible for the WCA to chair Public Health Wales.”

Rob Marsh, convenor of DAN Cymru said, “The biopsychosocial model is a cargo-cult science with no credibility in the medical and scientific establishment. The British Medical Association has condemned the WCA and called for it to be scrapped. The BMA has found that eight out of ten GPs report that their patients find the WCA and the DWP-administered benefits system so stressful that it causes mental ill-health in those patients who did not previously have mental-health conditions. And over half of WCA assessments are overturned on appeal, at huge cost to the taxpayer. It is staggering that Aylward is considered an appropriate person to advise the Welsh Government on public health and disability matters”.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2015 1:22 am

    Reblogged this on perfectlyfadeddelusions.

  2. September 8, 2015 1:40 am

    The WCA was changed by the current government to accomodate targets “in line with the welfare reforms” when they renewed Atos’s contract (see the work of Dr Steven Bick, for example) and that is why most of the WCA-related deaths have happened since 2010.

    • Jeffery Davies permalink
      September 8, 2015 6:41 am

      Kj stop there blair set this up not the torys through tony blair and the blairites of this party are still using this piece of human garbage who should be stripped of his titles unbelievable nah its sick jeff3

      • September 8, 2015 7:07 am

        Blair didn’t establish the targets and many deaths have happened since 2010 rather than before then. So I won’t “stop there”. The truth and details happen to matter to me. The targets were added when the tories renewed Atos’s contract, and written into that contract.

        Hate Blair by all means, but get your facts straight. The Tories are responsible for what the Tories have done and continue to do

      • September 8, 2015 7:11 am

        I’ve spoken at length to shadow ministers such as Anne McGuire about the WCA, and Labour had intended that the ESA pilot was to support rather than punish people. Labour had the ILF and other supportive measures to support disabled people who wanted to work, it was Blair that signed us up to the Convention on the rights of the disabled person – without which the UN would not be conducting their current inquiry into the breaches of that convention by the tories. He also gave us the equality act, without which we would not have won the handful of legal cases against the tory reforms. The details like this matter.

  3. September 8, 2015 2:27 am

    Reblogged this on wgrovedotnet.

  4. Jeffery Davies permalink
    September 8, 2015 6:39 am

    Ah the blair babies still alive in this party jeff3

  5. stilloaks permalink
    September 8, 2015 7:04 am

    Reblogged this on DWPExamination..

  6. September 8, 2015 7:48 am

    Reblogged this on Roughtrade Gibson and commented:
    Unum and fines, biopsychosocial model.

  7. September 8, 2015 9:34 am

    I personally (paradoxically I know) have a lot to thank Mansel Aylward and his bio psycho social model – drivel – for.

    He helped me get my rightful entitlement to ESA, because without him, and my knowledge of him, and my hatred for him and where he came from and what he really is and what he stands for.
    I wouldn’t have got the extra necessary points to be awarded ESA and a recommendation from the panel that I am not assessed for at least two years.

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