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Amber Rudd Finally Responds To Death Of Stephen Smith

May 21, 2019

Benefits secretary Amber Rudd has finally acknowledged the death of six-stone Liverpool man Stephen Smith – who died after being repeatedly and wrongly denied vital support by her department.

Mr Smith died last month following a gruelling battle with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) – who repeatedly denied him benefits despite numerous doctors warning of his dramatically failing health.

In the end, 64-year-old Mr Smith – who weighed just six stone at the time – had to get a pass out of hospital to allow him to fight the DWP at a tribunal and finally win back the benefits he had been denied.

After his story was made public, the DWP also agreed to pay him back around £4,000 in backpay that he should never had been denied.

Sadly, this money arrived too late for Mr Smith – and was instead used to pay for his funeral.

The ECHO has been following his story for some time – and we have been repeatedly asking for Ms Rudd to respond to how he was treated following his tragic death.

So far, we have only been sent generic responses from a DWP spokesperson.

But Birkenhead MP Frank Field has also taken up the case, alongside the ECHO.

Mr Field is the chair of the Work and Pensions Committee – and has written to Ms Rudd asking for a full inquiry into Mr Smith’s case.

And in a response received today – it looks like that is now underway.

Ms Rudd writes: “This is a grave and tragic case. I speak on behalf of the Department when I say that we are very sorry to hear of the experience Mr Smith had and that our thoughts continue to be with his friends and family.

“You asked for an official inquiry into this matter. I can advise you that an urgent Internal Process Review has been commissioned on Mr Smith’s case, which will be complete by the end of May.”

Ms Rudd explains that Internal Process Reviews ‘enable full and open scrutiny of cases internally’ and that a ‘factual sequence of events will be put together for Mr Smith’s case and will be provided to a panel of subject experts within the Department.’

However, despite Mr Field’s call for a public inquiry it appears that Mr Smith’s case will only be reviewed within the DWP.

The Secretary of State’s letter continues: “This will be objectively reviewed against the customer journey and what should have happened – including safeguarding processes.

“This will help us to understand what happened, with recommendations for improvements and changes to be shared with the Permanent Secretary following this review.”

Ms Rudd said she recognises the ‘gravity of this case’ and will consider any further steps necessary following the outcome of the review – and will notify Mr Field.

She concludes by saying that Mr Smith’s case has her ‘personal attention’ and that ‘if there is a need to take further action, it will be taken.’

 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2019 12:34 pm

    Labour started the ball rolling, with ATOS being brought in to deny benefits. The Tories continued the onslaught, using the financial crisis to further attack the benefits system. Ken Loach described the Tories as practising “conscience cruelty” – Esther McVey was a typical, nasty example of this. The free press must continue to highlight cases, such as this, in the hope that change will come.

  2. May 21, 2019 2:53 pm

    So where are the Police???
    Where are Social Services???

    Merseyside Police – https://www.merseyside.police.uk/
    Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner –
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merseyside_Police_and_Crime_Commissioner
    “The current incumbent is Jane Kennedy, who represents the Labour Party.”


    WCA (Atos/Capita/Maximus) criminal QUACKS Union UNISON –
    HAS AN OFFICE *IN* Merseyside Police Headquarters –
    https://branches.unison.org.uk/branch/merseyside-police-unison-br/

    So when are the local council criminal nonce vermin going to start DOING THEIR JOBS?
    https://liverpool.gov.uk/social-care/adult-social-care/
    https://liverpool.gov.uk/social-care/adult-social-care/keeping-adults-safe/adults-at-risk/

    Mayor of Liverpool (spot the nonce) Joe Anderson, OBE –
    http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/mgUserInfo.aspx?UID=222

    Joe Anderson, OBE – Member of WCA (Atos/Capita/Maximus) criminal QUACKS Union UNISON –
    http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/mgDeclarationSubmission.aspx?UID=222&HID=3396&FID=0&HPID=31551929


    About time these criminal nonces were put on the ‘DWP Diet’

    What those Abusing, Neglectful, Hate Criminal Nonce Filth masturbate over –

    Homicide: Murder and Manslaughter –
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/h_to_k/homicide_murder_and_manslaughter/

    Fraud Act 2006 –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/35/contents

    Misconduct in Public Office –
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/misconduct_in_public_office/

    Criminal Justice Act 1988 – Torture
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/33/part/XI/crossheading/torture

    Criminal Attempts Act 1981 –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/47/contents

    ABH/GBH
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/offences_against_the_person/

    Perverting The Course of Justice –
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/public_justice_offences_incorporating_the_charging_standard/

    Assisting an Offender – section 4(1) Criminal Law Act 1967 –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1967/58/section/4

    Concealing an Arrestable Offence: s.5 Criminal Law Act 1967 –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1967/58/section/5

    Serious Crime Act 2007 – Encouraging or Assisting Crime –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007/27/part/2

    Accessories and Abettors Act 1861 –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict/24-25/94/crossheading/as-to-abettors-in-misdemeanors

    Misconduct in Public Office –
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/misconduct_in_public_office/

    Care Act 2014 – Safeguarding adults at risk of abuse or neglect –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/23/section/42/enacted

    Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 –
    Ill-treatment or wilful neglect: care worker offence –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/2/section/20/enacted
    Ill-treatment or wilful neglect: care provider offence –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/2/section/21/enacted

    UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
    http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CAT.aspx

    UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – Articles
    https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities-2.html

    Disability Hate Crime – Criminal Justice Act 2003 (section 146) –
    Increase in sentences for aggravation related to disability –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/44/section/146

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  1. Amber Rudd Finally Responds To Death Of Stephen Smith — Same Difference – Introverted but Socially Concerned

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