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HCPC & Nursing Council - Please withdraw support for Work Capability Assessments

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Dear HCPC and Nursing & Midwifery Council.

 You are both regulatory bodies, set up to the protect the public. The Nursing & Midwifery council hold accountability and fairness as their values.

​The HCPC standards requires service users to be treated with respect; that you listen to service users and carers and take account of their needs and wishes.

 You must make sure that the safety & well-being of service users always comes before professional or other loyalties.

 You must make sure your conduct justifies trust and confidence in you and your profession.

 Nurses and professionals under HCPC regulation conduct Work Capability Assessments (WCA) for companies such as Maximus, directed by the Department of Work and Pensions.

​With these standards in mind, what is your response to a UN inquiry whose  findings report that the welfare reforms have led to a ‘grave and systemic violation of disabled people’s rights, and this cannot be done without the support and the inclusion of healthcare professionals in the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) as part of the benefits process.

​The WCA is not fit for purpose. From Dec 2011 to Feb 2014, 2,380 people died shortly after being declared 'fit for work' and having their benefits stopped.

​In the same period, 9,200 people in receipt of ESA were found 'fit to work in future' and died shortly afterwards. These statistics are from a Freedom of Information request to the DWP.

The WCA cannot work if the healthcare professionals conducting the assessment refuse to participate because it violates their code of ethics.

Please withdraw your support for this dehumanisng and harmful process and save people’s lives, and withdraw the protected title of professionals working for Maximus, the current providers of these assessments for the government.

Here is a list of people who have died directly due to welfare reform, including those who have gone through the WCA process. http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/uploads/attachment/456/work-capability-assessment-deaths-and-suicides.pdf

​Every day more information of the humiliation and unethical treatment of disabled people during this assessment is coming to light. Most recently, some people with mental health conditions are being asked why they haven’t killed themselves yet. https://www.thecanary.co/2017/03/07/more-people-come-forward-in-the-dwp-kill-yourself-scandal/ and other reports highlight how WCA negative affects mental health.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/fit-to-work-wca-tests-mental-health-dwp-work-capability-assessment-benefits-esa-pip-a7623686.html

​We, the undersigned, have no confidence in the Nursing Council and HCPC if the professionals they represent continue to conduct these assessments. We await a response to our concerns.



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