Crippen hears that Government’s PIP reviewer disagrees with Coffey’s ‘no duty of care’ claim

So, have you got it?! When Boris say that there wasn’t a party at number ten, he means that there might have been a party, but one which nobody attended. And when work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey says that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) does not have a ‘duty of care’ to benefit claimants, she actually means that she’ll stick to that version as long as nobody leaks information that contradicts her!

Duty of Care ©

This is why I was particularly delighted when our friend at Disability News Service (DNS), John Pring published an article revealing that Paul Gray, a civil servant commissioned by the DWP to review disability benefit assessments and who was recently giving evidence to the Common’s work and pensions committee, told them:

“Yes, of course there is a ‘duty of care’ in any process of this sort to treat people fairly, appropriately and empathetically.”

He said: “Those are all things that I think it is entirely appropriate for the department to undertake and my sense is the department is aware of that sense of duty.”

And to compound the situation DNS has also reported how two earlier DWP documents show civil servants discussing the department’s ‘duty of care’. One recommended that the department should carry out a review of its “ongoing Duty of Care”. Whilst a second document, written to assist DWP staff in dealing with claimants who need support in using its services, stated:

“Where the claimant has a known background of mental illness there are minimum requirements that Jobcentre Plus should be adopting to ensure that we are not found to be neglectful in our ‘duty of care’ towards these claimants.” 

So there we are, or are we? Who knows? (gently bangs his head against the wall!).

Description of cartoon for those using screen reading software

Therese Coffey is standing opposite a man in a grey suit who is holding a DWP press release. On the wall behind them is a sign that reads ‘DWP press office’. Coffey is saying to him: “So, we don’t have a duty of care but if we did then it isn’t the one that we might not have … got it?!” The man, looking bewildered responds with: “ …er?!”

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by A6er on 18/12/2021 at 13:45

    Reblogged this on Tory Britain! and commented:
    Tell me more on the Duty of Care that Coffey now thinks no longer exists in a legal context.
    After John Pring and Richard Butchins’ excellent exposé on the DWP WCA process that the sick and disabled are put through by WCA providers like ATOS, MAXIMUS and CAPITA, we caught a slight glimpse of the misery and neglect dished out to the most vulnerable from last night’s Dispatches program.
    Thousands of deaths and hundreds of suicides down to these companies and especially DWP themselves.
    I’ve had 3 reassessments in previous 12 years and had to go to Tribunals at every one to get my benefits and Motability vehicle returned, despite having spinal nerve damage that causes permanent paralysis in my legs and saddle area. I’m never going to regain feeling or mechanical movement. They have all the medical reports, scans, xrays, Physio reports, consultants and GP reports.
    The Tribunal Judge on my 2nd review castigated DWP for dragging me in despite all my evidence and I ended up with an apology and a ten year light touch award. I was still called in 3 years later. At least they only did a paper review and extended it. The DWP are a law unto themselves and we are just fish in a barrel waiting to die.


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