Kevan Jones MP told the House of Commons yesterday that this Government must drastically overhaul the Work Capability Assessment system, as it is not working for those whom it is supposed to serve.
Currently, a company called Atos carry out the Work Capability Assessments in order to see whether disabled people are fit for work or whether they should be allowed to claim disability benefits. But Atos have criticised by many MPs and campaigners – including Kevan Jones – for doing more harm than good, even resulting in the deaths of many individuals, particularly those with mental health issues who have their condition aggravated by the Assessment process.
“The system is not working for those suffering from mental health conditions.
“There are a number of well-publicised cases where people have taken their own lives because of this system. It is not too putting it too strongly to say that this coalition Government have blood on their hands for the deaths of those individuals.
We need a new start for people with mental health conditions. We need to take them out of the system and we need a separate work stream for dealing with them. They should be assessed by people who are qualified psychiatrists and people who understand mental health. If we do not do that, we will continue to have the torture—I will use that word—that people are going through in this system […]. If the Minister can have that on his conscience, so be it; I do not think that I could if I were in his shoes.”
You can read Kevan’s full speech, and the rest of the debate here: