Coalition policies threaten health of Hackney residents
At the Health in Hackney Scrutiny Commission which I chair, the draft priorities for the local Health and Wellbeing Profile were presented last night.
Last year the local healthcare professionals were prioritising preparing to deal with an avian flu pandemic.
This year they list their top priority as:
"mitigating any adverse impacts arising from welfare reform on the health and wellbeing of local by supporting people to cope with changes in their circumstances and income (including the impact of work capability assessments on the large local population receiving incapacity benefit)."
So it seems that their judgement as neutral civil servants is that the Coalition's push to reduce the number of people on incapacity benefit (in Hackney this includes lots of people with mental health issues as well as physical disabilities) won't get them all into jobs, in many cases it will merely make already very poor people destitute, and then they will get even more ill.
What a great piece of joined-up government. An attempt to save DWP money looks like it will end up costing the NHS, council social services and maybe even the police (all of them absorbing massive cuts) loads of money, whilst meanwhile adding to the distress and misery in the lives of some of the most marginalised people in society.
O brave new world! That has such people in it!