Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Latest in Guardian - suicide threats guidelines and 'timebombs'

An interesting post in the Guardian about the Jobcentre being given guidelines on how to deal with claimants' suicide threats'. The anonymous Jobcentre employee said "We were a bit shocked. Are we preparing ourselves to be like the Samaritans? The fact that we've dealt with the public for so many years without such guidance has made people feel a bit fearful about what's coming." An appeals officer for Disability Solutions, who represents claimants who try to overturn decisions made following work capability assessment tests that they are fit for work, spoke of clients who were taken to hospital and sectioned after decisions made that they were fit for work. The article also linked back to the one I'd posted last month about the target culture.

There were also links to this from last November about "three ticking timebombs" namely the public sector job losses and changes to income support and incapacity benefit which would put a huge strain on Jobcentre Plus. Interestingly this is written by someone who started work for the Jobcentre expecting to see the media stereotyped "workshy and feckless" and commenting on the reality of how different this turned out, citing the frustrations of those who genuinely need help, and imminent reductions of jobcentre staffing.
This comment sums it up with ironic humour.

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