News

New blog: Health notes – the pressures to reduce life’s complexities to a sheet of paper

November 13, 2017     Leave a Comment

Dr Jens Foell is a GP and teaches at Imperial College London. In a new guest blog for us, he reflects on encounters with patients needing Personal Independence Payment reports.

‘I need a report stating exactly what’s wrong with me,’ is her opening statement. It is the beginning of my afternoon surgery and I have seen her plenty of times, but never had the opportunity for a thorough and meaningful encounter. I am aware of the long back story including various mental health diagnoses and encounters with all sorts of state organisations. I am also aware of the various interlinked conditions … read the blog

Health notes: the pressures to reduce life’s complexities to a sheet of paper

November 13, 2017     Leave a Comment

Dr Jens Foell is a GP and teaches at Imperial College London. Here he reflects on encounters with patients needing Personal Independence Payment reports

‘I need a report stating exactly what’s wrong with me,’ is her opening statement. It is the beginning of my afternoon surgery and I have seen her plenty of times, but never had the opportunity for a thorough and meaningful encounter. I am aware of the long back story including various mental health diagnoses and encounters with all sorts of state organisations. I am also aware of the various interlinked conditions, ranging from obesity to high blood pressure to interactions between the side-effects of antipsychotic medication, their effects on weight and the risk of developing diabetes. And the aching knees. And the poor sleep. And the precarious financial situation.

I could press a special button and the printer would deliver a piece of paper with the main disease codes including a fairly recent statement about her frailty. But she is only 45! The code has been applied by the invisible hand on the basis of her unscheduled care encounters. Read More

Project gives evidence to Universal Credit inquiry

October 26, 2017     Leave a Comment

Our project gave evidence the the Commons Work and Pensions Committee’s inquiry into the rollout of Universal Credit. We told the committee of reports from our interviewees including: frequent financial hardship both in and out of work, poverty, unmanageable debt, rent arrears and eviction. We found that the long waiting period for an initial payment to be processed (5-6 weeks) in combination with payment delays meant many claimants did not have sufficient income for basic necessities.

Our recommendations include: Read More

Guest blog: why conditionality isn’t working

October 23, 2017     Leave a Comment

In a topical blog on the welfare benefit system, researcher Ruth Patrick examines the flawed assumptions behind policies intended to incentivise benefit recipients to take up paid work. She offers five ways in which the current system either does not help or is actively counterproductive – and calls for a rethink. Read her blog

Latest newsletter published

September 28, 2017     Leave a Comment

The latest edition of our email newsletter is out now with details of our international conference next year, our project’s evidence to the National Assembly for Wales, blogs, conference presentations and journal articles. To receive your copy, sign up at the foot of this page.

Project gives evidence to National Assembly for Wales

September 21, 2017     Leave a Comment

The Welfare Conditionality Project gave evidence to a session of the National Assembly for Wales’ Equality, Local Government and Communities committee, held in Cardiff. The committee is inquiring into ‘Poverty in Wales: making the economy work for people on low incomes’, and wanted to hear more about welfare benefits, sanctions and Universal Credit. The project’s Dr Lisa Scullion from the University of Salford, and Dr Sharon Wright, from the University of Glasgow, gave evidence in person. Watch the televised session. Our written evidence was also submitted.

Guest blog: demonising disabled people – public behaviour and attitudes during welfare reform

July 12, 2017     Leave a Comment

In our latest guest opinion, independent researcher Mo Stewart identifies the ease with which public behaviour can be manipulated and changed by government when aided by the press. She argues that although it is welfare service users’ behaviour that government seeks to change, public opinion and behaviour has also changed when influenced by political rhetoric. Read more

Guest blog: the Relative Poverty project

July 6, 2017     Leave a Comment

Photojournalist Les Monaghan has staged a photography show exploring the realities of life for families in his locality. In this guest blog he charts the development of his idea. It began with a news article saying over a million people in the UK were living in destitution. Read his blog

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