Sister demands apology for brother’s death by starvation

Cathie Wood, from North Oxford, wants an apology over her brother Mark’s death

Cathie Wood, from North Oxford, wants an apology over her brother Mark’s death

First published in News
Last updated
The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

THE family of a man who starved to death after his benefits were cut has demanded an apology from the Government.

Mark Wood, from Bampton, weighed just 5st 8lb when he died of malnutrition in August last year – four months after most of his benefits were stopped.

Atos Healthcare, which assesses people’s ability to work on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), assessed that the 44-year-old was fit to work despite the fact that he had a number of mental health problems.

Now his family have met their local MP Nicola Blackwood to recruit her in their campaign for the system to be changed and for an apology to be made.

Mr Wood’s sister Cathie, 48, said: “The Coalition Government says its reforms help the most vulnerable, and he was the most vulnerable. We just hope that he didn’t struggle in vain.

“It is too late for my brother. I am wanting to make sure that the Government is aware of, and building into its system, how they deal with mentally ill people.

“We have to ask the Government to put in place safeguards for people with mental illnesses because there were none. We also want a full apology to my family for Mark’s death.”

Ms Wood, who lives in North Oxford, said the family was considering making a legal claim against both Atos and the DWP. It is being helped by civil rights charity Liberty.

The family is also being assisted by Suzy Drohan, of Oxfordshire Welfare Rights, based in Barton, which is advising them on submitting an appeal against the decision to assess Mr Wood as fit to work.

In January last year, Atos Healthcare assessed Mr Wood as healthy and able to work and his benefits were cut to £40 a week.

An inquest at Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court heard he was not able to pay his rent or utility bills and between April, around the time his benefits were cut, and the time of his death, his body mass index plunged from 14.1 to about 11.5.

Ms Blackwood said: “This is a very tragic case and, after meeting Mark Wood’s family, I have agreed with them I will continue to do whatever I can to help them find answers.

“So far the DWP responses have not been satisfactory so I am seeking a meeting with a DWP minister to discuss the case in detail.”

A spokesman for the DWP said it would not comment at this stage. Atos spokesman Tessa David said: “Our sympathies are with the family of Mr Wood.”

The Oxford Mail has been attempting to get a comment from Mr Wood’s MP, Prime Minister David Cameron, for a week, without success.

Comments (27)

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10:33am Mon 10 Mar 14

jonny1976 says...

This is a tragic waste of a life but how come the family come forward now. Why did they not help him whilst he was alive?
This is a tragic waste of a life but how come the family come forward now. Why did they not help him whilst he was alive? jonny1976
  • Score: 3

11:03am Mon 10 Mar 14

Oxonian says...

jonny1976 wrote:
This is a tragic waste of a life but how come the family come forward now. Why did they not help him whilst he was alive?
If you read the original report, it says: 'His mother Jill Gant, from Abingdon, explained to the coroner that the family only found out Mr Wood did not have any money a few weeks before he died and sent him £250.

Ms Wood said: “By then it was too late, he was so fragile and unstable. We didn’t realise how bad things were.

“He found it difficult to accept help from his family because he tried to live independently so he gave the money away.'

In cases like this, it is not always possible for the family to help, especially if the patient rejects help.
[quote][p][bold]jonny1976[/bold] wrote: This is a tragic waste of a life but how come the family come forward now. Why did they not help him whilst he was alive?[/p][/quote]If you read the original report, it says: 'His mother Jill Gant, from Abingdon, explained to the coroner that the family only found out Mr Wood did not have any money a few weeks before he died and sent him £250. Ms Wood said: “By then it was too late, he was so fragile and unstable. We didn’t realise how bad things were. “He found it difficult to accept help from his family because he tried to live independently so he gave the money away.' In cases like this, it is not always possible for the family to help, especially if the patient rejects help. Oxonian
  • Score: 12

12:33pm Mon 10 Mar 14

King Joke says...

ATOS are just doing the dirty work of the Government that hired them. Rumour has it they are desperate to get out of the DWP contract because of the bad publicity it is attracting. I'm not surprised.
ATOS are just doing the dirty work of the Government that hired them. Rumour has it they are desperate to get out of the DWP contract because of the bad publicity it is attracting. I'm not surprised. King Joke
  • Score: 0

12:48pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Bigland says...

A sad case, but I'm as curious as jonny1976 as to what his family were doing for him. The claim he was trying to live independently is derailed by the fact he was so reliant on benefits. Where were those he was closest to, while he was becoming weaker and weaker?
A sad case, but I'm as curious as jonny1976 as to what his family were doing for him. The claim he was trying to live independently is derailed by the fact he was so reliant on benefits. Where were those he was closest to, while he was becoming weaker and weaker? Bigland
  • Score: 1

1:00pm Tue 11 Mar 14

King Joke says...

There's a big difference between trying to do without family handouts, and depending on benefits you're jolly well entitled to. What are people who are too ill to work supposed to do? Live on air?
There's a big difference between trying to do without family handouts, and depending on benefits you're jolly well entitled to. What are people who are too ill to work supposed to do? Live on air? King Joke
  • Score: 1

1:22pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Oxonian says...

Bigland wrote:
A sad case, but I'm as curious as jonny1976 as to what his family were doing for him. The claim he was trying to live independently is derailed by the fact he was so reliant on benefits. Where were those he was closest to, while he was becoming weaker and weaker?
Please read (or re-read) what his mother said, which I quoted in my posting., which makes it clear that the family wanted to help but he tended to reject direct human help.

You say "The claim he was trying to live independently is derailed by the fact he was so reliant on benefits" but he might well have accepted the benefits coming through the post while feeling unable to ask for the support of actual people.

Try to understand, please.
[quote][p][bold]Bigland[/bold] wrote: A sad case, but I'm as curious as jonny1976 as to what his family were doing for him. The claim he was trying to live independently is derailed by the fact he was so reliant on benefits. Where were those he was closest to, while he was becoming weaker and weaker?[/p][/quote]Please read (or re-read) what his mother said, which I quoted in my posting., which makes it clear that the family wanted to help but he tended to reject direct human help. You say "The claim he was trying to live independently is derailed by the fact he was so reliant on benefits" but he might well have accepted the benefits coming through the post while feeling unable to ask for the support of actual people. Try to understand, please. Oxonian
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Bigland says...

King Joke wrote:
There's a big difference between trying to do without family handouts, and depending on benefits you're jolly well entitled to. What are people who are too ill to work supposed to do? Live on air?
I'm not sure there is much of a difference. People who are too ill to work have to live off handouts, whether from family, friends or strangers. Depending on their illness, they might also need someone to look out for them in other ways.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: There's a big difference between trying to do without family handouts, and depending on benefits you're jolly well entitled to. What are people who are too ill to work supposed to do? Live on air?[/p][/quote]I'm not sure there is much of a difference. People who are too ill to work have to live off handouts, whether from family, friends or strangers. Depending on their illness, they might also need someone to look out for them in other ways. Bigland
  • Score: 3

1:50pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Bigland says...

Oxonian wrote:
Bigland wrote:
A sad case, but I'm as curious as jonny1976 as to what his family were doing for him. The claim he was trying to live independently is derailed by the fact he was so reliant on benefits. Where were those he was closest to, while he was becoming weaker and weaker?
Please read (or re-read) what his mother said, which I quoted in my posting., which makes it clear that the family wanted to help but he tended to reject direct human help.

You say "The claim he was trying to live independently is derailed by the fact he was so reliant on benefits" but he might well have accepted the benefits coming through the post while feeling unable to ask for the support of actual people.

Try to understand, please.
I have no issues with what Mr Wood believed; the piece states he had a number of mental health problems, so he can hardly be held to account for his thoughts and actions. But those who should have been looking out for him don't seem to have been, and he was left alone long enough to be able to starve himself to death. To blame Government while not blaming those closest to / responsible for him seems to be missing a big part of what happened, and isn't likely to prevent such things happening again.
[quote][p][bold]Oxonian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bigland[/bold] wrote: A sad case, but I'm as curious as jonny1976 as to what his family were doing for him. The claim he was trying to live independently is derailed by the fact he was so reliant on benefits. Where were those he was closest to, while he was becoming weaker and weaker?[/p][/quote]Please read (or re-read) what his mother said, which I quoted in my posting., which makes it clear that the family wanted to help but he tended to reject direct human help. You say "The claim he was trying to live independently is derailed by the fact he was so reliant on benefits" but he might well have accepted the benefits coming through the post while feeling unable to ask for the support of actual people. Try to understand, please.[/p][/quote]I have no issues with what Mr Wood believed; the piece states he had a number of mental health problems, so he can hardly be held to account for his thoughts and actions. But those who should have been looking out for him don't seem to have been, and he was left alone long enough to be able to starve himself to death. To blame Government while not blaming those closest to / responsible for him seems to be missing a big part of what happened, and isn't likely to prevent such things happening again. Bigland
  • Score: 2

2:13pm Tue 11 Mar 14

King Joke says...

People become estranged from their families - this happens. They tried helping but his mental state meant he did not want their help. We have a system to support people like this, those without families or are unable to relate to them, and this system is failing because the Government meddled in it. THis is 'the big part of what happened'.
People become estranged from their families - this happens. They tried helping but his mental state meant he did not want their help. We have a system to support people like this, those without families or are unable to relate to them, and this system is failing because the Government meddled in it. THis is 'the big part of what happened'. King Joke
  • Score: -1

2:39pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Oxonian says...

Bigland wrote:
Oxonian wrote:
Bigland wrote:
A sad case, but I'm as curious as jonny1976 as to what his family were doing for him. The claim he was trying to live independently is derailed by the fact he was so reliant on benefits. Where were those he was closest to, while he was becoming weaker and weaker?
Please read (or re-read) what his mother said, which I quoted in my posting., which makes it clear that the family wanted to help but he tended to reject direct human help.

You say "The claim he was trying to live independently is derailed by the fact he was so reliant on benefits" but he might well have accepted the benefits coming through the post while feeling unable to ask for the support of actual people.

Try to understand, please.
I have no issues with what Mr Wood believed; the piece states he had a number of mental health problems, so he can hardly be held to account for his thoughts and actions. But those who should have been looking out for him don't seem to have been, and he was left alone long enough to be able to starve himself to death. To blame Government while not blaming those closest to / responsible for him seems to be missing a big part of what happened, and isn't likely to prevent such things happening again.
Bigland: I asked you to try to understand this sad case, but you don't seem to be trying very hard.

The original report said "Weighing just 5st 8lbs when he died of malnutrition in August last year, Mr Wood had obsessive compulsive disorder, Aspergers syndrome, phobias of food, pollution, paint fumes, and social situations, and cognitive behavioural problems."

With all those problems, it's not surprising that Mark's family found it hard to get through to him. When they discovered that his benefits had been taken away, Mark's family gave him money. The coroner said: "We do know cash was provided prior to death, but because of his phobias he didn’t use that cash to buy food.”
[quote][p][bold]Bigland[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Oxonian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bigland[/bold] wrote: A sad case, but I'm as curious as jonny1976 as to what his family were doing for him. The claim he was trying to live independently is derailed by the fact he was so reliant on benefits. Where were those he was closest to, while he was becoming weaker and weaker?[/p][/quote]Please read (or re-read) what his mother said, which I quoted in my posting., which makes it clear that the family wanted to help but he tended to reject direct human help. You say "The claim he was trying to live independently is derailed by the fact he was so reliant on benefits" but he might well have accepted the benefits coming through the post while feeling unable to ask for the support of actual people. Try to understand, please.[/p][/quote]I have no issues with what Mr Wood believed; the piece states he had a number of mental health problems, so he can hardly be held to account for his thoughts and actions. But those who should have been looking out for him don't seem to have been, and he was left alone long enough to be able to starve himself to death. To blame Government while not blaming those closest to / responsible for him seems to be missing a big part of what happened, and isn't likely to prevent such things happening again.[/p][/quote]Bigland: I asked you to try to understand this sad case, but you don't seem to be trying very hard. The original report said "Weighing just 5st 8lbs when he died of malnutrition in August last year, Mr Wood had obsessive compulsive disorder, Aspergers syndrome, phobias of food, pollution, paint fumes, and social situations, and cognitive behavioural problems." With all those problems, it's not surprising that Mark's family found it hard to get through to him. When they discovered that his benefits had been taken away, Mark's family gave him money. The coroner said: "We do know cash was provided prior to death, but because of his phobias he didn’t use that cash to buy food.” Oxonian
  • Score: 0

2:41pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Bigland says...

King Joke wrote:
People become estranged from their families - this happens. They tried helping but his mental state meant he did not want their help. We have a system to support people like this, those without families or are unable to relate to them, and this system is failing because the Government meddled in it. THis is 'the big part of what happened'.
All I have read in the reports is that Mr Wood's deterioration in health began with the stopping of benefits, not due to any loss of any surrogate family. Was he estranged from his family? Who was looking out for him? Was he in the care of some health official?
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: People become estranged from their families - this happens. They tried helping but his mental state meant he did not want their help. We have a system to support people like this, those without families or are unable to relate to them, and this system is failing because the Government meddled in it. THis is 'the big part of what happened'.[/p][/quote]All I have read in the reports is that Mr Wood's deterioration in health began with the stopping of benefits, not due to any loss of any surrogate family. Was he estranged from his family? Who was looking out for him? Was he in the care of some health official? Bigland
  • Score: 1

3:11pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Bigland says...

Oxonian: I'm not quite clear what it is you're saying that I'm missing. I think I understand the facts of the case that have been presented in the Oxford Mail. We perhaps disagree on the ultimate cause.

The original headline, "Man starved after benefits were cut," can do nothing but suggest Mr Wood starved because he couldn't afford to eat. I suspect many are using this as a stick to beat the Government with, while others might use it to redirect the blame away from themselves. I see it as an indictment of our crumbling communities and over-reliance on Government to do the jobs we used to do for each other.

Mr Wood certainly seems to have been someone who needed far more care and attention than he received from anyone. I'm not at all surprised when a bureaucratic monolith fails to notice the individual it's running over; such systems aren't designed (nor do I believe they can be) to efficiently weigh up the affects of every action on every person. But when communities increasingly shun their responsibilities, believing such things are now the Government's problem, that's something we should be concerned about. But everyone's too busy blaming the faceless bureaucrats.
Oxonian: I'm not quite clear what it is you're saying that I'm missing. I think I understand the facts of the case that have been presented in the Oxford Mail. We perhaps disagree on the ultimate cause. The original headline, "Man starved after benefits were cut," can do nothing but suggest Mr Wood starved because he couldn't afford to eat. I suspect many are using this as a stick to beat the Government with, while others might use it to redirect the blame away from themselves. I see it as an indictment of our crumbling communities and over-reliance on Government to do the jobs we used to do for each other. Mr Wood certainly seems to have been someone who needed far more care and attention than he received from anyone. I'm not at all surprised when a bureaucratic monolith fails to notice the individual it's running over; such systems aren't designed (nor do I believe they can be) to efficiently weigh up the affects of every action on every person. But when communities increasingly shun their responsibilities, believing such things are now the Government's problem, that's something we should be concerned about. But everyone's too busy blaming the faceless bureaucrats. Bigland
  • Score: 2

3:21pm Tue 11 Mar 14

King Joke says...

'Faceless bureaucrats' have for a number of generations set up systems, 'monoliths' if you like, to catch and care for people who are not capable of looking after themselves and it's worked very well.

It's the not-faceless and all-too-personality-
driven politicians who are determined to smash this system up for a quick headline. The privateers who seized on this as a lucrative business opportunity are equally culpable, and are only now trying to back-pedal out of the mess they made for themselves.
'Faceless bureaucrats' have for a number of generations set up systems, 'monoliths' if you like, to catch and care for people who are not capable of looking after themselves and it's worked very well. It's the not-faceless and all-too-personality- driven politicians who are determined to smash this system up for a quick headline. The privateers who seized on this as a lucrative business opportunity are equally culpable, and are only now trying to back-pedal out of the mess they made for themselves. King Joke
  • Score: 1

3:46pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Bigland says...

"..catch and care for people...and it's worked very well."

That's debatable, but not wholly relevant: as I understand it, the only system involved here was one that was in the business of deciding who gets benefits, and how much. Mr Wood wasn't being given care in any other sense by Atos and DWP. His GP theorises it was the stress of losing this money that triggered his decline in health. What other triggers were out there that might have caused him stress with similar results? Who was looking out to make sure he was coping with his health problems, one of which was a phobia connected with food?
"..catch and care for people...and it's worked very well." That's debatable, but not wholly relevant: as I understand it, the only system involved here was one that was in the business of deciding who gets benefits, and how much. Mr Wood wasn't being given care in any other sense by Atos and DWP. His GP theorises it was the stress of losing this money that triggered his decline in health. What other triggers were out there that might have caused him stress with similar results? Who was looking out to make sure he was coping with his health problems, one of which was a phobia connected with food? Bigland
  • Score: 1

4:34pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Dr Martin says...

Cathie is quick to point the finger of blame at the government, but is is solely their fault, cathie?
Cathie is quick to point the finger of blame at the government, but is is solely their fault, cathie? Dr Martin
  • Score: 1

5:02pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Oxonian says...

Bigland wrote:
Oxonian: I'm not quite clear what it is you're saying that I'm missing. I think I understand the facts of the case that have been presented in the Oxford Mail. We perhaps disagree on the ultimate cause.

The original headline, "Man starved after benefits were cut," can do nothing but suggest Mr Wood starved because he couldn't afford to eat. I suspect many are using this as a stick to beat the Government with, while others might use it to redirect the blame away from themselves. I see it as an indictment of our crumbling communities and over-reliance on Government to do the jobs we used to do for each other.

Mr Wood certainly seems to have been someone who needed far more care and attention than he received from anyone. I'm not at all surprised when a bureaucratic monolith fails to notice the individual it's running over; such systems aren't designed (nor do I believe they can be) to efficiently weigh up the affects of every action on every person. But when communities increasingly shun their responsibilities, believing such things are now the Government's problem, that's something we should be concerned about. But everyone's too busy blaming the faceless bureaucrats.
Bigland: What I'm trying to get across to you is that this poor man suffered multiple ailments which may well have prevented him from communicating with his family - or he may even have pushed them away. He may also have refused help from any other quarter. For example, Asperger's syndrome can make some people uncommunicative or withdrawn. Obsessive compulsive disorder can make people very "difficult".

If Mr Wood's GP thought that the withdrawal of benefits contributed to Mr Wood's death, I am inclined to believe a qualified physician rather than other people who assume they know better, but never met Mr Wood.

If nothing I've said helps you to be more understanding, let's look at the people who originated the decline which led to Mr Wood''s death: ATOS, who - after a short interview - proclaimed a man with all those disabilities to be fit for work. Can't you see that a man with all those problems was unlikely to be fit for work - and that there was therefore no reason to withdraw his benefits?
[quote][p][bold]Bigland[/bold] wrote: Oxonian: I'm not quite clear what it is you're saying that I'm missing. I think I understand the facts of the case that have been presented in the Oxford Mail. We perhaps disagree on the ultimate cause. The original headline, "Man starved after benefits were cut," can do nothing but suggest Mr Wood starved because he couldn't afford to eat. I suspect many are using this as a stick to beat the Government with, while others might use it to redirect the blame away from themselves. I see it as an indictment of our crumbling communities and over-reliance on Government to do the jobs we used to do for each other. Mr Wood certainly seems to have been someone who needed far more care and attention than he received from anyone. I'm not at all surprised when a bureaucratic monolith fails to notice the individual it's running over; such systems aren't designed (nor do I believe they can be) to efficiently weigh up the affects of every action on every person. But when communities increasingly shun their responsibilities, believing such things are now the Government's problem, that's something we should be concerned about. But everyone's too busy blaming the faceless bureaucrats.[/p][/quote]Bigland: What I'm trying to get across to you is that this poor man suffered multiple ailments which may well have prevented him from communicating with his family - or he may even have pushed them away. He may also have refused help from any other quarter. For example, Asperger's syndrome can make some people uncommunicative or withdrawn. Obsessive compulsive disorder can make people very "difficult". If Mr Wood's GP thought that the withdrawal of benefits contributed to Mr Wood's death, I am inclined to believe a qualified physician rather than other people who assume they know better, but never met Mr Wood. If nothing I've said helps you to be more understanding, let's look at the people who originated the decline which led to Mr Wood''s death: ATOS, who - after a short interview - proclaimed a man with all those disabilities to be fit for work. Can't you see that a man with all those problems was unlikely to be fit for work - and that there was therefore no reason to withdraw his benefits? Oxonian
  • Score: 0

8:56pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Bigland says...

From the evidence available to me, I accept Mr Wood was most likely not able to work and therefore his benefits should not have stopped. I also accept his family might well have been cut off from him due to his condition and therefore didn't keep close tabs on him. And I have no reason to doubt his GP believes that the withdrawal of benefits was a contributing factor to Mr Wood's decline in mental health (that's not quite the same as the GP saying the withdrawal contributed to Mr Wood's death, but I don't think, based on the Mail's reports, that that's what the GP is saying).

While ATOS might be guilty of incompetence, none of the above makes them responsible for Mr Wood's death in my view. Mr Wood had such severe health problems he was unable to provide for himself yet, not only was he able to starve himself to death, he was last seen alive nearly two weeks before his body was found. Did no one feel any sense of responsibility towards him? If he did refuse help from anyone, and no one was concerned about that, it's perhaps fair to say no one could see this coming.
From the evidence available to me, I accept Mr Wood was most likely not able to work and therefore his benefits should not have stopped. I also accept his family might well have been cut off from him due to his condition and therefore didn't keep close tabs on him. And I have no reason to doubt his GP believes that the withdrawal of benefits was a contributing factor to Mr Wood's decline in mental health (that's not quite the same as the GP saying the withdrawal contributed to Mr Wood's death, but I don't think, based on the Mail's reports, that that's what the GP is saying). While ATOS might be guilty of incompetence, none of the above makes them responsible for Mr Wood's death in my view. Mr Wood had such severe health problems he was unable to provide for himself yet, not only was he able to starve himself to death, he was last seen alive nearly two weeks before his body was found. Did no one feel any sense of responsibility towards him? If he did refuse help from anyone, and no one was concerned about that, it's perhaps fair to say no one could see this coming. Bigland
  • Score: 1

10:06pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Oxonian says...

Bigland says "I have no reason to doubt his GP believes that the withdrawal of benefits was a contributing factor to Mr Wood's decline in mental health (that's not quite the same as the GP saying the withdrawal contributed to Mr Wood's death, but I don't think, based on the Mail's reports, that that's what the GP is saying."
Mr Wood's GP said "“Something pushed him or affected him in the time before he died and the only thing I can put my finger on is the pressure he felt he was under when his benefits were removed.”

Bigland says: "it's perhaps fair to say no one could see this coming."
I say: ATOS and the DWP might have seen this coming, as they left Mr Wood with only £40 a week to live on.
Bigland says "I have no reason to doubt his GP believes that the withdrawal of benefits was a contributing factor to Mr Wood's decline in mental health (that's not quite the same as the GP saying the withdrawal contributed to Mr Wood's death, but I don't think, based on the Mail's reports, that that's what the GP is saying." Mr Wood's GP said "“Something pushed him or affected him in the time before he died and the only thing I can put my finger on is the pressure he felt he was under when his benefits were removed.” Bigland says: "it's perhaps fair to say no one could see this coming." I say: ATOS and the DWP might have seen this coming, as they left Mr Wood with only £40 a week to live on. Oxonian
  • Score: 0

10:37pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Bigland says...

"ATOS and the DWP might have seen this coming, as they left Mr Wood with only £40 a week to live on."

If you can prove that, you'll have quite a story on your hands. But I imagine, as they had concluded Mr Wood could work, they had no reason to think he would stop eating. His own family knew most of his benefits had been stopped a few weeks before he died, and there's no suggestion they suspected he would react this way. So why anyone would think Government agencies would be any better at predicting it escapes me.
"ATOS and the DWP might have seen this coming, as they left Mr Wood with only £40 a week to live on." If you can prove that, you'll have quite a story on your hands. But I imagine, as they had concluded Mr Wood could work, they had no reason to think he would stop eating. His own family knew most of his benefits had been stopped a few weeks before he died, and there's no suggestion they suspected he would react this way. So why anyone would think Government agencies would be any better at predicting it escapes me. Bigland
  • Score: 1

9:24am Wed 12 Mar 14

King Joke says...

Of course they might expect him to stop eating - £40/week doesn't leave you with any money for food once you've paid your rent. How are people supposed to live on that? It should have been bl''dy obvious to them he wasn't able to work, but they are notorious for cutting people's benefits, and the DWP are happy to let them. THere will be more of these.
Of course they might expect him to stop eating - £40/week doesn't leave you with any money for food once you've paid your rent. How are people supposed to live on that? It should have been bl''dy obvious to them he wasn't able to work, but they are notorious for cutting people's benefits, and the DWP are happy to let them. THere will be more of these. King Joke
  • Score: 1

9:56pm Wed 12 Mar 14

Larry McCauley says...

Here's a petition demanding justice for Mark....please sign and share, Thank you so much!

http://www.change.or
g/petitions/charge-a
tos-dwp-with-corpora
te-manslaughter-re-t
he-starvation-of-mar
k-wood-after-he-was-
declared-fit-for-wor
k
Here's a petition demanding justice for Mark....please sign and share, Thank you so much! http://www.change.or g/petitions/charge-a tos-dwp-with-corpora te-manslaughter-re-t he-starvation-of-mar k-wood-after-he-was- declared-fit-for-wor k Larry McCauley
  • Score: -1

2:24pm Thu 13 Mar 14

gans shakes says...

Bigland wrote:
"ATOS and the DWP might have seen this coming, as they left Mr Wood with only £40 a week to live on."

If you can prove that, you'll have quite a story on your hands. But I imagine, as they had concluded Mr Wood could work, they had no reason to think he would stop eating. His own family knew most of his benefits had been stopped a few weeks before he died, and there's no suggestion they suspected he would react this way. So why anyone would think Government agencies would be any better at predicting it escapes me.
I am saddened to read your assumption that Atos, the DWP, and Mr Duncan-Smith, that the WCA is not a quota-based system. If their system truly deemed a Claimant as "Fit For Work" why have they continually tightened a threshold, eliminated the representation of Legal Aid, and see a 3% transfer rate as a successful Assessment? This rate is identical to their rate of their transfer from Claimant to gainfully employed individuals. Perhaps it is best that you read about the results of this present failed governmental farce:

http://www.theguardi
an.com/politics/2014
/mar/10/dwp-cuts-wel
fare-reforms-risk-le
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[quote][p][bold]Bigland[/bold] wrote: "ATOS and the DWP might have seen this coming, as they left Mr Wood with only £40 a week to live on." If you can prove that, you'll have quite a story on your hands. But I imagine, as they had concluded Mr Wood could work, they had no reason to think he would stop eating. His own family knew most of his benefits had been stopped a few weeks before he died, and there's no suggestion they suspected he would react this way. So why anyone would think Government agencies would be any better at predicting it escapes me.[/p][/quote]I am saddened to read your assumption that Atos, the DWP, and Mr Duncan-Smith, that the WCA is not a quota-based system. If their system truly deemed a Claimant as "Fit For Work" why have they continually tightened a threshold, eliminated the representation of Legal Aid, and see a 3% transfer rate as a successful Assessment? This rate is identical to their rate of their transfer from Claimant to gainfully employed individuals. Perhaps it is best that you read about the results of this present failed governmental farce: http://www.theguardi an.com/politics/2014 /mar/10/dwp-cuts-wel fare-reforms-risk-le aked-document-iain-d uncan-smith gans shakes
  • Score: -1

2:51pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Bigland says...

gans shakes, could you clarify which of my above comments demonstrates the assumption you claim I make? I haven't made any reference to quotas or Mr Duncan-Smith. As far as ATOS and DWP are concerned, I've stated what I believe to be true: that, in Mr Wood's case, ATOS and the DWP have been incompetent. I don't accept that they suspected or believed that Mr Wood would die as a result of his cut in benefits. And no one else seems to have believed that either, or maybe he would still be alive.

There do seem to be a lot of people who care that Mr Wood is dead. What a shame more people didn't care when he was alive.
gans shakes, could you clarify which of my above comments demonstrates the assumption you claim I make? I haven't made any reference to quotas or Mr Duncan-Smith. As far as ATOS and DWP are concerned, I've stated what I believe to be true: that, in Mr Wood's case, ATOS and the DWP have been incompetent. I don't accept that they suspected or believed that Mr Wood would die as a result of his cut in benefits. And no one else seems to have believed that either, or maybe he would still be alive. There do seem to be a lot of people who care that Mr Wood is dead. What a shame more people didn't care when he was alive. Bigland
  • Score: 0

4:56pm Thu 13 Mar 14

gans shakes says...

King Joke wrote:
ATOS are just doing the dirty work of the Government that hired them. Rumour has it they are desperate to get out of the DWP contract because of the bad publicity it is attracting. I'm not surprised.
Atos verified its intent to terminate their Contract prematurely with the DWP "due to death threats." Reality is dramatically different. The DWP has issued a quota system. They turn away from the terminology of "quota" as that would be considered a breach of Human Rights, and the World Court is impossible to create a Referendum to separate our country from the Hague. At present they are only Accessing Claimants for a Change of Status regarding their Benefits.

All else is on hold, most likely until after the General Elections due to the audacity of their assessments lasting approximately 15 minutes by examiners unfamiliar of the specific disabilities, nor do they record the Assessments, as per the standards set forth in the Welfare Act.

I would deduct, without hesitancy, that the more death from unnecessary propaganda, and forcing undue amounts stress upon innocent Claimants! The dogs are coming back to bite the hand of its owner, and nothing can stop it.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: ATOS are just doing the dirty work of the Government that hired them. Rumour has it they are desperate to get out of the DWP contract because of the bad publicity it is attracting. I'm not surprised.[/p][/quote]Atos verified its intent to terminate their Contract prematurely with the DWP "due to death threats." Reality is dramatically different. The DWP has issued a quota system. They turn away from the terminology of "quota" as that would be considered a breach of Human Rights, and the World Court is impossible to create a Referendum to separate our country from the Hague. At present they are only Accessing Claimants for a Change of Status regarding their Benefits. All else is on hold, most likely until after the General Elections due to the audacity of their assessments lasting approximately 15 minutes by examiners unfamiliar of the specific disabilities, nor do they record the Assessments, as per the standards set forth in the Welfare Act. I would deduct, without hesitancy, that the more death from unnecessary propaganda, and forcing undue amounts stress upon innocent Claimants! The dogs are coming back to bite the hand of its owner, and nothing can stop it. gans shakes
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

The individuals that do the ATOS WCAs are little more than trained chimps, they ask set questions, and tick boxes on a computer screen, any additional information you give at the assessment is invariably ignored, or reworded in such a way that the claimant is considered fit for work.
I scored 0 points at my assessment, but the mandatory reconsideration by DWP, awarded me 21 points, so it's clear that ATOS are the ones causing all the problems.
With regard to Mr. Wood, what some people have failed to realise, he was coping prior to the ATOS assessment, so there would be no reason for his family to be unduly concerned about his welfare, and due to the fact he was trying to survive independently, he wouldn't have turned to them when his situation became dire.
No matter how bad someone's mental state, we still have some level of pride, and asking for help is extremely difficult.
The individuals that do the ATOS WCAs are little more than trained chimps, they ask set questions, and tick boxes on a computer screen, any additional information you give at the assessment is invariably ignored, or reworded in such a way that the claimant is considered fit for work. I scored 0 points at my assessment, but the mandatory reconsideration by DWP, awarded me 21 points, so it's clear that ATOS are the ones causing all the problems. With regard to Mr. Wood, what some people have failed to realise, he was coping prior to the ATOS assessment, so there would be no reason for his family to be unduly concerned about his welfare, and due to the fact he was trying to survive independently, he wouldn't have turned to them when his situation became dire. No matter how bad someone's mental state, we still have some level of pride, and asking for help is extremely difficult. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 0

1:00pm Fri 14 Mar 14

King Joke says...

Bigland wrote:
gans shakes, could you clarify which of my above comments demonstrates the assumption you claim I make? I haven't made any reference to quotas or Mr Duncan-Smith. As far as ATOS and DWP are concerned, I've stated what I believe to be true: that, in Mr Wood's case, ATOS and the DWP have been incompetent. I don't accept that they suspected or believed that Mr Wood would die as a result of his cut in benefits. And no one else seems to have believed that either, or maybe he would still be alive.

There do seem to be a lot of people who care that Mr Wood is dead. What a shame more people didn't care when he was alive.
'Incompetent' isn't good enough, as it allows the DWP to hide behind the '****-up rather than conspiracy' argument. This is not an unfortunate mishap, but a concerted effort by the DWP among others to get spending down to fund tax cuts for the rich, and if this means people cut back to living on a below-survivable income then this acceptable collateral damage.

A lot of us do care, we care very much. We'll do out best to oppose every cut imposed by the Government, we'll make everybody aware of the DWP and ATOS agenda and we'll do our best to vote for anybody except the parties who oversaw this disgrace.
[quote][p][bold]Bigland[/bold] wrote: gans shakes, could you clarify which of my above comments demonstrates the assumption you claim I make? I haven't made any reference to quotas or Mr Duncan-Smith. As far as ATOS and DWP are concerned, I've stated what I believe to be true: that, in Mr Wood's case, ATOS and the DWP have been incompetent. I don't accept that they suspected or believed that Mr Wood would die as a result of his cut in benefits. And no one else seems to have believed that either, or maybe he would still be alive. There do seem to be a lot of people who care that Mr Wood is dead. What a shame more people didn't care when he was alive.[/p][/quote]'Incompetent' isn't good enough, as it allows the DWP to hide behind the '****-up rather than conspiracy' argument. This is not an unfortunate mishap, but a concerted effort by the DWP among others to get spending down to fund tax cuts for the rich, and if this means people cut back to living on a below-survivable income then this acceptable collateral damage. A lot of us do care, we care very much. We'll do out best to oppose every cut imposed by the Government, we'll make everybody aware of the DWP and ATOS agenda and we'll do our best to vote for anybody except the parties who oversaw this disgrace. King Joke
  • Score: 0

1:53pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Bigland says...

King Joke, incompetent isn't good enough if your aim is to use Mr Wood's death to attack a Government you despise. I have no doubt you care very much, I just doubt you care about Mr Wood.
King Joke, incompetent isn't good enough if your aim is to use Mr Wood's death to attack a Government you despise. I have no doubt you care very much, I just doubt you care about Mr Wood. Bigland
  • Score: 5

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