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Folk are advertising second hand clothes to give away on my local Freecycle, because charity shops in the area won't take them anymore!

 

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges

 

Being poor is like being a Pelican. No matter where you look, all you see is a large bill.

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I was 'chosen' to go on to the work programme after Christmas (I know how lucky am I!).

I have got myself an interview and was told by the job centre that when I get an interview I can go to them for help with a suit for said interview, which was great being a single parent without a penny to spare!

I called the job centre to tell them about the upcoming interview and was told, that because I am now on the work programme I have to go through them.

Ok I said, gave them a call and was told their budget is £20............!!!

 

Now I'm no super model, I have some junk in my trunk (so to speak :razz:) and so can't really go to the advised Primark for a suit (I didn't even know the slave labour that made Primark clothes stretched to suits but whatever....)

 

I called the job centre back and spoke to someone else and explained this, only to be told the same 'You have to go through the work programme" blah blah blah.

 

Now am I the only one who finds this totally unfair. Those who haven't had the 'luck' of being 'chosen to go on work programme' get to go to the BHS group and choose an interview outfit that is going to fit and not look like you dragged it out the bin, where as us lucky enough to be chosen have and have actually got off our butts to get a damn interview are being kicked again.

 

I'm going to be calling to speak to a manager tomorrow, but I'm afraid I'm going to get the same answer. Has anyone else had this problem as I really need help.

 

ALSO I now have to sign on at the job centre AS WELL as going to the work programme. Two people doing one persons job - how clever!

 

P.s sorry if this makes no sense, I am absolutely fuming!!!! :-x:-x:-x

 

Already some good suggestions there about Freecycle/charity shops but also have a look at ASDA/Tesco. I too am 'big boned' and Tesco have a great range of work suitable clothes that would come well within the £20 for a pair of trousers and shirt or blouse.

My views are my own and are not representative of any organisation. if you've found my post helpful please click on the star below.

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When I was unemployed a few year ago and had an interview, I got £100 from the DWP to get kitted out. I already had a suit but I'm not going to refuse anything they think I'm entitled to. It wasn't given in cash but was a voucher for a local gentlemans outfitters and I got a very nice suit, shoes, shirt and tie as part of their £100 package deal.

 

If all they can offer now is £20 then that's obviously not enough to buy new suits; cheapest I can find are about £45. I buy from charity shops and the price of their suits has been steadily rising over the years - that's even if you can find them as they don't seem to stock as many suits these days. I recently bought a charity shop suit for £12, which is about the going rate where I live.

 

Well worth browsing the charity shops even if you're working as you can pick up some real bargains. As has been mentioned, you often see designer label clothing for ridiculous prices - I have a very nice Yves St Laurent denim shirt which causes many comments of 'you poser!' from my heavy metal friends :)

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Slightly off topic but the mention of Charity shops has prompted me to post this. My local High Street has more charity shops than any other sort of shop, there are at least 8 within a 150 yard stretch of street. Some of these are not the down at heel old fashioned type of shop but are well appointed and well lit and reasonably well stocked. I regularly do a tour of the shops to see what bargains can be had. I have noticed that increasingly these shops are being run on a professional basis (notwithstanding the use of voluntary, or involuntary, labour). Unfortunately this means that the prices they want to charge are becoming well outside of the traditional charity shop range. For example, yesterday I spotted a pair of suede chukka boots, slightly worn, no laces, but in my size. I was tempted but there was no price on the item. I enquired as to the price and after giving the item (and me) the once over I was told £6.50. I had mentally set a limit of £5 so, much to the assistant's surprise, I declined to buy.

 

 

These charities have become very money orientated with their CEOs drawing very, very generous salaries. Increasing commercial activity and the use of "chugging" agencies and forced workfare are just three unwelcome symptoms. I am very sceptical about some charities and try to boycott those with a workfare taint. I may however revisit the shop with the boots to see if they come down in price!

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When I was unemployed a few year ago and had an interview, I got £100 from the DWP to get kitted out. I already had a suit but I'm not going to refuse anything they think I'm entitled to. It wasn't given in cash but was a voucher for a local gentlemans outfitters and I got a very nice suit, shoes, shirt and tie as part of their £100 package deal.

 

If all they can offer now is £20 then that's obviously not enough to buy new suits; cheapest I can find are about £45. I buy from charity shops and the price of their suits has been steadily rising over the years - that's even if you can find them as they don't seem to stock as many suits these days. I recently bought a charity shop suit for £12, which is about the going rate where I live.

 

Well worth browsing the charity shops even if you're working as you can pick up some real bargains. As has been mentioned, you often see designer label clothing for ridiculous prices - I have a very nice Yves St Laurent denim shirt which causes many comments of 'you poser!' from my heavy metal friends :)

 

A few years ago, on JSA I got a free suit and a choice of three outfitters and rather a standard boring design.

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I have noticed that increasingly these shops are being run on a professional basis (notwithstanding the use of voluntary, or involuntary, labour). Unfortunately this means that the prices they want to charge are becoming well outside of the traditional charity shop range.

 

Indeed. I buy CDs from time to time, whilst most charity shops are in the 50p to £1 range, Oxfam regularly charge £3 or more. Another has a regular turnover of white goods such as washing machines and fridges - These are refurbished units and at least come with a three month guarantee, so perhaps the £50-80 tags are not too bad.

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These charities have become very money orientated with their CEOs drawing very, very generous salaries. Increasing commercial activity and the use of "chugging" agencies and forced workfare are just three unwelcome symptoms. I am very sceptical about some charities and try to boycott those with a workfare taint. I may however revisit the shop with the boots to see if they come down in price!

 

You’re quite right, but these things are just symptoms of a wider problem in the 3rd Sector.

 

Any recession or downturn is a ‘double-whammy’ for charities. Take the CAB service as an example, funded normally by local councils for very specific areas they too have found that their funding has been slashed. Coupled with a sharp increase in demand for their services they have to do something to survive.

 

Funding is key for these organisations, so they do what they know will work to protect the front line services as much as possible, in a CEO you need a certain skill-set, unfortunately those skills command a premium and although the pay for those skills is still lower in the third sector than it is in the private/public sectors the charities are still competing in the same pool of people / skills and have to reflect that in the pay/benefits it offers.

 

The NCVO has explain that: “rates of formal volunteering declined during the recession, from 43% of people formally volunteering once a year in 2007/08 to 39% of people in 2010/11.”

 

So, alongside the chance to help develop work-related skills in those who need that help, you can perhaps begin to understand why a charity might seek to augment it’s workforce in offering positions to those in the Work Programme – I’m not here to debate the morality, but I can see the logic and intent:

 

“We’re lower on volunteers, lower on funding and having to reduce frontline services as a result. Involving ourselves with a contract will help address all three issues.”

 

Like I say, I’m not trying to reason for or against – it seems that there’s at least 242 pages of that before my writing this.

 

I’ve seen a distinct move away from Charity status to that of a Social Enterprise in some cases with a far greater commercial focus in an attempt to reduce or in some cases completely negate the dependence upon central or local funding. We’re also seeing organisations such as the Charities Aid Foundation offering financial products to charities to assist in more challenging funding situations.

 

I spent five years working initially at the front-line of a charity and then moved into the operational management before my own funding was lost and so have first hand experience of how challenging the time is for all involved.

My views are my own and are not representative of any organisation. if you've found my post helpful please click on the star below.

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Returned to charity shop. Boots still there with no price tag. I decided to buy and was quoted £4 (so saved £2.50). Made my day so lashed out another £4 on a jumper!

I really must learn to haggle.

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@ think about it

Whilst I understand what you say and have some sympathy with it (especially the CAB) to say "offering positions to those in the Work Programme" is a little ingenuous when the "offer" is one that cannot be refused by the victims. To my way of thinking many charities have blighted their reputations by becoming involved with Workfare

If you choose to sleep with mangy dogs then you are likely to get fleas!

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Whilst I understand what you say and have some sympathy with it (especially the CAB) to say "offering positions to those in the Work Programme" is a little ingenuous when the "offer" is one that cannot be refused by the victims. To my way of thinking many charities have blighted their reputations by becoming involved with Workfare

If you choose to sleep with mangy dogs then you are likely to get fleas!

 

Hence the reason I wasn't debating the morality of it. I know it's a charged subject and clearly even my choice of words has elicited a reaction.

 

I think in the most part it was/is down to organisations exploring avenues made available to them. Clearly, reputations aside, there are many sub-prime contractors in the 3rd sector whose experiences and expectations of operating in welfare to work have been polar opposites.

 

I can think of several CAB in the city I worked in having to seriously re-configure their services and staffing and in one case close altogether due to funding cuts. If the only choices on the table are the 'rock' and 'the hard place' then regardless of the outcome people are going to be unhappy. It's a sad indictment on the economic environment as a whole when those services needed most are the first to be cut.

 

I'm now with the NHS and the picture isn't much better.

 

I honestly believe that regardless of government, we're all in for an even shorter and sharper shock when it comes to public services provision as a whole. Attempting to decrease the reliance on central funding is absolutely key to maintaining service provision which unfortunately means increasing commercial practice - you need only look at dental services to see how quickly a poor central contracting decision can alienate a vital part of the health service to the point where NHS care is almost unobtainable. But, I'm going off topic...

My views are my own and are not representative of any organisation. if you've found my post helpful please click on the star below.

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Hi, first time post here but I wasn't sure where else to talk about my problem.

 

I am 31, suffer from Depression, OCD, Agoraphobia and have been getting counseling and I am making small steps forward. Also I'm on Roccutane for acne and have various side effects from that.

 

In December iirc I had an appointment at the Job Center with a nice lady from Ingeus who had a good talk with me and my problems and was very understanding. She said I will be contacted on the 8th January from an adviser.

 

Last week I had my first call from Ingeus with said adviser and he seemed OK and he asked me to create a CV and a covering letter which I did and that went well.

 

This week he called me and expects me to suddenly go around handing in my CV to various places I might be interested in. Now I understand that his job is to get the client to do something towards getting a job but I am not even at that stage yet. I questioned this and was made to feel like I was saying 'NO I DON'T WANT TO, I DON'T WANT TO WORK' when in fact I would love to but at the moment it isn't doable. He then bought up stuff about the future and my age which I do admit is getting on a bit but he went as far as to say 'would a girl want to be with this version of you right now?' to which I replied 'no of course not' and felt like I was being forced to say the right things.

 

I have very low self confidence and at the time of the call I lost all ability to defend myself and went along with everything he said and even said I'll try a few places and hand my CV in even though I am not comfortable yet to do anything close to that.

 

So today everything that was said in the call hit me and I feel incredibly upset and keep panicking and have lost all appetite and feel lonely.

 

It doesn't help that he clearly has no idea about any of the conditions I have as he just thinks right do this, this and this and you'll be fine. I have yet to meet him in person as I have only had two telephone calls yet but it is starting to send me back down even though I've been mading slow but steady progress.

 

I've never had any support from the job center and now this guy is doing the same. How can someone with problems go forward if know one listens.

 

:-)

 

Hi,

 

So I went today with my dad. We had to park quite far as there was no parking near the actual Ingeus place so that was tough having to walk all that way but I did it.

 

I got there and I asked to see someone in charge but ended up seeing the adviser who I had the issue with. The Secretary wasn't a barrel of laughs and quite moody/uninterested even though I was told 'everyone is friendly here' during my appointment with the Manager last December but oh well I didn't pay too much attention to it and sat down.

 

The wait for really hard as he did come see me before our actual meeting though I didn't shake his hand due to bad eczema I have though I did mention it at the end just so that he knew I wasn't being rude.

 

The meeting started and I asked to change adviser but apparently it's not possible as they change every six months so I'll have a new guy in June anyway. I was very firm though I did say the 'BS' word once though I apologised as I was very, very angry inside and trying to contain it while being firm. I was actually shaking at one point.

 

I mentioned the thing about no girl being interested in me and all that and it came down to him basically approaching me in the wrong way. I am Indian as well as he is and he is a year younger so what he did was use his own experiences of being Indian and applied them to me. In out culture parents can be pushy and all that about marriage.

 

I made sure that he knew that was over the line and has nothing to do with me and this work related course I'm on and it was personal stuff that shouldn't even be discussed unless the client brings it up. Also I said about being pushed to do things I am not ready to and feel like I am not being listened to and what it basically came down to was that his approach to me was wrong from day one.

 

I said you should of treated me as an individual and not compared me to himself as everyone is different and without actually meeting me he can't just guess what my character is like.

 

I explained that things will be very slow and I can't be rushed which he took note of and I feel things will be a lot better.

 

I have learnt to speak my mind now and tell him when I am not comfortable as there is no point trying to please him if I myself am not happy.

 

I may have left some stuff out as I am still recovering from all this but he will be calling me on the 30th and I will make sure if we can space the calls/appointments out.

 

One good thing did happen was that I went with my dad into Sainsbury (I haven't been there in over 10 years) after my appointment so that's one small step forward. :)

 

I want to thank you all for your support and I am glad I have somewhere I can speak to people without being judged. :)

 

I'm back to square one with this crap!

 

He was meant to phone on Monday but allegedly couldn't get through and kept going to voice mail even though I had many calls that day from various people and they all got through fine so he is clearly talking crap. I waited all day and he only emailed me at 5.30 when he finished work so a waste of a day. He said he'll try Thursday (6th feb).

 

He phoned but I was in the shower so said to phone him back which I did and he was back to the whole send your CV to three different places (including proof) and he made it mandatory as I hadn't done it when he previously asked me too even though he knew that as I had seen him in person (see 2nd quote above).

 

I'm basically a bag of nerves being forced to do this and that without being heard and I'm actually going back instead of forwards.

 

My demotolagist and GP did tell me to keep my stress levels down as I have depression and I have had suicidal thoughts before and the Roccutane can amplify the thoughts. I haven't had any suicidal thoughts for a very long time but today I had some small thoughts and I really feel like I'm just going back and back and they probably won't take any notice till I am actually dead.

 

My adviser said some lady from the mental heath team will call me next week though they are apparently advising him with what course of action to take so I'm not sure what good that will do.

 

I have made an appointment with my GP as I am really just anxious, no appetite, have chest pain from all the worry/stress, can't concentrate and trying to hold it all together.

 

Ingeus really are idiots. :-x

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PandaPawPaw, you're still an ESA claimant, right?

 

You cannot be mandated to apply for work. This needs to be made clear to your Ingeus adviser, and I think handing in CVs to places must certainly count as "applying for work". Any MAN that is issued must be appropriate for your circumstances and the terms of your participation in the WP.

 

When your adviser told you on the phone that he was mandating you to do this, he did follow up with a letter through the post, right? Because if not, you can't be sanctioned - Mandatory Activity must be notified in writing, either handed to you or sent through the mail.

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Hi antone,

 

Yes I am on ESA but in the work related activity group.

 

He only told me on the phone and said I must do it. So I basically went into 3 different places down the road which I had no interest in and gave them my CV and asked them to write their name and number as my adviser wanted proof. While doing this I was a nervous wreck but felt so pressured into doing it that I did it. :(

 

He says handing the CV's is a way of practicing it which I get but it's not appropriate at this time at least.

 

He said I have 2 weeks to do it or I'll have to go and see him in person.

 

There has to be something I can do as I really can't live like this.

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It doesn't matter which ESA group you're in, you still can't be mandated to apply for work. And whatever you're mandated to do, it must be "reasonable in your circumstances" and notified to you in writing in a letter using the correct wording. It's called a "Mandatory Activity Notice" or MAN for short, and if you don't have one of those notices handed to you in person or sent through the post, it's not mandatory.

 

I mean, well done, I suppose, for doing these things anyhow (it must have been very difficult for you), but you should not be asked to do them in the first place and you should not be deceived into believing things are mandatory when they are not.

 

First thing to do is if your adviser wants to mandate you to do anything, get it it writing. Your adviser may not mandate an ESA claimant to apply for work, so make him put this illegal request on a piece of paper and send it to you. Then you have proof.

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I basically handed those CV's out due to fear. :(

 

He keeps making everything seem like, if I do this or that then I will end up having my benefits stopped which in turn stresses me out and makes me go the opposite way instead of moving forward.

 

He said he's put it down as mandatory on my file or something too.

 

I just don't know what I can do tbh as he clearly isn't listening and seems to have it in his head that I have a time limit and must rush everything. I just had another small suicidal thought and am worrying how bad I'll get. It's not to the point that I'd do anything but any type of thought like that isn't good especially because of the Ache medicine I'm on.

 

I don't know whether the mental health lady will be any use either.

 

It's like I'm meant to sprint before I can run let alone walk.

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Your benefits can only be stopped if you fail to comply with a MAN. A MAN must be handed to you in writing, or sent through the post. If the adviser does not do this, you can't be sanctioned. He can't tell you on the phone "this is mandatory" unless he already told you that in writing.

 

It sounds to me like he's treating you as if you were a JSA claimant. Not that JSA claimants should be treated like crap, but all the same, as an ESA claimant you are subject to different rules. I know it's tough, but you do need to stand up to this guy. If he wants to mandate you, make him put in writing. So far he has:

 

  • Demanded that you apply for jobs when he has no right to demand this
  • Claimed something is mandatory without supplying the appropriate MAN

He's the one breaking the rules, not you.

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He's saying that this is what he's been advised by the mental health team as a way of me moving forward but they have not even seen me (the mental health team at Ingeus) to make any sort of assessment.

 

I haven't emailed him the proof that I have handed in the CV's yet as he'll probably think it all went A-OK as I did it straight away even though it was tough as hell and he'll probably push me even further off the cliff.

 

Basically anything I say, gets twisted and I'm made to feel like I'm fobbing him off with excuses.

 

It's like he's either ticking off the boxes or he gets paid more for getting each client into work or something.

 

Even if he sent me the MAN then that would be be illegal right? So he'd have no comeback?

 

I think when the mental health lady calls, I will tell her everything and if she doesn't listen then I'm not sure what I'll do as my adviser is clearly a pratt.

 

They've clearly just latched onto the Agoraphobia part and not the OCD, depression. 15 years of bad acne which I am mental scared which I am still slowing fighting and making small but positive progress. All I hear is stuff about the Agoraphobia and nothing else.

 

I told my counselor today if I could give her name and contact details to the mental health lady so she can have a word with her if need be and I have a GP appointment next week so will ask her for help as well.

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You're an ESA claimant, he can't mandate you to apply for jobs. So no, even if he had sent the MAN for that he's still asking you to do something he's not allowed to mandate you to do. I think handing in CVs to random employers and then waiting for a signature counts as "applying for jobs". ESA claimants cannot be mandated to apply for jobs.

 

If he didn't send the MAN, it's not even important - no activity is mandatory unless a MAN is sent.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING. EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

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I'll basically wait for his next move, tell him I did the CV stuff and be firmer with him and if need be get his manager (who I know is a nice person) to call me.

 

Plus tell the mental health lady everything and make sure she knows what the score is.

 

My health is way more important than that jumped up clueless idiot.

 

Thanks Antone. :)

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He's saying that this is what he's been advised by the mental health team as a way of me moving forward but they have not even seen me (the mental health team at Ingeus) to make any sort of assessment.

 

Hang on a moment.... What the H*** is Ingeus doing having a "mental health team" ????

Work Programme providers can not make a claimant seek or undertake medical treatment - This includes talking to an in-house "team".

 

PandaPawPaw - Before you discuss anything with this "MH team", ask what qualifications they have and which body they are registered with. If they ask you about things that you do not want to talk about, remind them that there is no legal, moral, or contractual obligation to talk to them... Indeed, if the staff are unqualified/unregistered, they could be breaking the law themselves.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

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Hang on a moment.... What the H*** is Ingeus doing having a "mental health team" ????

Work Programme providers can not make a claimant seek or undertake medical treatment - This includes talking to an in-house "team".

 

PandaPawPaw - Before you discuss anything with this "MH team", ask what qualifications they have and which body they are registered with. If they ask you about things that you do not want to talk about, remind them that there is no legal, moral, or contractual obligation to talk to them... Indeed, if the staff are unqualified/unregistered, they could be breaking the law themselves.

 

You need to read this https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pilot-schemes-to-help-people-on-sickness-benefits-back-to-work

 

People on sickness benefits will be required to have regular meetings with healthcare professionals to help them address their barriers to work – or face losing their benefits – in a two-year pilot scheme in central England which begins in November.

 

Contract awarded to Ingus.

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My response: Work Programme Provider Guidance, Chapter 3a:

20. When deciding whether activity is reasonable in a participant’s circumstances you need to consider:

The participant’s claimant group and how this affects the nature of their participation. For example, although mandatory ESA participants can be supported towards employment they cannot be mandated to:

 

  • apply for jobs
  • undertake medical treatment
  • take up work

This pilot project referred to above, sounds like it is outside the Work Programme. IF this thing is being run alongside the WP, then I would most definitely be asking for proof of qualifications & registration before anything else.

 

.... I recall posting a vacancy advertised by Ingeus a few months ago. They were seeking newly qualified MH staff - Perhaps this pilot project was the reason behind it. So.... We have inexperienced staff with little practical knowledge of dealing with mental health issues handing out treatment to a randomly selected subject. Is anyone else alarmed by this ?

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my friend has received one of those 'a doubt has arisen...' letters because he was on holiday and missed an appointment with his new advisor. i helped him fill out the back of the form as the holiday was oked by the jobcentre as he filled out a holiday form. fill he get sanctioned for not attending the appointment even though he filled out a holiday form and the jobcentre said it was fine?

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If he has submitted the forms and the JCP has authorised the holiday, it is a case of "arse and elbow". Had he informed the "adviser" that he was going on holiday before the appointment ?

 

Did your friend keep copies of any/all forms handed in (preferably signed/stamped by the JCP) ?

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My response: Work Programme Provider Guidance, Chapter 3a:

This pilot project referred to above, sounds like it is outside the Work Programme. IF this thing is being run alongside the WP, then I would most definitely be asking for proof of qualifications & registration before anything else.

 

.... I recall posting a vacancy advertised by Ingeus a few months ago. They were seeking newly qualified MH staff - Perhaps this pilot project was the reason behind it. So.... We have inexperienced staff with little practical knowledge of dealing with mental health issues handing out treatment to a randomly selected subject. Is anyone else alarmed by this ?

 

It's part of the DWP - Health Work Wellbeing master plan.

 

Close down all NHS services and provide them via preferred private bidders via Work Program esq devices.

 

The full plan is to integrate their own OH into GP surgeries to decide if you can work or not that day. GP's are going to love that tbf.

 

I've said it before IAPT are not NHS but a DWP setup complete with fiddled exit/improvement statistics to make CBT the new mesiah of therapy - explains why they are crap, staffed by untrained ****witted muppets and have a nasty habit of not sending/reading important documents. Makes the DWP and JCP look like it's full of Einsteins!

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