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Hello Everyone,

 

My friend has her first work programme appointment on the 24th June 2013 and was unable to attend due to being very anxious, being sick and had panic attacks! I rang Ingeus and spoke to her Employment Advisor, he was busy when I rang so I left a message that is was important he call back because it was to do with my friend's appointment and that she was unable to attend that day!

 

He did call back and I duly answered the phone call, I told him why my friend was unable to attend and if she can have another appointment date and that I will come with her, I've explained about her anxiety and panic attacks and also told him her advisor at the Job Centre knows of her circumstances as I've had to cancel an appointment she had with her job centre advisor before, I requested that my friend will need a private room as she will not cope being in a room full of people! All what we asked was granted and I also told Ingeus advisor to send me a letter to confirm my telephone conversation with him! Today a letter arrived there was no mention of speaking to me nor mentioned about requesting for a private room all the letter says!

 

'We have attempted to contact you by telephone but was unable to reach you. We have therefore arranged an appointment for you on such a date etc, etc. I couldn't believe what I was reading'

Good job I wrote a letter confirming my telephone conversation with him on the 24th June and mentioned everything we spoke about, I've kept a copy of course and sent the letter to him! I need to write a letter to him about the letter I've received today not mentioning anything of our telephone conversations, my brain has gone pickled at the moment and I want to be careful how I write the letter! He has lied and also not stating the fact of out conversations has anyone come across this sort of problem with Ingeus it will be good to know about them a bit!

 

Thanks

 

 

 

helen

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Not with Ingeus; but I have had similar problems with another WP provider in regards to a private room. The "private room" being away from other people but still in the same room.

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'We have attempted to contact you by telephone but was unable to reach you. We have therefore arranged an appointment for you on such a date etc, etc'

 

The wording does not surprise me in the slightest. It is quite likely a standard template used so that the sender does not have to demonstrate any ability in recalling the original conversation or any worthy letter writing skills. Unless the date is not the one agreed earlier in the week, I'd suggest saving your money on postage & stationary. Instead, take a copy with you and use it as ammunition should you need to shoot him down for incompetence.

 

Further more, if it doesn't have a paragraph stating:

If you do not undertake the activities required in this notification your benefit could be affected:

 

When you take part in the Work Programme, you are taking part in a scheme established by law under the Jobseeker’s Allowance (Schemes for Assisting Persons to Obtain Employment) Regulations 2013.

 

If without a good reason you fail to attend or participate in the Work Programme your Jobseeker’s Allowance and National Insurance credits will be stopped (or will be paid at a reduced rate, depending on your circumstances) for:

 

 four weeks; or

 13 weeks, if DWP have previously decided on one or more occasions that your JSA should be sanctioned because you

failed to comply with your Work Programme requirements, or you committed any of the failures listed below within 52 weeks (but not within two weeks) of your last failure.

 

The failures referred to are, if without a good reason, you:

 

 fail to attend an adviser interview

 if applicable, fail to take part in a particular employment programme (such as the work programme)

 do not take the opportunity of a place on an employment programme or training scheme

 refuse or fail to apply for or accept a place on such a programme or scheme notified to you by your adviser

 fail to attend or give up a place or through your own misconduct lose a place on such a programme or scheme

 fail to comply with a Jobseeker’s Direction.

 

Without the correct wording, the letter is an invite only - Note: This only applies to JSA claimants. ESA claimants are governed by a different set of guidelines.

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Not with Ingeus; but I have had similar problems with another WP provider in regards to a private room. The "private room" being away from other people but still in the same room.

 

Thanks for your reply and for letting me know at least I can insist on a real private room! I will be sending an email to make sure and keep copies of everything!

 

:)

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The wording does not surprise me in the slightest. It is quite likely a standard template used so that the sender does not have to demonstrate any ability in recalling the original conversation or any worthy letter writing skills. Unless the date is not the one agreed earlier in the week, I'd suggest saving your money on postage & stationary. Instead, take a copy with you and use it as ammunition should you need to shoot him down for incompetence.

 

Further more, if it doesn't have a paragraph stating:

 

Without the correct wording, the letter is an invite only - Note: This only applies to JSA claimants. ESA claimants are governed by a different set of guidelines.

 

I decided to ring my friend's Job centre advisor and told her all about Ingeus letter and the telephone conversation with Ingeus in detailed as well as mentioned that my friend need a private room, she was typing all down whilst talking to her, I am going to send an email to Ingeus WP letting him know I have spoken to the job centre and told her about my telephone conversation with him and ensure that my friend must have a private room they seems to be a bit worry about private room but I must step my foot down from the beginning, I've heard too many horror stories and my friend's case is genuine, she is vulnerable and need help! Oh! I shall keep thiat letter safe and will take it with me, I am emailing him this morning and will attach copy of his own letter and the one I've written to him about our conversations in details, hopefully he'll realise we are not fools to be played about with nor be treated like animals!

 

Thank you

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Thanks for your reply and for letting me know at least I can insist on a real private room! I will be sending an email to make sure and keep copies of everything!

 

:)

 

I communicated via email the whole time. They made me out to be the unreasonable one and called me a liar and said "your disabilities can't be that bad if you've just been diagnosed". And to make it worse, she got her line manager to stick up for her.

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hopefully he'll realise we are not fools to be played about with nor be treated like animals!

 

Sounds like you have the right attitude that will protect yourself and your friend - If you two need any further help/advice, don't hesitate to ask.

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Hello Helen

I am on ESA on the support group due to having a multitude of mental disorders &c., including anxiety and panic attacks, and I'm a 90-95% shut in, only going out when I HAVE too, and not because I want too. I also have androphobia (fear of men) due to a sexual assault many years ago and I refuse to work and associate with men.

 

I am assuming that your friend is on ESA work related group. If your friend has these disorders I am very surprised she is being 'forced' (for a word) in to employment. Has she not been assessed by ATOS HEALTHCARE (I say that because I have twice)?

 

The letter you received sounds 'bog standard'. My local INGEUS centre advisor has a case load of over 200 clients and it is only supposed to be about 60, so they can't always reply to letters in depth. I'm not sticking up for INGEUS, just saying, and each centre is different. I have always been offered a private room, but yes - do insist on. Clients on ESA vary in their disabilities and disorders, and it is their job to be in touch with this and be aware of it and most of all, accommodate it. If they refuse to give you a private room for whatever reason, show your letter and demand another appointment that will include a private room. Do not be fobbed off with excuses, and hammer down hard how important it is that you have this. It makes a difference, believe me. There were two occasions I didn't get a room and I was so petrified sitting in a room with a lot of men that I felt nauseous during the whole meeting, and I was there for an hour each time. That is a very long time when a person has these medical conditions that cannot be controlled, and they cannot be controlled. Take it from me, I live with them myself. Or do they live with me :lol:.

 

Your friend is very very very lucky to have you as a friend, and I wish you both the best of luck with this.

 

With blessings.

 

bohomiz

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Hello All,

 

My friend has her First Work Programme appointment on Friday with Ingeus, she is receiving esa on work activity group! Can someone please tell us if my friend have to sign the form for voluntary work or for looking for work, she suffers from depression, panic attacks & anxiety, she is unable to do anything for herself and always has to be prompt by me to do anything, she is becoming very anxious that she will be force to sign a form for voluntary work or to seek work! Her DWP advisor already know of her difficulties because I've spoke the the advisor about my friend not able to attend her first appointment!

 

The thing is my friend had a medical not long before the new system she was on IB and she passed that medical and was told on the same day that she will be on IB for indefinite because of her mental illness, I was with her when she attend that medical I did most of the talking for her again with the new medical appointment with ATOS which was last November she passed but was put on the WAG which of course we though she was lucky as you hear so many horror stories with ATOS Medical! The DWP decided to change their system but people who suffers with physical or mental illnesses nothing changes for them in fact my friend is worse off now with all the pressures of the new DWP regime!

 

Would like if someone can advice us what to expect from Ingeus with regards to the First Work Programme appointment!

 

 

Thank you

 

 

helen

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Hello there.

 

We've had a couple of threads recently about first interviews and someone in one of the links suggests reading up on the Ingeus thread/s for more information.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?395732-Tips-for-ESA-Work-Program%285-Viewing%29-nbsp

 

I don't know if this applies in your friend's case. Has she seen a disability adviser at the Jobcentre? I think this was mentioned the other day.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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she is becoming very anxious that she will be force to sign a form for voluntary work or to seek work!

 

The attached letter may go some way to alleviating her fears - To view the original Freedom of Information request see: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/refuse_to_sign

 

Your friend can not be "mandated" to sign anything - If coercion is used to extract a signature, add the words "Signed under duress". It also helps to have a recording of the events should there be any disagreements regarding the event. Have a look at http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?390024-Mandate-by-WP-provider-Guidance-notes for some other snippets of info.

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Helen, there is already an Ingeus thread running.

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Poundland"

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Helen, there is already an Ingeus thread running.

 

...and the thread is so long it'll soon be out on boxed DVD set, available from HMV :) Well worth reading it though, to get an idea of what Ingeus is really like and the comments of people who've endured it.

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Hello Everyone,

 

Thanks so much for your help and advices, I shall let you all know how we got on I am feeling quite exhausted to say the least and will be glad when tomorrow is over from what I understand my friend do not need to sign anything tomorrow with regards to any Work Programme, Voluntary work or Computer Courses as yet is that correct?

 

Also do I have tell Ingeus the reason why my friend cannot participate in any work programme, voluntary work or computer courses etc!

 

My friend's memory is very bad, she cannot remember things that I tell her within minutes, her mother is the same and is suffering from dementia, I have to repeat myself several times before she gets anything I say to her, most things I have to write it down especially sending her to the local shop can be very frustrated at times but I know she cannot help it, she also can get very upset and loose her temper if she feel she is being ask to many questions that she cannot answer or remember and can shout at people, she's done it enough time and that's one of the reason she doesn't have a social life or interact with people, as far as I am concern Ingeus are welcome to check every pub, social places, clubs, transportation anything they wish because my friend don't go out, she certainly won't be seen on camera at night time reveling across London lol,

 

Another worry I have she mustn't be anywhere hazardous, she doesn't cook anything because she forget if she has anything on the cooking, basically there isn't much she can do at the moment and the DWP advisor know of that, I am surprised that ATOS put her in the WAG but then I am not surprised! I have letter written about my friend's mental health long before all this new benefit regime so Ingeus and DWP alike cannot say that it is all put on, she was severe when things were good! I've dealt with all her mother mental illness got her mother into a care home, all the mother's mental health professionals has dealt with me solely, all letters are written by me so I feel there is enough proof to show that my friend cannot participate in anything and those were 4 years ago!

 

Any further help anyone can advice us for tomorrow would be very useful and I'm grateful and appreciate all your help! I hope I have not written too much but just trying to put you all in the picture of how severe my friend mental illness are what I would like is to get her in the support group, I wonder if that is possible to go from The work programme into the support group what on earth can they do with her in mental state of mind at present it's so stressful and worrying!

 

Keeping fingers crossed!

 

:(

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Hello there.

 

Moving from the work group to the support group won't be anything to do with Ingeus. Did your friend challenge the decision to be put in the WRAG at the time? And how long ago was it please?

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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From what I understand my friend do not need to sign anything tomorrow with regards to any Work Programme, Voluntary work or Computer Courses as yet is that correct?

 

Also do I have tell Ingeus the reason why my friend cannot participate in any work programme, voluntary work or computer courses etc!

 

You or your friend do not have to sign anything - If a signature is demanded, insist on the "request" be made in writing and then walk away with a copy. To elicit a signature under duress would be grounds for a formal complaint, particularly with a vulnerable adult (evidence being the key, so record everything).

 

Health conditions (mental or physical) are matters for discussion between the patient and a qualified medical practitioner. If you do not wish to discuss reasons for participation in an activity, that is up to you. If they conduct business in an open area, demand a private room before discussing any personal matters. If at any time, you feel the situation is degenerating to a point where your friend is suffering distress, terminate the meeting and leave.

 

I'm having to live with the early stages of dementia, so I can sympathise.

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Hello there.

 

Moving from the work group to the support group won't be anything to do with Ingeus. Did your friend challenge the decision to be put in the WRAG at the time? And how long ago was it please?

 

HB

 

 

Thanks honeybee,

 

Yes I agree that Ingeus won't have anything to do with the support group, it would be the DWP or ATOS, My friend didn't challenge the decision and wouldn't know what to do anyway because I do most things for her, I did think at the time when she passed her medical and was put in the WRAG that she should be in the Support group but was too mentally and physically exhausted myself because it is not only my friend I look after her mother as well which I did everything for until with my help and the mental health professionals got her mother into a care home, her mother suffer from dementia as I mentioned before and I believe my friend has mild dementia, she cannot remember anything all the times! So now I need to know what step to take to be able to get her to be excuse from the work programme it's something I will look into once the first appointment is sorted tomorrow! I will tell them all of course and go from there!

 

My friend had her first ESA Medical last November 2013 and I think it runs our Dec 2013! I will be sorting all for her when the time comes, I am not all that brilliant with my own health, I passed my first ATOS Medical outright without problems, I too suffer from panic attacks, anxieties and Agoraphobia if having to go somewhere on my own at the moment going out with her helps me and distract me from my own illness! The Medical centre and the Jobcentre is in my local which I walk to, the road is a pretty empty with very little people and car so it bearable for me to get to! Neither of us go out or have any social life at all! I am not on any work programme, or ask to participate in anything as yet as I am on Income support so this Ingeus is new to me!

 

I shall tell all when we get back tomorrow from Ingeus!

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You or your friend do not have to sign anything - If a signature is demanded, insist on the "request" be made in writing and then walk away with a copy. To elicit a signature under duress would be grounds for a formal complaint, particularly with a vulnerable adult (evidence being the key, so record everything).

 

Health conditions (mental or physical) are matters for discussion between the patient and a qualified medical practitioner. If you do not wish to discuss reasons for participation in an activity, that is up to you. If they conduct business in an open area, demand a private room before discussing any personal matters. If at any time, you feel the situation is degenerating to a point where your friend is suffering distress, terminate the meeting and leave.

 

I'm having to live with the early stages of dementia, so I can sympathise.

 

 

Thank you Mr. P. for your help and support, it's good to know where we stand with Ingeus and what we can do during the appointment should things gets too much, I heard so many horror stories and want to be careful from day one! I believe my friend suffers from mild dementia or early stage, her mother's dementia is pretty severe, you can talk to her within seconds she forget, my friend within 5-10 minutes she cannot remember!

 

cheers

 

 

helen :)

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Hello Everyone,

 

My friend had her first Work Programme appointment yesterday, long story which I will share later and hopefully give some tips and advice to people who will be attending their first Work Programme with Ingeus, those people are unbelievable, I'm feeling exhausted at the moment and clearing my head a bit!

 

I just want to put my mind at rest, I would like advice on just a quick question which I am a bit confuse with my friend got a letter about her next appointment at the end of the letter it says that her next appointment is MANDATORY and that she must attend, I read somewhere that the Work Programme for the first year it's VOLUNTARY can someone please explain if it's Mandatory or Voluntary for sure! This is her first year and yesterday was her first appointment!

 

Cheers and wishing everyone a good weekend and hope you are all enjoying the beautiful sunshine!

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Voluntary status depends very much on which ESA claimant group your friend has been placed in to. The DWP guidance notes are a little vague in that particular area, but www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wp-pg-chapter-3a-22-october-2012.pdf is worth a read - It might help to see the letter (without personal info) to see if it complies. e.g. ESA mandation letters must not include JSA sanction details.

 

Another question for you: Has your friend been identified as a vulnerable claimant by Ingeus ?

If not, they could be in a heap of trouble, and if they have, it limits what she can be mandated to do.

 

Also came across this snippet posted by osdset elsewhere:

Anyone on ESA or a person that falls under the category of vulnerable that is mandated onto the Work Programme should on their initial visit ask to view the (mandatory) safeguarding and first aid certificates, these should be displayed in a prominent position in the providers offices. Failure to display, or hold this documentation means that the claimant is legally entitled not to attend the office until such times as they do.

Maybe he would be kind enough to give a link to some official documents to back this up. Even without a link, asking Ingeus should be enough to put them on the back step.

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Thank Mr. P. for your reply!

 

My friend has been placed in the ‘work-related activity group’ Thank you for the link appreciated shall have a read!

 

My friends has not been identified vulnerable by Ingeus as per say but Ingeus Employment Advisor told me, my friend won’t be made to do any course, voluntary work or looking for work, the advisor even said she is a long way from doing anything due to her mental illness but she will see some woman to chat about her illness so she can be offered proper counselling via their own ‘Mind’ Counsellor that would be interesting lol! My friend is still under the mental hospital and are seen by a psychiatrist, she has been told she will need long term care due to her mental illness!

 

 

INGEUS LETTER words for words

 

 

Dear,

 

 

Important information – your next appointment

This letter contains the details of your next appointment. We look forward to seeing you again and continuing to support you to find the right job.

Your appointment will be:

Date:

Time:

Location:

With:

It is very important that you attend all appointments. If you cannot attend, you must contact us as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made for a new appointment. Our telephone number is

 

SECOND PAGE

 

 

Your activities for your next appointment are:

Refer to Engage

This is a mandatory appointment. If you do not undertake the activities required in this notification your benefits could be affected.

This activity forms part of your work-related activity action plan

.

.

We will refund your travel costs for appointments – please retain your proof of purchase.

We look forward to seeing you.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

J. Blog

Employment Advisor

 

About my friend appointment with Ingeus!

When we got there we were taken to a private which was good, I took out my ipad, a pen and note pad as suggested by you, the advisor seems a bit quiet retrieving into himself as he was looking at both the ipad and the pen and note pad but I carried on, I’ve managed to film 6 minutes of the appointment and have on record about what he said that my friend won’t be made to do courses, voluntary or looking for work and other things.

 

 

The questions he asked was very tricky made to confuse us both, well he was speaking to me most times and I did most of the replying, my friend was not feeling well at that point and need to get out of that room and sort herself out! The advisor keep going on about her work and skills she has about communication with work colleagues which he says it’s a skill no matter how mentally ill you are that skill stay the same lol I then told him it depends who my friend will be talking to, he went quiet, in one breath he was agreeing that my friend cannot be made to do anything because of her mental health with another he kept going on about filling in the cv which I flatly refused for her and told him there is no way she will be able to fill in any cv and in any case I will be filling it for her and that we should not be talking about cv at this point in time!

 

 

When he was asking several questions on the form he was filling in whenever I said my friend won’t be able to do this and that, he was getting quiet agitated and even aggressive but I bypass all and stick to what he need to be told, he won’t let me speak and try to stop me whenever he felt something I say will be in my friend’s favour but when he speaking he didn’t stop rabbiting on about work and making my friend feeling useless, worthless, guilty for being ill and taking money from the benefit systems and so on!

 

 

My friend never signed anything but I had a glance at the form he filled in and he wrote in capital letter NOT SIGN AT THIS TIME and asked my friend to add her initial where he wrote, which I hope would not amount to nothing but agreeing that she cannot be doing anything at this time!

 

We were taken and introduced to some woman which my friend will be seeing next time, again more confuse talking, I asked the woman if I can be present and she said yes, also my friends has been told flatly that there won’t be a private room available for her next time which is already giving her panic attacks because she’s been told on the next appointment with that woman to tell the woman about her mental illness and how it affect her being in an open space to tell all is freaking her out, she has not been the same since that appointment, I have already spoken to her doctor and will chase up the Mental hospital for her to be seen as soon as possible!

 

 

One thing we would like to know if the first year of the work programme is VOLUNTARY or MANDATORY? I cannot see my friend going through this work programme malarkey, I’ve been thinking of helping her applying for the support group, she doesn’t go out anywhere, don’t speak to anyone apart from myself and her mother, no phone calls, letters, nothing surely that would be an advantage for the support group, she also loses her temper big time if put under pressure, her mother did the same and even hit some woman in the care home where she is and they had to call me early morning to go and calm her down.

 

I have already warned both the DWP and Ingeus about my friend’s mental illness and her family history which I think did help a bit because the advisor didn’t ask for my friend to sign any form!

 

 

I also told Ingeus advisor that my friend is homeless and staying with me, I told him we have documents to prove that that everything about my friend is above board with her homelessness and mental health illness but he quickly push that idea off they don't want to listen to people story, circumstances but people are supposed to listen to all their lies it's so unfair!

 

 

Sorry for this long post!

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There are several identifiers for being classed as a "vulnerable adult", severe mental health issues, homeless, and a young woman - To dismiss any of these and refuse to recognise her position is unprofessional at best. I would suggest a strongly worded letter of complaint to your MP, the DWP (head of 3rd party contracts *), and Ingeus head office. I would also suggest having words with Social Services just in case there are systemic abuses going on.

 

To flatly refuse a private room for your next meeting also flies in the face of DWP guidance (another point for complaint) - Write to the branch manager of this Ingeus office and state that a private room must be provided at all times in accordance with DWP guidance (no need to mention the specific chapter & verse, gives them incentive to read the documents). To discuss someones mental health issues in a public area would expose your friend to a serious breach of client confidentiality, an issue that the DWP take very seriously.

 

*) I'll dig out the name & address of the 3rd party manager if needed.

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There are several identifiers for being classed as a "vulnerable adult", severe mental health issues, homeless, and a young woman - To dismiss any of these and refuse to recognise her position is unprofessional at best. I would suggest a strongly worded letter of complaint to your MP, the DWP (head of 3rd party contracts *), and Ingeus head office. I would also suggest having words with Social Services just in case there are systemic abuses going on.

 

To flatly refuse a private room for your next meeting also flies in the face of DWP guidance (another point for complaint) - Write to the branch manager of this Ingeus office and state that a private room must be provided at all times in accordance with DWP guidance (no need to mention the specific chapter & verse, gives them incentive to read the documents). To discuss someones mental health issues in a public area would expose your friend to a serious breach of client confidentiality, an issue that the DWP take very seriously.

 

*) I'll dig out the name & address of the 3rd party manager if needed.

 

Thanks Mr. P. for your reply! I can honestly say my friend has severe mental issues, she is worst off now than ever since that appointment with Ingeus! It is very tiring at times having to constantly explain the simplest things to her and repeating myself several times before she understand what I am saying, she can never remember her credit card number, I am constantly having to tell her what the number is but within minutes she is asking me again, everything has to be written down otherwise she will not function, her short term memory is very bad, I've told both the DWP and Ingeus that but they both just ignored it and goes on about work programme!

 

Both my friend's and my name is on the power of attorney for the mother because my friend is unable to do anything the power of attorney paper was done in 2009 by a Barrister so they can't say it's all put on for my friend to get away from the work programme! I have enough proof and documents that I have been dealing with all my friend's mother's affairs and my friend's as we well! They've been my neighbours since 1978 I was a fifteen years old girl and now almost 50 years old woman, I've seen all their ups and downs and know the family well they have severe mental illness issues and severe dementia which the mother is suffering now!

 

I would be grateful if you could give me the name and address of the 3rd party manager, I think it's time I write to my MP and also seek help from social services, I'm beginning to feel I myself need help to cope with my friend's illness, I am on my own with it all at the moment!

 

cheers

 

 

helen

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These two are right at the top, so they should ultimately take responsibility for any failings:

Derek French/Clare Elliot

Head of Work Programmes

Department for Work and Pensions

Level 4

Steel City House

56 West Street

Sheffield

S1 2GQ

 

If you need any further information, please ask.

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