Written evidence submitted by Steve Turner |
Circumstances and events to date into the loss of
my employment through mental illness, my claim for ESA and subsequent
WCA medical and outcome.
1. I have been in full employment for 35 years
until March of last year (2010) when I was forced to leave my
job due to severe depression. I claimed ESA towards the end of
that year and filled in an ESA50 claim form in quite some detail
and at considerable expense to the current state of my health,
the form taking me six weeks to complete, sometimes at just one
sentence a day. In December I was requested to attend a Work Capability
Assessment which I did
2. The medical examination was undertaken by
a registered nurse. She asked me no more than 12 questions, including
"do you have a dog?" and "do you watch television?"
No questions were asked pertaining to my condition and how it
affects me daily.
3. The interview lasted just over 20 minutes
during which time the nurse was mostly typing on the computer
and entering the details of my medication into the computer.
4. I left the medical quite ill, taking two days
to recover some semblance of health, and feeling inconsequential
5. Some weeks later I received notification from
Jobcentre Plus that my application for ESA had been turned down
and that I must now apply for Jobseekers Allowance. The shock
of this decision intensified my illness and, suicidal, I was referred
by my GP to a psychiatric team. I was advised to request a copy
of my ESA85 medical report which I did.
6. The trauma of the above decision was nothing
compared to the despair I felt on reading my medical report and
my first impression of it (which I have come to understand is
a common response) was that I had received someone else's medical
report in error.
7. I have struggled with words such as mistaken
and misleading to describe the contents of the report, not wishing
to ascribe serious accusations to a government department or private
company in its service (Atos) however I am reluctantly forced
to describe the contents of the report as deliberately fraudulent.
8. It is littered with inaccuracies, statements
ascribed to me which I did not make and incorrect observations.
9. I am now appealing this decision, with representation,
and cannot help but feel bewildered, disappointed and utterly
dismayed that a person (I am 51 years of age) in the UK in 2011
should be failed so totally by the welfare state in which he believes,
and has contributed to, for over 30 years.
10. My illness has now intensified and my required
treatment increased. My return to work has been delayed by many
months and my faith in the system is totally shattered.