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Lord Freud Strikes Again!

Or, as I like to call him, Lord Fraud. Once a Labour 'adviser' (his expertise comes from years as a banker with about 5 minutes knowledge on welfare) on welfare reform, now defected to the Tories. Clearly a man who knows which way the wind is blowing.
I don't live in Huddersfield, but this article seems portentous to all of us on benefits, specifically those on sick benefits - or rather those that might come to be! Which of course could be any of us.
To use language such as 'fewer wasted lives' just betrays the tory mindset. They really believe they are on some ideological crusade. This is an absolutely crazy idea that will, at best, emasculate doctors with whom prospective sick claimants will need a deep and personal relationship.
So what will happen? The prospective claimant will probably have to ring up their local ATOS office no doubt to be given a medical in order to claim a sick note - not even a guarantee that sick note will lead to a proper claim for ESA (ATOS will surely demand another medical, once the note is sent in, to decide the validity of the claim). This is one more sinister piece of tory hate. All disguised as helping the feckless and saving them from themselves.
I cannot see how this can even be considered practical; how are sick people going to get the state to validate their condition (you don't have to have a sick note to be sick) if they have to find some means to get to an independent examiner who may not be anywhere near their local GP. Will they attend home visits? Who will they be accountable to? What happens if the patient's GP (or specialist), who is probably in the best position to diagnose the patients fitness to work disagrees with the independent examiner's diagnosis?
Good god, the article even quotes Fraud as saying 'GPs are not experts necessarily in occupational health' - so GP's don't know what's best for their patients. On top of this he seems to want this to be another hurdle to claiming ATOS. On top of having to acquire a sick note from a trained objective and qualified doctor, the patient has to pass an 'independent' medical from the likes of ATOS, and now has to get a second sick note from another (ie ATOS, I suspect) examiner whose quality will of course be beyond reproach.

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