Pass the sick bag not the pop corn: US verdict on DWP’s privatised sick note service
How the hell can it be justified that a doctor can say you are unfit for work, but a private company can, on the other end of a ‘phone overrule him- by email!
Everybody who gets an email ‘fit note’ from them while their doctor says they aren’t ready to return to work should immediately enquire whether the doctor’s opinion has been taken into consideration and if the response is yes, ask what their medical qualification is to override his professional opinion and how they can tell over the ‘phone; if the answer’s no, ask them why not?
Last week I revealed how Lord Freud, the welfare reform minister, had awarded a new contract to Health Management Ltd, subsidiary of US multinational company, Maximus, to take over from doctors to decide when you should return to work if you claim more than four weeks sick pay.
The programme is to be rolled out from November to next May aims to save up to £165 million a year by getting people back to work faster as part of Lord Freud’s welfare reforms. Effectively it will mean you will get a telephone consultation from a call centre and be emailed when you should return to work. If don’t co-operate you will lose your benefit.
The company’s press release reveals the 63 month contract will be rolled out first in Wales, the Midlands and the North before it hits the more affluent South.
Richard A Montoni, the multi billionaire chief executive…
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