Friday, 16 May 2008

Damned if you do. Damned if you don't

Regular readers of this blog will know all about the UNUM Provident Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research based at Cardiff University. It’s Director, Professor Mansel Aylward, is the former Chief Medical Adviser at the DWP, who moved to the UNUM Provident bankrolled Centre several years ago.

The UNUM Centre has been one of the leading forces in trying to make it harder for people to be signed off sick by their GPs. Staff from UNUM were also prominent in the design of the current Personal Capability Assessment and also the new, much harsher Work Capability Assessment. Professor Aylward is, in addition, involved in research for the DWP and for Dame Carol Black, proponent of the replacement of sick-notes with ‘well-notes’.

All the more surprising, is that the centre is carrying out research in to ‘presenteeism’ for the Welsh Assembly. Presenteeism, apparently, is the culture of working ridiculously long hours and not taking time off when sick. According to Professor Aylward, presenteeism costs the country ten times more than sickness absence.

The learned Professor, who has spent many years telling people that the best cure for illness is work, now claims that:

“The problems come from people who are ill, those who are not up to the mark, who are continuing to work.”

Presumably there is no possibility that the reason why people are chained to their desks till they drop is that their GP has been persuaded by DWP funded research that being signed off sick is bad for their patients’ health.

icWales have an account of this puzzling situation here:

So, it would now appear that if you are sick, you should go to work. On the other hand, if you are sick, you should stay at home.

This is clearly a ridiculous situation and further exposes the questionable methods used at the DWP to determine a Claimant's entitlement to Benefit.

Incidentally, has Prof. Aylward presented his proposals yet for the reconfiguration of Health Service provision in Rhondda Cynon Taf? I can't find it and it was due at the end of April. The worthy Prof. is probably about to run out of fingers for his many pies.

Your pal.


Labels: , , , , ,


At 19 May 2008 at 13:54 , Blogger Robert said...

Have a look at panorama tonight or read ICWALES, I've given up.

At 19 May 2008 at 16:08 , Blogger johnny foreigner said...

Hello Robert.

I'll be watching this evening with great interest. It wouldn't surprise me if it was the same old drivel about workshy layabouts and further demonisation of the genuinely disabled.

I have made a number of approaches to a variety of Mainstream Media organisations with regard to supplying them with enough information of the 'other side of the coin' with regard to the questionable activities of the various agencies concerned in the determination of Benefit Entitlement.

Whilst all have shown great interest in the story, none have, as yet, been able to get permissions from their directors for further publication.

Please be assured that you are not alone in your quest and that there are many of us out here, in a similar position to yourself, who are supplying a steady drip-feed of interesting information which will, hopefully, be made public in the future.

As my MP told me: The easiest way to eat an elephant, is to take one small bite at a time. Eventually it will be devoured.

Let's stick with it.

Best wishes.

Your pal.


At 22 May 2008 at 18:49 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Johnny,

Dropping in again to say hello.

Your comments are spot on re Aylward's damn -you -every- which way ideology.

Did you see these articles recently in the New Statesman?

I do like the elephant analogy... : )

Best wishes from Bimbo Bluestocking

At 25 May 2008 at 10:26 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

have u had anything from huw lewis yet Johnny

At 10 July 2008 at 21:03 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you know Christopher Glamorganshire? What's the gossip?

At 22 July 2008 at 14:50 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

any thoughts on the Welfare Reforms announced yesterday or any news on Mansel Aylwood to update us with?

At 29 July 2008 at 14:21 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Johnny have you seen huw lewis latest on prince charles hospital and Mr Alyward

At 21 November 2008 at 15:43 , Blogger Respectable Citizen said...

Johnny can you drop me a line at we are working to launch a mass campaign in Cardiff against the UNUM Centre & I'm working with freelance journalists, people from the PCS trade union and also liasing with some politicians to get something off the ground.

At 18 December 2008 at 11:48 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unum Provident and Mansel Aylward are dangerous. In my case a deformed heart, permanent (recorded) heart damage and diagnosed Ischaemic heart disease are, following their advice, regarded as 'psychological'. And beware it won't stop with Incapacity Benefit their pals at Atos want to run the national ID card scheme. More at

At 5 April 2009 at 16:59 , Blogger Jonathan said...

Sickness levels are a complex thing. Though Welsh, I was born in central Rochdale, so I've watched with great sadness its industrial decline and the social cost. It now has the highest level of unemployment in the country - over three-quarters of adults are out of work and claiming benefits.
More than 40% of the working population (Central Rochdale) are claiming incapacity benefits.

Imagine that, if you pick out 2 people from a group of 5 works and they'll be on a disability allowance. Sad.

At 20 August 2010 at 08:55 , Blogger subramanyam.p said...

Make $3000-$40000 A Month by Using internet At Home, Internet is quickly growing into a world-wide marketplace, which provides a unique opportunity for everyday people like you and me to cash in on it and start making money online!<click here for more details


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home