Do Job Centre Staff Now Need Training In Resuscitation And Should All Job Centres Have Defibrillators?

250px-CPR  There have recently been a number of reports in local newspapers up and down the country of sick or disabled people being taken ill while attending Job Centres. Given the fact that the Work Capability Assessment is seriously flawed and some very seriously  and even terminally ill people are being passed as ‘fit for work’ and being forced to attend Job Centres under threat of losing benefits, this is a budding trend that could potentially become an every day occurrence.

BlackTriangleAtos-1024x724  Job Centre staff have already been given training in dealing with suicidal claimants, a tacit admission by the DWP that its policies are having a devastating effect on many people’s mental health. Is it now time for staff in Job Centres to be trained in basic life support and resuscitation techniques and for all Job Centres to be equipped with defibrillators, to deal with the growing likelihood that very sick claimants could need urgent medical attention whilst under their roof?

defribillator-a_2938aad807 If you think this sounds ludicrous consider the following news reports. For instance back in March of this year an ambulance was called to a Job Centre in Grays, Hertfordshire    when a man collapsed. By the time the paramedics arrived, despite attempts to resuscitate him, the man had died. Had the staff been properly trained in basic CPR its possible his life could have been saved.

In July this year an ambulance was called to a Scunthorpe Job Centre when a man complained of chest pains. He was later diagnosed as having had a panic attack which when severe enough can give rise to chest pain, pallor and a feeling of shortness of breath – symptoms very like those of a heart attack and just as unpleasant. Had staff been trained in First Aid techniques,whilst they may not have been able to accurately diagnose his problem they would at least have felt more confident in supporting him and calming him down until the paramedics arrived.

JAMES LAVER (HC) 34K1004 The following story which is reproduced in full below was published in yesterday’s Watford Observer and highlights the absolute madness of Iain Duncan Smith’s assault on the chronically sick. I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Disabled man suffers ‘mini stroke’ during Watford Job Centre interview

1:40pm Thursday 22nd August 2013 in NewsBy Lui Straccia

James has to endure unexplained episodes – thought by some doctors to be transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs), or ‘mini strokes’ – which leave him temporarily paralysed.

brain damaged disabled man who regularly suffers seizures thought to be possibly ‘mini strokes’ was struck down by one – midway through a Watford Job Centre interview, geared towards getting him back into work.

James Laver, 46, has to endure unexplained episodes – thought by some doctors to be transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs), or ‘mini strokes’ – which leave him temporarily paralysed.

Despite the fact his GP said he is ‘completely unable to work at present’, Mr Laver was still called into the Job Centre, in Exchange Road, on Tuesday afternoon for an appointment as he had been placed into the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG), which is aimed at ‘preparing him for work in the future’.

Since having a full stroke in 2008, in which he suffered minor brain damage and nerve damage to his left side, Mr Laver has suffered seizures which paralyse him for an hour and cause him to feel dizzy and to slur his speech.

The exact nature and cause of the seizures have divided opinion among doctors, with some believing they are TIAs, which are caused by a temporary disruption in the blood supply to part of the brain resulting in a lack of oxygen to it.

This can cause symptoms similar to those of a stroke, such as speech and visual disturbance and numbness or weakness in the arms and legs.

However, a TIA does not last as long as a stroke. The effects only last for a few minutes and are usually fully resolved within 24 hours.

Nevertheless, Mr Laver has still been classed as someone who can prepare to go back to work and attended a Job Centre interview on Tuesday.

Mr Laver, who claims disability living allowance, said: “I was put on the floor and was swallowing my tongue, and began to choke. I managed to get myself into the recovery position, but staff then put me back on my back. I quite possibly could have died.

“The attacks are getting worse and are becoming more frequent. Whenever I’m in A&E I’m told it’s a TIA, or possibly a TIA, or not a TIA or stroke, or possibly epilepsy. I think it’s a TIA.

“When I visited my partner in Australia two years ago I was having fits and the Royal Melbourne Hospital said they were TIAs.

“I’ve had five attacks this week in the space of a few days. Nobody this week has told me what they were.

“The woman in the Job Centre was mainly going on about why was I there when I was obviously not fit to work.

“She was just reading stuff on the screen, saying they couldn’t overturn the decision made that I should be in a WRAG.”

An Atos Healthcare spokeswoman said: “We were able to advise Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that Mr Laver was not fit for work without the need for a face-to-face assessment.

“DWP makes all benefit decisions and has found that he should continue to receive sickness benefit.”

Regarding Mr Laver’s seizure at the Job Centre this week, ambulance service spokesman Gary Sanderson said: “We were called at 2.19pm and we conveyed a male to Watford General Hospital for further assessments.”

When asked what the nature of the illness, Mr Sanderson added: “We cannot comment on that as it is unknown.”

11 thoughts on “Do Job Centre Staff Now Need Training In Resuscitation And Should All Job Centres Have Defibrillators?

  1. beetleypete

    This rings true. When I was in The LAS, we were frequently called to the local Housing Office, as people depressed about their housing situation would take overdoses, experience panic attacks, and also suffer asthma attacks.
    The medical fraternity are constantly telling us that stress is a killer, and the root cause of many other conditions. Yet this government seem oblivious to the advice of their own experts, and continues to add stress to disadvantaged people, already at the height of endurable levels of same. Great post Sue. Regards, Pete.

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  3. anon

    “this is a budding trend that could potentially become an every day occurrence.”

    This abuse is already the norm.

    I suffered a suspected heart attack at my local Jobcentre a year ago. I was not offered an ambulance, and it was only at the intervention of a floor manager that I was even allowed to leave the building (I was there for a compulsury WRAG interrogation where my benefits would have been sanctioned had I left without permission).

    1. sparaszczukster Post author

      I’ve read so many horrific accounts like yours, anon, that I think you’re probably right about this kind of cruel and atrocious treatment being the norm. The very idea that you were not allowed to leave even when your life was at serious risk scares the shit out of me. How have Job Centre staff been brainwashed into behaving in this criminal manner? Its beyond belief that this could have happened in 3 short years. I sincerely hope you’re health is improving after this ordeal and thank you so much for sharing this. Very best wishes for the future.

  4. fkreid

    All work places should have people trained in first-aid for the occasional accident or emergency. It seems, however, that Job Centres are now expected to be A&Es. Just another ludricrous consequence of the maladministration of this appalling government. These heartless and immoral ‘servants of the state’ have no place in public office, or for that matter in a civilised society. I can only hope they eventually get punished for their betrayal of the public.

  5. Lynne Ismail

    I am utterly horrified to read of these stories. This society has been brainwashed and people have become heartless and abusive to the most vulnerable because they believe the lies ane deceit hammered out by this most draconian of governments. We are living in the world that orwell illustrated in 1984 and iv never been so ashamed of being british. I never would have belived that this would happen in my lifetime. In three years mw have as a society taken a massively retrogressive step back in evolution!!!!!!!!!

  6. Pingback: Article about Dr.Stephen Duckworth in Daily Mail, A complete Joke or what?…. | Atos Victims Group News

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