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Showing posts from August, 2015

Inequality in incapacity for work - a response to Ben Baumberg

Why is it that some people with a health condition can hold down a job while others can’t? Ben Baumberg’s latest paper is an excellent discussion of the real-world factors in the labour market that create disadvantage and lower the employment rates among disabled people.  As you could imagine, the nature of work, the degree of autonomy and flexibility, and choice in work all explain why some people are incapacitated for work by an impairment while others aren’t.  This analysis might seem to speak directly to Iain Duncan Smith’s recent speech about the false binary of fit/unfit for work. But this would be a mistaken conclusion to draw.  As part of wider Rethinking Incapacity project Baumberg discusses the inequalities in education, choice and job prospects that mediate illness or impairment and capacity for work. The people he interviewed had more or less flexibility in pacing their workload or requesting adjustments from employers, and they had differing degrees of

Severe M.E. Day 2015

In 1993 I was effectively paralysed due to very severe M.E. and I lost the ability to speak, feed myself, sit up or write my own name. Like many pwme who don't respond to, or in my case deteriorate, following NHS "treatment" with Graded Exercise Therapy, I had been abandoned by my local GP practice a long time ago. My family was shunned. We were told my disease was a result of my negative mindset, or was "just" depression. I had to be spoonfed at this time because I had lost the strength to lift food into my mouth. At one stage, I began to also have difficulty with chewing and swallowing. My parents, who were then my full time carers, became worried and didn't know what to do. I couldn't physically get to the GP surgery, so they took me to A&E on a stretcher. The registrar in A&E declared, after a 5 minute examination of my nervous reflexes, that there was nothing wrong with me. He did, however, propose to keep me in hospital for treatment