Again, as with anything Kitty writes, please read and share – the work she puts into these pieces is amazing and she deserves our thanks and support.

Politics and Insights

Image result for 3 year study show sanctions don't workTwo days ago I published an article about people who have been harmed by welfare  sanctions because they were chronically ill. Two of those people died as a consequence of actions taken by the Department for work and Pensions – see Welfare sanctions are killing people with chronic illnesses

Several studies over the last few years have found there no evidence that benefit sanctions ‘help’ claimants find employment, and most have concluded that sanctions have an extremely detrimental impact on people claiming welfare support.

However, the Conservatives still insist that benefit conditionality and sanctions regime is ‘helping’ people into work. 

Yesterday, an important study was published, which warned what many of us have known for a long time – that sanctions are potentially life-threatening. The authors of the study warn that sanctioning is  “ineffective” and presents “perverse and punitive incentive that are detrimental to health”.

The study – Where…

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Politics and Insights

Image result for demolition of welfare state UK kittysjonesI’ve written two lengthy pieces about the new report and submission this month to the UNCRPD – UK Independent Mechanism update report to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (published October 2018) – provides an independent assessment of the UK Independent Mechanism (UKIM) on the “disappointing” lack of progress by the UK governments to implement the UN’s recommendations since August 2017. You can access the articles here and here

The UKIM report says that the government “has not taken appropriate measures to combat negative and discriminatory stereotypes or prejudice against persons with disabilities in public and the media, including the government’s own claims that ‘dependency’ on benefits is in itself a disincentive of employment.” 

This is important because it shows just how embedded traditional Conservative prejudice is in policy design and within the practices that social security administration has come to entail. 

Image result for welfare state UKThe idea that welfare somehow creates the…

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Another great piece from Kitty that deserves to be read and shared

Politics and Insights

“Artificial Intelligence in healthcare is currently geared towards improving patient outcomes, aligning the interests of various stakeholders, and reducing healthcare costs.” CB Insights.


The Care.Data scandal

Back in 2014, public concerns rose because drug and insurance companies were able to buy information about patients – including mental health conditions and diseases such as cancer, as well as smoking and drinking habits – from a single English database of medical data that had been created.

Harvested from GP and hospital records, medical data covering the entire population was uploaded to the repository controlled by an arms-length NHS information centre. Never before had the entire medical history of the nation been digitised and stored in one place. Advocates said that sharing data will make medical advances easier and ultimately save lives because it will allow researchers to investigate drug side effects or the performance of hospital surgical units by tracking the impact of interventions…

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