Ministers on the Isle of Man are to scrap their ve

first_imgMinisters on the Isle of Man are to scrap their version of the UK government’s much-criticised “fitness for work” test, prompting calls by disabled activists for the UK government to follow their lead.The decision, announced to members of Tynwald, the Isle of Man* parliament (pictured), follows years of criticism of the assessment on the island, mirroring concerns raised repeatedly and publicly in the UK.The statement by Treasury minister Alfred Cannan followed a report by Tynwald members into what is known on the island as the personal capability assessment (PCA), which is based on the UK’s work capability assessment (WCA).In the UK, there has been nearly a decade of evidence that the WCA is unsafe, inaccurate, unfair, and lacking in empathy, while it has been repeatedly linked with the deaths of claimants.In November 2015, public health experts from the Universities of Liverpool and Oxford showed in a study that, across England, the process of reassessing incapacity benefit claimants through the WCA between 2010 to 2013 was “associated with” an extra 590 suicides, 279,000 additional cases of self-reported mental health problems, and the prescribing of a further 725,000 anti-depressants.Concerns arose on the Isle of Man after a new scheme was introduced to reassess most of the island’s 2,000 long-term claimants of incapacity benefits through a face-to-face PCA, firstly through a pilot programme in 2012-13 carried out by Atos, the outsourcing giant which was itself being heavily criticised at the time for its role in the assessment process across the UK.The Isle of Man reassessment scheme was then taken on by another company, Dependability Ltd, which eventually had its contract terminated after it emerged that some of the assessments were not being carried out by registered healthcare professionals.Just as in the UK, there were criticisms of the “tick box” nature of the assessment process, the failure to deal fairly with claimants with fluctuating conditions such as ME and multiple sclerosis, and the use of unqualified and unsympathetic assessors.An independent review of the PCA, published in December 2016, reported “widespread” criticism, with concerns about the qualifications of assessors, and an “oversimplified” assessment which was unsuitable for those with more complex impairments.The review added: “Many people believed that they had been treated with a lack of respect and that the system lacked compassion.”It recommended the replacement of the PCA by a new “holistic multidisciplinary assessment” that would be “supportive” of the claimant and “based on trust and compassion underpinned by clear, open and honest communication”, with claimants “fully involved in developing a realistic return to work plan”.A report by a committee of members of Tynwald that supported the recommendations of the independent review was approved by the parliament last November.Cannan has now told the parliament that ministers are “minded to implement” the “complete removal of the existing personal capability assessment process” and replace it with a new “holistic approach”.Any decision to change the relevant regulations will need to be approved by members of Tynwald later this year.A spokesman for the Scottish-based, user-led grassroots network Black Triangle praised the Isle of Man government for taking the decision to scrap the PCA.He said: “We warmly congratulate them. They have done what any humane government would have done and it is now absolutely essential that the UK government follows suit.”A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman declined to comment on the Isle of Man government’s decision.But she said in a statement: “We are committed to ensuring that people with health conditions get the right support that they need, and work capability assessments ensure that everyone gets the benefits they are entitled to.“If a claimant’s condition changes then we will consider any new evidence presented by the claimant’s GP or medical professional.“Anyone who disagrees with the outcome of their assessment can appeal the decision.”*The Isle of Man is not part of the UK or European Union, but is a crown dependency with its own parliament and government, although under the supervision of the UK governmentlast_img read more

Disabled people who died in the Grenfell Tower tra

first_imgDisabled people who died in the Grenfell Tower tragedy had their human rights breached by public bodies that failed to plan how they would evacuate their homes in the event of a fire, a report by the equality and human rights watchdog has concluded.The Equality and Human RightsCommission (EHRC) report says the safety of wheelchair-users and other disabled and older people wasoverlooked when they were housed on the top floors of the high-rise building.It says thatdisabled people and other residents of Grenfell Tower and other nearby housingexperienced a series of breaches of their human rights before the fire,including through the failure to ban the combustible cladding that was wrappedaround the building, or at least strengthen rules for its use.But it alsosays that disabled people’s rights were repeatedly breached in the days andmonths after the fire.Disabledpeople, children, migrants and older people were among the 72 people who diedin the Grenfell Tower fire that began in the early hours of 14 June 2017, inhomes managed by the state in west London. The EHRCresearch, carried out with the social policy think-tank Raceon the Agenda,suggests that the right to life of disabled people, older people and familieswith children was not properly considered in fire safety arrangements, with“particular concerns” about the lack of appropriate planning for evacuatingdisabled people and other residents.There isalso evidence that the safety notice given to Grenfell residents was onlyavailable in English, a language not spoken by many of them.The report alsohighlights a continued lack of support after the fire, amounting to inhuman anddegrading treatment, particularly in “the inconsistent, and sometimes absent,immediate and long-term support such as medical treatment, counselling, mentalhealth care and adequate housing”.The reportsuggests there were breaches of the right to life; the right to safe, adequatehousing; and the right to freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment;while disabled people and other groups also faced discrimination in how theywere treated after the tragedy.The reportsays: “The fact that people with limited mobility were living high up inGrenfell Tower, and faced greater difficulties escaping the fire, raisesimportant questions about discrimination against certain groups, accessibilitystandards, and whether authorities assessed the impact on disabled people ofallocating housing in Grenfell Tower.”The reportincludes a series of examples of how disabled people had their rights breachedin the days, weeks and months after the fire.One disabledwoman, who had been left traumatised by losing five members of her family inthe fire, had her out-of-work disability benefits cut after being assessed by agovernment contractor just five days later. The woman,who lost her brother, his wife, and their three children in the fire, had beenassessed for her fitness for work on 19 June 2017, five days after the fire.Her husband,her full-time carer, told researchers that when they told the healthcareprofessional carrying out the work capability assessment that she had lost herfive relatives in the fire, “she didn’t care” and “didn’t consider thesuffering” that his wife had been through.His wife hadpreviously been in the support group for employment and support allowance, forthose not expected to carry out any work-related activity, but after theassessment she was placed by the Department for Work and Pensions in thework-related activity group.The report’sresearchers were told that she had since been told to attend a work trainingscheme, even though her health had worsened since the fire.One disabledolder person, who lives on the 14th floor of a block of flats nearGrenfell Tower, told the researchers that he told his children “every day” thatif there was a similar fire to the one that devastated Grenfell, they shouldleave him to struggle down the stairs on his own.He said:“There are five floors above me… So, if I go down and I stop in the middle, thepeople behind me will not be able to pass. So, we discussed all these issues.”The reportfound that none of the local residents they had spoken to who had been forcedto leave their homes after the fire had accepted permanent accommodation, butsome said they had felt pressured to return home or take unsuitable offers.One wheelchair-userwas pressured to accept the offer of a permanent flat, even though it was notwheelchair-accessible and she could not access some of the rooms.She wastold: “Oh don’t worry, we’ll get a carer in to look after you, help you outwith the kids.”She was thentold that if she did not agree to move into the flat, she would be viewed asmaking herself intentionally homeless.The reportalso describes a wheelchair-user with young children – believed to be the samewoman – who was left in emergency housing with just one room and no cookingfacilities and had to visit the local swimming pool if she wanted a shower.The report, GrenfellResidents’ Access to Public Services and Support – part of the commission’sFollowing Grenfell project – describes the lived experience of people who hadbeen “displaced, traumatised and distressed” by the fire.It shows the“ongoing difficulties and uncertainty they have faced in accessing a range ofadvice and support services such as housing, immigration, welfare support andhealthcare”.Among itsconclusions, the report says: “There was poor recognition of additional needsand reasonable adjustments when making housing decisions, particularly fordisabled people, older people, women and Muslim families. “Residentsdescribed the dire state of both emergency and temporary accommodation whenbeing rehoused, posing a threat to their physical and mental health.”EHRC’sFollowing Grenfell project aims to influence the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, otherpublic bodies and the public about the equality and human rights issues raisedby the fire and its aftermath.David Isaac,EHRC’s chair, said: “Everyone has the right to life and the right to safe,adequate housing, but the residents of Grenfell Tower were tragically let downby public bodies that had a duty to protect them.“It is our hope that the Grenfell Inquiry finds this information relevant and useful as they continue with their work, but we also need to see action taken by public bodies so we never see a repeat of this tragedy.”Picture: Close-up of Grenfell Tower with banners in June 2018 (c) by Carcharoth is licensed under Creative CommonsAttribution-Share Alike 4.0 International A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

Pot Candy Blamed for Mission District Quinceañera Hospitalizations

first_imgEdible marijuana candy likely sent 19 people attending a Mission District quinceañera on Saturday night to the hospital, the Department of Public Health said Monday. As of this morning all 19 people had been discharged from the hospital.On Saturday night, firefighters and police officers were sent to the Women’s Building at 3543 18th St. between Valencia and Guerrero streets when several people fell ill after eating an unknown substance. All of the victims had eaten a gummy candy at the party, a Fire Department spokesperson said. An official with the California Poison Control System said the hospitalizations were the largest he knew of related to edible marijuana.“To have 19 patients all at once — I’m not aware of an outbreak of that magnitude,” said Craig Smollin, co-medical director with the poison control system. It is unclear whether any of the patients knew the candies contained marijuana, how they were presented at the party, or whether they had any marking or packaging. The Police Department is working to determine whether anyone intentionally fed the marijuana candies to the victims.Thirteen of the 19 victims were younger than 18, the Department of Public Health said on Monday. The youngest was a six-year-old, and three children were taken to the intensive care unit.All suffered various symptoms, “including rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, dilated pupils, dizziness, light-headedness, nausea, lethargy and confusion,” a spokesperson said in a statement.The Department of Public Health analyzed both the victim’s blood and the gummy candies themselves and found THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, in both, health officials said Monday.Dr. Tomas Aragon, a health officer for Department of Public Health, said in a statement that the incident served as a reminder about responsible drug use.“This event is a strong warning about the dangers of edibles, which can be very potent and hard to control dosage in the best circumstances,” he said. “A situation like this, where they were consumed by unsuspecting people, and many children, is greatly concerning.”He said the appeal of the edible candies to children, who would be unable to discern that they contain marijuana, was concerning. The consumption of THC, he said, was not likely to have been fatal, however.The Department of Public Health is urging others who attended the party and have remaining edible candies to discard them. The department said the party was catered by an Oakland company, and that it was working with the Alameda County health department to find out where the edibles came from. Police and health officials declined to name the catering company.The Fire Department said 17 people were taken to the hospital from the party, and two other adults transported themselves to the hospital later. 0%center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

FIVE players are set to return for Fridays Engage

first_imgFIVE players are set to return for Friday’s Engage Super League match with Crusaders.The 19-man squad includes Kyle Eastmond, Josh Perry, Andrew Dixon, Jonny Lomax and Lee Gaskell who are all “more than likely” to play according to head coach Royce Simmons.The squad is:1. Paul Wellens, 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Michael Shenton, 4. Sia Soliola, 5. Francis Meli, 7. Kyle Eastmond, 8. Josh Perry, 9. James Roby, 10. James Graham, 12. Jon Wilkin, 15. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 18. Matty Ashurst, 19. Andrew Dixon, 20. Jonny Lomax, 21. Shaun Magennis, 22. Jamie Foster, 25. Lee Gaskell, 28. Thomas Makinson, 29. Scott Hale.Crusaders’ head coach, Iestyn Harris, will choose from:1. Clinton Schifcofske, 4. Vince Mellars, 5. Stuart Reardon, 6. Michael Witt, 7. Jarrod Sammut, 8. Ryan O’Hara, 9. Lincoln Withers, 10. Mark Bryant, 11. Hohepa (Hep) Cahill, 12. Jason Chan, 13. Frank Winterstein, 15. Jordan James, 16. Ben Flower, 17. Rhys Hanbury, 18. Elliot Kear, 19. Lloyd White, 22. Richard Moore, 23. Peter Lupton, 27. Jordan Tansey.The match kicks off at 8pm and the referee is Ben Thaler.If you can’t make the match, it will be covered extensively in Saints Match Centre as well as on Saints’ Official Twitter and Facebook sites.Tickets for the match are still on sale at the Saints Superstore in St Helens Town Centre, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on to www.saintssuperstore.comStats:Crusaders are seeking their first Super League win against St Helens in Friday’s clash at the Stobart Stadium.2011 meeting:Crusaders 18 St Helens 34 (SLR9, 8/4/11)Super League summary:St Helens won 5Crusaders won 0St Helens highest score: 37-30 (H, 2010) (Widest margin: 30-0, H, 2009)last_img read more

Kidnapping trial for sex offender Douglas Edwards begins Wednesday

first_imgNEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The trial for the registered sex offender charged with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 6-year-old girl begins tomorrow in New Hanover County.Deputies say on September 14, 2016, Douglas Edwards grabbed the child from the driveway of her home near Monkey Junction, put her on his moped, then drove off with her.- Advertisement – That led to a search involving the FBI and local agencies.The next morning, the girl was found alive and chained to a tree in a wooded area off of River Road.A few months after deputies arrested Edwards, he allegedly wrote the victim stating he was sorry and asking for “no more policia” while requesting the girl not testify.Related Article: VIDEO: Trio wanted for New Year’s Day shooting in WilmingtonThe victim’s family turned the letter in to the sheriff’s office. Edwards is also charged with intimidating a witness.Prior to this case, Edwards spent 16 years in prison for sex offenses involving a child who was six-year-old at the time. According to reports, the victim in that case will be allowed to testify during this trial.The trial is set to begin at 9:30. The 12 jurors and 3 alternates were selected in Sampson County and will be brought to New Hanover County for the trial.last_img read more

NC stateowned attractions rank among most popular for 2017

first_imgN.C. Aquarium at Roanoke Island, Manteo, 306,376 N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, 390,012 Tryon Palace, New Bern, 249,233 Four of the top five most-visited sites in 2017, and 15 of the 30 total sites in the annual ranking, are managed by the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.“I am delighted to see that our department’s amazing resources continue to be among the most popular places for people to visit in North Carolina year after year,” said Secretary Susi H. Hamilton. “Many of our sites achieved record visitation numbers in 2017. This achievement shows that nature, arts and history are important to our citizens and visitors to our state, and that they are also vital economic drivers for our local communities. I’m so proud of our outstanding staff for providing the exceptional programs and exhibits that keep visitors engaged and excited.”For the fourth year in a row, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh was the most visited attraction in the state. More than 946 thousand people visited in 2017.Related Article: Bitty and Beau’s is giving out free coffee this weekendFort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach was the second most visited attraction with 896, 682 visitors.The Fort Fisher State Historic Site in Kure Beach ranked third with 871,676 visitors, and the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro took the fourth spot with 860,148 visitors in 2017.Other DNCR properties on the list, along with their visitation numbers for 2017, include: Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock, 253,715 Photo courtesy of the Fort Fisher State Historic Site There are always plenty of things to do and see in North Carolina and now, new figures are backing that up.North Carolina’s state-owned attractions are ranked among the most visited in the state according to an annual survey of North Carolina museums and historic attractions just released by Carolina Publishing and Associates.- Advertisement – N.C. Maritime Museums (Beaufort, Hatteras and Southport), 279,985center_img Battleship North Carolina, Wilmington, 286,772 N.C. Museum of Art, Raleigh, 495,696 N.C. Museum of History, Raleigh, 579,236 Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head, 179,329N.C. Transportation Museum, Spencer, 143,282 N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Kure Beach, 484,118last_img read more

Cargo ship leaving port runs aground near Bald Head Island

first_img The 600-foot cargo ship ran aground during low tide near Bald Head Island on June 1, 2018. (Photo: Viewer Submitted) The 600-foot cargo ship ran aground during low tide near Bald Head Island. The 600-foot cargo ship ran aground during low tide near Bald Head Island on June 1, 2018. (Photo: Viewer Submitted) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A freighter leaving the State Port ran aground this afternoon near the mouth of the Cape Fear River.The US Coast Guard says it happened around 2 p.m.- Advertisement – 1 of 1 The Coast Guard says there was no pollution or damage.They are waiting until high tide to refloat it which will be around 10 p.m. tonight.Related Article: People rescued after semi-truck partially falls off bargeTug boats and the Coast Guard are on scene. Officials say a tug will help it get out.last_img read more

Police Little River bank robber headed toward Brunswick County

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Investigators in South Carolina say a man who robbed a bank near the state line could be in Brunswick County, according to our affiliate station WPDE in Myrtle Beach.WPDE reports that according to Horry County Police, a man walked into the BB&T on US 17 in Little River shortly before 5 p.m. and passed the teller a note demanding money. Investigators say he drove toward Brunswick County in a dark Chrysler 300.- Advertisement – Check back for more details as they become available.last_img read more

Mourinho interested in signing Dembele

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward wants to increase the number of players in Manchester United’s squad before Thursday’s transfer deadline and will attempt to bring Ousmane Dembele to Old Trafford. The French striker has endured a difficult debut season in La Liga, scoring just 5 goals in 33 appearances for Barcelona.Dembele could be brought in to replace fellow Frenchman Anthony Martial after the latter’s relationship with Jose Mourinho turned sour. Manchester United have also been linked with Harry Maguire, Toby Alderweireld, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Jerome Boateng but it still needs to be seen if any of the aforementioned players join the Red Devils.WhatsApplast_img read more

Facebook can pinpoint the moment you fall in love

first_imgAdvertisement Wondering whether your ‘dating’ status is about to turn into a relationship?Facebook may have the answer before you do.As part of a couples-themed study undertaken by the social networking giant for Valentines Day, Facebook data scientists analyzed timeline posts between Facebook users who had entered relationships. – Advertisement – According to Daily Mail, study head Carlos Duik said he found that in the 100 days leading up to the day when users change their relationship status, the number of timeline posts increased significantly.Called ‘The Formation of Love’, the study found that during the 100 days before a relationship starts, there is a slow but steady increase in the number of timeline posts shared between the future couple. However once they get together the posts start to decrease dramatically.The amount of exchanges peaked 12 days before the beginning of the relationship change, with 1.67 posts a day, according to Venture Beat.However after that, timeline post activity decreases.‘Presumably, couples decide to spend more time together, courtship is off, and online interactions give way to more interactions in the physical world,’ Diuk wrote in a blog post yesterday.Diuk also analyzed how the sentiment of the timeline posts changed over time, and found positive feelings increased significantly around the day when the relationship begins.He said that even though the number of posts exchanged between the couple decreased once they get together, the sentiment of the exchanges became ‘sweeter’. According to the data, even though the number of wall posts goes down once the relationship starts, the wall posts that are exchanged become happier and sweeter.This is because of anniversaries and special shared moments, he said.The study involved data mined from some 460,000 couples and 18 million posts, Diuk said.last_img read more