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1940-01-012024-05-15 Peer Reviews and Internal Process Reviews


Alan McArdle
Alison Ravetz
Amber Rudd
Angus Robertson
Ben Baumberg Geiger
Black Activists Rising Against the Cuts
Black Triangle Campaign
Boris Johnson
Brian McArdle
British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
British Medical Association
British Psychoanalytic Council
British Psychological Society
Carer Watch
Carol Black
Centre for Welfare Reform
Channel 4
Child Poverty Action Group
China Mills
Chloe Smith
Christian Wilcox
Citizens Advice
Colin Traynor
Conservative Party
Court of Appeal
Daily Mail
David Barr
David Cameron
David Clapson
David Freud
David Gauke
Debbie Abrahams
Deidre Brock
Department for Work and Pensions
Department of Health
Department of Health and Social Care
Department of Health and Social Security
Department of Social Security
Diane Hullah
Disability Murals Project
Disability News Service
Disability Rights UK
Disabled People Against Cuts
Disabled People’s Direct Action Network
Disabled People’s Organisations
Dolly Sen
Dr Paul Litchfield
Dr Stephen Carty
Ed Miliband
Edward Jacques
Equality and Human Rights Commission
Errol Graham
Faiza Ahmed (Sophie)
Frances McCormack
George Osborne
Gordon Waddell
Hannah Kemp-Welch
Iain Duncan Smith
Inclusion London
Jackie Doyle-Price
James Oliver
James Purnell
Jane Bence
Jeremy Corbyn
Job Centre Plus
Jodey Whiting
John Major
John McDonnell
Joseph Rowntee Foundation
Joy Dove
Kamil Ahmad
Karen Sherlock
Keith Joseph
Ker Featherstone
Kevan Jones
Kim Burton
Labour Party
Lawrence Bond
Liam Byrne
Liberal Democrats
Lilian Greenwood
Linda Wootton
Liverpool University
Liz Crow
Liz Sayce
Lord Bach
Luke Alexander Loy
Mad Pride
Malcolm Harrington
Mansel Aylward
Maria Eagle
Mark Barber
Mark Harper
Mark Wood
Marsha de Cordova
Mary Hassell
Mental Health and Unemployment in Scotland
Mercy Baguma
Michael Meacher
Michael O’Sullivan
Mike Penning
Mike Wood
Ministry of Justice
Moira Drury
National Audit Office
National Health Service
New Approach
Nick Dilworth
Nick Wikeley
Office of Population Censuses and Surveys
Pat’s Petition
Paul Donnachie
Paul Farmer
Paul Reekie
Peter Hain
Peter Lilley
Peter Schofield
Philip Pakree
Philippa Day
Priti Patel
Psychologists Against Austerity
Public Law Project
Rachel Reeves
Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance
Recovery in The Bin
Revolving Doors
Richards Caseby
Rick Burgess
Roy Curtis
Scottish National Party
Scrap Universal Credit Alliance
Sheila Holt
Sir Leigh Lewis
Sisters of Frida
Social Security Advisory Committee
Spartacus Network
Stephanie Bottrill
Stephen Carré
Stephen Crabb
Stephen Smith
Steve Webb
Supplementary Benefits Commission
Susan Roberts
Terence Talbot
The Express
The Green party
The Mental Health Resistance Network
The National Autistic Society
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research
The One Nation Group
The Sun
Theresa May
Therese Coffey
Thompson Hall
Tim Salter
Timothy Finn
Tom Osborne
Tony Blair
UK Council for Psychotherapy
United Nations
Vince Laws
William Beveridge
Work and pensions committee
WOW Campaign
Yvette Cooper
Department for Health and Social Security (DHSS) says needs are to be determined by resources.
First figures showing number of people on Invalidity and Sickness Benefit.
UK Conservative Government tries to minimise 1980s unemployment figures by misrepresenting statistics and also misleadingly encouraging the moving of unemployed people onto disability benefits.
US insurance company Unum Provident advise the UK government on ‘welfare reform’ to reduce the number of claimants of long-term sickness benefits.
The Social Security (Incapacity for Work) Bill and research paper published, discussing role of GPs in determining access to benefits.
Professor Wikeley publishes paper highlighting the risks of The Social Security (Incapacity for Work) Act 1994, saying that it reaffirms idea of the ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ poor, begins the move away from GP-led benefits assessments, and is designed to encourage people to take up private insurance, leaving marginalised groups with inadequate protection.
The Department of Social Security tells the Social Security Advisory Committee that intended policy changes to remove the ‘substantial risk’ rules (which provide vital safeguarding) would have no detrimental effect.
Department of Social Security says removing ‘significant risk’ regulation is ‘neutral’ despite providing a ‘safety net’ for those facing a ‘significant risk’ of harm if found capable of work. This means the committee does not see a formal referral and the regulation is approved by parliament (the removal will later be found to be unlawful).
Clinicians appointed by the DSS removal of regulation 27, which provides vital safeguarding to those whose mental and/or physical health is ‘substantial risk’ if found fit to work.
Child Poverty Action group raises concerns over removal of “significant risk” clause – finding that the Social Security Advisory Committee had been ‘misled’ by the DSS.
Publication by the Blair ‘New Labour’ administration of new social security green paper “New Ambitions for our Country: A New Contract for Welfare”, setting out the principles of welfare reform based on the idea of “welfare dependency”.
‘Permanent Health Insurance’ Westminster Hall debate by Clive Efford MP debated the increasing wrongful denial of PHI claims.
National Audit Office report finds “serious problems” with medical assessment of Incapacity and disability benefits.
The Court of Appeal finds (in the case Howker v Secretary of State) that the social security advisory committee had been misled by the DSS (now DWP) and that removing the “substantial risk” clause was unlawful.
Ministers try again to remove the “substantial risk” clause from regulation 27, reversing the effect of the Court of Appeal ruling.
The Social Security Advisory Committee recommends that no change be made to regulation 27, and then withdraws its proposal to remove the safety net.
National Audit Office report finds backlog of assessment cases and early signs of DWP’s failure to seek medical evidence early in the assessment process.
DWP’s chief medical adviser, Mansel Aylward, gives evidence to the Commons Public Accounts Committee over accusations that health care professionals, carrying out assessments on behalf of DWP, are treating claimants like “lumps of meat.”
DWP-commissioned research finds Incapacity Benefit Personal Advisers are concerned about working with clients who are suicidal, and about a target driven sanctioning culture.
UnumProvident settles multi-state federal examination of claim handling practices in USA, identifying Unum’s use of in-house medical staff to deny benefits.
DWP publishes second research report on Incapacity Benefit reforms and Personal advisers, finding unmanageable workloads affect their ability to identify risk and provide support to people in distress.
DWP commission a report on ‘The Scientific and Conceptual Basis of Incapacity Benefits’, which lays the framework for the 2006 Welfare Reform Bill.
Dr Alison Ravetz criticises government’s New Deal for Welfare warning of incalculable stress for those forced into work and predicting future harms.
Bid to regulate health care professionals carrying out work capability assessments fails.
Prevention of future deaths (PFD) report finds that the rejection of his appeal that he was not fit for work was a ‘trigger’ in Stephen Carré’s death.
Coroner Tom Osborne receives initial response to the Stephen Carré PFD from DWP permanent secretary Sir Leigh Lewis.
Coroner Tom Osborne replies to Sir Leigh Lewis, saying that DWP does not need to investigate the circumstances surrounding Stephen Carré’s death but does need to investigate use of medical evidence.
Professor Malcolm Harrington publishes his first independent review of the Work Capability Assessment, finding that the system is “impersonal” but not “broken” (later evidence would emerge that he had not been informed by DWP of the coroner’s report for Stephen Carré.)
Publication of “Getting In, Staying In and Getting On: Disability Employment Support Fit for the Future” recommending end to government subsidies for Remploy factories and producing disagreement within the disabled people’s movement.
The death of Ms DE (Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland later launches an investigation into her death).
Research report evidences “influence of politicians’ rhetoric” in increasing stigma against benefit claimants.
DWP begins to collect peer reviews (the secret reports it carries out into the deaths of benefit claimants) centrally for the first time.
MPs and peers warn of cumulative impact of Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence payments (DLA/PIP) reforms on disabled people.
Mind chief executive resigns from Work Capability Assessment (WCA) review scrutiny panel, arguing that the assessment process “isn’t working”.
Scottish GP tells Scottish parliament that the death of Paul Reekie was caused by the UK government’s welfare reforms.
Doctors vote to end the work capability assessment (WCA), thanks to lobbying from disabled activists.
Professor Harrington publishes his third review of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA).
Joseph Rowntree Foundation publishes report on the impact of welfare reform on poverty and exclusion, criticising DWP for failing to assess the overall impact of its welfare reforms.
Thinktank Demos show that disabled people will be hit by up to 13 different cuts and risk losing a total of £28.3 billion in income support by 2018.
“Shocking” bedroom tax should be axed, says UN investigator, who reported that the most vulnerable were being affected, with some talking about suicide.
DPAC co-founders persuade the UN disability committee to carry out an investigation into the UK under the optional protocol of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights condemns “intrusive” Work Capability Assessment and the demonization of poor people as undeserving.
The Spartacus Network leads the Second People’s Review of the Work Capability Assessment, including accounts of deaths linked to being found fit for work. 
Publication of fourth independent review of the Work Capability Assessment – with no mention of deaths or suicides.
Court of Appeal upholds ruling that the Work Capability Assessment discriminates against some disabled people.
Inquest into the death of Michael O’Sullivan, where the Coroner concludes that the trigger for Michael O’Sullivan’s suicide was his assessment as being fit for work, and writes a prevention of future deaths report to DWP, saying that “there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken”.
The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland publishes a report into the death of Ms DE, finding that the process and denial of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) were a major factor in her suicide.
Launch of New Approach campaign and release of work capability assessment report – finding the process “abusive” and “inhumane”.
DWP data shows increase in use of sanctions against Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants.
Liberal Democrat DWP minister contradicts his Tory colleague over records kept on deaths linked to benefits.
DWP admits for the first time that it carries out investigations into some deaths of claimants.
DWP admits in a Freedom of Information response that it has carried out 60 peer reviews into deaths of benefits claimants.
Litchfield publishes fifth and final independent review of the work capability assessment, with no mention of the DWP’s own reviews into deaths of claimants.
DWP delays responding to freedom of information request on peer reviews into deaths of benefits claimants.
Labour MP speaks of “core visits” procedures, which are supposed to be followed when a  “vulnerable” person is sanctioned.
DWP refuses to release the peer reviews it has carried out in relation to deaths of benefits claimants.
DWP admits that 40 of the 49 peer reviews into the deaths of benefit claimants it has carried out were in response to suicides.
Channel 4 reports that most peer reviews included recommendations for improvements.
Dismissal of further medical evidence case on the work capability assessment and discrimination, but upper tribunal administrative appeals chamber criticises minister.
The Commons work and pensions select committee calls for a new independent body to investigate deaths of benefit claimants.
DWP examines its flawed peer review process, finding deep flaws.
DWP admits that 10 of the 49 claimants whose deaths were examined by peer reviews had had their benefits sanctioned.
Freedom of information request reveals that 22 of the 49 peer reviews into deaths of claimants involved someone claiming employment and support allowance (ESA). 
DWP says coroners’ letters expressing concern about the deaths of benefit claimants are not handled by a specific official, revealing no centralised process for accountability.
Information commissioner rejects complaint about DWP refusal to release peer reviews, supporting DWP’s’ response that this would breach data protection.
Mother of Mark Wood (who died after being found ineligible for employment and support allowance (ESA)) gives evidence to UN committee.
Disability News Service appeals to the First-Tier Tribunal over the information commissioner’s decision to reject its peer review complaint (allowing reviews to remain unpublished).
Ministry of Justice releases Stephen Carré prevention of future deaths (PFD) report. 
Professor Harrington (who carried out the first three independent reviews of the WCA for DWP) says he was not shown Stephen Carré PFD report.
DWP, in guidance to healthcare professionals working for Maximus, changes suicide from a “definitive” “substantial risk” if forced into work, to something that should be weighed against ‘benefits of employment”.
Mental health experts describe how “ruthless” DWP forced through Work Capability Assessments despite knowing of harm.
Coroner publishes prevention of future deaths (PFD) report into death of Sophie/Faiza (see 7 November 2014), calling for DWP to take action to prevent further deaths.
Information Rights Tribunal hears Disability news Service case against the information commissioner over its finding that DWP did not need to release peer reviews into the deaths of benefit claimants.
Labour former work and pensions secretary says she “never saw” Stephen Carré PFD report.
DWP figures shows that of the 49 peer reviews into deaths of people claiming benefits, 18 of the people who had died by suicide had been claiming employment support allowance (ESA).
DWP releases redacted versions of 49 peer reviews, showing that ministers were repeatedly warned that policies were putting the lives of “vulnerable” claimants at risk.
New reviews into deaths of people claiming benefits show DWP staff keep failing to follow suicide guidelines.
The National Audit Office says DWP is not doing enough to understand how sanctions affect people on benefits.
DWP admits it carried out seven peer reviews while Harrington was investigating the work capability assessment (WCA).
Report by Mental Health and Unemployment in Scotland finds that the work capability assessment (WCA) has a negative impact on mental health.
Public accounts committee report urges DWP to review the use of sanctions.
DWP tells the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) that it does not keep track of peer review recommendations.
DWP admits peer review process lacked “robust governance”.
Inquest into the death of Jodey Whiting fails to investigate DWP’s potential role in her death.
Government inquiry into benefits assessment processes receives unprecedented number of submissions.
Mental health charity Rethink publishes report on how the work capability assessment (WCA) discriminates against people with mental illness.
The Commons work and pensions committee finds the assessment system is undermined by “pervasive culture of mistrust”.
Research shows that benefit sanctions regime discriminates against disabled people claiming jobseeker’s allowance (JSA).
Number of DWP investigations (internal process reviews) into deaths of people claiming benefits double in two years.
DWP admits it keeps no record of complaints linked to deaths submitted to the Independent Case Examiner.
DWP responds to Justice for Jodey Whiting petition, saying it has “no plans” to hold an independent inquiry into deaths linked to its actions.
DWP secures funding to set up an independent panel to examine cases where its own failings have led to the deaths of benefit claimants.
Independent Case Examiner raises concerns about DWP not following safeguarding procedures aimed at protecting “vulnerable” claimants.
The case of Errol Graham’s death is referred to DWP’s new serious case panel.
Report by the National Audit Office (NAO) shows DWP misled two watchdogs over deaths and safeguarding.
DWP admits destroying pre-2015 peer reviews into suicides and other deaths of benefit claimants.
Report from Justice Department shows need for improvement in benefits decision-making. 
DWP permanent secretary gives evidence to work and pensions committee on safeguarding and internal process reviews (IPRs).
DWP refuses to release recommendations made by its internal process reviews (from between April 2019 and November 2020) into the deaths of benefit claimants.
Newly-released internal process reviews show that a number of suicides between 2014 and 2019 were linked to DWP staff’s failure to follow suicide guidance.
DWP publishes Shaping Future Support – health and disability green paper – failing to mention the internal process reviews carried out by the DWP following deaths of claimants.
DWP figures reveal sharp rise in internal process reviews into the deaths of benefit claimants.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission says the government has made no progress on improving the way its social security system protects the rights of disabled people, and that the disability benefits assessment system has led to “the deaths of a number of benefit claimants”.
DWP refuses to publish figures that would show how disabled people seeking to claim universal credit are experiencing the WCA process