Disability Rights Group Outraged by ‘Spy-Like’ Job Coaches in GP Surgeries

Disability Rights Group Outraged by ‘Spy-Like’ Job Coaches in GP Surgeries

By Gary Cutlack on 02 Mar 2016 at 2:30PM

A trial within one London council area that sees job coaches installed in family doctor surgeries is not going down well with disabled people, who say the concept is akin to spying — and could lead to people with disabilities staying away from GPs out of the fear of having their entitlements challenged.

A spokesperson for activist group Disabled People Against Cuts told the Guardian: “There is a blurring of the lines between healthcare and the DWP and it’s wrong. We are already having to watch everything we say to doctors, we treat every appointment as a work capability assessment in case it’s used against us.”

The limited trial of the Working Better scheme in six London GPs sounds worthy enough. It says it wants to “embed employment into the ‘wiring’ of the healthcare system” so that finding work might become one outcome of better healthcare, offering to refer people with long-term employment problems caused by their health to an employment coach. Because Working People Are Happy People.

Clearly the worry for disabled people is that this is another way to check their willingness to work as well as their physical ability, adding a new layer of threat to doctor visits — and letting government agencies build up more patient data in their files.

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