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Government and Insurance companies - establishing the BPS model

Discussion in 'Work, Finances and Disability Insurance' started by Sly Saint, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    The connections between government and the insurance business in their joint project to reduce eligibility for sickness benefits.

    In November 2001 a conference assembled at Woodstock, near Oxford. Its
    subject was ‘Malingering and Illness Deception’. The topic was a familiar one
    to the insurance industry, but it was now becoming a major political issue as
    New Labour committed itself to reducing the 2.6 million who were claiming
    Incapacity Benefit (IB). Amongst the 39 participants was Malcolm Wicks, then
    Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Work, and Mansel Aylward, his Chief
    Medical Officer at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

    Fraud - which amounts to less than 0.4 per cent of IB claims - was not the issue. The experts
    and academics present were the theorists and ideologues of welfare to work.

    What linked many of them together, including Aylward, was their association
    with the giant US income protection company UnumProvident
    , represented at
    the conference by John LoCascio. The goal was the transformation of the welfare
    system. The cultural meaning of illness would be redefined; growing numbers of
    claimants would be declared capable of work and ‘motivated’ into jobs."

    2001 Unum.jpg

    "Two factors
    threatened future profits however. The first was falling interest rates, and the
    second was the growth in new kinds of ‘subjective illnesses’, for which diagnostic
    tests were disputable. The old industrial injuries were giving way to illnesses with
    no clear biological markers - Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) or Chronic Fatigue
    Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Multiple Sclerosis, Lyme Disease.
    In the early 1990s the new kinds of claims began to rise just as interest rates fell:
    profits were threatened. Unum’s 1995 ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Management
    Plan’ sounded the alarm: ’Unum stands to lose millions if we do not move quickly
    to address this increasing problem’."

    The industry drew on the work of two of the Woodstock conference participants,
    Professor Simon Wessely of King’s College and Professor Michael Sharpe of Edinburgh University, in an attempt to reclassify ME/CFS as a psychiatric disorder."

    "Then in July 2004, it opened
    its £1.6m UnumProvident Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research at
    Cardiff University. The company appointed Mansel Aylward as Director following
    his retirement from the DWP in April. Professor Peter Halligan, who had forged
    the partnership with UnumProvident, was ambitious: ‘Within the next five years,
    the work will hopefully facilitate a significant re-orientation in current medical
    practice in the UK’.


    In a memorandum submitted to the House of Commons Select Committee
    on Work and Pensions, UnumProvident define their method of working:
    ‘Our extended experience ... has shown us that the correct model to apply
    when helping people to return to work is a bio-psychosocial one

    George Osborne "Prime contractors, be they
    companies or charities, would be paid primarily if they get people back into work,
    and keep them there - in other words payment by results" "

    see also:
    Malingering and illness deception


    List of Contributors
    Mansel Aylward Department for Work and Pensions, London, UK.
    Charles Baron Registered Specialist in Occupational Medicine, Mold, UK.
    Christopher Bass Department of Psychological Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK.
    Richard Byrne Scottish Primate Research Group, School of Psychology, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, UK.
    Kenneth D. Craig Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.,Canada.
    Tom Farrow Academic Department of Psychiatry, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
    David Faust Department of Psychology, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, USA.
    Richard S. J. Frackowiak Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology,
    London, UK.
    Richard I. Frederick Department of Psychology, US Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, Springfield, Missouri, USA.
    Peter W. Halligan School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.
    Amy Herford Academic Department of Psychiatry, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
    Marilyn Hill Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, Ontario, Canada.
    Michael A. Jones Liverpool Law School, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.
    Richard Kitchen Department for Work and Pensions, Ladywood, Birmingham, UK.
    David Leung Academic Department of Psychiatry, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
    Judith A. Libow Department of Psychiatry, Children’s Hospital and Research Center at Oakland,
    Oakland, CA, USA
    John LoCascio UNUM Provident Insurance Company, Portland, ME, USA.
    Chris J. Main Department of Behavioural Medicine, Hope Hospital, Salford Royal Hospital,NHS Trust, Salford, UK.
    Bertram F. Malle Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences and Department of Psychology,University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA.
    Samantha Mann Psychology Department, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK.
    George Mendelson Department of Psychological Medicine, Monash University, Australia.
    Craig Neumann Department of Psychology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA.
    David A. Oakley Department of Psychology, University College London, London, UK.
    Ian P. Palmer Royal Centre for Defence Medicine TD, Fort Blockhouse, Gasport, Hants, UK.
    Loren Pankratz Department of Psychiatry, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland,OR, USA.
    Jon Poole Dudley Priority Health NHS Trust, Health Centre, Dudley, UK.
    Lindsay Prior Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.
    Anna Rahman Academic Department of Psychiatry, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
    Adrian Raine Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles,CA, USA.
    Becky Reilly Academic Department of Psychiatry, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
    W. Peter Robinson Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.
    Richard Rogers Department of Psychology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA.
    Samir Shah Academic Department of Psychiatry, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
    Michael Sharpe Division of Psychiatry, School of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University of Edinburgh, UK.
    Sean Spence Academic Department of Psychiatry, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
    Alan Sprince The Cayman Islands Law School, Grand Layman, B.W.I.
    Emma Stokes Scottish Primate Research Group, School of Psychology, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, UK.
    Aldert Vrij Psychology Department, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK.
    Nicholas S. Ward Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology,London, UK.
    Simon Wessely Department of Psychological Medicine, GKT School of Medicine and the Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK.
    Fiona Wood Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.
    Matthew K. Wynia Institute for Ethics at the American Medical Association, Chicago, IL, USA.

    "We would also like to thank all those contributors at the Woodstock meeting who provided constructive comments and feedback on the presentations:
    Mrs Diana Brahams, Professor Derick Wade, Dr Peter White, Professor John C. Marshall, Professor Gordon Waddell, and Professor Richard Lewis."

    Edit: There is an updated link to the PDF in post #101
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2023
  2. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Certainly is a lot of deception :rolleyes: :yuck: :sick:
    DokaGirl, Ash, shak8 and 9 others like this.
  3. It's M.E. Linda

    It's M.E. Linda Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Will this information be given to the debate on the PACE trial?

    Unum > bio-psychosocial > PACE

    'Malingering and Illness Deception' !!!
    I just wish my M.E. brain worked sufficiently well enough these days to think up these 'brilliant deceptions' that they think we have created
    DokaGirl, Sue, ladycatlover and 8 others like this.
  4. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    A Tale of two Models: Disabled People vs Unum, Atos, Governments and Disability Charities

    "An aggressive ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome plan followed, with claims being managed in a way that continued to maximise profits. The insurance industry called on the academics, Professor Simon Wessely of King’s College and Professor Michael Sharpe of Edinburgh University (both participants in the Woodstock conference) in an attempt to reclassify those conditions that were costing money, and lobby the medical profession on such conditions so they fell outside the remit of ‘pay outs’. It meant that specific illnesses were targeted in order to discredit the legitimacy of claims."

    "In 2012 the worst aspects of welfare reform were pushed through by multi-millionaire ex-banker Freud: including over a million disabled people expected to be completely removed from Incapacity benefits and unable to qualify for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) through more stringent testing by Atos, 12 month time limits on ESA to include those with terminal illness, and an additional half a million set to lose Disability Living Allowance and be ineligible for Personal Independence Payments amongst the regime.

    The fraud of the government rhetoric claiming to be supporting ‘those in most need’ was almost complete with the closure to new applicants for the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in 2010 and ILF’s expected closure in 2015. To celebrate Unum happily launched another set of advertising campaigns in 2012 advising people that the state wouldn’t support them and that they should take out insurance against sickness and disability."

  5. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    When I got to the bit that says "UNUM Provident was at the centre of UK welfare reform as early as 1992 under the Thatcher government..." I thought that the other facts stated should be checked before accepting. Thatcher was well into an unhappy retirement by 1992; we have John Major and the "bastards" to thank for this.
  6. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    She retired from the commons in 1992 but yes I see what you are saying;although a lot of the article is drawn from the one in my original post, it seems to have drawn on a number of sources and possibly the reference to Margaret Thatchers government is taken from 1982 ,as I see one of the original articles cites this https://www.theguardian.com/politic...role-plan-to-dismantle-welfare-state-revealed

    The political shenanigans, to my mind, are secondary to the insurance company links to the psychs involved.
  7. Allele

    Allele Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Likely all three rings of one big rotten circular self-serving circus.
  8. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

  9. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Which is why it is now more important than ever to prove that ME is not a mental health nor a behavioural disorder!
  10. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Is it really not breaking the GMC rules in some way for PW to take such a strong stance on the insurance side of things, whilst still allegedly serving the best interests of patients? It seems absurd and revolting.
  11. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    London, UK
    Where does the piece at the top come from @Sly Saint ? Is it a book chapter and is it recently released?
  12. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    There is one point that surprises me. We are looking at UK doctors suspecting possible links to the insurance industry, wondering whether these go back to the early 90s.

    One would have expected UNUM to have first established relationships with US doctors,but one never hears of such links. Recent reading suggests that some of the US and Canadian views made their British counterparts sound like models of enlightenment man.
    DokaGirl, ladycatlover and alktipping like this.
  13. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Mental vs. Physical Claim Abuse – They All Do It
    April 12, 2018 by lindanee

    One of the most egregious misrepresentations continuing to plague insureds/claimants are the allegations made by insurers that certain physical diseases are in fact mental and should be only paid for 24 months.

    The new/old strategies to classify impairments as “behavioral health” in order to reduce claim liability, is as popular as ever. In so far as private disability is concerned, any mention of depression, even if it is secondary to physical disease, is presumed to be the sole cause of disability and limits benefits to 24 months.

    Recently, two companies have emerged as the top offenders of behavioral health claim abuse, not surprisingly Unum Group and The Hartford. Most people are unaware that The Hartford’s management originates from Unum’s old Duncanson & Holt, and its claims strategies are primarily the same with one exception. In my opinion, The Hartford places more nickels in the surveillance-investigation bucket than Unum does."

    "It seems as though fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, secondary depression, migraines, chronic pain, and many other impairments are “positioned” to look like mental disorders when they are clearly not. Even Lyme disease, an old impairment from the past is often classified as “mental” in order to avoid paying claims to age 65."

    full blog here:
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  14. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Looking back at the original post, what is it about Sheffield University. It has seven participants. This appears excessive. It's even more than Cardiff. Who was paying for their research.?
    DokaGirl, MEMarge, shak8 and 3 others like this.
  15. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    There was a (now retired - Hallelujah!) professor of endocrinology from the University of Sheffield named Tony Weetman who wrote a nasty article with a bizarre title called "Whose Thyroid Hormone Is It Anyway" in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology. (The word "Replacement" was added to the title later.) The article is still in that journal but all copies of it appear to have been removed from elsewhere on the web. In the article Weetman claimed that patients who were treated for hypothyroidism and still didn't feel well were suffering from a somatoform disorder. Perhaps he was friends with some of the guys from the Psychiatry Department.


    Edit : The full paper can be read here : http://sci-hub.tw/https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2265.2006.02478.x
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
    Ali, DokaGirl, Suffolkres and 10 others like this.
  16. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I suppose all you quick witted people will have seen the connection between SouthWales and Sheffield.Coal and steel. When they closed the heavy industry people were put on invalidity benefit to massage unemployment figures. Then came the time that they wanted to remove invalidity benefit. They no doubt felt obliged to create some employment in the areas affected.
  17. Seven

    Seven Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    This is why it really calls my attention plp still think Simon W, EC, Peter White.... do what they do out of conviction of BPs model vs all about what it is= a scheme to keep Cfs psychological for denying benefits.
    A clear article and reference would be nice to be publish where we can refer back to everytime they try to defend the indefensible. And that plp Believe they are inocent is beyond me.
    2) We need a video w an article published to how Cfs blood react in vitro vs normal blood to stress so we can also refer to. That is the best tool to demo biological cause.
  18. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    How ‘Drop the Disorder!’ colludes with the neoliberalism it claims to oppose
    The unreported 2015 meeting between the CPN, Peter Kinderman, and Dr Simon Wessely

    full blog here:

    only posting this because of content on SW; (have yet to read it properly)
  19. Sbag

    Sbag Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    sounds like he knows more about the content of meetings, and he says he will do more blogs. It might be worth contacting him to see if anything can be drawn out from an ME point of view, or if he can access any other information.
  20. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I see from the comments that @JohnTheJack has already 'got in there'.
    One of the other comments cites a paper written on the psychiatric framing of ME/CFS (see link below) which I started to read, and found this nice quote:
    Martin J Walker, who has written about other illnesses such as Gulf War Syndrome, which he also
    claims have been inappropriately psychiatrised, describes this process:

    You get ill, you are accused of being mentally ill, denied effective treatment, then
    when you campaign for ‘real science’, you are accused of terrorising those who do not
    believe in your illness...after all, if your message is that people who say they are
    suffering from ME or CFS are mentally ill, then accusing them of irrational attacks
    adds strength to your case (Walker 2003: 225)

    Contesting the psychiatric framing of ME/CFS (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319157873_Contesting_the_psychiatric_framing_of_MECFS [accessed Jun 05 2018].

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