Voice of the Powerless

It has taken 28 years for the voice of the Hillsborough victims to be heard, Bishop’s Jones’s report published today is aptly titled ‘The Patronising Disposition of Unaccountable Power’.  In the aftermath I successfully treated a victim of the tragedy for PTSD, we have kept in touch and he was devastated a few years ago to find that his statement to the police had been doctored to make it appear that the police had been helpful, the facts were the total opposite. But the patronising attitude has been pervasive, my client had to see a Consultant Psychiatrist for the Insurers, the latter’s behaviour was so bad that my client came out of the Consulting Room sat down on the kerb outside and wept! I appeared in Court where this Psychiatrist referred to me as a ‘so called counsellor’, fortunately the Judge was not impressed by this! But unfortunately I regularly meet people with a personal injury claim who have been treated in a cold and upsetting manner by the Expert for the Defendant’s. I have little confidence that some of the claimant’s following the Grenfell Fire will not meet a similar experience. Assessments are often both inhuman and unreliable.

The failure to listen to the powerless unfortunately does not end with Hillsborough victims, it is repeated again in the accounts I’ve been given by clients going through the IAPT system.  It was repeated yet again today when I heard a Mental Health Nurse give anonymous testimony as ‘John’ on the Radio 4 You and Yours Programme. He was working for ATOS assessing entitlement to Personal Independence Payments he described a person with PTSD and Psychosis living in a night shelter. John wrote a report saying he needed full benefit the ‘back office/ auditor’ decided support was not needed just ‘prompting’ and he needed to alter his report.  He said that the Organisation discriminates against those without visible impairment.

From tragedy to tragedy, but hopefully people will not walk alone.

Dr Mike Scott