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‘Seriously ill’ mental health inpatients told to attend jobcentre or risk losing benefits

Still Waters

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Mental health inpatients have been told to attend jobcentre meetings relating to their benefits claims, including one claimant who was told to turn up for a work-related appointment, the Observer can reveal.

Three patients at Forston clinic, an NHS mental health inpatient service near Dorchester, were told to attend meetings in recent months – sparking complaints from the local Citizens Advice branch, which has an adviser based at the clinic.

“It’s just ridiculous. It’s beyond ridiculous,” Daphne Hall, south-west England representative at the National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers (Nawra), told the Observer. “There should be no way somebody in hospital for whatever reason – mental health or physical – should be expected to attend a work-related appointment. They’re in hospital. They can’t possibly do that.”


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