Atos: Suicide/Self-Harm and the 6 Point Plan

Mr Taylor made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Department for Work and Pensions.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Could you please inform me when and why it was decided that the Declarations of Suicide/Self-Harm problem was, or would become. such a serious problem that there was a need for 6 point plan. http://www.workprogramme.org.uk/20110518...

It has been widely reported that that an internal document including the 6 point plan was sent to the Guardian by a senior jobcentre employee who has worked for the DWP for more than 20 years. It was accompanied by a letter from the source that said: “Absolutely nobody has ever seen this guidance before, leading staff to believe it has been put together ahead of the incapacity benefit and disability living allowance cuts.”

Also please supply details of how long the 6 Point Plan took to prepare, who was consulted and when it came into operation.

Does the 6 point plan apply to the DWP contractors including Atos Healthcare?

Finally could you please inform me how many times it has so far been necessary to implement the 6 point plan due to a customer of the DWP making a declaration of suicide/self-harm, along with details.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Taylor

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

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DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

Dear Mr Taylor

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 19th
August 2011.
You asked for:-

Could you please inform me when and why it was decided that the
Declarations of Suicide/Self-Harm problem was, or would become such a
serious problem that there was a need for 6 point plan.
http://www.workprogramme.org.uk/20110518...
ide-plan-revealed.html
It has been widely reported that that an internal document including the
6 point plan was sent to the Guardian by a senior jobcentre employee who
has worked for the DWP for more than 20 years. It was accompanied by a
letter from the source that said: "Absolutely nobody has ever seen this
guidance before, leading staff to believe it has been put together ahead
of the incapacity benefit and disability living allowance cuts."
Also please supply details of how long the 6 Point Plan took to prepare,
who was consulted and when it came into operation.
Does the 6 point plan apply to the DWP contractors including Atos
Healthcare?
Finally could you please inform me how many times it has so far been
necessary to implement the 6 point plan due to a customer of the DWP
making a declaration of suicide/self-harm, along with details.

In response to your questions:

Jobcentre Plus has always had in place, long standing policies and
overarching guidance regarding support and assistance for their
interactions and business processes for these vulnerable claimants. The
framework introduced in 2010 was merely to centralise and standardise
the guidance across DWP.

Prior to 2004, Jobcentre Plus staff were provided with written advice
from DWP Occupational Psychologists. This focused on how to support both
those staff who were made aware of and claimants who expressed
statements of intent to self harm or suicide. As with all policies these
have been kept under review and revision as the business developed -

* 2004 to 2005 guidance on how to manage claimants who were
indicating they may commit suicide was included in the Pathways to Work
training for Jobcentre Plus staff.

* 2006 the DWP Occupational Psychologist team published a guide
for staff on how to respond appropriately to claimants who were
intending to harm themselves.

* In 2008 the Mental Health Coordinator role was introduced and
'Introduction to Mental Illness' training was developed. This training,
which is intended for all staff, includes a section on 'responding to
suicide declarations'.
* 2009 DWP recognised the need for more generic guidance to be
made available to ensure a more common and consistent approach across
all its delivery businesses. The guidance was revised to form a new DWP
policy framework on "Managing customers' suicide and self harm
declarations". The framework includes best practice, advice and
guidelines and contains the six point plan which sets out the procedures
that managers must put in place within their own office. It was
developed in consultation with policy and professional experts from
within the Department and operational staff. The new guidance was issued
to all DWP staff on 30 March 2011 to ensure that all staff who work with
claimants are aware of how to respond appropriately in such situations.

The six point plan was developed for DWP businesses to implement within
their own offices. It does not apply to DWP contractors including Atos
Healthcare

We do not hold central data on how many times it has been necessary to
implement the six point plan, where claimants have made statements of
intent of suicide or self harm, nor any details of those specific
occasions.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the
reference number above.

Central FoI Team

Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal
review by e-mailing [DWP request email]. or by
writing to DWP, Central FoI Team, 5th Floor The Adelphi, 1-11, John Adam
Street, London WC2N 6HT. Any review request should be submitted within
two months of the date of this letter.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner's Office for a decision.
Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have
exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can
be contacted at: The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.gov.uk

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Dear DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request,

You state:

"The framework includes best practice, advice and
guidelines and contains the six point plan which sets out the procedures
that managers must put in place within their own office. It was
developed in consultation with policy and professional experts from
within the Department and operational staff."

The guidance and advise you refer to is the information I have requested but you haven't supplied it. Please supply the actual detailed information as requested from you.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Taylor

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received at the DWP Central FoI Team.

We will forward your request to the relevant information owner within the
Department who will respond to you direct. 

Should you also have any further queries in connection with this request
do please contact us.

For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.

[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Taylor

Please see attached response to your FoI request.

Kind regards

DWP Central FoI Team

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