died within a fortnight of being declared fit for work by ATOS. This whole thing is totally rotten. I am not saying - before Alan says it - that there are not people out there fiddling the system. It's fairly obvious, though, that these people were not. This should never have happened.
I heard a bird cry, sharp and free. My name is Jordan.
This has to be compared with the number of people who would have died anyway. The number who would have died is difficult to estimate because many of those who were declared fit for work would have been physically unwell.
However, if we assume ATOS declared 50% of unemployed people (50% of 2.34 million, Wiki) unfit for work, and that they were all physically well and mostly in the age range 25 to 44, then we would expect 73 of them to have died within two weeks regardless of being declared fit for work (mortality rate). If you're saying 2400 actually died then it is horrific.
My former colleague had a brain aneurysm almost a decade ago and had permanent issues with it but worked part-time. Then a year ago was laid off and was dead within a fortnight of that. I don't know if the epilepsy killed him or if it was suicide, but it is pretty clear that any drastic change in your life like that adds not only physical stress but mental as well.
My father went through a very difficult time after he lost his job. The company where he worked was broke, so everyone there lost their job, but being 50 at the time and very ill, he did not find a job again. He was declared unfit for work eventually.