When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
Time for a new approach to benefits across the board, says doctor
5:00pm Friday 6th September 2013 in News
A BOURNEMOUTH doctor who helped with consultancy for Channel 4 series, Dole Office, has called for a completely new approach to benefits across the board.
Dr Stephen Bick, a GP at Highcliffe Surgery, offered his medical knowledge to the project which focused on current claimants and re-assessed them by 1949 criteria.
Participants lived by a strict set of rules designed to encourage independence and see whether it had any impact on their attitudes to work, unemployment and dependency on the state.
He said: “Britain spends around £200 billion on benefits each year and only a minority of people claim wrongly, so it is currently a huge cost to our country.
“What we really need is a complete change in attitude and a new approach to benefits across the board.
“People should be given much more help and advice when looking for a job and there needs to be a lot more training available and opportunities to take part in work placements.”
Meredith Chambers, creative director at Twenty Twenty which produced Dole Office, said: “We wanted to dismantle the clichés and myths which cloud attempts to think again about the welfare state, and maybe even make some headway on new solutions.”
Dr Bick, whose expertise lies in employment support and incapacity benefit is now looking to put together a new TV programme which helps claimants based in Bournemouth.
He said: “Every area needs to undergo a process and instil a new system and I would like to focus on Bournemouth and have a pilot programme there.”
Dr Bick also helped produce Channel 4 Dispatches, Britain on the Sick, which investigated the methods used to assess sickness and disability benefit claimants and gauge their fitness for work.
Comments are closed on this article.