“Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 27 June 2012, Official Report, column 1098W, on work capability assessment: appeals, how many people found fit for work under the work capability assessment have subsequently died within (a) three, (b) six and (c) 12 months of the assessment decision in (i) Scotland and (ii) the UK. 
One would have thought that prior to the WCA implementation a full risk assessment would have been undertaken and likewise for every major change to it since. It was not. There have been odd RAs since in odd areas, but they have all (deliberately?) omitted the greatest risk of all. Risk assessment and impact analysis sit side by side and one is looking for combinations of risk & impact that are high – they do not both individually need to be high.
Amongst a variety of risks is the obvious risk of getting an assessment wrong (it will never be 100% accurate). However small the risk was perceived to be, the subsequent impact could be momentous – someone dies, so on any scale using any criteria or any management philosophy this possibility would appear high on the risk management matrix. The only theoretical situation where is would not be the case is where the risk of a wrong assessment could be genuinely judged as zero.
Having comprehensively assessed the risk, good management practice would then evolve a plan to mitigate it, both in the sense of minimising both parameters ongoing, together with a contingency plan to ensure ‘failures’ are dealt with effectively. To do this one does of course need the appropriate information, most particularly the feedback on ‘failures’, so that causes can be identified and the process adapted to avoid repetition. This is simply learning from one’s mistakes which is apparently a cornerstone philosophy of both the DWP service charter and the Civil Service Code. In the private sector, this approach is regularly taken when there is just a few quid at stake let alone lives.
However, not necessary here it seems. A person dying is bad enough, but the Government’s demonstrable lack of concern or interest is the real indictment and undoubtedly an unforgivable dereliction of duty. This is what they must answer for.