Once again with The Guardian examples

Universal credit this time:

Until last summer, Mike was a paramedic: 12 years of NHS service in a job he loved. But a freak back injury caused by helping a patient in the middle of a cardiac arrest meant he was forced to take medical retirement. His consultant calls his injury “severe lumbar disc and facet degenerative change”. For Mike, it means shooting pain, weakness, and legs that give out without warning. “Sometimes even lifting a part-filled kettle is too much,” he explains from the family home in Lowestoft.

Money is tight since he had to stop working and his wife’s wage as a teaching assistant has to stretch for them and their two teenage girls. But because they live in what’s already a universal credit area, Mike and his wife aren’t eligible for the family element of working tax credits – a bureaucratic reform that’s the difference between being able to pay the mortgage or not. If they were less than 30 miles down the road in Norwich, the family would be £550 a month better off. Instead, they’re maxing out the credit cards and reaching the bank’s overdraft.

Mike is frantic about finding money to pay for his multiple medications,

How much does someone unemployed and on benefits pay for his prescriptions?

18 thoughts on “Once again with The Guardian examples”

  1. No more than £104pa, because that’s what a 12 month prepayment certificate costs (and you can spread that out over 10 monthly payments).

  2. What happened to industrial injuries benefit? Or to the NHS responsibility to its employees? Ill-health retirement should include a pension for life – and it would if he worked for a private company and was crippled as a result of a work-induced accident, even in Trumpistan.

  3. I also struggle to believe in the World’s Greatest Health Service (TM) that they’d turf an employee out without an invalidity pension following an on-the-job accident.

    Something doesn’t add up here.

  4. But a freak back injury caused by helping a patient in the middle of a cardiac arrest meant he was forced to take medical retirement. His consultant calls his injury “severe lumbar disc and facet degenerative change”

    To the untrained eye degenerative change and a freak injury don’t sit well together and

    caused by helping a patient in the middle of a cardiac arrest

    has not pulled at my heart-strings. Please try harder.

  5. Not completely sure but are not nurses forbidden to pick up patients who fall out of bed to prevent said nurses suing the NHS for any injuries etc they may get.

    Could it be the bloke hurt his back doing a forbidden good deed and got booted out with nothing by the NHS?

    Seems unlikely for ambulance crew but with soviet-style dross like the NHS who knows what depths they stoop to?

  6. I lost sympathy for him when I discovered he had determined 13 was a landmark birthday for one of his daughters (I can kind of understand 18) – what the hell is the landmark there?

    Still you’ve got to admire Ms Ryan – she has seemingly got a nice career writing these articles. Full credit to her for finding a gap in the market.

  7. Only prescription medications would be free. Quite common for people with severe pain to have to buy some stuff themselves, some from the supermarket perhaps and some from other sources.
    I get two painkillers from the pharmacy on prescription (paracetamol is one – and you try getting large quantities of it repeatedly without prescription every few days!).
    And buy occasional other painkillers as needed, one cheap one expensive. Neither of those used daily.

    Sounds like he can still work, just limited what he can do. Legs and back? Wheelchair / reclined chair / bed?

  8. @Tim Newman
    Well, British Rail didn’t give a **** for its passengers but cared a lot for its employees. On one occasion I was knocked flat by a carriage door opened before the train stopped and completely ignored by BR staff. A couple of passengers helped me onto the train and then checked that I was not severely injured.
    So why assume that the NHS treats customers as well as it treats employees?

  9. It doesn’t ask about his prescriptions – the comment is about medications.

    Whisky, cigarettes, weed, none of these are covered by an NHS prepaid prescription…

  10. Frances Ryan occasionally puts out calls for bad case benefit claimants to contact her for interviews. She’s risking getting contacted by someone called Godfrey Niemietz, Richard Snippa or similar with a made up tale. Whether she would publish would be interesting.

  11. Bongo,

    It might be fun to work something out and then reply to her. See how well she’s factchecking what people are telling her 😉

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