The Labour MP said: “I have in my hand a genuine suicide note from a constituent of mine who, sadly, took his own life after he was informed that he was no longer entitled to employment and support allowance and disability benefits.”
Kingswood Park belongs to Hereward Housing, having been sold off by Cambridgeshire County Council along with other care homes across Fenland in the mid 1990s.
It is run by Methodist Homes for the Aged. The closure is being blamed on a variety of things including the cancellation of a block booking of beds by the county council as part of cost-cutting measures.
Her son was pushed over the edge by a combination of circumstances, including receiving a letter calling him in for a benefits reassessment. A number of people have committed suicide on getting such letters or after being cut off and made to be jobseekers. The harsh benefit conditions and sanctions threatened by the Welfare Reform Bill will only add to such tragedies.
“There were letters about his student loan and from credit card companies saying we’re coming round but he just ignored them.”
A post mortem found no signs of injury, but due to the advanced state of “mummification” it was impossible to give a cause of death.
Courtesy of the Guardian from 2009, a tragic death of a terminally ill man:
At this point she was told: “He’s going to have to go in to the local Jobcentre Plus office.” Telling people “it may be necessary for you to attend an interview at your local Jobcentre Plus” appears to be part of a standard telephone script. Mr A’s partner knew where the office was and said she could get him there in a wheelchair, but wouldn’t be able to get him up the stairs. Could someone come down the stairs to speak to him? She was very agitated. He died shortly afterwards. He never received the benefit.
Andrew Stuart, 49, was found dead at his home in Frizington Road, by police officers, in May last year, after concerns were expressed by worried family and friends.