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To think Westminster Council's idea is unworkable?

(26 Posts)
Riverwalk Thu 03-Jan-13 15:04:59

They are proposing to cut benefits for obese and unhealthy people who don't follow doctors' orders to go to the gym.

Bags Thu 03-Jan-13 15:15:55

As reported in the Guardian, it does look unworkable. Since when did GPs tell councils what they have prescribed for their patients? What happened to patient confidentiality? Maybe it's just pie in the sky. It looks, at first sight, rather 1984-ish to me – finding ways to force people to behave in certain ways.

It's not even as if going to the gym is the only, or even the best way, to get some exercise.


MiceElf Thu 03-Jan-13 15:30:51

Is this the same Westminster City Council who, under the leadership of Shirley Porter implemented the Homes for Votes scandal?

It seems like yet another ploy to rid the wealthy borough of its embarrassing poor.

janeainsworth Thu 03-Jan-13 15:40:21

Good point about confidentiality bags and would certainly jeopardise the patient/doctor relationship.
People bang on about the benefits of local control and the evils of top-down policies but I think this clearly demonstrates the dangers of giving local councils too much power when they haven't got the common sense or expertise to know what to do with it.

Lilygran Thu 03-Jan-13 15:44:31

I'm intrigued at the implication that only people on benefits lead unhealthy lifestyles! Or is this just the thin end of the wedge and we'll find next that our state pensions will be cut if we don't turn out for the compulsory exercise regime. That's right, Mice. I believe they are already shipping people out to the Midlands.

Riverwalk Thu 03-Jan-13 15:46:15

It's news to me that from April local councils will be responsible for Community Wellbeing and Public Health.confused

So maybe they will have the power to implement such a policy, but whether it will work is another.

Barrow Thu 03-Jan-13 15:57:40

I don't think a doctor would advise someone to go to the gym. He/she may advise you should do more exercise (shouldn't we all!!). Unless the NHS are going to pay the gym fees (and I know some areas do) then many people would not be able to afford to go to a gym.

I agree with Lilygran that this seems to imply only those on benefits are obese.

Completely unworkable in my opinion

janeainsworth Thu 03-Jan-13 16:01:28

And lilygran that people on benefits should be the only ones to be penalised!
riverwalk Yes it's part of the new Health and Social Care Act - another example of 'make it up as you go along and find out later what all the snags are' that successive governments have foisted on the health and care professions angry

Riverwalk Thu 03-Jan-13 16:07:57

Presumably, the idea would be for them to go to council-owned gyms and if you have a 'prescription' it would be free.

To be frank, I think there are many people who could do with a carrot & stick approach to healthier living and not sitting around all day, claiming benefits, with no intention of seeking work. But there are few jobs anyway to prepare people for!

MiceElf Thu 03-Jan-13 16:08:15

Perhaps someone could propose an addendum to this requiring all Westminster City Councillors to be regularly weighed, their alcohol intake to be monitored and to be compulsorily fitted with a pedometer to check the amount of time they use their feet. It might stop them spouting nonsense out of their bottoms.

Bags Thu 03-Jan-13 16:20:55

grin That's the spirit, elf!

Nanado Thu 03-Jan-13 16:39:03

The obese, smokers, alcoholics, single mums ( single dads are naturally exempt) people on benefit, asylum seekers and pensioners should all be rounded up and sent to boot camp.
Now who have it forgotten? hmm

Riverwalk Thu 03-Jan-13 16:45:07

Eric Pickles! grin

JessM Thu 03-Jan-13 16:50:43

grin brilliant!
I think dithering Dave has given up his bike since becoming PM too - and he lives in the borough. His buddy George doesn't look well exercised either.

Nanado Thu 03-Jan-13 16:54:18

Looking at his picture river I think he's already included in the obese category.

crimson Thu 03-Jan-13 16:54:28

You mean Mr Pumpkin Head? I bet his bike cost the taxpayer a fortune in police escorts anyways.

Nanado Thu 03-Jan-13 16:58:03


How do some people manage to post a link with just a word in blue instead of all the long blurb above. I notice JO does it a lot. Advice please smile

Riverwalk Thu 03-Jan-13 17:01:39

Nanado grin

Now, now girls .... don't be judging people on their looks! wink

Nanado Thu 03-Jan-13 17:05:35

Quite right river mea culpa.

Still would like to know how to make a link like JO does envy

Bags Thu 03-Jan-13 17:08:54

nanado, typing (or pasting) your link with double square brackets around it shows the link as is.

Typing two opening brackets, [[ then pasting the link, then typing a space, the typing the words you want (such as "Pickles!" in this case), then typing two closing square brackets ]] gives


Ana Thu 03-Jan-13 17:09:20

Read the 'links' tips below, Nanado. I find it easier to put the whole link in the post, click 'convert links automatically', preview it, then add the words before the two lots of brackets in the preview box.

Elegran Thu 03-Jan-13 17:13:07

nanado You type [ then the link you want, then a space, then what you want to be seen, then ] That should do it. Don't forget the space though.

Elegran Thu 03-Jan-13 17:14:17

Should have said double the [[s Nanado, but enough people have replied to tell you what to do.

Nanado Thu 03-Jan-13 17:52:34


Ana Thu 03-Jan-13 17:53:25

Hooray! smile