Liblink: Baroness Thomas… ‘do away with hostile atmosphere’

Over at Politics Home, Celia Thomas criticises the assessment process for Personal Independence Payments, highlighting the very large number of decisions that are found wrong on appeal and the ‘hostile atmosphere’ for claimants.

The Government has lost court cases on two issues – mobility and mental health, and managing therapy, resulting in thousands of cases having to be re-examined.

Why hasn’t PIP bedded down by now? Are the assessors from Atos and Capita up to it? In the old days of DLA, a lot of the assessors were doctors, but now they are likely to be nurses or physiotherapists.

Does this matter because we know that PIP is not a medical test but a functioning test? Yes, it does matter because some quite irrational decisions are being made, such as people with muscular dystrophy (a degenerative disease) getting enhanced mobility at one assessment, and not at the next some years later.

It is hard to imagine what other branch of public service would tolerate an error rate so high that two thirds of appeals are won, and where wrongful refusal causes so much misery and hardship.

My advice to the DWP is to overhaul the descriptors and scoring in the light of experience, get the medical evidence at the initial rather than the end stage, make sure the assessors are much better trained, ensure that all PIP assessment centres are accessible and, finally, do away with the hostile atmosphere.

Read the whole thing here.

Read more by .
This entry was posted in LibLink.
Advert

2 Comments

  • I’m glad to hear of Baroness Thomas’s concerns – I only wish the Lib Dems in Parliament (with one or two honourable exceptions) had been alert to these issues back in 2014 when they naively voted to introduce PIP. As Chair of a food bank I’ve been part of a team that has tried to cope with some of the fall out of that unfortunate vote.

    Baroness Thomas may or may not be aware but there are signs that the government are now on the retreat with the Minister Sarah Newton announcing yesterday that Parkinson’s and Ms sufferers will no longer have to undergo regular tests to ‘prove’ they remain eligible for disability benefits.

    The sooner the contracts of the dreadful ATOS and Capita are ended the better.

  • It’s the hostile environment that is the issue. A hostile culture to immigrants permeates whatever rules are in place. People are deluding themselves if they think they are above the permeating culture.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 23rd Feb - 1:44pm
    Taxes have both macroeconomic effects and microeconomic effects. So called deadweight losses are primarily (but not exclusively) a microeconomic feature. In the UK we have...
  • User Avatarexpats 23rd Feb - 1:38pm
    ........................Heidi Allen MP, one of the three ex-Tory Independents, who reportedly attacked George Osborne in her Maiden speech in 2015 over his tax cuts to...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 23rd Feb - 1:05pm
    Katharine you bring a constructive and of course welcome contribution to our debate about these mps. I feel there is much to agree with in...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 23rd Feb - 12:56pm
    Peter Martin, House prices in the UK have increased by more than double that in comparable European Counties since 1970. Rents have increased by three...
  • User AvatarMichael 1 23rd Feb - 12:52pm
    @Gordon On VAT All taxes increase the cost of doing business and therefore the cost of living. Income tax increases the cost of living. And...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 23rd Feb - 12:38pm
    Sean Hagan 23rd Feb '19 - 10:43am: Peter Kyle MP was interviewed at length on BBC tv Politics Live on 22/2/2019. His proposed amendment falls...