4 July 2006
Using the Freedom of Information Act, Benefits and Work has obtained a copy of the pack being used by staff teaching Examining Medical Practitioners (EMPs) how to complete the new DLA and AA medical reports (see DLA doctors 're-generated' - news round-up).
Astonishingly, in relation to continence, trainers are told that the key point that they need to convey to doctors is that:
"For the opinion on Continence it remains inappropriate to check underwear. Any opinion here should be based on what the EMP knows about the Claimants medical condition".
It's more than a little worrying that doctors need to be told not to go peering in claimants pants for corroboratory evidence of incontinence. It perhaps gives a clue as to the quality of some of the GPs being used to do DLA and AA medicals.
50 ways to challenge a DLA/AA medical report
So far, Benefits and Work has seen three completed copies of the new DLA medical reports. None of them followed the guidance given to doctors in the training which they have to undergo before using the new reports and which, by the end of July, every EMP in the country should have attended.
So, based on information gleaned from DWP training, guidance and other materials, plus copies of completed reports, Benefits and Work will be publishing a guide provisionally entitled 50 ways to challenge a DLA/AA medical report. The guide will be a practical, hands on guide to challenges ranging from the very basic to the extremely long shots. It will contain many sample texts to put in written evidence to the DWP.
Our new guide should be available in the Members area from 18 July - we'll send out an email when it's published. But this will be just the first draft of what is intended to be an ongoing project, so that by the end of the year we're aiming to publish 100+ ways to challenge a DLA/AA medical report. All contributions gratefully accepted.
Over the next few weeks we'll also be updating all our DLA and AA guides to take account of the new medical reports and publishing a guide to preparing for a new DLA or AA medical.