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Work capability assessments: One million disability checks planned

Maximus has told the BBC it will do one million assessments this year.

Maximus is being paid £595m over three years to carry out work capability assessments for people applying for employment and support allowance.

The Department of Work and Pensions cut short a contract with Atos last year after "significant quality failures".

Maximus is promising to clear a backlog of around 600,000 claims.

It is also planning to reduce the time people wait for their results from at least 120 days to the recommended 90 days.

President of health services, Leslie Wolfe, told BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme: "Part of what Atos didn't have was a [big] enough team to keep up with the wait times.

"That's one of our first priorities. We need to clear about one million [work capability assessment] claims this year.

Read the full story on the BBC website


+1 #12 Julie Davis 2015-03-13 10:58
If you don't want Labour, the Tories or UKIP in power use your vote as a protest vote - vote for a party you know won't win or like me put your ballot back in the box unmarked showing you have no faith in the system
#11 tintack 2015-03-02 00:50
Quoting mike1983:
typical tories take from the poor what little they get while big companys are avoiding taxes, vote UKIP get these posh money huggers out, tories are no good labour are no good get UKIP in

UKIP are just as bad as the Tories. Farage is a privately educated ex-Tory who used to work in the City, who has somehow got away with claiming to be a man of the people on the basis that most of his photo ops show him drinking beer in a pub. Other senior UKIP figures are also ex-Tories, and the party is bankrolled by rich donors who used to fund the Tories.

And for anyone still in any doubt about what UKIP are like, bear in mind that Farage has just said that UKIP backs the Tories on the deficit. His only criticism is that Osborne has "shirked tough decisions". In other words, if UKIP were anywhere near power, they would encourage the Tories to be even more extreme. The mind boggles.
#10 mike1983 2015-03-01 14:16
typical tories take from the poor what little they get while big companys are avoiding taxes, vote UKIP get these posh money huggers out, tories are no good labour are no good get UKIP in
#9 zybbok 2015-02-27 06:48
Why has this current Tory government made such a massive part of its debt restructuring fall upon the welfare bill? It could have upped taxes, reduce the Foreign Aid budget, now 12bn and growing so fast that the government is struggling to spend it. Or better still get the tax owed from the dodgers e.g. Starbucks, Amazon and Google to name but a few. HM Revenue & Customs has identified £25bn of unpaid taxes that may have been wrongly withheld by corporations, of which almost 44pc are overseas companies. But all of that would have upset its core vote of the rich and well heeled classes who support it. This almost total assault on welfare and local authority services for the old and disabled people to meet their financial target (though they have missed it every month since they announced it) is driven by pure political targeted discrimination against specific groups of voters they consider unlikely to vote for the Tories at the May election.
#8 brighten 2015-02-25 18:12
simple point but dont we live in a country that could pay our sick quicker than "the recommended 90 days"
+3 #7 capainFAIRY 2015-02-24 15:08
I think its prob changed because its another pre election spin, Maximus have been told to say this to make the tories look like they have the right company clearing the benefit claimants from the system. But yes they don't actually say 'clear the backlog', rather strange
+2 #6 micksville 2015-02-24 14:45
If you work it out this involves 100,000,000 assesments in ten months from when Maximus takes over in March. Given they often work Saturdays now too thats 100,000 per month or roughly 25,000 assesments per week. Or approx 4,150 per day. Some of these will be straightforward assesments even done clerically but others will be complex, involving assesors to contact doctors, consultants etc. Then these 4,150 or so cases need to be forwarded to decision makers, re scrutinised and those DM's have to make 4,150 decisions daily across the UK. It's a task of biblical proportions.... Something tells me this is bluster and bravado from Maximus.....pro of of the pudding and all that
+2 #5 tintack 2015-02-24 14:17
From the BBC site:

"That's one of our first priorities. We need to clear about one million [work capability assessment] claims this year.

"We'll actually need hundreds of new healthcare professionals across the UK in order to clear the backlog that's there, which is about 500,000-600,000 people, and also to keep up with the ongoing new volume of claims that customers are putting in."

That quote makes it sound as though the million assessments consists of the 500,000 to 600,000 backlog of people who sent their ESA50 forms back ages ago but haven't heard anything, plus the volume of entirely new claims. It isn't stated explicitly, but that's the way I read it.
+3 #4 stuart52 2015-02-24 14:01
well I think tintacks got it about right, I think the 1st suggestion is probably right, rush it, get it wrong, one can only wonder how many will be misdiagnosed and found fit for work,
not sure how many are still waiting to be transferred from IB/IS/SDA to ESA, I am on IS and still waiting for the dreaded envelope, I have been on IS formally known as supplementary benefits since 1986 when I was registered as blind, I don't mind telling you now I am dreading the eventual brown envelope, ,after so many years you might wonder why bother? it makes no difference between ATOS or Maximus, different name, same crap, better get the appeal form now eh!
+3 #3 micksville 2015-02-24 13:49
Actually the article doesnt say theyll clear the backlog this year, just says theyll clear it....a million a year will merely make in roads into the backlog whilst dealing with completely new claims and servicing the assesments required for those already on esa and coming up for review during this year
+3 #2 micksville 2015-02-24 13:46
Sounds also like theyre going to rely on a lot of assesments done on paperwork alone too, in order to get on top of this backlog...
+3 #1 tintack 2015-02-24 00:16
Back in November Maximus said that the backlog could take up to 18 months to clear. So what has changed? It sounds as though either:

1. They'll get through the million assessments by rushing through them at breakneck speed, thus ensuring that the assessments won't be done properly, with all the resulting stress for claimants and huge numbers of appeals, many of which will be successful - in other words, Atos Mk II. Or:

2. They won't get anywhere near a million done, in which case their forecasts are no more reliable than those made by Atos.

And the news that they don't intend to employ more doctors doesn't sound good either. I wonder what Sue Marsh thinks of that?

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