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Maximus accused of unreasonable ESA targets by former assessor

A doctor who trained in psychiatry and then worked for Maximus as an employment and support allowance (ESA) assessor has claimed that the company set unrealistic targets for the speed at which assessments had to be carried out.

The doctor, who no longer works for Maximus but wishes to remain anonymous, told the Guardian:

“Working in clinical psychiatry, an assessment of a new patient would take 45-50 minutes, with 10 minutes for dictating notes.

“The target set by Maximus was six tests a day at 65 minutes each. Around 30 minutes for assessment, 30 for writing up. The argument was you might get an easy case that would take 35/40 minutes and a difficult one that would take longer. But there were times when you had five difficult cases in a row. You get pushed into doing difficult cases fast. I would stay late most evenings and had to skimp on quality at times.”

He added that there were cases where a claimant was seriously unwell, but they were classified as fit for work because the work capability assessment criteria did not allow any other finding.

You can read the full story in the Guardian

Comments  

+1 #3 Elizabeth kemp 2016-03-10 18:34
I am currently in the support group, with highest tate for mobility and daily living. I was assessed originally as being I'm the wrag group which I appealed and was put in the support group after my tribunal,. My tribunal stated that o should not be re assessed. For at least two years and that was in Jan 2013 so I'm terrified of being reassessed for esoon for e.s.a., does the new law about claimants in the wrag group losing £30 a week apply to only new claimants or those being reassessed???? I'm so confused and scared as my condition is degenerative and I have mental health conditions which apparently are the two conditions that are going to be targeted at by the d.w.p. I'm terrified of a brown letter coming through the door,.
+2 #2 tintack 2016-03-08 18:52
Quoting Elisa:
To quote the article
Maximus said all staff had training in how to recognise how a person’s mental health impacted upon their ability to work. He said: “Our doctors, therapists and nurses are responsible for carrying out functional assessments, which are not clinical psychiatric assessments. While it is not our role to diagnose someone’s mental health, we know how important it is to understand it in the context of an individual’s functional capability.”

That is an oximoron of a quote, if they are not qualified to assess mental health problems, how can they recognise how mental health impacts on ability to work?


They can't, and the same argument applies to physical conditions as well. This has always been one of the central flaws in the WCA and it's an argument the DWP has never been able to answer.
+4 #1 Elisa 2016-03-08 17:07
To quote the article
Maximus said all staff had training in how to recognise how a person’s mental health impacted upon their ability to work. He said: “Our doctors, therapists and nurses are responsible for carrying out functional assessments, which are not clinical psychiatric assessments. While it is not our role to diagnose someone’s mental health, we know how important it is to understand it in the context of an individual’s functional capability.”

That is an oximoron of a quote, if they are not qualified to assess mental health problems, how can they recognise how mental health impacts on ability to work?

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