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.