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MPs condemn PIP and ESA medical system

MPs on the public accounts committee (PAC) have issued a report which concludes that companies carrying out personal independence payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA) assessments are still failing to meet acceptable performance standards.

Quality
The committee found that too many PIP and ESA assessments do not meet the required standards, especially for claimants with fluctuating conditions or mental health conditions.

The quality of assessments is also very variable. Between 7% and 20% of assessments sampled by contractors do not meet the required standards. Yet the DWP return only 1% to the privatised companies as unusable, claiming that telephone calls resolve the issues with the rest.

Waiting times
The committee found that there are “unacceptable local and regional variations” in the performance of assessments. The DWP has admitted that, while waiting times for assessments have fallen, there are strong regional variations. The DWP collect figures on these and the PAC have said that they should start publishing quarterly results by the autumn.

There is also a huge difference between the average time it takes to return an assessment. For PIP, Atos and Capita take an average of four weeks, whilst Maximus take 23 weeks to return an ESA assessment.

Costs
Strong doubts were also raised about the value for money of an increase in the cost of assessments, with the PAC saying that "there has been no noticeable benefit for claimants or taxpayers". Costs are expected to double, with a staggering £579 million going into the pockets of private contractors in 2016-17.

The cost of ESA assessments, in particular, have risen from £115 per assessment to £190 under the new contract with Maximus. Yet witnesses told the PAC that there has been no noticeable improvement under Maximus.

You can download a pdf copy of the PAC committee report ‘Contracted out health and disability assessments’ from this link.

Comments  

#8 Cymro 2016-04-25 17:21
Quoting Jim Allison:
It's a bit late now. They should have condemned it when the coalition was in power, or better still the Welfare Reform Bill should never have become an Act of Parliament. It costs more to administer PIP than it does to administer DLA. The social er, and over 10 years as a DLA/AA Tribunal Member.

Any welfare system in the UK will never work, since 1947 the Tories have had an agenda after a labour parliament brought in benefits for people who have the need, I'm not saying I agree without question the system However would you want to go back to pre ww2 were people could not. Get help or unemployment. The bosses don't pay for it in full we do?
+1 #7 Jim Allison 2016-04-14 18:17
It's a bit late now. They should have condemned it when the coalition was in power, or better still the Welfare Reform Bill should never have become an Act of Parliament. It costs more to administer PIP than it does to administer DLA. The social security system is badly in need of reform, but DLA was not a benefit that needed reform based on my experience as a local government Principal Welfare Rights Officer, and over 10 years as a DLA/AA Tribunal Member.
+2 #6 christopher goodman 2016-04-06 21:17
We must stick together and get these murderers out of power
+15 #5 tintack 2016-04-02 20:14
[quote name="buster"Wh en the hell are we going to get change? What happened to the British sense of compassion and to empathy and to social justice?

Why have our most vulnerable become to be regarded as burdens on society, as modern day hate-figures, as outcasts and wicked pariahs?

Just where did it all go so terribly wrong?

Buster

It's been going wrong since Thatcher got in. From that point on the political centre of gravity has been dragged relentlessly further and further to the right and the media has gone in the same direction. This dominance has allowed the media to batter the public into swallowing the scam of trickle down economics by means of a relentless tide of propaganda.

Unfortunately the Tories are always willing to drag us even further to the right when in power, whereas New Labour showed no inclination to redress the balance. We were told that tinkering at the edges was the best we could expect, and this in the name of supposed credibility. Even now, after the 2008 crash exposed the drastic flaws in this system, we still have Labour MPs furious that an actual left winger has been elected party leader. It's little wonder Thatcher described New Labour as her greatest achievement.

The problem is that free market fundamentalism benefits those at the top at the expense of those at the bottom, especially when the economy takes a turn for the worse, so a distraction is needed. That's where the poorest and most vulnerable come in, as convenient scapegoats on whom all the country's woes can be blamed. Anyone who suggests even modest measures to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor is immediately denounced as an extremist advocate of class war. As Warren Buffett put it: "There's class war all right, but it's my class, the rich class, who are waging it. And we're winning.".
+6 #4 Camly91 2016-04-02 19:49
Quote:
Stop condemning it just stop it altogether this all we hear hot air from all these committees
Quite. What is the point in these committees when they are entirely toothless? I've lost count of the times it's all been condemned/criti sised/'exposed' , the press barely report it & the public dont give a hoot anyway. So whats the point?

Still i suppose it's a little better than nothing
+9 #3 buster 2016-04-02 13:09
Unfortunately, it is now one big game of politicised "chess". The stakes are high for some. The disabled, the weak, the vulnerable and the victimised - have all become modern day pawns - as a passive nation watches on! Or maybe they are just walking around blindfolded - or should that be hoodwinked?

Welcome to Tory Britain 2016 - corrupt - unjust and downright harsh - for some but not for all! And we thought Thatcher was bad - Cameron now makes her look more and more like Mother Teresa.

When the hell are we going to get change? What happened to the British sense of compassion and to empathy and to social justice?

Why have our most vulnerable become to be regarded as burdens on society, as modern day hate-figures, as outcasts and wicked pariahs?

Just where did it all go so terribly wrong?

Buster
+9 #2 angela 2016-04-02 12:07
Stop condemning it just stop it altogether this all we hear hot air from all these committees
+11 #1 GoingOffMyHeadWithThisGoverment 2016-04-01 15:35
It will never work, or get any better either. The're all the same money grabbing a...holes.

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