DWP minister Baroness Altmann confirmed in a written statement last month that personal independence payment (PIP) claimants can ask to record their medical assessment. However, they must let the provider know in advance and provide a complete copy of the CD or cassette at the end of the assessment.
Baroness Altmann’s full answer to the question “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have for recording proceedings at Personal Independence Payment assessments” was:
“The recording of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) consultations by assessment providers is not currently part of the contractual specification for PIP assessments.
“However, claimants can ask to record their own assessment, provided they comply with the conditions put in place: they must:
- Inform the provider in advance;
- Be able to provide a complete and accurate copy (CD / audio cassette only) of the recording to the health professional at the end of the consultation; and
- Sign a declaration agreeing that they will not use the recording for any unlawful purpose.”
It is not clear how long in advance Atos or Capita need to be informed, nor what happens if the provider refuses to allow a recording, though it is known that many individual health professionals refuse to carry out recorded interviews.
The conditions appear to rule out the use of digital recorders, which would be the simplest and lowest cost option for many claimants.