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The Cystic Fibrosis Trust has taken on the DWP and won in a fight to stop a risky procedure being carried out during personal independence payment (PIP) assessments. The relatively small organisation’s victory over the DWP should be an inspiration to other condition-specific charities with much greater campaigning resources at their disposal.

Claimants with conditions such as cystic fibrosis are routinely required to undertake a peak flow meter test which measures respiratory function.

Cystic Fibrosis Trust member Carrie Griffen told the Trust:

“During the medical exam I was shocked when I was asked to prove my lung function by way of a peak flow test. I was hesitant as the bag containing the mouth piece was not sealed so I'm not sure it was sterile and no nose peg was provided so didn't really see that this test was accurate or relevant. At no point did the assessor make me aware that I was not under obligation to do the test. I was worried if I didn't take the test my PIP decision would be affected so I did it.”

Carrie was further concerned that the assessor used bad language, seemed mostly interested in talking about her dog and ended the assessment by announcing that she was going to pop out for a smoke before her next client.

Benefits and Work members will not be surprised to learn that Carrie ended up with her award being cut by 40%.

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust made a complaint to the DWP who have now confirmed that:

“We appreciate that this is an area of significant concern to the cystic fibrosis community and can confirm that healthcare professionals will not be undertaking any peak flow assessments or other respiratory function tests on claimants who have cystic fibrosis.”

Carrie is now being supported in her appeal against the PIP decision by the Trust’s welfare rights advisor, Sangeeta Enright – a former Benefits and Work staffer whose name will be familiar to many readers.

We wish Carrie and Sangeeta the best of luck with their appeal and applaud the Cystic Fibrosis Trust for being prepared to take on the DWP. There are undoubtedly many other claimants affected by similar issues who deserve the same level of support from the charities that represent them.

You can read the full story on the Cystic Fibrosis Trust website


#3 soontjen 2016-07-04 18:45
they ought to stop using anything that isn't sterile ? I had a cold sore after using one .
In my ESA medical I was asked to do a peak flow test the nurse got the peak flow meter and tube out of a black bin liner bag on an old medical trolly . I asked if they were new she said yes there ok ?? I did the test felt very uncomfortable doing it as I've got copd and get regular chest infections felt I needed to do it .I did the test which was low as it all way's is with my condition , she wrote in her medical report
"peak flow test was low but wasn't conclusive as he didn't seem out of breath and had a normal pulse rate "
should be inspected as hospitals are and be as clean as well
+1 #2 Sangeetae 2016-05-04 14:40
Thanks B&W! Sangeeta
+1 #1 Porthole Pete 2016-05-03 17:33
Oh very well done Cystic Fibrosis Trust. I have been astounded for a long time by the lack of such support and understanding from mental health charities for mental health sufferers regarding the bullying tactics of the DWP etc. In fact it isn't just the charities it's also mentel health services in some parts of the country. I recently had the ordeal of having to use a mental health crisis line in my area. I won't go into great detail but was fobbed off with "oh we can't help you, this seems to be a benefits issue" simple because I mentioned that I was going through an ESA reassessment and I wasn't coping very well. I find it very hard to understand that those working in mental health services are not aware of the impact that these reassessments are having on people. I can't say here what I attempted to do that same night. I have told my doctor I will not ring that number again as they made things worse for me, almost tipped me over the edge, almost!! So DWP do your worsed because I have tried accessing non existing mental health services in my area and have decided I am better off on me todd, thanx but no thanx!! No doubt countless other members using this site are doing the same.

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