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HomeAtosLabour MP to push for action on widespread claims of PIP assessment lies

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By John Pring Disability News Service August 10th 2017

A Labour MP is to push for a Commons debate on evidence of widespread dishonesty among healthcare professionals who assess disabled people for the government’s new personal independence payment (PIP).

Disability News Service (DNS) has been investigating allegations that healthcare professionals working for government contractors Atos and Capita have been lying in their assessment reports.

The number of cases in which disabled PIP claimants say their assessor clearly lied in their reports has now topped 200.

The DNS investigation has revealed that assessors working for Capita and Atos – most of them nurses – have repeatedly lied, ignored written evidence and dishonestly reported the results of physical examinations.

Last week, DWP, Capita and Atos all refused again to launch inquiries into the claims of widespread dishonesty.

Now, following a meeting with DNS, Neil Coyle – a member of the influential Commons work and pensions select committee – has agreed to take up the concerns after parliament’s summer recess.

Following that meeting, DNS sent the Labour MP an anonymised version of the database of all the 200-plus cases.

And with the claimants’ permission, DNS has now shared details of more than 20 of those cases with Coyle, who has previously worked as a director of Disability Rights UK, and for the former Disability Rights Commission.

He hopes to use some of these cases to push for action when parliament resumes its work after recess, including seeking a possible backbench debate in the House of Commons.

Coyle said: “I’m very concerned at the volume and persistent nature of complaints about inaccurate and in too many cases what appear to be dishonest assessments.

“We know PIP was designed under the coalition to cut help to half a million disabled people, but the assessment process itself appears badly broken already and repeating mistakes of the work capability assessment.

“I will be pushing further on this when parliament returns and hope the work and pensions select committee also takes it up.”

The committee had been investigating the PIP assessment process earlier this year, but its inquiry had to be abandoned when prime minister Theresa May called the general election.

But statements that had already been submitted to the committee had provided further evidence of widespread dishonesty.

Inclusion London, the pan-London disabled people’s organisation, said in its evidence: “Again and again Disabled people are reporting that assessors have ignored written and verbal evidence and that reports do not reflect what occurred in the assessment.”

It is not yet clear whether the committee will relaunch its inquiry into the PIP assessment process when MPs return after the summer recess.

Comments
  • MarkCarlisle August 10, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Its not just pip they are lying about its also the health assessments the DWP send you on my doctor says iam unfit for work but atos lied and declared me fit for work and the DWP keep over ruling my doctors sick note by saying I was found fit for work or be sanctioned

  • Terminator August 10, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    At my 2014 PIP F2F the HP said my evidence was old I quickly replied “It’s still bloody relevent though!”
    It doesn’t matter about dates if the sent information is still about a condition you suffer from it still it’s relevent!

  • Tatty2Shoes August 10, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Hi Mark, yes GP evidence doesn’t seem to be accepted at all does it? In my case a letter written by my GP was accepted when I was assessed for ESA declated fir for work and put into the WRAG group. I was moved into the support group on the strength of that letter but when soon after I had to apply for PIP it seems it was ignored and I lost my request for a Mandaory Reconsideration and then lost my appeal. We provide what they ask for then it is not accepted and on top of that we have to have the added indignity of having bare faced lies told about us.

  • Mary watson August 13, 2017 at 12:26 am

    It’s so bloody annoying, this happened to a member of my family, who really wasn’t well enough to attend the medical, on receiving the report to say he was fit enough for work and reading his medical answers ,he said the majority was not what he said, ,he then went to visit his g,p who was shocked by this,then gave him a sick note,to which the dwp refused to accept it,and said he must apply for universal credit,,so basically they overrule a g,p and his consultant, ,I’m so annoyed,

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