PIP INVESTIGATION: Assessment reports show widespread dishonesty by nurses

36

Healthcare professionals who carry out face-to-face assessments of benefit claimants have lied, ignored written evidence and dishonestly reported the results of physical examinations, according to a two-month Disability News Service (DNS) investigation.

The investigation has compiled evidence from more than 20 disabled people who have contacted DNS over the last year or have commented on previous DNS news stories to claim that their assessors – usually qualified nurses – lied repeatedly in reports they produced for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The evidence compiled during the investigation suggests a far-reaching, institutional problem that stretches across DWP and the two private sector contractors – Atos Healthcare and Capita – that assess eligibility for personal independence payment (PIP) on its behalf.

The alleged dishonesty includes assessors: refusing to accept further written evidence from medical experts; wrongly claiming that detailed physical examinations had been carried out during the assessment; refusing to list all of a claimant’s medications; ignoring or misreporting key information told to them during the assessment; and reporting that a claimant had refused to co-operate with a physical examination, when they were unable to complete it because of their impairment.

Eight PIP claimants have given their permission to have their cases shared with DWP, Atos and Capita. Five of those cases concern Atos and three relate to assessments carried out by Capita.

DNS has also offered to send anonymous details of at least 15 more cases, but DWP, Atos and Capita have shown no interest in seeing that information.

DWP has made it clear that it does not believe there is any dishonesty at all among its PIP assessors, and its press office has confirmed to DNS that the department will take no action in response to the investigation, but that it was “committed to providing a high-quality, sensitive and respectful service by conducting fair, accurate and objective assessments”.

A DWP spokeswoman said: “Independent audit is in place to ensure advice provided to DWP decision makers is of suitable quality, fully explained and justified.” (See separate story, ‘Politicians call for action over widespread dishonesty by assessors’,  for more detail on DWP’s response.)

Both Capita and Atos refused to answer questions about the evidence DNS has compiled, and Atos refused to comment at all, although Capita produced a brief two-line statement, in which it said it expected “all assessors to behave in a way that meets both our high professional standards and those of their professions”.

But DNS has also received new figures released under the Freedom of Information Act by the Nursing and Midwifery Council which suggest that the regulator receives hundreds of complaints about nurses who carry out face-to-face benefits assessments every year (see separate story).

The assessment reports are used by DWP to decide eligibility for PIP, the benefit the coalition introduced in 2013 to replace working-age disability living allowance (DLA), as part of reforms aimed at cutting the benefits bill by at least 20 per cent.

As a result of the lies, misreporting, omissions and other dishonesty included in the reports, nearly all of those disabled people DNS has heard from saw the benefits they use to pay for the extra costs they face as disabled people reduced or removed completely by DWP, and had to rely on independent appeal tribunals to reinstate some or all of that support.

Nearly all of the assessors were nurses, although one was a paramedic.

Among the PIP claimants who have passed their details to DNS is Abbie Marshall, from South Yorkshire, who has described how the Atos nurse who assessed her wrote in her report that she had carried out a full physical examination – when no such test took place – and missed out all but one of her medications and a list of side-effects.

As a result of that report, Marshall was found ineligible for any PIP at all, when she had previously been receiving DLA middle rate care and low rate mobility.

Following an appeal, she was granted the PIP enhanced rate of mobility and standard rate of daily living (worth more than £110 a week).  

The brother of another PIP claimant, who recorded the home assessment carried out by Capita without the nurse’s knowledge, described how, although his sister explained that she had not been to her local shops since October 2013, the assessor wrote in her report that she visits her local shop every day.

The nurse also said in her report that the claimant spoke to family and friends on the phone every day, even though she does not possess a mobile phone or a landline.

As a result of the assessment, she was awarded zero points for both daily living and mobility, and therefore found ineligible for PIP by a DWP decision-maker.

It was only after her brother sent DWP a transcript of the assessment that she was awarded enhanced daily living and standard rate mobility for PIP (worth more than £100 a week).

The nurse who assessed Celia Cullum at an Atos assessment centre, again in South Yorkshire, described in her report how the claimant was lying down on a couch and then lifted her legs as part of an examination, even though there was no couch in the assessment room.

Cullum took her orthoses and prostheses and walking aids to the assessment, including an ankle foot orthosis (AFO) which wraps around her leg and has a carbon fibre plate that fits in her shoe to support her foot so she can walk.

She told DNS: “I can’t wear it for too long as it is too uncomfortable for the sole of my foot and causes diabetic foot ulcers.”

But the assessor failed to mention any of this in her report and wrote instead that she was able to dress and undress unaided, even though she needs to use the AFO, an orthotic insole or a prosthetic foot to be able to wear shoes.

The nurse also wrote in her report how Cullum, who has a part-amputated right foot, crouched down to the floor and then stood up as part of a physical examination.

But she said she was never asked to do this, and that it is an action she is unable to do because of the amputation.

She told DNS: “I was shocked when I read a copy of my assessment at so many things left out and things made up. I thought it was dishonest.”

She had previously been receiving PIP standard daily living and enhanced mobility, but as a result of the assessment, she lost all of that support. When she appealed to a tribunal, she was awarded standard rate daily living but no mobility support.

When she complained to Atos, she said, the company admitted that “some errors occurred in regards to documenting accurate information and this will be fed back to [the nurse]for future professional development”.

Another PIP claimant, Mary*, who had a home assessment carried out by Atos, said her assessor “lied about almost everything” in her report.

The nurse claimed that Mary had had no contact with the specialist NHS service she receives treatment from for three years, whereas she had had at least 16 contacts with that service during that time, as a result of severe and debilitating ME.

When she tried to explain this, the nurse “dismissed anything I tried to say” and cut her off when she was speaking.

The nurse described Mary’s appearance as “well kempt” and wrote that she had been wearing “soft trousers, top and a cardigan”.

In fact, she had been unable to wash her greasy, straggly hair for over a week, and was wearing pyjama bottoms, a vest she wears in bed and an old cardigan that was two sizes too small and had two buttons missing (having had to spend much of the last three years in bed she has put on weight, so few of her clothes now fit her, and she is rarely well enough to do any clothes shopping, even online).

Mary said: “Almost the entire Atos report is lies. Or things being twisted. Wilfully misunderstood. 

“I have so much anger from the way I was treated by this process. The ‘nurse’ from Atos should be struck off from working in any sort of healthcare job.

“She was very fast and hurried. I couldn’t keep up – and kept telling her this.”

She said the nurse was “bullying and heavy-handed” and “kept twisting things and putting words in my mouth”, and “dismissed anything I tried to say”.

She was found ineligible for PIP and had intended to appeal but “overwhelmed by the level of detail requested by DWP” and its impact on her impairment, she conceded defeat last summer.

Patricia Wohl’s husband, Gerhard, witnessed the PIP assessment carried out on his wife by a Capita nurse in their home in Bridgend.

When his wife was asked to stand up, he said, she “struggled to get up, she needed help from her walking stick and the arm rest of the settee, then she needed to stand for a time (30 seconds to a minute) to find her balance, then after two steps she fell forward to the right against the stone wall in our living room.

“I jumped up to stop her falling to the floor because I expected something like this.”

When his wife tried again, the same thing happened, but in the report the Capita assessor said she had risen and walked six metres in a straight line without any help.

She had previously been claiming the higher rate mobility and lowest rate of care under DLA, but lost all support under PIP as a result of the assessment report. A tribunal eventually awarded her standard PIP rates for both mobility and daily living.

Peter’s* wife has told DNS how both she and her husband told the Atos nurse who assessed him several time that he needs someone with him when he leaves the house, because he becomes confused and can easily get lost, but this information was omitted from her report.

When Peter was asked to stand and make various movements, he was unable to do so, and fell against the wall. But the assessor stated in her report that Peter had a full range of movement in both his upper and lower limbs.

His wife said: “Her levels of honesty in compiling the report were, on a scale of 0 to 10, 0.

“She came across as very helpful and trustworthy, approachable and friendly. No reason not to trust her, until we saw the report, which I did initially think was someone else’s.”

Peter had previously claimed middle rate care and higher rate mobility under DLA, but now receives standard rates for both with PIP. Their appeal was unsuccessful. They say the tribunal ignored their claims that the assessor had lied in her report.

Another claimant, Fazliabbas Raffiq, was assessed by Atos in his home in London, but in her report, he said, the nurse ignored his visual impairment, his fibromyalgia and his depression.

He told the nurse that he has to take 23 different medications every day, and handed her a repeat prescription form to prove it, but she referred only to five in the report.

He had previously received the highest rate of care and mobility under DLA, but following the assessment he was awarded just the PIP standard rate for both daily living and mobility.

One of the cases that sparked the DNS investigation was the assessment of Sarah Goldstein, from Derbyshire.

The Capita nurse who assessed her wrote that Sarah could go to the shops and bring back shopping, when in fact she has to shop online, with help from her husband, who puts away the shopping when it is delivered.

As a result of the assessment, Sarah was found ineligible for PIP, a decision approved by DWP’s mandatory reconsideration process. When she appealed, a tribunal awarded her the standard rate for both daily living and mobility (more than £75 per week in total).

None of the facts above from the eight cases have been disputed by DWP.

There are further disturbing cases in which assessors have apparently lied in their reports, but the claimants have asked for their details not to be shared with DWP, Capita and Atos.

Neither DWP, nor its contractors, have shown any interest in seeing this anonymised information.

One claimant, Elizabeth*, who had been lying in bed at home during her assessment, said the Capita assessor had written in her report that she had been “observed to be able to sit down and stand up from a chair during the assessment without difficulty”.

Elizabeth said: “I have only the one chair in the living room and she was sitting in it!”

She told DNS that the assessor watched as she “took two to three steps from my bed to the foot of the bed… I was dizzy and held onto the foot of the bed and then I stumbled back into bed.”

This was translated by the assessor as having been “observed to be able to walk unaided at the assessment. Two to three metres at a slow pace but with normal gait… but stated she felt dizzy”, before concluding: “It is likely she can reliably stand and then move more than 200 metres aided for the majority of the time.”

Elizabeth previously received higher rates of DLA mobility and care, but as a result of the assessment now receives just the PIP standard daily living rate. A mandatory reconsideration by DWP upheld the original decision, and she is now appealing to a tribunal.

Another PIP claimant, a retired police officer, described how he twice tried to bend down and touch his toes during his assessment – watched by his wife – but was unable to do so; the Capita assessor then wrote in her report that he had refused the test.

He said: “The assessor refused to look at or take copies of my medical tests, which would have highlighted my disability.

“They continually prevented me from talking, saying that there was insufficient time.”

He added: “It was quite clear that the assessor had an agenda: to restrict or not award the benefit that my condition warranted.

“She told such blatant lies, left out all the evidence I mentioned and included things I didn’t say.

“She ‘constructed’ a dishonest report in which she told blatant lies and twisted words to suit their needs. Giving some information but not all that was discussed.

“It was a ‘cherry picked’ constructed report putting in what she wanted to go in and at the same time leaving out evidence on my behalf.”

Another case was that of a nurse, Mrs A, whose GP husband witnessed her assessment at their home in south Wales.

Their claims were reported by DNS in September, but they have asked not to be named.

Among their many concerns was that the assessment report stated that there was no evidence that Mrs A was wearing hearing aids, when a brief check would have shown they were in place behind her ears.

The report failed to mention her painfully swollen leg, and said that Mrs A refused to stand, when in fact the assessor had recognised she was in too much pain to stand and so did not ask her to do so.

Among many other concerns, the report failed to point out that Mrs A was clearly “distressed, in pain and anxious”, and failed to note the forgetfulness and slowness of thought she showed during the assessment.

Dr A said the report was “an absolute fabrication”, and added: “The actual examination was laughable. It took a few moments.

“My wife couldn’t even stand up… yet somehow she was able to infer that she could walk more than 50 metres but less than 200.

“How do you infer that from someone who wasn’t even able to get up out of the chair?

“She said she couldn’t see the hearing aids. She didn’t even look to see if the hearing aids were in place. How difficult is it to move a couple of hairs?”

He added: “It was appalling. Every single sentence in that report can be torn apart. “

Another female PIP claimant, who was assessed by Atos in Salisbury, was another who discovered the lies that had been told by her assessor after requesting to see a copy of the assessment report.  

She said: “He lied and said [I] had transferred from chair to bed independently when in fact I used my crutches and handed them to him and he had to give me them back when physical examination was completed.”

Another claimant said that his Atos assessor had described the strong medication he takes for both his physical and mental health conditions as “like Smarties”.

Other disabled people have told him how their reports included the same phrase.

He said: “Everything I said she ignored, even how I was breaking down in front of her, [she]even said ‘not suicidal’ when she never even asked. I was suicidal.

“She was dishonest on everything. Wrote down ‘mental health OK’ but said in front of me I need greater mental health support. She totally contradicted herself.”

*Not their real names

0%
0%
Awesome
  • User Ratings (47 Votes)
    7.3
Share.
  • PageMonster

    DWP is not fit for work.

  • My assessment was awful. They were constantly bullying and belittling me. I have non epileptic seizures, somedays I have none, show days I have 50, they are linked with anxiety so if I control and manage my anxiety disorders the seizures disorders down.

    I’m abjectly terrified of having a seizure whilst holding a sharp knife or a pan of hot water.. Especially when I have seizures my hands tense and lock. But this was not deemed a good enough reason not to cook. Even I fact I can’t remain standing for long with out vertigo, pain and fatigue and fine motor control is shot from dyspraxia.

    In the assessment I’d recently moved from gastritis to Gerd. I hadn’t eaten in days, I’d managed a few apple sliced. They badgered me in very, very condescending tones ‘can’t you even make a sandwich?!’ which I said maybe but I can’t eat it, it would result in projectile vomiting and sheer agony for hours.

    There was a lot more but the sandwiches thing still annoys me. The physical, I said because I’d been in the wheelchair for over an hour, I cannot stand up. My lower spine seizes if I’m in the wheelchair for too long and I have to be laid down over the course of hours to move again. I said I can try anything that doesn’t require standing. I was marked as refusing to do any physical for no reason…

    Then there was the drama peice after my assessment. A staff member with a bone condition trotted in the only door, trapping my on a floor with no dialed toilet and no access to the lifts. They called an ambulance. Over an hour of waiting. I was close to breaking down in tears! My back was being so much, I cannot be out for that long which I told them in the interview.

    The assessor was constantly asking me to get up and walk past him, or down the stairs, every 5/10 minutes. Even when I was visibly crying in pain.

    My complaint was thrown out because the person asking me wouldn’t possibly know about my discontinue. You’d think the wheelchair would have been a sign… But title was literally my assessor. After am not a staff member was like oh I’m an emt. They moved the guy and I could leave finally.

    I got a 0 for mobility. Luckily the stressful humiliating, terrifying tribunal rectified that!

    • Helen Jones

      My daughter had hers stopped cause the assessor hasn’t put anything in the report that my daughter said it’s all lies we got a copy of the report to see what was said in it x

      • Yeah, reading their reports makes you wonder if you were actually there for the assessment because none of it makes aaaaany sense?

        • Sarah Jayne Lyden-Burke

          I’ve requested my assessment reports twice & I am still waiting, they are so unhelpful it’s untrue :/

    • Old X Bones

      I am sorry to hear you had such a terrible ordeal

  • Donna Phillips

    My assessment was recorded with full knowledge of the assessor and Capita and still he lied throughout the report. I have complained to Capita and it is at stage two of their investigations. I had a call off them the other day to say they have been unable to find a recording of the assessment as the assessor did not pass it on. I have copies and said I will send you one no problem at all the reply was if we need it will we ask at a later date. The whole system is corrupt and not fit for purpose, the DWP are fully aware of the lies that are told in the reports they give their full support to Capita, Atos etc

    • Old X Bones

      It is very important that you send everything by recorded delivery. It is a bit more expensive, but here are the advantages. (1) You can prove you sent it – they issue you with a senders slip with a post-office name, and date. (2) The recipient must sign for it, in order to receive it. (3) When it has been signed for, should the item be lost, it is obvious that it was lost by the recipient. PIP is a legal process and must be entered into your file. In a addition, always retain your own copies – I wish you the best with your application.

  • Unum!

  • jeff walker

    I went to an assesment with my carer…It was meant to be a review as I was already getting p.i.p but welfare rights decided as my health had gone into decline I may get the higher rate..We answered all the questions but before we had finished,the “so called dr” had already started typing into her computer..we might as well not have been there..She paid no attention to our answers,asked me when I was last x-rayed for arthritis????? called me fat and said my carer did not have the correct qualifications to be a carer?? I now have no carer,no p.i.p,my esa has been reduced and am trapped in my house,in bed with a bucket next to me..this is due to the so called atos dr`s lies

  • Elaine Mcwhirter

    I had my pip stopped after assessment in December, it said I had no issues walking (I have a walking stick) normal pace and gait, did not appear breathless. It was 9am I’d had my medication and inhaler. She said I had normal range of movement..I had refused to move my head up and down because I get dizzy (PPPD) and I couldn’t grip. Just lots of lies and disregard for my situation.

  • Alison Mcgill

    I agree that something needs to be done about these assessments my husband who has to walk with the aides of two walking sticks and can not even walk the 20 meters distance they say he can as he has aides lost his mobility part of the award and his consultant can not beleive that they can say he can do this. when we received a copy of the assessment they had put down that he was seen walking more than 20metres which was incorrect as the office was not even 10 metres away. We are in the process of appealing against this but it takes time we have the support of his consultant.

  • Edwina Evans

    I had assessment at beginingbof December and received letter on 30th saying that I had scored 0 points on everything. Was being moved from higher mobility and lower car DLA to PIP. There are so many lies, no physical examination was carried out but she said I had done everything. I wear hearing aids and these,were not mentioned. I walk with 2 sticks .I requested copy of assessors,report on 30/12 from DWP 4 phone calls later I am still waiting. It’s disgusting.

  • Kirsty Nicholas

    I had my assessment and i was only given mobility rate the assessor lied in my report and never wrote every thing that was said or done, she wrote she did and full assessment on my when she never did.also she never took any notice of the fact i cannot use my left arm due having a fistula in it because i have haemodialysis as i have kidney failure. I cannot stand for long to cook food for myself and my kids so my adult son does it, this was all in my DLA claim but PIP would not entertain this at all. I did initially phone DWP and ask for a reconsideration but the woman on the phone was not very nice to me. I was going to appeal the decision but i have not been well and couldn’t face waiting for a tribunal to happen. I wish i did now as i’m getting half the money i was getting on DLA and its a struggle for me.

  • Nic

    There has got to be some sort of legal definition of fraud that this fits into. Or slander/libel. These people need prosecuting somehow!

    • Huw John

      No it would a only be fraud if one of these claimants had been found to have lied. For instance if the person with a prosthetic foot had in actual fact hidden her real foot at home and sewed it back on, she would no doubt be charged with fraud. However to simply save the government money and at the same time make money by way of bonuses for yourself and the company you work for by telling down right and obvious lies . Then that’s ok. Yes its a funny old world we live in.

    • wizzard

      All assessors have sold their souls

    • OperationTempura

      It’s actually covered under the provisions of Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006 (Fraud by Misrepresentation). The legal position is that if an assessor makes a false declaration knowing it will cause you loss (even if they don’t directly benefit) they’ve committed a criminal offence. It is probably also an offence under either Section 3 or 4 of the Act to submit a false report to DWP – this exactly the same offence you could be accused of if you submitted a false claim for benefit. The problem is DWP are not applying the law evenly.

      • Nic

        Perhaps if we all started reporting them to the fraud squad, then…

        • OperationTempura

          I’m still working on this but my ultimate plan is to report it directly to our Chief Constable, copied to the Police and Crime Commissioner. If you take this to the local cop shop they’ll just laugh at you but running it from the top down doesn’t give them that option.

          I’m a retired fraud investigator and investigative journalist (Google Operation Tempura – I was involved in it) so this is not exactly rocket science to me. And trust me when I mentioned the Fraud Act to either DWP or Capita they got very nervous. Thankfully, Capita have just tripped themselves right up by issuing a statement that their assessor (see my comment above) cannot remember conducting my assessment – that’s totally screwed her if this ever goes to court.

          In fact there’s a nine-hour gap between her leaving my place and her signing off on the report so, as she made no written notes, all the changes she made are tucked away on record. Again if this ever went to court she’s going to have to produce the Word document the report is based on and on that you can back track all the changes.

          The people who really need to get involved here are the Serious Fraud
          Office (SFO) because that’s what they were created to deal with –
          systematic fraud.

          • Nic

            The SFO is what I was wondering about, so yeah, glad to hear you have a handle on it. I’m lucky that so far my own assessments have been reasonably free of problem (or at least, corrected in reconsideration), so I can’t take action on my own account, only support those of you who’ve had fraudulent assessments. Good luck!

          • Mwxxx .

            Hi Nic,
            It doesn’t matter if it was later ‘corrected’… Just attempting to commit fraud is Fraud (checkout the Fraud Act).
            There’s also
            The Criminal Attempts Act
            Conspiracy To Defraud
            and Misconduct in Public Office.

            And if the unqualified quacks you’ve seen have been letting you think that they are medical doctors, but it turned out that they were just nurses or plumbers, then that breaks the Medical Act (pretending to be a medical doctor).
            So that’s also Fraud and Misconduct in Public Office before those abusing sickos have even opened their foul mouths.

            So if you get any more s**t from those criminals, that would be – Witness Intimidation – and you can get the sickos off your back by calling the cops.

          • Mwxxx .

            Yes the Fraud Act 2006

            Also it’s ‘Misconduct in Public Office’ (wca quacks count) info on the CPS website (up to life in prison for that).

            Once they’ve committed one offence against you then all their financial threats, coercion and ‘Malicious Abuses of Official Authority’ are also ‘Witness Intimidation’. (Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 – Section 51).

            It’s all ‘Vulnerable Adult Abuse’ see – Care Act 2014. section 42.
            Safeguarding adults at risk of abuse or neglect.
            So as well as Police your council’s Social Services ahem… have a ‘Public Duty’ to be involved.

            “my ultimate plan is to report it directly to our Chief Constable, copied to the Police and Crime Commissioner”
            Been there done that with my two blind eye turning criminals and their gang (south wales police).

            South wales police, and London’s Met Police, have been working directly with ATOS for years.
            Google ‘your local police force’ + ATOS … to see how bent your cops are…
            A lot of WCA quacks are members of Unison. Try finding a police force or local council that doesn’t have Unison going through it like ‘Brighton’ through a stick of rock (e. coli through a bowel might be more appropriate).

            Now you know why they’ve done nothing for a decade. Not caring what a corrupt ‘conflict of interest’ is and Perverting The Course of Justice (info on the CPS’s website) to protect their mates.

            Speaking of Perverting The Course of Justice… Why hasn’t someone who claims to have ‘Evidence’ of 1600 counts of Fraud, Misconduct in Public Office and Vulnerable Adult Abuse not yet reported all of that evidence to the Police and Social Services?
            .

  • Michael

    I have came across a large amount of cases where Atos, neither DWP department did not complied what their own rules and regulations. Therefore these people still sits there in DWP and making decisions about benefits, money = living, so about the future for people. Oh hey them idiots to be blame who is leaving them at the job posts.
    Best time was when member of staff in sheffield’stood JC+ didn’t even know how to spell academy. UK wake up, about the time for some radical changes.

  • Andy Maudsley

    I have been assessed by both companies over a few years and havery been unsuccessful at getting any help and a fare outcome. Atos assessor was a Romanian who could hardly speak English and firstly how is this in my favour if she can’t write what I’m trying to explain about my life with the condition. Capita some years later was even harder as the assessor expected me to do things that most people I know who are my age can’t do. I’ve always been fit and healthy and flexible thanks to my life in the outdoor activities world but over the years with M.S it gets harder. A lot of the things I was expected to do I did but it’s all relative isn’t it as I still can do things my mates cant do but they don’t live with a disability that effect’s then differently and in multiple ways.
    These assessment are often with people who are supposed to know but often don’t. After that they must be leaned on to whittle the numbers down and then pressured to be honest and be fair. Once I got working tax credits and with that a disability element. Next time I couldn’t get PIP so didn’t get the disabled element yet I still live with a disability with is degenerative. It just doesn’t figure does it.

  • SGT Clubba

    If you’re a victim of a false assessment report then please make a formal complaint to the DWP and involve your MP.
    We cannot allow this systemic “fraud by misrepresentation” to continue no matter who it’s perpetrated by.
    They don’t care if you lose your benefits, your home or your life when making those fraudulent reports so why should you care if they get struck off?

    Fight back FFS

    • jeffrey davies

      thats the way but very many dont once they win their benefits back they leave these highly trained hcp ha ha to get away with it

  • Sarah Jayne Lyden-Burke

    I am waiting for a date for a tribunal, I have been refused PIP after I had to claim when my DLA came to an end. It has caused us mental anguish. I have asked twice for my assessors transcripts & I am STILL waiting, SO unhelpful. I will not give up! Apparently, as I appeared ‘with it’ at my assessment (as I was having a good day) I do not have issues. I have supporting medical evidence from my Consultant as I have drug resistant epilepsy & this information was totally ignored! I have 24 hour care but apparently I can take journeys on my own! Thank God my husband & daughter care for me. They make me SO mad & I am glad Capita have lost the contract 🙂

  • OperationTempura

    I had a PIP assessment last September, it was conducted by a Capita employee in my home. This was a renewal of an award made by an Appeal Tribunal in April 2015. When DWP refused the renewal I got them to supply me with a copy of the report and found it was not just a pack of lies but contained 19 spelling mistakes, three sentences that were complete gibberish and at least two contradictory statements.

    Among the lies the report claims I’m taking a type of medication that I can’t swallow, one of the notes claims I’m doing all my own housework when it was made clear I had to employ someone to do this while another says I can use public transport, which I also made very clear was not the case. The assessor also reports she conducted a full MSK exam, which she never did. One of her claims here is that I performed satisfactory grip tests but that’s impossible because at the time I had a fractured (and badly swollen) finger in my right hand. Prior to the assessment the woman (who Capita have ordered me not to name on the internet – they’ve threatened to go to the police if I do!) claimed to be a qualified ‘orthopaedic nurse’. Capita have now conceded that she isn’t but claim she never told me this.

    When the Mandatory Reconsideration failed to reverse the refusal two weeks ago I not only appealed but filed misconduct complaints against the two DWP employees who conducted both the initial review of the report and the reconsideration. In fact to call it a ‘reconsideration’ is a joke because the officer involved actually copied an error that was in the original decision and which I’d tried to correct. I’m also considering reporting the assessor to the NMC for professional misconduct and exploring the possibility that her conduct might breach the provisions of the Fraud Act 2006.

    This issue of private assessors is going back before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in the Spring. If you’ve got one of these iffy assessments could you please copy the whole document (Consultation report form – PA4 V3) to the PAC either directly at Committee of Public Accounts, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA or through your MP. You can also scan and email it to them – that’s what I did.

    • jeffrey davies

      naming and shaming them online is the way forward but i do take all highly trained hcp recording all then attack them through their employers and their union

    • Mandy bennett

      Scrap the pips. And everybody claim compensation. For fraud and lying and the trauma they have caused everybody. Treating.vunerable people. Worse than a police interview.

  • Fazliabbas Raffiq

    The DWP is in cahoots with Atos-hit the most vulnerable members of society,who cannot fight back, to save a few silver dollars – what an achievement

    • OperationTempura

      One of the problems DWP have is the way the government contracts were drawn up with Capita, Atos and Maximus because it gives the department no oversight on their work – DWP cannot interfere or intervene when something goes wrong. When DWP staff receive badly worded and incomplete PIP assessments they are required to contact the company concerned and query them but they don’t bother because it’s a complete waste of time.

      I can say from correspondence in 2015 with a fairly senior member of DWP’s PIP staff that Capita just ignore any attempts by designated DWP ‘Liaison Officers’ to question their work. We waited for three months hoping that there would be a response to some quite serious complaints and in the end my contact just said something along the lines of you’ll have to raise this with your MP because they (Capita) are ignoring us.

      It was exactly the same when companies like Atos were running the DWP Work Programme. DWP had liaison officers in place at the local Job Centres but they couldn’t actually do anything, they had no powers to intervene of investigate, and look what happened there – DWP were scammed for £millions in payments for work that was never done.

  • Diane Haldenby

    I have just received my desicion this week after ATOS assessment. I have lost all help I have been receiving for 10 years although my medical problems have become more severe and complex, seeing the decision based on assessors report all I could think was this is all lies and not what happened or a true representation of what myself or carer said to her, not sure what type of health care professional she was as she refused to answer when I asked her. Help I so distressed now I don’t know what to do feel life not worth living

  • Nina Mary Jackson

    Most of our MPs are useless. The odd few have done a fair job. My MP grunted in the right places then we got a bog standard,avoid the truth where possible, answer. My assessor was a bare faced lying paramedic.

  • Eileen Robinson

    Hello
    Had a farcical ‘assessment’ November 2016 from a SRN with no qualifications in chronic pain and any of my illnesses, was receiving low PIP awarded until Sep 2017 but the decision maker took this from me 2nd. Dec 2016. The assessment report is totally negatively inconclusive to me, worryingly inaccurate, disregarding the professional specialists’ letters supporting my claim, who are treating me, I too was ‘shut up’ by this nurse when trying to answer with the true facts, non of which were recorded accurately with the true impact on my everyday living and so it goes on! Some of the misrepresentation in this report are ‘hilarious’ if it was not so serious. I have suffered a severe flare up following the so called examination, requiring more medication having to be prescribed! I complained and was told by ATOS “As we were not present at the assessment we cannot really comment”! Some complaint procedure! The DWP will not speak to me about the inaccurate report they made their decision and of course their reconsideration etc and I have been simply told I have to go through their procedure, next step the dreaded APPEAL, at a Magistrates Court, treated like a criminal for taking ill after 30 years of full time work! (Just what a person suffering illness really does not need).