The DWP are refusing to let Capita give claimants a recording of their personal independence payment (PIP) medical, even though Capita want to do so, a minister has revealed.
When Capita won the contract to carry out PIP medicals in the Wales and Central England, two issues stood out. One was Capita’s desire to carry out most medicals in claimants’ own homes, the other was their eagerness to record every medical and give the claimant a copy of the recording.
Given the farcical and endless ‘pilot’ of recording ESA medicals, which includes not telling claimants that they can ask to have a recording made and posting the same few increasingly battered and malfunctioning recording devices back and forth across the country, regular readers will not be surprised to learn that the DWP have forbidden Capita to record PIP medicals. This is in spite of the fact that it would not have cost the taxpayer a penny as Capita would have borne the cost as part of their bid.
The perhaps ironically titled minister for the disabled, Esther McVey, told MPs that:
“Audio recording of PIP assessments will not be offered by Atos or Capita. The DWP has not seen evidence from other disability assessments that this would improve the quality of assessments. If claimants wish to record their assessment they must inform the assessor in advance and provide the assessor with a copy of the recording.”
This is a rehashing of the standard line that claimants must obtain a hugely expensive dual recording device if they wish to record their medical. This position has already been shown to be potentially illegal in this DWP document on recording ESA medicals which states that:
“. . . legal advice has been obtained to confirm that recording of assessments for the claimant must be allowed without unreasonable obstructions. The majority of claimants who request that their medical assessment is recorded do not have the financial means to provide the specified recording equipment.”
Perhaps it is time for claimants to follow the example of David Johnson (members only) and make use of the Equality Act to argue that recording their PIP medical for personal use – in the way you might otherwise make handwritten notes – is a reasonable adjustment for claimants with memory or concentration impairments and for those who have a physical difficulty with writing.