The UK branch of an Australian company heavily involved in the welfare to work industry is carrying out a combined PIP and WCA pilot with almost 1,500 PIP claimants in the DWP’s ‘Health Transformation Area’, the government has revealed.
As we highlighted in September, the DWP are to introduce a major change to the assessment system for PIP and the work capability assessment for ESA and UC, with just one company carrying out both assessments for any given claimant from August 2023.
The DWP say that are not planning to have a single assessment for both PIP and the WCA. But the same company will carry out both assessments using the same software platform and sharing information between the two assessments where possible.
In a written answer to a parliamentary question, minister for disabled people Chloe Smith revealed that Advanced Personnel Management Group (UK) Limited employs the health professionals currently working in the DWP’s Health Transformation area. This is a pilot area in which the new assessment system is being trialled.
According to Companies House, Advanced Personnel Management Group (UK) started out with the bizarre name of ‘Macbeth 22’ in 2003, before becoming Pertemps People Development Group (PPDG), which was a contractor on the Work Programme.
PPDG was bought out by the Australian company Advanced Personnel Management (APM) in 2015 and its name was changed to make it part of the APM group. APM appointed the late Alan Cave, a former DWP employee who ran the Work Programme, as the chief executive of its UK arm.
In Australia APM are one of the main providers of Jobactive, which aims to move welfare benefits claimants back into work.
In 2019 APM bought out another leading a leading UK government Work and Health Programme provider, Ingeus. At the time, APM Chief Executive Michael Anghie said:
“Around the world, governments are facing many challenges such as ageing populations, increasing mental health issues, pressured health budgets, migration and integration, and technology that is changing job opportunities. Some important solutions to these challenges relate to work, health and behaviour change, which is what Ingeus and APM both do really well.”
The DWP say that they intend to recruit their own healthcare professionals for the Health Transformation Area, but have given no timetable for when this might happen.
You can read Smith’s full written answer on the Health transformation Programme here