An independent report concludes that there are problems with the delivery of the Personal Independence Payment.

Yesterday Channel 4 News reported exclusively on the problems facing claimants and the experiences of one of the nurses carrying out the medical assessments, in an anonymous interview.{jcomments on}

This came ahead of a critical report by the National Audit Office (NAO) being released today on the implementation of PIP.

Disabled people have been left waiting months for an assessment with providers Capita and Atos along with the DWP running at long delays.

A nurse employed by Capita to carry out assessments told Channel 4 News in an exclusive, anonymous interview that she believes the delays are having an adverse effect on the people she has seen.

"Some of the claimants I've been to have had no benefit of any kind since early summer last year. If they started with a physical condition last year the stress of the intervening 6 months means that now most of them are being treated for depression."

She also said that there is an unrelenting pressure put on health professionals. "So each report is 2,500 to 3,000 words long and takes the assessors around 3 to 5 hours to actually complete the whole package. And if you are meant to be seeing four claimants a day, writing those claimants up and also travelling 130 miles - that actually is not possible. There is this constant pressure to deliver something that it actually not deliverable."

As the National Audit Office(NAO) publishes its report today, Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, states:

“It is too early to conclude on the Personal Independence Payment programme’s overall success and all major programmes run the risk of early operational problems. However the Department did not allow enough time to test whether the assessment process could handle large numbers of claims. As a result of this poor early operational performance, claimants face long and uncertain delays and the Department has had to delay the wider roll-out of the programme. Because it may take some time to resolve the delays, the Department has increased the risk that the programme will not deliver value for money in the longer term.”

To read the report from Channel 4 and watch the video, click here

To view the full National Audit Office report and executive summary, visit the NAO website


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