Employment minister Chris Grayling has finally admitted that there is a serious backlog in processing employment and support allowance (ESA) claims and that medical assessments are “​probably about four months behind where we would wish to be...”​ He explained the backlog as being due to changes made to medical assessments following recommendations made by Professor Harrington.

Atos Healthcare state the changes made to the work capability assessment (WCA) by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in response to the Harrington Report have increased the time it takes to carry out medical assessments. It states more staff have been recruited and opening hours have been extended to reduce the backlog in medical assessments waiting to be carried out. The BBC reports a DWP staff member as describing the situation as one that is “​in meltdown”​.

Mr Timms, Shadow Employment Minister, highlights the impact of the backlog on the government’​s “​flagship​”​ Work Programme, suggesting that the lack of people being referred to the Work Programme appears to be “​because of delays in getting ESA decisions through”​.

The full report can be found on the BBC website.


Write comments...
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.

We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.