The DWP have rolled out a new, pre-WCA interview to 12 new areas in an effort to get more sick and disabled claimants moving towards work before any decision has been made about whether they have Limited Capability for Work-Related Activity (LCWRA).

The DWP claim that “Employment and Health Discussion” (EHD) trial that took place in Leeds “helped hundreds of people move towards work”. 

According to the DWP, a ‘work ability plan’ is created in the course of a one-hour conversation between a health practitioner and the claimant.

The plan identifies barriers to work and actions that can be taken to overcome them. The plan is then shared with the claimant’s work coach “to continue support to overcome their barriers and move them towards work.”

The DWP says that this means that “health claimants can highlight and begin to overcome any work barriers prior to undergoing a Work Capability Assessment, potentially realising a job outcome sooner.”

According to the department, the Leeds pilot showed that most claimants were able to understand their own health better as a result of the discussion.

The DWP say that EHDs are voluntary.

They were first unveiled in this year’s health and disability white paper, when the government insisted that the discussion is not an assessment, does not carry sanctions and does not gather information for the WCA.

They also said that “it is not necessary for the healthcare professional carrying out an EHD to be an expert on complex disabilities. However, they will have an understanding of how health conditions impact day to day life.”

No information has been given about what type of health professionals will carry out EHDs, what training they will have received or what a work ability plan looks like.

The aim is clearly to put something in place in the lead up to the proposed complete abolition of the WCA, when it would be left largely to work coaches to decide what activities a claimant can undertake. 

Whether EHDs will remain voluntary and sanction free remains to be seen.

In the meantime, one major concern is that claimants who will be placed in the Limited Capability for Work-Related Activity (LCWRA) group when they finally have their WCA may already have been pushed into inappropriate work preparation activities by a work coach armed with an EHD.

Benefits and Work would advise claimants to consider very carefully whether they wish to take part in an EHD, as long as they remain entirely voluntary.  We would also be very interested to see any invitation letters and to hear what takes place at the interview,  if any readers do decide to take part in an EHD.

The 12 new sites, in addition to Leeds, which have come online are:

  • Aberdare,
  • Bradford,
  • Chelmsford,
  • Doncaster,
  • Durham,
  • Hull,
  • Lancaster,
  • Newcastle,
  • Norwich,
  • Sunderland,
  • Wigan,
  • York.

You can read more about Employment and Health Discussions here.

Comments

Write comments...
or post as a guest
People in conversation:
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    The Dog mother · 3 months ago
    Someone on X said it best I think.
    "Wealthy man forces sick and disabled people to work."

    Can they actually see the irony,I think it's lost on them. 
    Welcome to what's left on the UK. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    The Dog mother · 3 months ago
    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/money/new-dwp-fraud-error-review-31452785
     Even those on pension credits are going to get their touch by looks of it. How much lower can they stoop. Why are we all being treated as liars and fraudsters.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    D · 3 months ago
    I am shaking with terror and anger right now on the autumn statement preview which seems worse than imagine (special note on the ‘language used by ministers)



    This is just evil

    When are disability charities going to get a legal case against the dwp as surely this is democide?!


    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      The Dog mother · 3 months ago
      @D Said on here this would happen.. I said next it will be dental and prescription treatments. Diabolical. .I've signed petitions and also read that different disability charities are takimg them to task. It's all absolutely abhorrent. I do not know how they get away with half of it. I'm also utterly disgusting and terrified. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jas · 3 months ago
    This is for new claims not existing claims and voluntary so if you're signed off work it would be breaking the law to force anyone it's dangerous to their health and others around them if they're unfit.

    As I said' only volunteer if you want to come off disabled sickness support. Seen this before mind on Incapacity benefit everyone who volunteered regretted it because they couldn't return to existing support and promises of employment didn't exist only future sanctions u UC. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Georgette · 3 months ago
    I'm from Wigan and they have been doing this since 2019... and they certainly dont' ask they close your claim if you don't get bullied into agreeing to a 'claimant commitment' that you have no chance of adhering to.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Kirsty · 3 months ago
    They didn’t ask me!  This is all so wrong.   I’m sure there will be even more suicides. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Akire · 3 months ago
    Can’t think of a single example of how this would help? If I have depression or bad back and been signed off work. How would an interview cure my illness?  Or remove any of my barriers like unable to leave house or walk for example. If I’m an ex builder with bad back ok maybe can sign me up to a computer course to retrain?? Struggling to think!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Helen Fisher · 3 months ago
    It is worrying that people woth continence issues,  or anxiety when leaving the house, will just be expected to work from home,  and their medical condition ignored. 

    Akso worrying is that PIP awards for people who DO work will be under threat, as DWP will say - if they can work,  then they are earning, so don't need support from DWP
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    scorpio · 3 months ago
    If its not compulsory and doesnt affect sanctions just refuse to talk to them.  Put the phone down.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Moss · 3 months ago
      @scorpio I tend to block them from my phone if they become annoying. There some charities (not all) that are unhelpful 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    M shirker · 3 months ago
    Glad they missed the Blackpool area
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      MrFibro · 3 months ago
      @Amanda E Amanda E,

      I also noticed, Brum, & west mids, London, leicester, liverpool, Manchester, all got missed out.  I wonder why those areas never got added to the list first ?
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Amanda E · 3 months ago
      @Tony C That’s the first thing I spotted too! Only two southern locations in Norfolk and Essex. No bias there eh?!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Tony C · 3 months ago
      @M shirker have you noticed that they have rolled this out almost totally throughout North East  england, the only area they have missed is Teesside which is a huge area that is affected.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Carol K · 3 months ago
    They are trying to kill us one new policy at a time
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    DrGrissim · 3 months ago
    Have you heard anything about the LCWRA being cut?
    In the last week or so, several online newspapers have written articles implying that the cutting of the LCWRA, which was outlined in the DWP consultation, is going ahead and is part of this new work scheme.
    I haven't been able to find anything officially confirming this from the government.
    The writers of the articles either don't realise that the cutting of the LCWRA is as far as we know only a proposal in the DWP consultation, or they're deliberately twisting words to stir fear.
    There's been nothing from Mel Stride or Tom Pursglove, and nothing from the DWP about the LCWRA being cut. 
    I would think for something that big we'd hear it from them first not some online news article.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Moss · 3 months ago
      @Kirsty They converting lcwra into health element.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Moss · 3 months ago
      @DrGrissim I think lcwra could be in line of being cut, DWP is trying to save £4bn from DWP budget. I still think it will not make things better in the long (maybe a percentage of claimants will little improvements, the majority will have even more negative experience from DWP again).
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Kirsty · 3 months ago
      @DrGrissim Yes, they want to get rid of it entirely
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    coleen · 4 months ago
    1, gp or HP will be paid  100 for 1 hour to for the EHD , will they take it up, OH YES. yet your lucky to get 10mins with gp.
    2, a work plan will be created. make no mistake to do you over. 
    3, EHD not compulsory,  humm. but some gps HP will fill it behind your back for the fee on offer.
    4, does not gather information for the wca.  bet it does thats why they paying the hourly gp rate. 100.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      mansec · 3 months ago
      @KABTT Any person who 'prescribes' is required by regulation (statute law) to be a recognised, registered and regulated Healthcare Professional. There is a Bill being undertaken through Parliament to allow certain qualified HCP's tp prescribe additional medications and other prescriptions in a bid to relieve strain off GP Practices whilst trying to keep those trained within the NHS. Any person can ask for the HCP's registration details and their qualifications and relevant experience. They are required to provide that information as that is a matter of public record which the requestee can verify via the relevant online portals. Unless you have agreed to share your information with a third party then you are under no obligation to answer anything until you can verify they are a: who they say they are and b: they are registed and qualified that task.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      mansec · 3 months ago
      @DianaW A healthcare professional is a person registered on a professional register such as the MMC (Nurses) HCPC (Paramedics and associated allied healthcare practitioners) and GMC for Doctors
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      KABTT · 3 months ago
      @Denby @Denby @ Diana. Thank you for considered replies. I'm an ex JC officer as well as a policy grad so I'm simply aghast I didn't see this coming. Now I'm reading up on here and gov sites to analyse policy trajectory. I hold no angst about the girl who phoned, she was very sweet and well intentioned. I've had a life time of customer service with a v broad range of people so I could see she didn't know the workings of the DWP & giving guidance to those on the social margins requires a great deal of experience else lives are lost. I wouldn't dream of complaining about the SP - I go for the ministers who introduce these measures without sufficient regard for true well being. I trust my GP - he's saved my life by just being a decent humanitarian. So if he oversees things I don't panic but he isn't the only partner in the practice and I'm not his only patient.  So this site is invaluable to me for handling the DWP underhand tactics! 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      DianaW · 3 months ago
      @KABTT Social prescribers have been around for some time and provide a service to which one's GP can refer one; see eg https://collegeofmedicine.org.uk/social-prescribing-can-increase-chances-employment/
      Social prescribers are working for the NHS and EHDs are conducted by healthcare professionals for the DWP, so there is a distinction between the two but, in practice, that may not feel like much of a difference.

      I'd like to see how the DWP defines "healthcare professional" for the purposes of conducting EHDs and whether it's engaging (let alone training) different cohorts to do those, as opposed to WCAs. If the same people end up conducting both sorts of claimant interview, that can't be good - there would be far too much scope for confusion about the purpose of the interview, as well as for enabling the DWP to use for WCA the information gained in an EHD.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Denby · 3 months ago
      @KABTT KimABT, thanks for your interesting reply. Good social prescribing has the potential to be very valuable for some people. [Men in Sheds works absolute wonders for my loved one's mental health for instance.  I found him that without any input from GP staff.] But I share your suspicion when they tack on 'economic' health! 
      The trouble is that as GPs are private businesses and seem to escape regulation, many don't have the Patient Reference Groups they are supposed to have. This deprives patients of a chance to give feedback without sticking their neck out via a formal complaint. And you can't complain anyway about action/inaction that hasn't affected you directly however bad for others.
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.