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Bannatynes Health Club
End Terrace
County Durham

Can you tell other claimants anything about travel and facilities for this PIP face-to-face assessment centre?

Please post in the comments section below if you can.

Things like:

  • Distance to nearest bus stop or rail station.
  • Nearest parking, any disabled parking.
  • Distance to walk if you’re dropped as close to the door as possible.
  • Wheelchair access.
  • Toilets, including disabled toilets.
  • Ground floor or first floor.
  • Lift available.
  • Anything else you think might be helpful.

Please don’t comment on the staff though – we won’t be able to publish your comments if you do.


#3 Nationwide 2017-05-04 12:09
From Assessment in April 2017

The Assessment Centre is within yards of bus stops to and from central Durham, and there is a 10 minute service.

The car park isn't huge, there are a lot of cameras for such a small area. If you have a disability vehicle there is parking near the main entry the the gym with a camera pointed directly onto it.

There are no steps into the entry. You must attend a reception directly to the left when you enter and announce your reasons for being at Bannatynes for all and sundry to hear, not private. There are two 'stadium like' turnstiles and a disabled barrier. That barrier is locked and staff have to activate it?

You are directed to an area directly left when you exit the barriers and sent along a long coridoor watched by Gym staff. There are two sets of fire doors to negotiate.

The ATOS reception is not big. Squarish room, mostly dominated by the receptionist's desk. Scattering of generic padded waiting room chairs. Not a lot of room for moving if you are a wheelchair user.

Didn't see any toilets.

Our assessor was an occupational therapist. Respectful, but then was being recorded. Took 1/12 hours, no physical tests

Said 6-8 weeks for decision.
+1 #2 techy2017 2017-03-22 09:44
Be very wary using this assessment centre. The centre is a fitness centre. first of all the front doors aren't automatic, so immediately rubbish for wheelchair users and not ideal for disabled people. the first reception is where you sign in, the seating is inadequate in that they are the high bar stool type of seats, useless really. my wife had her assessment here and the assessors report used the statement "the room is measured at approx. 50 metres from the car park" so they immediately assume you can walk 20-50m and make no references to any stops you take from the first reception to the assessment room down the coridoor. upon appeal the decision wording changed from "observations" to "informal observations". basically unless you're in a wheelchair, they automatically categorise you in the 20-50m walking mobility distance, they consider nothing else. the disabled toilets are at the other end of the building. be very wary using this centre, it's unsuitable. ask for a re-arrangement at an alternative centre especially if you have mobility issues.
+2 #1 Carol Thompson 2016-01-27 11:08
Went by car there were a few disabled spaces but it's an odd venue to hold assessments as you walk into a fitness centre. There were signs to the assessment area had to enter by turnstile as the wheelchair gate was not working.then there was a long corridor for people with mobility problems..even the assessor stated there should be an entrance closer..did not notice any disabled toilets as did not use..as arrived by car did not notice bus stops..there are no trains nearby but a large retail park..the centre is tucked away and probably best reached by car..awaiting PIP decision now but we're told this could take dip 4 to 6 weeks which adds more stress to an already worrying process.

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