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PIP Consultation Centre
Crown House
21 Upper North Street

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.


#4 Mekali 2016-01-27 20:15
I attended this centre as a volunteer to support a claimant transferring from DLA. We used the buzzer by the front door and the receptionist warned us that door was very slow, but that it opened automatically. We did not need a wheelchair ramp, but while we were there a lady arrived in a wheelchair and the security guard put up a temporary ramp for her. He had apparently been warned in advance that she needed it, so the system does work as long as you let them know in advance. He also came out about ten minutes before the end of this lady's interview and waited for her so that he could put up the ramp for her.
However the centre is difficult to access by public transport if you have poor mobility. There is a steep hill from the nearest bus stops (outside Churchill Square shopping centre) to the part of Upper North Street where the centre is situated (a distance of perhaps 500 metres.). The person I was supporting knew she could not manage this hill and told the centre when she received the invitation. As a result she was given a claim form and was able to claim a taxi fare from her home to the door.
The waiting room was arranged with rows of fairly hard chairs. The lights were very bright and the person I was accompanying needed to wear dark glasses to protect her eyes. There was a water dispenser in the waiting room.
There is a toilet leading off from the waiting room, which is disabled friendly although I don't remember it being big enough to turn a wheelchair.
The assessment started on time. There was level access to the assessment room, although it was quite a distance from the waiting room.
To be fair I think the staff did everything within their power to help, and did not seem as pressured and target driven as the staff I have encountered in the ESA assessment centre next door in Lees House.
#3 Terry Brady 2016-01-27 16:10
I'd previously been for my ESA assessment at the building next door to this one so knew where I was going this time. We drove from Worthing and parked at Brighton station where you can park with no charge if you have a blue badge, although the car park isn't easy to find. We took a taxi from the station and it dropped us outside.

Steps into the building and it's not immediately obvious where to go once you're inside when you're not thinking straight! There's a buzzer on the door opposite the main doors and the receptionist lets you in.

I was told by the receptionist that I could have parked on the double yellow lines outside the centre but this wasn't in the letter. I wouldn't like to leave my car there because it's a busy road with heavy traffic. I am claiming for my petrol and I'm putting in a claim for the taxi as I wasn't told about the parking - they can only say no!

As I'm photosensitive I found the lighting in the waiting room far too bright. The room is very stark with chairs in rows - none of it designed to make you feel comfortable. There's a toilet by the waiting room - disabled friendly I think and unisex as I remember. The assessment rooms were on the ground floor - also very bright and stark.

Because of the position of this centre it's not ideal for disability assessments. I would suggest the best option is being dropped off by car if you can.
#2 Rebecca Thomas 2016-01-24 21:31
Visited 18 Jan 2016 for assessment.

Prior to visit I tried to contact the center regarding parking and access, however you cannot call them directly and had to speak to Atos in Stockton-on-Tee s. Obviously the guy there didn't have a clue and had to call the center, but still wouldn't let me talk to them. His advice was I could park outside the main entrance on the double yellow lines with a valid Blue Badge, or there were lots of pay and display car parks in Brighton, including Churchill Square.

The center is located on Upper North Street, adjacent to the main shopping street of Western Road, so there are lots of roads with limited access or one-way. There is only on street parking close to the center, which is at a premium, and only room for one vehicle on the double yellows outside. When I visited there was no available parking nearby and a lot of other in the waiting room, as they seemed to schedule appointments in batches. Anticipating this I had arranged to be driven and dropped off at the center with my carer.

The main entrance to the center is up two steps, however from there it is level access to reception and assessment rooms. There is an intercom buzzer located at the far right of the steps for those who require help with access. The buzzer is tucked away and I did not notice it so ended up struggling with the steps.

In reception the seating is hard and uncomfortable, lights are bright and flickering, and heating via air vents in the ceiling, all of which lead to an extremely uncomfortable wait. Basically I was left feeling like the whole place had been set up for my to fail before my assessment had even started!
#1 J The Divine B 2016-01-13 15:56
Arrived in car with cater driving. It is possible to park within five or 10 metres of entrance.

Arosin South London did not have sufficient time to asses claimant who arrived 25 minutes early. Had to take the only available slot for SE England i.e..-Brighton (had postponed earlier appointment as Atos/DWP had failed, and still fail, to supply proof that all robust medical evidence had been considered prior to assessment)

However there are several steep steps to ascend when approaching main entrance. Carer entered and left wheelchair claimant at base of steps to ask why no ramp was available. Was informed that there is a portable ramp---it was sited near the reception and security officer immediately positioned it to allow wheelchair entrance.

Receptionist and security confirmed that Atos had recently moved into the premises and was awaiting council approval for installing (permanent) ramp. There was no notice advising claimants of the availability of moveable tamp.

The ramp was not in place when exiting. It was too dangerous to attempt to lower the wheelchair and heavy claimant ---except by carer slowly slipping wheelchair downwards with claimant facing entrance. It took a strong male to slip the wheelchair downwards to pavement level..

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