Experts by Experience need to be used and listened to more effectively and hopefully more concentration on actual care delivery, rather than record keeping.
So Maximus are making “‘jaw dropping profits’ for sub-standard work” and in 2017 Frank Field, chair of the commons work and pensions committee, went on to say “the government will surely want to look at whether assessments would be better delivered in-house”.
What have the Government to say about this, I hope they will only be paying Maximus for the work that is done to standard, being the Governments standard and not that of persons claiming or what a reasonable person would accept, which would be a considerably higher standard.
I would hope that the DWP have only paid Maximus for work that is standard and if work was already paid, to then claim back where the work was subsequently found to be sub-standard, for to not do so means the contract did not state quality standards, when one would have expected it to do so.
These welfare reforms leave a lot to be desired as claimants have found to their cost.
In effect the welfare reforms are a ‘shambles’ and should be deemed ‘not fit for purpose’ and this goes for the organisations that have been contracted to do the work on behalf of the DWP.
The Times is reporting that the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments, better known as Maximus, has doubled its profits from carrying out ESA assessments.
According to the Times, Maximus made a profit of £26 million in the year to September 2017, double the profits it made in the preceding year and representing a rise from 8.4 to 16.1 in its profit margin.
Maximus says the cash has been earned because it has been hitting volume performance targets.
However, as we revealed back in December 2017, Maximus have never met their targets for the proportion of reports that are deemed unacceptable. In October 2017, 7.9% of reports were judged to be unacceptable, well above the target of 5%.
Frank Field, chair of the commons work and pensions committee, told the Times that the committee had heard “appalling evidence about the shoddy work…
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Hated Government welfare tests have unleashed a “pervasive lack of trust” in the system, MPs warn today. Contracting out assessments for Personal Independence Payments and Employment and Support Allowance fuelled victims’ agony, the Commons Work and Pensions Committee reveals.
In a 71-page report, it calls on ministers to scrap the current arrangements and take tests back in house. Chairman Frank Field said: “For the majority of claimants the assessments work adequately, but a pervasive lack of trust is undermining its entire operation. “In turn, this is translating into untenable human costs to claimants and financial costs to the public purse. No one should have any doubt the process needs urgent change.”
Since 2013, 290,000 rejected claims for Personal Independence Payments or Employment and Support Allowance have been granted on appeal – 6% of all those assessed.
In response to pressure from the Work and Pensions Select Committee the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that its target for upholding original PIP and ESA decisions at the first stage of appeal, known as Mandatory Reconsideration (MR), will be dropped.
On 28 November the Committee wrote to DWP with concerns about MRs, which had come up in the Committee’s current inquiry into the medical assessments carried out by ATOS, Maximus and Capita to inform DWP’s decisions on awards of disability benefits PIP and ESA.
The Committee had heard of “pressure to turn out numbers” in relation to both the original decision and at MR stage, and that MRs simply “rubber stamp” the original decision. The DWP revealed in an FOI request in May 2017 that one of the performance indicators for MRCs was that 80% of the original decisions are to be upheld.
The Committee queried how a target for upholding original decisions could be compatible with ensuring that questionable reports are thoroughly investigated, and erroneous decisions identified and corrected.
The more you hear about these assessments and the assessors the more ridiculous these processes are shown to be.
It would not surprise me that eventually, if not now, only to turn up for the face to face would deem you ‘fit for work’. Then if you do not turn up you are sanctioned. Either way the system gets you.
Yes, that is ridiculous, but no more than ‘handshakes’. Handshaking is the acceptable British way to greet people, not the kissing on cheek or cheeks which is more European.
In fact, could not the kissing on cheeks be deemed by some to be a possible sexual approach, whereby the shaking of hands will not be.
It is not often I bring appeal court judgments to this blog but this one is off importance to many, it was past down in the upper tier tribunal with a panel of 3 judges.
Many of us know the sheer pain in the backside exercising our lawful right in appealing a decision that we feel is manifestly wrong and goes against all principals of fairness and indeed lawfulness so imagine my surprise when I got wind of this judgment via email from benefits and work so I scurried off in search of the full judgment attached below.
The wastage in misspent public money is mind blowing and is a careless double hit to Govt because not only are they paying millions to Capita, ATOS and Maximus for this failed Work Capability Assessments with no recourse for refund if thy get it wrong but they are paying again for tribunals…
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The Government has been accused of “evading” disability rights by ignoring the recommendations of a major UN committee, in what has been described as a “continuing retrogression” of disabled people’s rights in the UK. Disability organisations from across the country have accused ministers of ignoring questions put to it earlier this year by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, leaving disabled people to face “serious discrimination” in educational, employment and social opportunities.
Ministers have been accused of ignoring a public consultation and ploughing ahead with plans that will make their “fitness for work” testing regime even more stressful and unfair for sick and disabled people.
A presentation delivered by two senior Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) civil servants earlier this month suggests that ministers have decided – as many disabled activists feared after the publication of last year’s green paper – to introduce new benefit sanctions for sick and disabled people with the highest support needs.
The presentation at a DWP “Operational Stakeholder Engagement Forum” appears to confirm that the government had decided how it would reform the system of out-of-work disability benefits before its “consultation” process had finished on 17 February.
The government had claimed that it wanted to make the work capability assessment (WCA) less of an ordeal for claimants, with work and pensions secretary Damian Green telling last October’s Conservative party conference he wanted to support those disabled people who cannot work, and “sweep away unnecessary stress and bureaucracy which weighs them down”.
But slides from the presentation appear to show that his new regime will be even harsher, and that many employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants with the highest support needs and barriers to work will for the first time face having their benefits sanctioned if they do not co-operate with the regime.
The slides show DWP has already begun introducing a compulsory, face-to-face “health and work conversation” (HWC) with a jobcentre work coach that will apply to nearly all new claimants of ESA, weeks or even months before they go through the WCA process to decide whether they are not fit for work and eligible for the benefit.
The mother of a disabled man who starved to death after he was found “fit for work” and lost his out-of-work disability benefits has called for ministers to face criminal charges. Jill Gant says work and pensions ministers should be tried for misconduct in public office for failing to take action that could have saved the life of her son, Mark Wood. She spoke out after signing a letter, drawn up by the Green Party and backed by Disabled People Against Cuts, that calls on work and pensions secretary Damian Green to order an independent inquiry into the links between his department’s procedures and the deaths of benefit claimants. The party has produced a dossier of 50 cases in which the deaths of benefit claimants have been linked to decisions taken by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Mark Wood starved to death in 2013 after being found ineligible for employment and support allowance (ESA), even though he had never been able to cope with the demands of a job and his GP had