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Assessor's Written Qualifications

wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
Please can one of the advisors answer the question as to whether we have a right to request and be given our assessor's qualifications and if so from whom. I don't just mean what they say they are but their actual qualifications which might include skills they aren't actually using in their current position. I have made an FOI request for these to HCPC and been refused with the reason given that they are personal information and the person concerned would not wish me to be told. When you consider all the confidential documents she had about me and the probing questions about my personal life this excuse should not be valid. I have sent another request pointing this out to them with attached info. I have about my assessor and asked them to check this against there records as an internal review but still want to know whether she was qualified and in what capacity.      

Replies

  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2017
    Hi @wildlife I found this information on the benefits and work website: This isnt an official government website so I can't guarantee that it is totally factual though.

    Last month we revealed that we had heard from three members whose PIP report carried out by Capita doesn’t give the type of qualification held by the health professional. Instead, in the box for ‘Type of professional’ it simply states ‘Health professional’.

    We contacted Capita about this, as it appeared to be unacceptable practice for a health professional to decline to disclose their qualification. It seems that Capita have now talked to the DWP and discovered that, for once, the DWP agrees with Benefits and Work.

    A Capita spokesperson told us:
    “All of Capita’s health professionals are qualified to carry out PIP assessments and undergo training according to the Department and Capita’s quality standard.

    “DWP has provided guidance stating that PIP health professionals, who are made up of occupational therapists, nurses, physiotherapists, paramedics and doctors, are now required to share their specific professional background on the PIP report form.

    “Capita has communicated this requirement to its employees and will continue to enforce it.”

    So, if your assessor doesn’t reveal their qualification, please contact Capita and we’re sure they’ll be happy to put things right.
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    [email protected],  Mine was an ATOS assessor and she did say she was a Paramedic and it was also on her report. So one may ask why I don't just accept this. I was so disgusted as you know by the standard of the assessment and was messing about one day I searched for her on Facebook and she also has 2 business websites and has recently put herself on LinkedIn. No where does it mention training or working as a Paramedic. LinkedIn has her complete job history with dates and her education and lots of info about her professional skills so I'm determined to find out the truth. I've asked ATOS and they won't tell me. I've been told by HCPC that the person on their register is the same person who assessed me. I have info. I can't make public to make me suspect something dodgy has happened regarding her registration with HCPC. I've contacted the FOI dept. and they're looking into this and will get back to me in 20 working days. Do ATOS have to give me more info about her or can they refuse? 
  • JusticeJustice Member Posts: 206 Pioneering
    @ Wildlife I admire your tenacity, but you could do without all this hassle. Hang on in there though, you obviously smell a rat, and I am sure if you keep on you will ferret it out. Judging by my Husband's assessment there has to be corruption going on in the departments. I too have a complaint ongoing, and I will take it to the limit. I am tired, I am stressed, my mobile feels like a growth at the end of my hand but I am NOT giving up on this. Good Luck wildlife let us know how it goes.
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    [email protected], I'm OK thanks for your concern. I got my 3rd brown envelope today. I've now got higher rate mobility and 2 more points on DL but still standard rate as I only had 8 before. They now accept all the mental health evidence which the assessor had in the beginning but still using the assessor's physical exam results instead of my Physio results. My physio thinks I've got rheumatoid arthritis in my hands and feet and will be seeing my Orthopaedic guy end of May so am happy with what I've got so far. I've written to ATOS complaints again a strong letter saying what should have been done and asking them to look at daily living again. The DM who rang me last week said she would look at it again if the ATOS complaint changed anything. All this and I haven't had to even apply for Appeal. So well worth people keeping on at them even after the MR. Hope your hubby's gets sorted out soon...x   
  • JusticeJustice Member Posts: 206 Pioneering
    @Wildlife, well done keep on at it Girl :-)
    I have some news too. Not a call as yet from DWP  BUT late afternoon a call from CHDA to whom we had made an official complaint. when I spoke with the Woman there last week she was very snotty, trying to tell me that I was not looking at the correct papers etc,

     Anyway she has now looked at the assessment report, and our letter for the MR> She was as nice as pie today, apologized, and told me that I was right, the assessment had not been done correctly, and was full of discrepancies. She will have that to us in writing next week, and she has already informed the DWP of this new information.
    The Guy who did the assessment will have a disciplinary hearing, and it will be on his record for the whole time.

    I cannot see now how the DWP can do anything other than give Hubby back the money they stopped. They stopped it based on information from an assessment which they have now been informed was not fit for purpose.

    Watch this space, but yes NEVER give in , not if in your heart of hearts you know you are right x
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    edited May 2017
    @Justice Wow that sounds amazing. What does CHDA stand for? I know it's CAPITA that did the assessment. It's similar to what I'm doing with ATOS but at the moment they're being very quiet. What a lot of people don't know is that each time they review a claim at DWP they are sending it back to the assessment companies and their assessment of the medical evidence is accepted even when DWP think it's wrong because that's the way it works. DWP have no medical knowledge at all so unlike the old days they cannot change the scores so it's ATOS/CAPITA we have to complain to and convince that these reports are rubbish. I worked this out when a DM rang last week and said she'd got my letter about opthalmic migraines with evidence that would have given me 10 points for the journey descriptor as I lose my vision. But she couldn't change it and it had arrived too late to send to ATOS. She even offered to send it cause she knew it would change the mobility yet again but I'd already got the extra to go up to higher rate so there was no point. Knowing how the system works is key to getting what you deserve. Anyhow so pleased you're getting somewhere at last. That phone call must have felt good. Sounds like you won't need to go to Appeal...X  
  • JusticeJustice Member Posts: 206 Pioneering
    A Wildlife, Thanks, yep it did feel good to get the call. I intend to put it all lout of my mind now over the week end,they are all closed so there will not be any calls to hope for CHDA  stands for Centre for health and Disability Assessments. It is where we sent the original form to, and they organized the assessment from there.
    Sheesh I can hardly keep my eyes open here, didn't realize I was so tired.
    Sleep well everyone
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi wildlife,

    I've responded to your other post on this. I think contacting FOI is really the only way to get to the bottom of it. As I explained, it depends whether qualifications fall under the definition of 'personal data'. Could be arguable either way.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @Will, To give an update. I am now communicating with 2 separate departments at HCPC. Firstly a case manager in the  FTP dept. has confirmed that information I sent him about my assessor is the same person they have on their register, registered as a Paramedic. This is very detailed information from LinkedIn where my assessor has recently registered. It gives her full job history, including where she's working now, education, professional skills and again there is no mention of any training or work as a Paramedic.
            I am also in contact with the HCPC FOI dept. who replied to my enquiry refusing to give me any information about my assessor's written qualifications as they are personal data. I have sent another FOI request to say I understand and accept this but that doesn't stop me giving them info. I have about her. I copied and pasted all the Linkedin profile info. pointing out to them that she had far more personal info. about me than they are willing to give me about her. But all I asked is for them to check my information against their records and see if it matches. I have yet to hear back from them. I cannot understand why they aren't more interested in someone on their register having such a big question mark over their qualification to be on their register. Am I missing something? Do you have any suggestions as to who else would be willing to investigate her. ATOS refused quite early on saying she wouldn't have got the job if she wasn't qualified. Maybe DWP as they have laid down the specifications for assessors?   
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    edited May 2017
    Hi again wildlife,

    I would go back to the contract DWP have because as you say they lay down the specifications for assessors. If your investigations have revealed that the assessor doesn't meet these then it looks like a breach by ATOS. And that would be for the DWP to investigate.

    There are parts of the issue where it's difficult for me to advise I'm afraid because as a benefits specialist I don't know much about contract law for example. What I would advise is that if you have an ongoing complaint about assessor behaviour (to ATOS) you can also complain to the DWP about the fact that they formed a contract with a company who have not kept up required standards, if this is what you have discovered.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @Will, Again thank-you for the advice. I have not yet involved DWP in any of this so I will do that now. The reason for my delay in contacting them was because I have been trying to get actual proof from HCPC that my assessor used invalid documentation to register with them. Despite a number of emails to different departments at HCPC no-one will agree to investigate this matter unless I provide proof that this happened. How can I? They all have computers. All they've got to do is what I have done in finding my assessor on various public sites and not finding any evidence of her being a Paramedic. You might wonder why I'm not giving this up. It's because this is very much connected to my ATOS complaint about the standard of my written report and how many other cases there may be of ATOS employing people either under qualified or with no relevant medical qualifications.  
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