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Cruella_loves_spotsCruella_loves_spots Member Posts: 9 Listener
welp, i never got a single point, now time to send a huge file full of medical evidence( which i now know should have went 1st)


  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,443 Disability Gamechanger
    The next step is to request a Mandatory reconsideration (MR), sending a "huge" file full of medical evidence might not help as to be honest they probably wouldn't read most of it, send the most relevant would be my advice, and give examples of where you didn't score points but think you should have and why. If the MR fails and the majority do the next step is an appeal. Try and get some help if possible from CAB or welfare rights.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • MsCuriosityMsCuriosity Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Unfortunately, it appears that the PIP assessments are designed to say no. They have minimum medical training, if any at all, The mandatory Consideration isn't much better either, so please don't be disappointed there either. If or When you go to the tribunal they are more experienced, observant and have common sense. The questions are not scripted and they seem to have more compassion.

    Good luck and don't give up. There is help out there. If you let me know what area you are in I will see what I can find for you.
  • Cruella_loves_spotsCruella_loves_spots Member Posts: 9 Listener
    I am in Cowdenbesth, I am from Glasgow so its of not knowing who to go to here
  • saz11saz11 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    Please don't give up I know Its a disheartening and a overwhelming experience having been through it.

    Applying for the mandatory reconsideration is worth considering. I have been through this process twice and on both occasions had the decision overturned and awarded pip .

    Not all cases are successful but some are. 

    On receiving my initial decision i phoned that day to apply my MR with clear instructions that i would follow up with a official letter , by doing this it get the MR recorded from date of phone call.
    I waited a few weeks and  confirmed with them this had been received and recorded & scanned into their system. 

    But always follow up with a official letter so you have it in writing and keep a copy.

    I am also from Glasgow and to be honest I didn't have much help to reach out too but that's not to say it will be the same for yourself. 

    Hope this helps in some way .
  • MsCuriosityMsCuriosity Member Posts: 11 Connected

    Hi there

    I found these links, please call them:



    You are lucky, even your council will help you appeal. I hope this eases the stress. Never give up. You will get there. Only you know how you feel and you have your evidence . Please, don't forget to come back and share the good news and cheer us up.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,156 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Cruella_loves_spots I am  sorry to hear about your PIP decision, as advised MR is the next stage and hopefully dome of the links will be of help to you.

    Keep us informed 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,585 Disability Gamechanger
    welp, i never got a single point, now time to send a huge file full of medical evidence( which i now know should have went 1st)
    To echo the view expressed above. Now is NOT the time to send a huge file full of medical evidence. PIP looks at the functional consequences of a condition. It’s not bothered about the condition itself. When it comes to evidence less is more. A focused approach is needed. What points do you score and why. What’s your evidence and where are the gaps? 20 reports all essentially saying the same thing are no more effective than 1 report aimed at the descriptors. Weighing 20 reports against a HCP report is a lot harder than weighing 1 or 2 which make the same points.

    ... They have minimum medical training, if any at all... 
    Most HCPs have some medical training as they include doctors, nurses, physios and paramedics. However, a HCP assessment is not a medical assessment and so medical knowledge is not a requirement. It’s a look at functional consequences. I know nothing about the mechanics of a broken arm. Pretty sure I could tell you about the functional consequences. 
  • MsCuriosityMsCuriosity Member Posts: 11 Connected
    @MikeBroderick None of the above are specialists they are general. They don't have the knowledge to draw conclusions. How can a physiotherapist, nurse, paramedic, etc assess hidden disabilities or complex issues? The questions they ask are scripted and most are irrelevant. Do you measure how far you can walk? Come on.

    What people need to realise is that not everyone with a broken arm will move the same way. There are people who defy the odds to the human eye but still have the ailment. Everyone handles things in a different way.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,585 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2020
    I’ve no idea who Mike Broderick is but I presume the post was directed at me  :D.

    I always find the arguments around HCP assessments hopelessly garbled tbh. So, each of your points need separating out.

    1 - all of the above are specialists. They have an area of focus and they are qualified in that. In order to do that they must have basic scientific and medical knowledge 

    Are they specialists in the “have a medical degree” sense? Most likely not, but then let’s pause there. Medically qualified specialists could never be HCPs. Why not? Well it’s obvious really. If you’re a world famous rheumatologist or heart surgeon you are working FT for the NHS and in private practice. There is simply no practical way for you to perform such a role in terms of available time and certainly no financial incentive. 

    Thus to criticise HCPs for not being “specialists” begins to look both banal and a little silly. 

    2 - medically qualified specialists could also never be HCPs because it would create a fundamental and obvious conflict of interest repeatedly. Let’s imagine you have a medical condition. Your GP refers you to... a specialist. That specialist sees you and writes a report. Maybe for your GP. Maybe for insurance purposes. Either way, if that report becomes part of your evidence when claiming a disability benefit that specialist cannot ever be a HCP you see as part of an assessment. 

    Whilst we’re all at different stages most of us will at some point have obtained exactly such a report from exactly such a person. That same person cannot then assess me for a disability benefit because there’s a clear conflict of interest in legal terms. DWP would challenge it every time. 

    3 - let’s look at what “conclusions” a HCP is required to “draw”.

    They are not required to diagnose the condition. They are only required to comment on the functional consequences. The description of the extent of those functional consequences is literally all they have to do. So, what does that involve which might require a person qualified at a medically higher level?

    Let’s take prepping food. Your claim pack says you struggle because you lack grip because of your arthritis. You use aids and score points for that but you say that really you need help from another person so should score more. Not everyone with arthritis would need this but you do because, as you rightly say in your post, we’re all different. 

    Your GP cannot write a credible report on this because they’ve never seen you prepare food. They have only your word for it. They can repeat what you say because they believe you having examined your range of movement but repeating what someone says is not medical evidence. 

    Your specialist is in exactly the same position. They’ve not seen you prep food just like you’ve never done it in front of your GP. They know what symptoms they would expect in a person with your condition and they know whether your description is within the range of variations they’d expect but... beyond that it’s whether they find you credible etc. 

    What then would a specialist do differently as a HCP in an assessment? Literally nothing. Sure they’d maybe know the diagnosis better. They’d arguably have a better idea on prognosis etc. but in terms of the things a HCP looks at they bring pretty much nothing extra to the table. HCPs are trained on the software and on some basic disability awareness but most of them will have that anyway. Even the Work and Pensions committee, in the face of the biggest response they’d ever had, could only conclude that there was an issue with a significant minority. 

    4 - the concept of “hidden disabilities” is irrelevant here. Nothing is hidden if you have declared it on your claim pack; detailed medication; described your symptoms; given anecdotal examples per activity of how those symptoms impact your ability to perform each activity reliably. In any event the idea that someone like a physio doesn’t know about hidden impairment is near comical. Ditto paramedics. It’s fundamental element of their training. 

    Now of course mental ill health is ill served by the process and ditto sensory loss but that is often because the nature of those conditions is such that the full extent is unlikely to have been recorded accurately in the claim pack in the first place. A HCP cannot magically see what hasn’t been revealed to them in the first place. No difference there between an OT and a brain surgeon. 

    5 - Complexity comes with the territory but again a specialist is of no use here. Complexity basically means you have more than one condition and they interact to some degree which may not always be clear. Unfortunately specialists are just that. Generally they specialise in one thing. A specialist faced with two or more things is no better equipped for dealing with anything outside their speciality than you, me, the physio or the OT.

    6 - It’s bizarre to criticise a HCP for having scripted questions. They have to be able to address the requirements of the law. Would we rather they asked random questions? You wouldn’t interview 10 candidates for a job by asking each of them completely different questions. Again, no difference between specialists and say a GP or a paramedic. We all have a set of issues to cover and a set of questions to ask. We’ll all have different personal styles and it’s often the case that perfectly legit questions will rub people up the wrong way. It usually gets expressed as “they had no right” etc. whereas in fact legally they had no choice.

    I have yet to come across anyone being asked an irrelevant question at a HCP assessment. Plenty of posters on here have asserted similar but it’s usually people who weren’t familiarised with the descriptors in the first place. Feel free to throw examples in at this point. I guarantee I’ll be able to show their exact relevance. As long as PIP awards points on the ability to reliably walk specific distances then questions about it will always be relevant. Of course no-one measures how far they walk but that’s nothing to the point. No-one is usually thinks about how good their toileting or communication skills are but that’s what PIP is about and it’s what all disability benefits have been about since the early 1970s. 

    7 - you are of course wholly correct to say that everyone handles things differently. However, a specialist is no more equipped to assess that than a paramedic. Indeed the whole points of HCPs being asked to look at functional loss is that they actually done from professions where that is in fact the role. A specialist wants to know whether they can reset your broken bone so you have the potential for perfect movement fo be restored. They leave the task of understanding whether in fact you have the capacity to do that to... a physio. 

    Apologies for the essay - light relief whilst doing a myriad of household tasks - but also my knee jerk reaction to anyone who makes the rather glib assertion that specialists would be better in the HCP role. They can’t practically or legally do it.

    At this point the counter argument is usually that GPs could do it. There are several  quick points on that. Firstly they have the same drawbacks as specialists as described above. Secondly they did do it from around 1971 to 2013 across Attendance Allowance, Mobility Allowance and then PIP. You only have to read the research literature throughout that period to see that all the issues I’ve described came up repeatedly. 

    Is the current system ideal? Gosh no. Far from it. Is it solvable by people with more or different medical knowledge. Not necessarily. 

    Now, the next point which arises here is “you must word for Capita, IAS eg al?”. No. Absolutely not. Ideologically they are the opposite of where I come from. I would never work for such an organisation. The problem here lies a long way away from replacing one type of HCP with another. 
  • chiariedschiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 9,128 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm in complete agreement with mikehughes. -  'None of the above are specialists they are general.' This begs the question, what does MsCuriosity mean? Each of the above (Drs, nurses, physios & paramedics) are specialists in their own field, & some actually go on to specialise further.
    'They don't have the knowledge to draw conclusions.' Hopefully MsCuriosity is never ill, as, if visiting their GP, in their opinion, he/she couldn't conclude what medication/treatment option/referral they might need. If referred to see a physio that too would be useless, as a physio might assess, but wouldn't be able to conclude an appropriate treatment plan. Of course they would have said that if they ever became seriously ill, don't call for an ambulance, as a paramedic wouldn't be able to draw any quick conclusions as to potentially save their life on the way to hospital.
    Even the DWP concede that, 'All HPs undertaking assessments on behalf of DWP must be registered practitioners (at least 2 years post qualification)......as experienced practitioners and trained disability analysts, HPs will have detailed knowledge of the principles and practice of relevant consultation and examination techniques.'
    MsCuriosity you might also take the time to read that the OP is studying to be a nurse., which I hope is going well Elle.
    If I had to disclose my interest, it's that I qualified as a physio a long time ago. I maintain my interest particularly in neurological disorders; have the utmost respect for nurses, & have worked with, rather than against, some Drs here in the UK.

  • katho31katho31 Posts: 694 Member
    @chiarieds, hi, i disagree with the section beginning Even the DWP concede that, "All HP's etc, i read at least two informative and factual statements, one from MIND, saying most assessors would not be registered practitioners. i had my PIP tel. consultation last friday, the lady who assessed me was a trainee {her manager listened in on the call after i agreed to it} my husband also spoke to the assessor, who was pleasant and showed empathy, she told him she had no training as a disibility analyst.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,585 Disability Gamechanger
    @katho31 the overwhelming majority are not registered as doctors or nurses. That is true. However, all will usually be registered by one of the nine professional healthcare regulatory bodies. It would be absolutely true for any HCP to say they’re not trained as disability analysts as they’re not there to assess disability itself. Merely the functional consequences of it. It’s the single most misunderstood element of the whole process.
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