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This information is worth having – not necessarily for what it says in its own right – but certainly because of how it could reflect on the current PIP reassessment.

It seems to me that reassessors would do well to check the identities of the Atos/Capita staffers who carried out the original assessments.

It would be useful to see if particular assessors were responsible for more people being denied benefits, and if they were assessors about whom complaints had been made.

Sure – it’s entirely possible that only one per cent of assessments have attracted complaints.

But how many were wrong? And how many caused harm? And were the same people responsible?

Scores of healthcare professionals may have been able to continue carrying out disability benefit assessments despite being the subject of multiple complaints about their behaviour, competence and honesty, confidential new documents have revealed.

The official reports, prepared by outsourcing giants Capita and Atos for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), show that up to 180 personal independence payment (PIP) assessors were the subject of at least four complaints each in three-month periods in 2016.

The documents, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show that 161 assessors working for Atos had more than three complaints made against them in a three-month period.

And 19 Capita assessors were also subjected to at least four complaints in a three-month period in 2016.

Neither Atos nor Capita, nor DWP, will say what action was taken against these assessors and whether they are still carrying out face-to-face assessments of disabled PIP claimants.

A DWP spokeswoman said: “During the period you’ve outlined above, [Atos] and Capita completed a combined total of 945,000 PIP assessments.

“The total number of complaints that assessment providers received was less than one per cent of the total number of completed assessments.

“The PIP assessment providers thoroughly investigate all complaints and take appropriate actions.

“In addition, the PIP assessment providers have a target for customer satisfaction of 90 per cent, which they have consistently met since it was introduced in 2016.”

Source: The PIP Files: Data shows multiple complaints made against scores of Atos assessors


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