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Contracted-out Health Assessments

Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons on 27th January 2020.

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Photo of Mary Glindon Mary Glindon Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Farming and Rural Communities)

What recent assessment her Department has made of the (a) accuracy and (b) efficiency of contracted out health assessments for (i) employment and support allowance and (ii) personal independence payment.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

We are committed to ensuring that individuals receive high-quality assessments that are used to decide entitlement. Providers are monitored against a range of measures, including independent audit, to improve accuracy of the advice they provide.

Photo of Mary Glindon Mary Glindon Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Farming and Rural Communities)

Atos, Capita and Maximus constantly fail to meet their targets for acceptable standards of assessment, and many claimants in North Tyneside have suffered as a result. Will the Minister tell my constituents how his Department will remedy such failures and explain why the Government have seen fit to reward those companies with extended multimillion-pound contracts?

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

As I have set out in previous answers, we are now spending an additional £6 billion through personal independence payments to support some of the most vulnerable people in society. Under the work capability assessment, we have 92% satisfaction, and under PIP it is 82%. We are ambitious for more and will continue to work with claimants, stakeholders and charities to improve the experience.