Logic Software

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 10th February 2004.

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Photo of Paul Holmes Paul Holmes Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions), Work & Pensions, People With Disabilities, Non-Departmental & Cross-Departmental Responsibilities

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

(1) when the new Logic Integrated Medical Assessment software will be made available for public access; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if he will make a statement on the capability of the Logic Integrated Medical Assessment software to assess claimants whose condition is variously assessed as physical, mental or both in origin according to different authorities;

(3) if he will make a statement on the capability of the Logic Integrated Medical Assessment software to assess claimants with symptoms which differ widely from the accepted definition of the client's condition;

(4) what assessment he has made of the implications of tying the Personal Capability Assessment into the Logic Integrated Medical Assessment software for which SchlumbergerSema own the copyright; what assessment he has made of the impact on the contract renewal process in 2005; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Logic Integrated Medical Assessment (LiMA) software, developed by Medical Services, supports doctors who have been trained and approved to carry out Incapacity Benefit Personal Capability Assessments. It is based on fully researched, evidence-based medical protocols providing reliable, up to date medical opinion on the conditions most often seen in people claiming Incapacity Benefit. LiMA guides the doctor through the medical assessment process, prompting appropriate questions and ensuring thorough and appropriate assessment of the customer's physical and/or mental conditions.

LiMA analyses data about the individual customer, which the doctor has input following interview, observation, and focused clinical examination; and presents the doctor with a logical choice of descriptors that are consistent with the data and with up to date medical knowledge. Doctors can use clinical judgement to override the descriptor choices suggested by LiMA, but they must provide full justification for doing so.

The LiMA software is only functional as an interactive process during a medical examination for the Personal Capability Assessment. It cannot be used independently of the process, and is therefore not accessible to the public. As an internal guidance system it does not fall within Open Government guidelines on access to information.

The medical protocols that support LiMA are drawn from standard medical texts available through any public library.

SchlumbergerSema (now Atos Origin) do not own the copyright of the LiMA software. The current Medical Services contract provides that Intellectual Property Rights for Evidence Based Medicine and the LiMA software are vested in the Department.

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Posted on 7 Sep 2009 5:07 am (Report this annotation)

"The LiMA software is only functional as an interactive process during a medical examination for the Personal Capability Assessment. It cannot be used independently of the process, and is therefore not accessible to the public. As an internal guidance system it does not fall within Open Government guidelines on access to information."

Sorry wrong.

1. It is a standard application that is not 'self-aware'
It runs on standard microsoft operating systems, and is written using off the shelf tools. There is nothing to stop someone else installing it, given the original installation software and procedures.

2. It does fall under the freedom of information act, but the DWP (who own it) will not release it, as they make money from it.

It is a breach of natural justice.

What next? The NHS using similar to decide who lives and dies? All based on 'secret' software the public is not allowed to examine the workings off?