To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
(1) what discussions his Department has had with (a) Atos and (b) Capita regarding (i) the appointment and (ii) the training of condition-specific champions to assist in the assessment for personal independence payment;
(2) what discussions his Department has had with (a) Atos and (b) Capita regarding condition-specific training for health professionals carrying out the assessment for personal independence payments.
The contracts between the Department for Work and Pensions and the personal independence payment assessment providers, Atos and Capita, stipulate that they must provide mental function champions to give advice and support to health professionals on health conditions and disabilities affecting mental, cognitive, intellectual and behavioural function. Assessment providers are also obliged to provide other condition-specific champions when requested and in agreement with the Department for Work and Pensions.
The Department is reviewing the condition-specific training material, in the same way as it reviews training materials for all personal independence payment health professionals. The Department has reviewed and is content with Atos' training materials, and is currently reviewing Capita's training materials.