Personal Independence Payment: Medical Examinations

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 8th January 2018.

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Photo of Laura Pidcock Laura Pidcock Labour, North West Durham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what qualifications health professionals completing a Personal Independence Payment medical assessment should possess to be able to assess people with a mental health issue.

Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Health Care Professionals (HCPs) undertaking PIP assessments must have at least 2 years post full registration experience (this refers to either UK registration or equivalent overseas registration for non-UK HCPs) or less than 2 years post full registration experience by individual, prior, written agreement with the Department. Requests by providers to employ HCPs with less than 2 years post full registration experience is rare and exceptional.

All HCPs receive training on how to identify the impact of mental health conditions on claimants. This is followed by on-going professional training and support which continues for the duration of their employment in the role.

In addition, Mental Health Champions support HCPs by providing additional expertise about mental health, cognitive, developmental and learning disabilities and can be referred to at any time during the assessment process.

HCPs make every attempt to obtain the best evidence available to assist them in undertaking the assessment. This includes accessing evidence from Community Mental Health Teams, psychologists, psychiatrists and other medical professionals.

Health Assessment Providers frequently engage with medical experts, charities and relevant stakeholders to strengthen review and update training programmes for all their assessment staff.

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