Work Capability Assessment: Mental Illness

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 23rd November 2018.

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Photo of Laura Pidcock Laura Pidcock Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the oral evidence of the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work to the Work and Pensions Committee on PIP and ESA assessments on 20 December 2017, HC 340, what steps she has taken to ensure that (a) work capability assessment providers do not ask claimants with mental health problems why they had not carried out their suicidal ideas and (b) the conduct of assessments does not increase the risk of suicide and self harm among claimants with mental health problems.

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

All healthcare professionals (HCPs) carrying out WCA assessments were given face to face training on exploring self-harm and suicidal ideation in May 2018. The training which was quality assured by the Royal College of Psychiatrists was designed to enhance the skills of HCPs in sensitively exploring self-harm and suicidal ideation.

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