To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions (a) she, (b) Ministers and (c) officials of her Department have had with charities and third sector bodies on the overall competence and expertise of health care professionals who assess people with neurological conditions for (i) personal independence payment and (ii) employment and support allowance.
Ministers and officials regularly meet charities and third sector bodies, including those who have an understanding of those with neurological conditions, to discuss a range of issues in relation to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), including assessments.
PIP and WCA Health Professionals must have 2 years of clinical experience (or less than 2 years post full registration experience by individual agreement with the Department). They are trained to undertake functional assessments and in addition complete training on neurological conditions and have access to a range of resources.
Assessment Providers engage with medical experts, charities and relevant stakeholders to strengthen, review and update their training programmes.