Personal Independence Payment: Medical Examinations

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 29th June 2022.

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Photo of Toby Perkins Toby Perkins Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department monitors the performance of providers completing medical assessments for Personal Independence Claims; and whether she has taken steps in response to poor performance or customer service in the last five years.

Photo of Chloe Smith Chloe Smith Assistant Whip, The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

It might be helpful to explain that the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment is not a medical assessment as it does not require the Health Professional (HP) to diagnose a condition and to recommend treatment options. Instead, it requires the HP to look at the impact the condition or impairment has on an individuals’ daily life.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) manages the PIP contracts robustly and have a full set of service level agreements setting out our expectations for service delivery. We ensure a high standard is maintained, having an Independent Audit function that continually monitors performance, and provides feedback to its providers. The contracts allow us to recover any financial loss caused by poor performance, and we have the right to terminate the contract if there is sustained underperformance.

The department has worked continuously to drive improvements in the assessment service and providers have introduced a number of steps to increase performance across their services. This includes new or enhanced systems of assessment report quality checks, to improve the quality of advice the department receives. In addition, PIP assessment reports have been redesigned to have clearer justifications, which support improved benefit decision making.

PIP assessment providers have consistently exceeded their customer satisfaction target scores of 90% since the measure began in 2016.

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