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Atos and Capita 2 year extension continues problems: PIP videos may cause more

07 June 2018

Disability Rights UK has concerns about the recent Government statement concerning PIP video trials and the extension of the Capita and Atos contracts.

On Tuesday 5 June, Sarah Newton (Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work) announced pilots for the video recording of PIP assessments, something which will eventually be a standard part of the PIP assessment process. The statement also said that there would be an extension of Capita and Atos contracts for a further two years to "better allow for a stable transition to any new provision."

Ken Butler, DR UK welfare rights adviser, said,

“Given their track record of inaccurate assessments any continuation of PIP contracts to Atos and Capita is unwarranted.

“Over 80% of benefit appeals concern PIP and ESA arising almost entirely from poor private contractor medical reports.

“Retaining Atos and Capita will only replicate that for another two years

“Rather than developing a DWP IT system as a means of bringing PIP assessments in-house the aim seems to be to give money making opportunities to private companies.

“The announcement of making video recording part of the PIP process is unexpected.

“It raises more questions than answers - will all parts of an examination be videoed? Will videoing be compulsory or can a disabled person ask to opt-out? Will home visits be recorded? Will copies of videoed assessments be automatically given to claimants?

“Some disabled people may not be happy to be video recorded.

“It's not clear why the option to audio record PIP assessments has not been introduced instead.

“This might be acceptable to more disabled people and be easier to introduce more quickly.

“For example, we were told by Capita when it took over the PIP contract that it had the immediate ability to audio record all its assessments including home visits."

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