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Call for inquiry into Capita PIP assessment process and un-ethical conduct

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Dear Secretary of State,

Call for inquiry into Capita PIP assessment process and un-ethical conduct

I am calling on you today for an urgent inquiry following the Channel 4 Dispatches programme, which was broadcast across the UK on Monday the 11th of April. The programme revealed an abusive and cruel system that is punitive, which is so evidently all about targets and profit - at the expense of the most vulnerable within society. 

I watched the Dispatches programme with incredulity and know that this has caused distress to many disabled people across our nation. The programme exposed behaviour that is outright cruel, shameful and scandalous. Dispatches also revealed degrading and demeaning conduct such as the mocking and contempt for claimants, who are often vulnerable people with complex healthcare needs.  We find this behaviour unacceptable.

One assessor boasted that he made £20,000 per month, and was described by other Capita assessors, as `the best`.  Decisions were being made about claimants in their absence and there was clear evidence that the Data Protection Act had been breached over and over again. Also the Disability Assessors, as they are called, were also in receipt of enhanced payments - depending on how many assessments they could process in a day. This is evidence of an organised purge at the highest level and I condemn it. 

The programme also showed a Disability Assessment Manager removing a notice from the notice- board which permits claimants to record the PIP assessment interview.

An eminent consultant psychiatrist, at the Maudsley Hospital, who took part in the programme  described the use of the Mental State Examination, as part of the assessment process, as nothing more than an overview, that the training was not fit for purpose, and that the surreptitious assessment demonstrated poor ethical practice.

There has been widespread concern about the ability of Government contractors to accurately undertake Mental State Examinations (MSE) assessments. Such tests, ought to be carried out by people who are medically qualified to do so.

I am also very concerned that medically unqualified staff / contractors are being used to undertake other elements of the PIP assessment and award points, as they see fit. This is unprofessional and dangerous, and therefore, I am calling on you to disband the PIP assessment process with immediate effect.  People cannot be expected to have confidence in such a discredited system that is so unsafe and puts people at risk. This programme has no place in a civilised society and it must be scrapped immediately.

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