The most widely reported concerns included:
Whether all assessors had requisite knowledge of and/or specialist training in ‘hidden’
medical conditions (mental health conditions, or of those with multiple complex needs).
Assessors sometimes displaying a lack empathy towards applicants and the impacts of
their conditions, which on occasion led to overly intrusive lines of questioning.
Some assessors being dismissive of advocates and their role in supporting applicants.
A failure to provide reasonable adjustments where these were warranted i.e. reports of
home visit requests being routinely turned down and applicants being notified of last
minute cancellations of their appointments.
Reports which contained factual inaccuracies, and/or which bore little semblance to the
applicant’s or their advocate’s own experience of the interview. We were also told that
evidence appeared to be wrongly applied by some assessors.
Whether the mandatory reconsideration stage serves a valid purpose? We heard a
number of examples where decisions to refuse an award of PIP or ESA (or award a
higher rate of payment) were upheld at this stage, but then went on to overturned at
Find the full report here https://www.healthwatchbrightonandhove.co.uk/