DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
Our Ref: 3568-2766
DATE 13 August 2012
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request that was received by the Department for
Work and Pensions (DWP) Adelphi on 16 July 2012 and forwarded for response by DWP
Medical Services Contracts Correspondence Team (MSCCT) Freedom of Information Officer.
In your email you asked to be provided with information answering the following questions:-
Below is an extract of the Contract between the DWP and Atos Origin IT Services, trading as
Atos Healthcare, dated 15 March 2005.
1. Unsuitable for calling to a Medical Examination Centre.
Age >75 years
Age <12 years
Registered Blind (needs to be seen in own environment)
Cases accepted under the Special Rules defining Terminal illness.
2. Reference to Medical Advisor required for advice.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosis
3. Tentatively invite to Medical Examination Centre.
Bipalar Affective Disorder / Bipolar Disease Manic Depression
Cerebrovascular Accident / CVA
Subarachnoid Haemorrage / SAH
4. Invite to Medical Examination Centre.
Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Coronary Artery Disease
Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc
5. Any other Diagnosis. Not listed above should be referred to a Medical Adviser for advice
Here are my questions:-
1. Is there a current updated list of illnesses and disabilities? If so could you provide me
with copies of the successive year on year lists with their additional entries to present
2. Am I correct in understanding that if a claimant’s illness/disability is not contained within
the list then it is imperative that the HCP is required under said contract to contact a
qualified Medical Advisor to ascertain if they are to be called in for a ESA WCA?
3. If an illness/disability is not on the aforementioned list at what point in the process is the
Medical Advisor contacted?
4. Am I correct in believing that this should be carried out by the HCP who initially
documents the ESA85A to establish if a claimant is required to attend and ESA WCA?
5. In this situation, given the HCP has to request additional input from a Medical Advisor,
should this be documented on the ESA85A to provide clarity about the process to the
6. If this information is not required to be documented on the ESA85A is the input of the
Medical Advisor documented anywhere else stating his/her grounds given for requiring
a claimant to attend or not attend an ESA WCA?
7. If this information is not required to be contained on the ESA85A who do you contact to
ascertain the date, information/reason and name of the Medical Advisor?
8. If the disability/illness is not on the aforementioned contract list and the HCP
documenting the ESA85A only has in their possession the claimants ESA50 and a
MED3 and said HCP is unable to assesses the level of disability based on this evidence
is the HCP required to obtain medical evidence from the claimants GP via an ESA113
to aid their judgment based on the GP’s general practise records before implementing a
WCA? Or does the Medical Advisor implement this process?
In reply to Q 1
the list of medical conditions that you provided relates only to advice given to
Healthcare Professionals (HCP) conducting medical assessments for Disabled Living
Allowance (DLA) and Attendance Allowance (AA), it is not relevant advice in relation to Work
Capability Assessments (WCA) conducted for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
The list was drawn up several years ago through an initiative between Atos Healthcare and
DWP to conduct DLA/AA examinations in Medical Assessment Centres (MAC), and provides
advice to HCPs about the types of cases that should not be called to attend for a DLA
examination in a MAC, if there was insufficient information to allow the HCP scrutinising the
DLA claim to advise on the disability. In these cases it is suggested that the assessment
should be completed through a domiciliary visit to the claimant’s home.
Please find attached copies of the current and previous DLA & AA in MECs Guide for
Administration and Medical Staff which includes at Appendices A & B which advises HCPs on
which medical conditions can and can’t be invited to attend a DLA medical examination at a
These requested documents have been produced as part of a programme for approved HCPs
to carry out medical assessments. All HCPs undertaking these medical assessments must be
registered medical or nursing practitioners who in addition, have undergone training in
disability assessment medicine and more specific training. The training includes theory training
in a classroom setting, supervised practical training, and a demonstration of understanding as
assessed by quality audit. These documents must be read with the understanding that, as
experienced medical or nursing practitioners, the HCPs will have detailed knowledge of the
principles and practice of diagnostic techniques and therefore such information is not
contained in these documents. In addition, these are not stand-alone documents, and form
only a part of the training and written documentation that a HCP receives. As disability
assessment is a practical occupation, much of the guidance also involves verbal information
and coaching. Thus, although the documents may be of interest to non-medical readers, some
of the information may not be readily understood without background medical knowledge and
an awareness of the other training and guidance given to HCPs.
The information supplied to you continues to be protected by copyright. You are free to use it
for your own purposes, including for private study and non-commercial research, and for any
other purpose authorised by an exception in current copyright law. Documents (except
photographs) can be also used in the UK without requiring permission for the purposes of
news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would require the
permission of the copyright holder.
Most documents produced by the DWP and/or Atos Healthcare will be protected by Crown
Copyright. Most Crown copyright information can be re-used under the Open Government
). For information
about the OGL and about re-using Crown Copyright information please see The National Archives website -http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/information-management/uk-gov-
Copyright in other documents may rest with a third party. For information about obtaining
permission from a third party see the Intellectual Property Office’s website at www.ipo.gov.uk
It is not possible to provide a response to Qs 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
because of the reason stated
in my answer to Q 1 that this list is only relevant advice for DLA medical examinations.
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number
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