DWP Contact with GP after WCA finds claimant fit for work

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

In response to a FoI response to P. Smith (FoI 1973) you stated that you inform the claimant's GP when he/she has been found capable of work using form ESA65B combined with a summary of the assessment report. Here's the link to the FoI thread http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/wh...

Since that FoI request is about 8 months old, does the practice still go on? If it does, then here are my questions:

1. Are GPs informed when a claimant is found unfit or with limited capability for work? If 'No', please state reasons.
2. The WCA methodology differs greatly from that used by other medical professions, therefore the outcome from the WCA bears no relevance to the a GP's own assessment of that claimant's fitness for work. Simply informing a GP that a claimant has assessed as fit for work without explaining how the WCA reached that outcome may lead the GP to think that the claimant had exaggerated/faked their illness/disability in order to claim ESA. When a GP is informed that a claimant has been assessed as capable of work, are GPs provided with information on the methodology used by the WCA? If 'No', state reasons.
3. If a claimant has been found fit for work and has the minimum functional capability required to be found fit for work by the WCA
3a. Please provide a list of the paid jobs that that claimant can do. As the WCA appears not to take speed and accuracy into account, speed and accuracy must not be essential for any of the jobs you provide.
3b. If you are unable to provide 3a, please state valid reasons because no one else seems to know what these jobs are supposed to be.
4. Since the DWP contacts a claimant's GP when a claimant is found capable of work, why does the DWP not contact the GP directly for any medical reports prior to the WCA?
5. If, during a reconsideration or appeal, an assessment report is found to be unreliable (inaccuracies, misrepresentations, omissions etc), is the claimant's GP informed of this? If 'No', state reasons.
6. If a claimant appeals and is successful
6a. Is the claimant's GP informed of this outcome? If 'No', state reasons.
6b. Is the claimant's GP informed of the reasons why the claimant won their appeal? If 'No', state reasons.

Yours faithfully,

A C Smithson

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

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1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's handling of my FOI request 'DWP Contact with GP after WCA finds claimant fit for work'.

The DWP has failed to respond to my request within the deadline as required by law.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:

Yours faithfully,

A C Smithson

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Smithson

Please see attached response to your FoI request.

Kind regards

DWP Central FoI Team

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J Newman left an annotation ()

Another contradictory nonsense response unfortunately, which it is hard to let pass without comment, so at risk of stating what everyone really knows.

• In the absence of a definition of what “work” means, the whole test may be well-intentioned but is in reality meaningless – how on earth can you test anything’s ability to do anything without a clear idea of what that anything is? If you have a clear idea, why can’t you write it down? Answer= If we do, we will be forced to be more accurate and we don’t want that.

• It’s not about being able to do work, it’s about being able to hold down a job and give an employer the quality and reliability they understandably need. In unceremoniously dumping individuals who are unable to provide either on the job market, DWP is being as disingenuous with employers as with the individuals concerned.

• A GP is able to assess fitness to work through a ‘fit note’, but not qualified to undertake a WCA – how does this work I wonder???

Nigel Dale left an annotation ()

The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to ask any public sector organisation for all the recorded information they have on any subject.

A quote from GOV.UK website. So their answer to number 6 is not right. They have a policy, they need to disclose it.

Jane Russell left an annotation ()

Questions that many people would like the answers to but never seem to get anywhere in finding answers to. The plot thickens.