Robin Bray-Hurren

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

I understand that when a claimant applies for Employment and Support Allowance, a form called the ESA113 is sent to the claimants' GP requesting further medical evidence.

I am referring to standard claims, not the Special Rules that apply to people expected to live less than 6 months.

1) Is there a time log of when ESA113 forms are returned from claimants' GPs?

2) What percentage of ESA113 forms are returned by claimants' GPs within the 2 week time limit?

3) What percentage of ESA113 forms are returned in total?

Yours faithfully,

Robin Bray-Hurren

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DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Bray-Hurren

Please see your FOI response attached

Kind regards

Health & Disability Assessments (Operations)/Department for Work and Pensions/Room 306/Block 31/Norcross/Norcross Lane/Blackpool/FY5 3TA

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Jim Otram left an annotation ()

That was a well-aimed enquiry, if I may say so, R B-H.

And, frankly, I think the DWP is being deceitful by omission. I believe 'Form 113' is actually issued only in a tiny minority of cases.

The fact that, even so, the DWP has no arrangement for routinely monitoring 'compliance' by 3rd-party medics, I can believe. It would be consistent with the utter shambles of the system the DWP has created.

John Slater left an annotation ()

This is an interesting request. I was told something that is related to getting information from GP. A GP told me that they refuse to talk to HCP when they call the surgery seeking information as they are not Doctors. Given that HCP talking to a claimant’s GP is part of the process I wonder if this is the approach of one GP or if this is replicated across the country?

J Newman left an annotation ()

Although edging to 12m old, you may find the data contained in the response here of interest.

As you have perhaps seen, there has been some controversy around GPs charging for letters to support a WCA. My own practice manager said this would be the case, but I am not convinced she really understood the question. Highly disappointing is the fact that the BMA is encouraging this approach on the basis that is “extra” work. I do not recall it offering a rebate when GPs became less involved a few years back and the improvement in their lot over recent years is well known. There are a few enlightened GPs who are willing to publicise the shortcomings of the WCA, but far too few in number.

The GMC is also being highly selective over its areas of responsibility to avoid being drawn in. I am attempting to persuade it otherwise based on the standards they are obliged to maintain.

Mark Giblin left an annotation ()

The DWP have stats on all aspects of their business and find it hard to believe that they can't provide the requested information.

I would have the matter escalated before taking the matter up to the data commissioner.

S Johnston left an annotation ()

You will find a FOI regarding ESA Form 113 request for the level of responses by GPs to requests for information prior to the Work Capability Assessment (in Scotland) in this document

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