HCP Qualification Conflict with Contract?

The request was successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

In a FOI request made by P Wilkinson http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/94... YOUR REPLY WAS ..

“Atos Healthcare do not stipulate that HCPs must hold the Diploma in Disability Assessment Medicine (DDAM) qualification. Should an HCP choose to acquire the DDAM, they are not obliged to inform Atos Healthcare.”

However contrary to your statement, in the Medical Services Contract (Atos/DWP) there is a requirement for the Medical Practitioners to hold a Diploma in Disability Assessment Medicine (DDAM).. e.g.

5.10.1 The CONTRACTOR shall provide, to the AUTHORITY by 31st March of each year,a proposal that meets the requirements of the AUTHORITY, which includes details
of the number of Registered Medical Practitioners who will be sponsored by the CONTRACTOR to sit the Diploma in Disability Assessment Medicine.

Please could you supply me with

a) details of where the requirement for Medical Practitioners to hold the DDAM have been repealed or

b) if this is still in force, is it just the Medical Practitioners who need to hold this diploma with the remainder of the HCP's being exempt ...or alternatively

c) whether the HCP's hold any recognised diploma or qualification which has replaced this and

d) whether the training and/or qualifications held by HCP's in disability assessment are recognised by “The European Qualifications (Health and Social Care Professions) Regulations 2007” or by any other such legislation.

Yours faithfully,

B. Adams

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Dear DWP freedom-of-information-requests,

Could I please remind you that your reply to my request for information is now overdue.. could you look into this matter for me.. thank you.

Yours sincerely,

B. Adams

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

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DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Adams

Please find attached an acknowledgement to your request for information to
be supplied under the Freedom of Information Act by the Medical Services
Contract Correspondence Team Freedom of Information Officer, who
apologises for the delay in providing you with this acknowledgement.

Kind regards

Medical Services Contract Correspondence Unit, Department for Work and
Pensions, Room 306, Block 3, Norcross, Norcross Lane, Blackpool, FY5 3TA
Tel 01253 611556, extn 69956

Please consider the environment before printing
<<3508-2591 ack.pdf>>

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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 'HCP Qualification Conflict with Contract?'.

Despite a reminder from myself, the information requested on the 29th June 2012 has not been provided..this is long overdue..

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/hc...

Yours faithfully,

B. Adams

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

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.

By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 

If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.

Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.

For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.

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

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DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

 

Dear Mr B Adams 

Please find enclosed a response to your request for information under the
Freedom of Information Act by the Medical Services Contract Correspondence
Team Freedom of Information Officer, who apologises for the delay in
providing you with a response.
<<3508-2591 Mr Adams Response.pdf>>
Kind regards

Medical Services Contract Correspondence Unit, Department for Work and
Pensions, Room 306, Block 3, Norcross, Norcross Lane, Blackpool, FY5 3TA
Tel 01253 611556, extn 69956

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Dear DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence,

Thank you for your reply to my request for information, there appears to be some confusion with regards to question “d”. Please could you clarify this..

d) whether the training and/or qualifications held by HCP's in disability assessment are recognised by “The European Qualifications (Health and Social Care Professions) Regulations 2007” or by any other such legislation.

In your response you directed me to the site of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, however the information requested is not available there.

The information I require are any records, guidance, notifications or other information that you hold (disregarding the optional F of O.M diploma) which indicates that the HCP training and/or qualifications which they receive from DWP/Medical Services in disability assessment are recognised by (a) statute in the UK, or (b) EU Regulations, or ( c) if they receive any recognition from any UK or EU Academic Institutions.

If there is no such recognition of the training and/or qualifications, other than by the DWP then please could you inform me of this in your response.

Yours sincerely,

B. Adams

B. Adams left an annotation ()

It seems absurd that people without such recognised qualifications can be considered to be experts in disability assessment by the DWP and tribunals.

B. Adams left an annotation ()

I forgot about this on Atos site, although somewhat controversial how the partnership was achieved..

Atos Healthcare – has teamed up with the University of Derby Corporate to officially accredit a key training course for its nurses. The announcement means that the 300-400 Atos Healthcare nurses who successfully complete the course each year will receive a Certificate of Achievement – Disability Analysis. At Atos Healthcare, we take training very seriously and we are very proud that our training course has been recognised and accredited by the University of Derby.

John Slater left an annotation ()

I thought that this was just something that Derby Uni runs for Atos so it would still be difficult to call it a recognised course as it isn't open to anyone else. Also when you look at Derby on the league table of Universities it is very near the bottom.

B. Adams left an annotation ()

Thanks John, I suppose they would do anything for the appearance of a bit of credibility .. Looks like it's a closed shop again then, similar to the HCP approved status from the DWP which helps to prevent and/or devalue similar opposing evidence.

J Newman left an annotation ()

Some while ago I suggested to several people at Derby that their association with Atos might not be in their best interests regardless of the "consideration" they receive to no avail. Given the flood of recent bad press over WCA/Atos, I'll try again.

You may have come across the hypothetical wheelchair consideration that forms part of mobility assessment (descriptor 1), which effectively means HCPs are qualified fully in wheelchair assessment. I have an FoI request for DWP to demonstrate that this is the case.

B. Adams left an annotation ()

As John says the course is restricted to Atos, so it looks like with the help of the DWP, they are able to strengthen the position and monopoly that Atos already holds thus eliminating competition. It is hardly “equality of arms” for claimants trying to appeal either, when HCP's with such disability assessment qualifications and approved status are only available to one party and are given so much credibility by the tribunals.

University of Derby Statement:

UDC is not involved in delivering this training but provides quality assurance and moderates the award of a Certificate of Achievement for staff. Atos Healthcare’s nurse training programme, and the learning materials used in it, are the sole property of its contract holder, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear B Adams,

Please find attached response to your Freedom of Information request.

<<3749-IR535 B Adams Reply.pdf>>

Thank you

Correspondence Team

Business Management Team | Department for Work and Pensions | DWP
Contracted Customer Services Directorate | 306, Block 3 | North Fylde
Central Office | Norcross | FY5 3TA|  www.dwp.gov.uk | Please consider the
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DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

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Dear Mr Adams

Please find enclosed a response to your request for a review of the
information previously supplied   under the Freedom of Information Act by
the Medical Services Contract Correspondence Team Freedom of Information
Internal Review Officer.

<<IR566 Mr Adams response.pdf>>
Kind regards

Medical Services Contract Correspondence Unit, Department for Work and
Pensions, Room 306, Block 3, Norcross, Norcross Lane, Blackpool, FY5 3TA
Tel 01253 611556, extn 69956

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B. Adams left an annotation ()

Extract from their reply....

In response to your questions; the training and qualifications held by HCP’s in disability assessment are not recognised by the European Qualifications (Health and Social Care Professions) Regulations 2007 or by any such legislation.

There is no information to indicate that HCP Training or qualifications HCP’s receive from DWP/Medical Services in disability assessment are recognised by statute in the Uk, or EU Regulations nor that they receive any recognition from any UK or EU academic institutions

Anita Bellows left an annotation ()

An important point is the ratio of doctors/nurses/physio among HPs.
Here is an extract of Atos tender for lot 3: "Based on the Authority’s volume assumptions for Lot 1, we anticipate that we will need to utilise over 750 HPs over the life of the contract to deliver all of the PBRs and face to face assessments. The vast majority of HPs will be either nurses or physiotherapists, and they will be supplemented by occupational therapists and doctors. The proportions of HPs is as follows:
500 Physiotherapists, 200 Nurses, 40 Occupational Therapists, and 10 Doctors. The rationale for this approach is based upon our knowledge and experience of the clinical requirement, the availability of the HP we have chosen, the cost differentials between the types of HPs, the existing presence of appropriate skills across the clinical professions and the desire for this work following contact with the types of HPs within our partner organisations."

John Slater left an annotation ()

Anita,

Can you post a link to the tender documents that you refer to please?

Thanks
John

Anita Bellows left an annotation ()

This one is just for Lot 1, and there is another one for Lot 3. The figures are slightly different but the ratio is the same. 1 doctor for 75 HPs.
http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPaper...
Some parts are redacted, just copy them in a text document.

J Newman left an annotation ()

In relation to whose doing WCAs the split is very different - see http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=..., although now 12 months old

B. Adams left an annotation ()

Interesting.. thanks Anita, I wonder what the current situation is.. lets see if they clarify it any..

Dear DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence,

Thank you for your reply, still in relation to HCP qualifications could you give me the proportions of HCP,s (e.g. ratio of Physiotherapists, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Doctors etc.) currently employed to undertake assessments in relation to the WCA.

Yours sincerely,

B. Adams

J Newman left an annotation ()

Hello B.

A little out of date now, but you may be interested in http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/at.... Note how much trouble I had not only getting what I asked for, but resolving ambiguity subsequently.

It will be interesting to see how the ratios have changed. It would be good in some ways to see GP’s abandoning Atos although it dilutes expertise available. In one of Atos reports (pre audio trial I think) it as good as says that as nurses are cheaper, profit margins are greater.

John

Anita Bellows left an annotation ()

I have been digging and found an old report from the National Audit Office from 2003, at the time Atos was still Schlumberger. I noted one interesting thing (among others) which I quote :
"In May 2003 Schlumberger employed 220 full-time doctors on the Medical Services contract, but most medical assessments are carried out by about 1,950 independent doctors contracted to work for them part-time".
Were these 1950 independent doctors part of the contract and subjected to the same training requirements as the ones directly employed by Schlumberger?

I also looked at the figures in both tenders (lot 1 and 3). The total number of doctors is 19 out of 1400 HPs.

B. Adams left an annotation ()

Thank you John.. I had a look at your link, it looks like you had yet another struggle to get any info..I am not even getting any acknowledgements at the moment to my FOI's.

I was particularly interested in the large ratio of physio's compared to so many claimants with additional problems other than just physical and if physio's are still used in such cases.. Keep chipping away John.. Regards ..Bill

B. Adams left an annotation ()

Just 19 doctors, talk about cost cutting and changing the regulations to suit. Then attempting to give credibility to less qualified people..all to the detriment of claimants. Thanks again Anita..

J Newman left an annotation ()

Through another FoI it was confirmed that there is no systematic process that attempts to match HCP expertise with claimant condition so physios can end up assessing complex mental health problems. This is of course the logical progression from the mistaken belief that clinical condition/history is irrelevant which allows the WCA to be largely deskilled to the point where my GP's receptionist could do it.

Also I'm sure on DWP's mind is that this deskilling will tend to reduce resistance to its techniques on moral & ethical grounds too.

Anita Bellows left an annotation ()

J. Newman,
I think you are right. The recruitment of physio could be explained by the high prevalence of musculoskeletal illnesses, but that should be matched by a high number of mental health specialists, and that is not the case. I found this document on the internet https://www.docstoc.com/pass?ct=26&d..., which shows that in 2006 the GMC agreed with Atos to run a pilot and to use non doctors as assessors. There should be a report somewhere. Also in the tender document I attached above, it is mentioned that HPs will have 7.5 days training, and 5 days CDP (continous Development Plan) per year. I think the deskilling will also be matched by a higher compliance.

Coates John DWP OPS CCSD MEDICAL SERVICES, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Adams

Please find enclosed a response to your request for information
under the Freedom of Information Act by the Health and
Disability Assessments (Operations) Correspondence Team Freedom
of Information Officer, who apologises for the delay in
providing you with a response.

<<3981-4049 Mr Adams Response.pdf>>
Kind regards

Health & Disability Assessment (Operations) Team, Department
for Work and Pensions, Room 306, Block 3, Norcross, Norcross
Lane, Blackpool, FY5 3TA

Please consider the environment before printing

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Coates John DWP OPS CCSD MEDICAL SERVICES, Department for Work and Pensions

Coates John DWP OPS CCSD MEDICAL SERVICES would like to recall the
message, "Freedom Of Information Response. 4049".

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DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Adams

Please find enclosed a response to your request for information
under the Freedom of Information Act by the Health and
Disability Assessments (Operations) Correspondence Team Freedom
of Information Officer, who apologises for the delay in
providing you with a response.

<<3981-4049 Mr Adams Response.pdf>>
Kind regards

Health & Disability Assessment (Operations) Team, Department
for Work and Pensions, Room 306, Block 3, Norcross, Norcross
Lane, Blackpool, FY5 3TA

Please consider the environment before printing

show quoted sections

J Newman left an annotation ()

Bill,

Just be a wee bit cautious over units of measure. I've had huge trouble in the past with ambiguity over numbers "on the books", what is headcount and what is full-time equivalents, those that might be regarded as "active" and in the end decided that ratios actually performing WCAs was more meaningful, regardless of how many have signed up.

Jim Otram left an annotation ()

John,

Assuming you got hold of the ratio of those HCPs actually conducting WCAs, could you possibly direct me to the response which yielded them?

J Newman left an annotation ()

Jim,

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/93...

The rapidly reducing proportion by GPs is a grave concern. I think I’ll request an update to see if the trend continued.

The “on the books” vs. FTE debacle is at http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/at...

Jim Otram left an annotation ()

Got it and thanks, John.

So in December last year the DWP could put its hands on the figures, per quarter, 01 11 10 to 31 10 11. From first quarter to last, the percentage of WCAs conducted by doctors (as against nurses or physios) dropped from 42% to 35%. If my maths is right (corrections welcome).

It would indeed be interesting to see the equivalent figures for the year 1 11 11 to 31 10 12.

J Newman left an annotation ()

I need to do some WDTK housekeeping and will raise the new FoI as soon as I have. Mathematically, the % fall is not measured by the difference (7%) but by 7/42 = 17%. I do agree with comments elsewhere about the motivation behind this engineered shift.

Jim Otram left an annotation ()

This response continues the story:-
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/wc...

Now we can take the year on year figures:-

12 months to 31 10 11: 39% of WCAs conducted by doctors.

12 months to 31 10 12: 30% of WCAs conducted by doctors.

Following JN's logic in the post above: 9/39 = 23% drop.

Well, nurses and physios are so much cheaper than doctors, aren't they?

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