Training, briefing and knowledge-base materials for WCA assessors regarding certain conditions

Sam Barnett-Cormack made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

The request was successful.

From: Sam Barnett-Cormack

19 January 2012

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

I am writing to request all training, briefing, knowledge base or
similar material, approved for use by HCPs conducting Work
Capability Assessments, regarding or relevant to the following
conditions/diagnoses:

*Fibromyalgia
*Depression (including specific forms, such as Major Depressive
Disorder)
*Bi-Polar Disorder (including BP-I, BP-II, and other related
diagnoses)
*Narcolepsy (both with and without Cataplexy)
*Migraine (including any specific forms, such as Classical,
Basilar, or Status Migraines)
*Irritable Bowel Syndrome
*Eczema (including any specific forms)
*Asthma
*Non-seasonal Allergic Rhinitis
*Atopic Tendency (also known as Atopy, Atopic Syndrome and Atopic
Allergies)
*Myalgic Encaphelomyelitis (ME)
*Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
*Somatisation Disorder

And also any guidance for assessing or dealing with people who have
symptoms for which they have not yet received a diagnosis, but for
which there are reasonable steps to pursue a diagnosis and these
steps are being taken; and also those symptoms for which no
diagnosis has been received and, on medical advice, efforts to
diagnose have ceased.

I realise that some of these have been released in existing FOI
requests, but I wish to make sure that I have the most up-to-date
information.

Yours faithfully,

Sam Barnett-Cormack

Link to this

From: DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request
Department for Work and Pensions

19 January 2012

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received at the DWP Central FoI Team.

We will forward your request to the relevant information owner within the
Department who will respond to you direct. 

Should you also 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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From: DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request
Department for Work and Pensions

16 February 2012


Attachment FoI 220 16.02.12.pdf
19K Download View as HTML

Attachment 260 MED CMEP 0087 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CFS and Fibromalgia 3 Final.pdf
238K Download View as HTML

Attachment Asthma Version c 4 Final.pdf
322K Download View as HTML

Attachment Bipolar Disorders.pdf
80K Download View as HTML

Attachment CFS ME Version 1 Final.pdf
93K Download View as HTML

Attachment Depression.pdf
201K Download View as HTML

Attachment LiMA Repository.pdf
93K Download View as HTML

Attachment MED S2 CMEP 0035 Module 14 Fibromyalgia V5 Final.pdf
149K Download View as HTML

Attachment Mental Health Protocols MED S2 CMEP 0054 Version 2 Final.pdf
234K Download View as HTML

Attachment Neuro and Infections Key points and analytical guidance 4 Final.pdf
164K Download View as HTML


Dear Sam Barnett-Cormack

Please see attached response to your FoI request

Kind regards

DWP Central FoI Team

show quoted sections

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From: Sam Barnett-Cormack

16 February 2012

Dear DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request,

Thank you for your response, received 16/02/2012, to my request of
19/01/2012. I note that you clearly indicate certain topics on
which there is no material relevant to my request.

However, there are two areas neglected in your response, at least
based on my initial scan through the material.

The section on Narcolepsy in the document containing extracts from
LiMA is not, in fact, about narcolepsy. It is about sleep apnoea.
It mentions narcolepsy as, effectively, a differential diagnosis
for similar symptoms. Does the inclusion of this information, but
no other information about narcolepsy, indicate that this is the
full extent of information about narcolepsy in the areas outlined
in my initial request?

In my original request, I also asked for any guidance in dealing
with patients who are still seeking a diagnosis, or those who are
no longer actively seeking diagnosis based on medical advise. I see
that there is an entry on medically unexplained symptoms (also
referred to as somatoform disorders) in the neurological and
infection guide. This is, however, both a narrower and separate
definition to the scenarios I describe, and in fact refers to the
same thing sometimes known (such as in the APA's DSM) as
somatisation disorder. Can you confirm that there is no written
guidance for HCPs in assessing patients who are still undergoing
diagnostic efforts, and those who have been medically advised to
stop such efforts, even if temporarily?

Thank you for the work you have already done on this, and I trust
that the shortcomings I outline above are simple oversights. I'm
sure you must be quite busy, so such mistakes are quite
understandable.

Yours sincerely,

Sam Barnett-Cormack

Link to this

From: DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request
Department for Work and Pensions

16 February 2012

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received at the DWP Central FoI Team.

We will forward your request to the relevant information owner within the
Department who will respond to you direct. 

Should you also 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...

show quoted sections

References

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

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From: Sam Barnett-Cormack

2 April 2012

Dear DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request,

On 16th February I wrote to point out deficiencies in the FoI
response I received that same day, regarding training materials,
knowledge base materials and similar. I received an acknowledgement
immediately. However, I have still not received any response to
this request, and it has been well over 20 working days. If this
clarification cannot be responded to for some reason, I would
expect to be told this. Receiving no response for this time seems
entirely unacceptable to me.

If a meaningful response is not forthcoming, I will request an
internal review of the handling of this request.

Yours sincerely,

Sam Barnett-Cormack

Link to this

From: DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request
Department for Work and Pensions

2 April 2012

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received at the DWP Central FoI Team.

We will forward your request to the relevant information owner within the
Department who will respond to you direct. 

Should you also 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...

show quoted sections

References

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

Link to this

From: Sam Barnett-Cormack

11 May 2012

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 'Training, briefing and
knowledge-base materials for WCA assessors regarding certain
conditions'.

On the 16th of February I wrote to point out deficiencies in the
response to my FOI request of 19th January; I followed this up on
the 2nd of April. I have still not received any response beyond an
automated acknowledgement to these contacts. I thus feel it is
appropriate to request an internal review at this time.

My original email of 16th February detailing deficiencies and
requesting clarification said the following:

"The section on Narcolepsy in the document containing extracts from
LiMA is not, in fact, about narcolepsy. It is about sleep apnoea.
It mentions narcolepsy as, effectively, a differential diagnosis
for similar symptoms. Does the inclusion of this information, but
no other information about narcolepsy, indicate that this is the
full extent of information about narcolepsy in the areas outlined
in my initial request?

"In my original request, I also asked for any guidance in dealing
with patients who are still seeking a diagnosis, or those who are
no longer actively seeking diagnosis based on medical advise. I see
that there is an entry on medically unexplained symptoms (also
referred to as somatoform disorders) in the neurological and
infection guide. This is, however, both a narrower and separate
definition to the scenarios I describe, and in fact refers to the
same thing sometimes known (such as in the APA's DSM) as
somatisation disorder. Can you confirm that there is no written
guidance for HCPs in assessing patients who are still undergoing
diagnostic efforts, and those who have been medically advised to
stop such efforts, even if temporarily?"

This outlines why I am dissatisfied with the original response; I
am entirely dissatisfied with the (lack of) response to my emails
seeking clarification in these matters. I trust that those
responsible for internal reviews will be able both to satisfy the
original problems, and explain why there has been such a delay in
response to my requests for clarification.

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

Yours faithfully,

Sam Barnett-Cormack

Link to this

From: DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request
Department for Work and Pensions

11 May 2012

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received at the DWP Central FoI Team.

We will forward your request to the relevant information owner within the
Department who will respond to you direct. 

Should you also 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...

show quoted sections

References

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

Link to this

From: DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request
Department for Work and Pensions

16 May 2012

Our Ref: FOI 2910-688

Dear Mr Barnett - Cormack,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request that was received by
the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Adelphi on 19 February 2012
and forwarded on the same date asked to be provided with information
answering the following questions:-

Dear DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request,

Thank you for your response, received 16/02/2012, to my request of
19/01/2012. I note that you clearly indicate certain topics on which
there is no material relevant to my request.

However, there are two areas neglected in your response, at least based
on my initial scan through the material.

The section on Narcolepsy in the document containing extracts from LiMA
is not, in fact, about narcolepsy. It is about sleep apnoea. It mentions
narcolepsy as, effectively, a differential diagnosis for similar
symptoms.

Does the inclusion of this information, but no other information about
narcolepsy, indicate that this is the full extent of information about
narcolepsy in the areas outlined in my initial request?

In my original request, I also asked for any guidance in dealing with
patients who are still seeking a diagnosis, or those who are no longer
actively seeking diagnosis based on medical advise. I see that there is
an entry on medically unexplained symptoms (also referred to as
somatoform disorders) in the neurological and infection guide. This is,
however, both a narrower and separate definition to the scenarios I
describe, and in fact refers to the same thing sometimes known (such as
in the APA's DSM) as somatisation disorder.

Can you confirm that there is no written guidance for HCPs in assessing
patients who are still undergoing diagnostic efforts, and those who have
been medically advised to stop such efforts, even if temporarily?

Thank you for the work you have already done on this, and I trust that
the shortcomings I outline above are simple oversights. I'm sure you
must be quite busy, so such mistakes are quite understandable.

In response to Q1, I can advise that there is no other information to
add to what has already been provided on narcolepsy.
In response to Q2, there is guidance within the WCA handbook (section
3.1.3.6.2 Medical content of the report) about when exact diagnoses are
not available, as follows:
"In many instances the entries will be symptoms rather than exact
diagnoses. Your role is to assess disability and for that reason precise
diagnoses do not add to the Decision Maker's understanding of the
report. Only be specific if you have good evidence of the diagnosis".

The role of the disability analyst is explored both in the pre-course
reading and training. Disability can vary significantly between
claimants.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the
reference number above.
.
Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------
Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal
review by e-mailing [DWP request email]. or by
writing to DWP, Central FoI Team, 5th Floor The Adelphi, 1-11, John Adam
Street, London WC2N 6HT. Any review request should be submitted within
two months of the date of this letter.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner's Office for a decision.
Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have
exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can
be contacted at: The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.gov.uk

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Sam Barnett-Cormack left an annotation (16 May 2012)

Quote-marks Well, that was interesting. So nothing actually about narcolepsy at all, except the bit I found in the handbook (should be considered as loss of consciousness) and as a differential diagnosis on the entry on apnoea.

Link to this

From: Sam Barnett-Cormack

17 May 2012

Dear DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Internal Reviews, as
I believe there may have been an omission from the response to my
Freedom of Information request.

Regarding my previous FoI request, as recorded at
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/tr...,
one of the documents provided states that further information on
CFS/ME is available in the document "Med S2 CMEP0017 – Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome Guidelines for the Disability Analyst", but no
document of that reference or title is included in the response, as
far as I can see. Please provide either an explanation of its
exclusion from the Freedom of Information response, or the document
itself - preferably both.

Yours sincerely,

Sam Barnett-Cormack

Link to this

From: DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request
Department for Work and Pensions

17 May 2012

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received at the DWP Central FoI Team.

We will forward your request to the relevant information owner within the
Department who will respond to you direct. 

Should you also 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...

show quoted sections

References

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

Link to this

From: DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request
Department for Work and Pensions

11 June 2012


Attachment FoI IR 311 11.06.12.pdf
15K Download View as HTML


Dear Sam Barnett - Cormack

Please see attached response to your FoI request.

Kind regards

DWP Central FoI Team

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Sam Barnett-Cormack left an annotation (11 June 2012)

Quote-marks To aid anyone confused about this...

I asked for two IRs - the second one was because I discovered, on further examination of the documents, that there was a document referred to in one of the documents, but that document was not included in the response.

So there was a satisfactory response to the first IR request, but there's a second one still pending.

Link to this

From: DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request
Department for Work and Pensions

18 June 2012


Attachment MED S2 CMEP 0017 Mod 6 Chronic Fatigue.pdf
111K Download View as HTML


Our Ref: VTR 3334-IR335

Dear Sam Barnett -Cormack

Thank you for your letter that was received by Department for Work and
Pensions (DWP) Adelphi on 17 May 2012 and forwarded on 17 May to the DWP
Medical Services Contracts Correspondence Team (MSCCT) to respond to.

The DWP MSCCT Freedom of Information Internal Reviewing Officer has read
your letter and accepted this as a request for an Internal Review of FOI
reference 2910-688 dated 16 May 2012.

I have therefore conducted a full investigation into your original
request to check that the information previously supplied to you,
clearly and accurately answered your request. I have also reviewed any
decisions to withhold information and in doing so I have fully
considered the public interest in disclosure.

In your email you asked to be provided with information answering the
following questions:-

Dear DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Internal Reviews, as I
believe there may have been an omission from the response to my Freedom
of Information request.

Regarding my previous FoI request, as recorded at
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/tr...,
one of the documents provided states that further information on CFS/ME
is available in the document "Med S2 CMEP0017 - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Guidelines for the Disability Analyst", but no
document of that reference or title is included in the response, as far
as I can see. Please provide either an explanation of its exclusion from
the Freedom of Information response, or the document itself - preferably
both.

You asked why Med S2 CMEP0017 - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Guidelines for
the Disability Analyst had been issued within the response to 2910-688.

In reviewing your request I uphold the decision of the Freedom of
Information Officer in part and have added information where
appropriate.

Please find enclosed a copy of Med S2 CMEP0017 - Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome Guidelines for the Disability Analyst which is for use by
Approved Health Care Professionals.

This requested document has been produced as part of a programme for
Health Care Professionals (HCPs) to carry out medical assessments as
approved HCPs. 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. This document 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, this is not a stand-alone document, and
forms 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 document may be of interest to non-medical readers it
should be recognised that 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 Licence
(http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...). For
information about the OGL and about re-using Crown Copyright information
please see The National Archives website
-http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor...
ing-framework.htm .

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.

I am therefore satisfied now that all the information that DWP are able
to supply to you has been supplied. I apologise for the oversight of not
attaching the relevant document to the original response issued to you
on 16 May 2012.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the
reference number above.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------

Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner's Office for a decision.
Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have
exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can
be contacted at: The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.gov.uk

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