Security Guards are short-listed to deliver #DLA to #PIP migration medical assessments. #G4S – you could make this up.#wrb #mhuk #disability
SECURITY GUARDS SHORT-LISTED FOR DLA TO PIP MEDICAL CONTRACTS
In this edition we have news that international security companies are fighting for the chance to do your disability living allowance (DLA) to personal independence payment (PIP) medical and win a share of a billion pound pot. We can also reveal the outrageous lack of digital tape machines for recording employment and support (ESA) medicals and we learn what IDS really thinks of Remploy workers.
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DLA TO PIP MEDICAL BONANZA
Disability living allowance (DLA) claimants have been divided into four regional lots and are being sold off to ten shortlisted bidders – including multinational security companies – for the purpose of being medically assessed for personal independence payment.
A fifth, nationwide lot is also up for grabs, but the DWP have said they do not intend to use this contract unless things go wrong with regional suppliers.
PIP is due to begin replacing DLA for working age claimants from spring next year, with all current DLA claimants having to be reassessed for the new benefit. The contracts for PIP medicals are worth up to a billion pounds in total and have attracted the attention of many multinational companies.
Amongst the bidders through to the final round in all four regions is the increasingly heavily criticised Atos, who will undoubtedly be hoping that their LIMA software will give them the edge over their rivals.
Relative newcomers to the scene are security guards G4S, who have also been shortlisted for every contract. Their forensic medical arm, though more used to helping catch rapists and paedophiles, won a small contract to pilot PIP assessments last year. In 2010, three G4S security guards were bailed after the death, whilst they were restraining him, of an Angolan refugee being deported from Heathrow.
Serco, another company with a heavy security presence, have been shortlisted for Northern Ireland. Amongst many other contracts, Serco run prisons, detention centres and immigration removal centres in the UK and abroad. In Australia, a Serco training manual is alleged to have taught employees how to use pain, including punches and kicks, to subdue asylum seekers.
Capita, which runs the Criminal Records Bureau on behalf of the Home Office and is invariably referred to as ‘Crapita’ by Private Eye, has also been shortlisted for all regions. The company has been involved in a number of less than successful public service contracts in the past, including Individual Learning Accounts which were subject to fraudulent claims on an unprecedented scale and which were shut down after just one year.
Other potential providers include Avanta, Ingeus Deloitte, APM UK, Reed In Partnership and Vertex.
A4E, currently mired in fraud investigations, did not make it through to any of the shortlists.
We’ll bring you news of the successful bidders as soon as it becomes available. More details of the contract are available from the DWP website. (External link)
DLA high rate care and mobility on new claim
“This is better than I could possibly expect, and was due to a mixture of your wonderful advice for filling in the form, and an understanding ATOS Doctor (didn’t know they existed).”
ESA RECORDING OUTRAGE
In other news, a campaigner has forced the DWP to disclose that Atos have just 11 digital recorders (external link) to cover 140 medical assessment centres. It’s not surprising then, that asking for your ESA work capability assessment to be recorded can lead to long delays and that DWP/Atos are very reluctant to tell claimants that they have the right to ask for a recording to be made.
Support group award
“I have just been awarded ESA in the Support Group and found the information and advice you provided invaluable . . . I also had my medical recorded in case I needed to appeal and this was no problem.”
ACCESS TO WORK SHRINKS
It has also been disclosed that the number of new claimants being given help via the Access to Work scheme (members only) is continuing to fall, in spite of the coalition’s claim that it is determined to help more disabled people into work. The figures undermine the government’s claim that closing Remploy factories was acceptable because workers could use the access to work scheme to help them find mainstream, instead of supported, employment.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith revealed in an unscripted outburst last week (external link) that he believes Remploy staff spend all their time sitting around “just making cups of coffee”. In which case, he’s probably sleeping soundly in spite of the fact that he knows that the majority of Remploy staff have little hope of getting work in the current economic climate, particularly if the Access to Work scheme is being slowly strangled.
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