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DWP to bring in new WCA providers

Mark Hoban, Minister for Employment, has announced that the DWP is to bring in additional providers to carry out Work Capability Assessments. A regional based approach is being introduced and is likely to be fully operational from summer 2014. It will provide extra capacity to help tackle waiting times that have been identified from a recent audit of Atos Healthcare. 

Atos Healthcare have already been directed to put in place a performance improvement plan following the audit, which identified an unacceptable reduction in the quality of written reports produced following assessments.  Measures include retraining and re-evaluating all Atos healthcare professionals, with those not meeting the required standard continuing to have all of their work audited until they do, or have their approval to carry out assessments withdrawn by the department.

The DWP has also engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers to provide independent advice in relation to strengthening quality assurance processes across all its health and disability assessments.

The fourth independent review of the WCA is currently being undertaken by Dr Paul Litchfield, which will no doubt add to the existing 50+ recommendations have been, or are being, implemented following previous reviews.

23 July 2013

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