Suggestion for replacement of WCA

  • 9 Replies
  • 2255 Views

ATurtle

  • *
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1504
    • The Awesome Turtle Blog

Suggestion for replacement of WCA

  • on: 11 Feb 2013 03:17AM
To act as a replacement for the Work Capability Assessment it is obvious a medical replacement be sought.  At present, a medical report is prepared by Health Care Professionals in the employ of Atos Healthcare, a division of a French Information Technology company.  This report is flawed as a decision has to be made in a short period of time and forwarded to a person with little or no medical knowledge who then makes a decision based on it.

It is proposed that rather than using the method currently employed which has proven to be flawed in the high level of appeals against the decisions, and the high proportion of those appeals overturning the decisions made, that a new system is put into effect.

The system suggested below will save the Government approximately £180 million per year, as this is the cost of the Atos contract and the cost of appeals.  There is minimal set-up cost involved, only the provision of four copy forms provided to consultants and Mental Health Care professionals acting at the Consultant level.

In the outline below, Mental Health Care Professionals should be equated with Consultants as should the staff, housemen etc., of consultants.

1.      Claimant visits GP for referral to Hospital level examination.
2.      Consultant examines claimant and uses their judgement if the claimant is
          a.   Unable to work, and issues form which has the following categories on it:
                 i.   Operable: giving date of operation and estimated recovery time
                 ii.   Improving: giving estimated date for recovery to take place.
                iii.   Degenerative: giving suggested re-evaluation date 1-2 years)
                iv.   Inoperable.
         Or
          b.   Fit for work.

3.      Four part form is separated and:
          a.   Part 1: To Claimant
          b.   Part 2: To DWP
          c.   Part 3: To GP
          d.   Part 4: For filing with patientís notes.

4.      DWP actions form by setting dates for follow up where given or permanent award in the case of 2.a.iv.
5.      If GP notices in the interim sufficient improvement in the claimantís health, they are to contact the Hospital to arrange re-evaluation.
6.      GPs are not to be censurable in the case of improvig claimants as they are not always in a position to make this assessment.


If anyone can see any flaws with this, please comment.
Tony.

"I choose not to place "DIS", in my ability." - Robert M. Hensel

Dic Penderyn

  • *
  • Charter Member
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5228

Re: Suggestion for replacement of WCA

  • on: 11 Feb 2013 07:50AM
One of the arguments put up by the Condems for not scrapping the WCA out right was all those people who had won appeals would then be back to square one. How to protect them from having to start over with new claims.
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

lankou

  • *
  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2945

Re: Suggestion for replacement of WCA

  • on: 11 Feb 2013 09:33AM
The problem is a WCA is NOT a medical test, which is why ATOS use medical people to adminster it is a puzzle.
Personally I have always favoured psychometric testing for as a method checking ability or not to be able to work. It had a long history in Britain of use by governments from 1916 until the late 1980s, when Margaret Thatcher privatised it out of the benefits system, and it is not used at all within government as far as I am aware apart from on wounded squaddies.
It consists of a battery of practical and mental tasks over a day which does check if anyone can do something repeated and safely or not.
Basically psychometric testing tests:-
If a person can work or not.
If they can work, what work, (and it is VERY precise with than down to a list of jobs.)
If any education/training is necessary for that work to be able to be done. (That does not mean a mickey mouse two week course, it could be years.)
If any workplace modifications would be needed.
Then of course it takes into account if someone would be able to get to and from work.

 

Sunshine Meadows

  • *
  • Global Moderator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8011

Re: Suggestion for replacement of WCA

  • on: 11 Feb 2013 10:57AM
Morning,

I have moved this thread to Welfare Rights because is directly discussing a welfare rights issue.

I realise this is going to be controversial but dont actually have a problem with the concepts behind the WCA and in my opinion it is the way the test itself has been designed and administered that is causing its failure. The fact people are winning on appeal does mean that things are being done in an incorrect way and faults are found in the system.

One thing worth thinking about is a a lot of people did not know what happened when they claimed Incapacity Benefit, how the information they gave on the written form was assessed, what the guidelines in medical assessment were and also what GPs were expected to do. Whereas now with ESA and the WCA we have detailed information including what points it is possible to get and how the process works. I do think the way we use the internet means we can better find information and help ourselves, so the rate of appeals is affected by this.

The current WCA does not work but it does not mean it can't be changed to a better model.




lankou

  • *
  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2945

Re: Suggestion for replacement of WCA

  • on: 11 Feb 2013 11:24AM


The current WCA does not work but it does not mean it can't be changed to a better model.

Any replacement must not be based on the biopscychosocial model of disability that was swallowed hook line and sinker by disability organisations which led straight to the situation we are in currently.

davewhit

  • *
  • Silver Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 37

Re: Suggestion for replacement of WCA

  • on: 11 Feb 2013 02:54PM
To act as a replacement for the Work Capability Assessment it is obvious a medical replacement be sought.  At present, a medical report is prepared by Health Care Professionals in the employ of Atos Healthcare, a division of a French Information Technology company.  This report is flawed as a decision has to be made in a short period of time and forwarded to a person with little or no medical knowledge who then makes a decision based on it.

It is proposed that rather than using the method currently employed which has proven to be flawed in the high level of appeals against the decisions, and the high proportion of those appeals overturning the decisions made, that a new system is put into effect.

The system suggested below will save the Government approximately £180 million per year, as this is the cost of the Atos contract and the cost of appeals.  There is minimal set-up cost involved, only the provision of four copy forms provided to consultants and Mental Health Care professionals acting at the Consultant level.

In the outline below, Mental Health Care Professionals should be equated with Consultants as should the staff, housemen etc., of consultants.

1.      Claimant visits GP for referral to Hospital level examination.
2.      Consultant examines claimant and uses their judgement if the claimant is
          a.   Unable to work, and issues form which has the following categories on it:
                 i.   Operable: giving date of operation and estimated recovery time
                 ii.   Improving: giving estimated date for recovery to take place.
                iii.   Degenerative: giving suggested re-evaluation date 1-2 years)
                iv.   Inoperable.
         Or
          b.   Fit for work.

3.      Four part form is separated and:
          a.   Part 1: To Claimant
          b.   Part 2: To DWP
          c.   Part 3: To GP
          d.   Part 4: For filing with patientís notes.

4.      DWP actions form by setting dates for follow up where given or permanent award in the case of 2.a.iv.
5.      If GP notices in the interim sufficient improvement in the claimantís health, they are to contact the Hospital to arrange re-evaluation.
6.      GPs are not to be censurable in the case of improvig claimants as they are not always in a position to make this assessment.


If anyone can see any flaws with this, please comment.


fails at =.      Claimant visits GP for referral to Hospital level examination

its hard enough  to get to see a hospital dr all the people needing to see dr would have to wait months,as it stands see dr at hospital and the delay in letters being typed up can be six months plus

atos costs average out at £151 per claim  nhs £45 so there would be a saving people would be on lower rate longer

DarthVector

  • *
  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1164

Re: Suggestion for replacement of WCA

  • on: 11 Feb 2013 03:36PM
I'd change "operable" and "inoperable" to "treatable" and "untreatable", but otherwise, something like this might well work for people who have already been seen within the NHS, alongside up-front assessments for people who haven't.

I tend to lean towards that kind of hybrid system, where the NHS only has to field relatively simple forms for people who have already been seen, with the new-assessment load being taken by a fair and independent assessment system - perhaps run by the BMA with Government funding?

Obviously, a real doctor doing a real medical assessment in a fair and independent system would still be able to refer people onwards to the NHS at need.

seegee

  • *
  • Charter Member and Volunteer
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5166

Re: Suggestion for replacement of WCA

  • on: 12 Feb 2013 07:21PM
Those who are not likely to improve & aren't treatable really shouldn't be made to waste the time of NHS consultants by seeking assessments. 
If there's a new injury or illness it makes sense to re-assess at intervals - expected improvement in ?months/ ?years... but some time later,  a time must come when no further improvement/ adaptation is likely, so more assessments then simply wastes time & money as well as stressing many of the claimants.
I did actually get some psychometric testing from JC+ sometime last decade (not a full day though; they did enough to see there was something in my brain not working at full efficacy) - then sent to a specialist provider dealing with brain-injured people.  I got more information, more idea of why I couldn't do as much, why I had memory problems & fatigue... but I didn't see anyone in a hospital.  That would have been daft; they could hardly "fix" a ten-year-old brain injury. 
I have help & support from a specialist charity (all their clients have brain &/ or spinal injuries), who know more about the daily practicalities of living with a brain injury than any NHS consultant.  I'm very lucky to live within reach of such a place.

devine63

  • *
  • Guest

Re: Suggestion for replacement of WCA

  • on: 12 Feb 2013 11:37PM
Lucky Seegee - they actually managed to refer you to the right people!!!!
regards, Deb

seegee

  • *
  • Charter Member and Volunteer
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5166

Re: Suggestion for replacement of WCA

  • on: 13 Feb 2013 01:55PM
I did spend some time moving from ill=IB >>> not-ill=JSA >>> apply for lots of jobs, get few interviews, get a job >>> not kept on after initial trial >>> apply for lots of jobs, get few interviews, get a job  >>>  ill=IB >>> apply for lots of jobs with fewer hours, get few interviews, get a job >>>  ill=IB >>>...
After a while, the DEA decided there was more going on than she (or I) knew about & set out to find what the problem was- which is what's meant to happen but rarely does, since each DEA tends to have a lot of people & limited resources; some are probably cynical & believe most claimants really could work a full week regularly even if they present as too ill or disabled.
It was luck that the DEA where I signed on was one who does the job properly - but it was me who had been voluntarily coming off IB, saying I was fine to work (I thought I was) so it was obvious to the front-desk staff that something wasn't right.  They referred me to the DEA, I had no idea any such role existed.
I think any DEA can get assessment from a psychologist but I don't suppose there are work providers running specialist courses for people with brain injuries everywhere.  There really should be, brain injury is common, whether caused by accident, stroke, infection, assault, tumour, poisoning... :-(

I think the charity I go to now (nothing at all to do with JC+ or the WP) is a one-off; a brain & spinal injury centre providing information, advice, peer support & social contact, physiotherapy, aromatherapy massage, assisted exercise, basic skills re-training, various FE courses...  Very lucky me indeed.  >thumbsup<