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Personal Independence Payments

Volume 629: debated on Monday 9 October 2017

15. If he will take steps to ensure that people applying for personal independence payments are seen by a specialist at their initial assessment. (901048)

Personal independence payment assessments require specialist skills, which is why they are undertaken by qualified health professionals, who are experts in disability analysis, and focus on the effects of health conditions and impairments on an individual’s daily life.

That is not the experience of some of my constituents, including one who has a rare condition and is on the highest level of DLA, and so should automatically be entitled to PIP, but whose assessor had no knowledge of the condition and refused the PIP application. Will the Minister specify the exact training, experience and competence requirements an applicant would have to demonstrate to qualify as a healthcare professional who could undertake PIP assessments for the DWP?

I have stated many times in the House the categories of healthcare professionals who can work as PIP assessors—it is a long list—but I should point out that these people are not carrying out health assessments. They are not there to diagnose; they are there to record the impact of someone’s condition on their personal life, which is quite different. As I have said in answer to previous questions, we will introduce some new measures on PIP as part of our response to Paul Gray’s second review.

We are well out of time, but we will take the last question because I do not want the hon. Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham (Daniel Kawczynski) to feel left out. Let us hear him.