Labour MP Sheila Gilmore, a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, has written a blog for the Huffington Post website criticising the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the two suppliers of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments – Atos and Capita – for the way in which the rollout of the assessments have been administered over the past year.
Gilmore is particularly scathing of the lack of forward planning and piloting of the assessments, which have led to delays across the country and claimants taking twice as long as had originally been envisaged when the contract was awarded last year. In summing up her article, she even argued that “IDS and his Ministers should be ashamed” of how the rollout of PIP has been implemented, given that it “failed to ensure that its contractors were up to the job”.
Pete from PSI: These latest comments from Gilmore reflect the concerns of MPs across the House about the PIP assessment process, with many MPs using last month’s Work and Pensions question time in Parliament to criticise the DWP and the two suppliers for the myriad delays in getting a decision to claimants.
PIP, due to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) , has been available to new claimants since June 2013. The assessments are currently being phased in throughout the country, with a full rollout expected by October 2015, which will encompass both new claimants and those being reassessed for DLA.