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Thread: Tightening Up of WCA on the way

  1. #61
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    Thank you BB, (Re post#60, just in case this drops into the mod-void)

    Seems like the DWP envisage 2 new "weapons" in their armoury:
    The universal "WCA".....All well and good if it is accurate and fair, assuming it is done without a long waiting time ( no income whilst waiting)
    But we are all aware of the vagaries of the WCA, often inaccurate and poorly conducted, often almost impossible to attend due to a mix of limited ability to travel and unsuitable location of venue. If the current weakness of the WCA is allied with a new multi benefit WCA , especially one that is poorly implemented ( as most if not all DWP initiatives are) then the cull of formerly worthy claimants will be enormous.
    And that is before the next hurdle of actually getting enhanced support VIA PIP if not getting PIP already.

    Grim

  2. #62
    brightonbelle
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    nothing in the green paper/consultation...but they would have to do something about the WCA itself. More home assessments, a much more focused approach with the line of questions/observations. Capita (for all the aggro they get from claimants) wanted all WCA's to be recorded as part of their bid. It was the DWP that wouldn't allow them. Seems that PIP are doing a limited small trial of compulsory recordings. Maybe (only an opinion) we could look forward to a longer, more intensive WCA, but one that is more consistently conducted. In the potential absence of the DWP making changes, maybe ATOS and CAPITA decide to make changes themselves. Perhaps they can do it despite objections by the DWP as the recordings would be for "training purposes" ...especially if (only an opinion) the government took back part or all of the assessment payment upon successful tribunal outcomes.

    Alternatively, as we know, companies were bought in to manage benefits haven't made the savings the government anticipated. A mix of higher level of awards being given than anticipated, and the offset costs of going to tribunal. It may be too costly to keep contracting out.

    At what point will the government consider that paying for a G.P to do the assessment would be better value (they have suitable premises close to claimants, own records, potential to access hospital records quickly, potential in depth knowledge of the claimant, easy to do home assessments, etc). Yes the government could argue they may be more sympathetic to their patients and less neutral in the assessment process. That's ok, then maybe another local GP practice does it, with input from the patients G.P. There could be issues especially in dense city areas - where a surgery cant handle a high level of assessments despite the potential income revenue. In that case make use of underused rooms in local community hospitals etc

    Do you get the feeling that I might have given this feedback during the consultation process, under "how can we improve the claimant experience?

    BB
    Last edited by brightonbelle; 24-03-17 at 14:01.

  3. #63
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Just a slight point there BB; WCA's are for ESA and are done by Maximus (CHDA).
    But yes, Capita did want to record all PIP assessments (Atos were not keen on the idea, there's a surprise).

    As for GP's doing assessments:

    GP's would not do it, and would resent trying to be made to do it.

    They already claim they don't have enough time to see their patients properly, and patients are waiting up to 2 or 3 weeks just to see their GP.
    (One of the reasons why people are clogging up A&E with minor problems).

    Where would GP's get the time to do assessments as well?
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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  4. #64
    brightonbelle
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    Hi Nuke,

    Only using the terminology they put in the consultation .......they referred to having one assessment as "one WCA" presumably because more people will be applying for UC? or maybe they are thinking on the lines of currently its the WCA that gets the component so they would be looking at extending the WCA to incorporate PIP questions.....rather than the other way round. They probably are not focused so much on terminology with it being more of an idea than reality at this stage (unlike a lot of the rest).

    Don't disagree with a lot of G.P practices being overrun. Of course they wouldn't want an increased workload with the same staffing levels.

    Atos and capita receive a lot of funding to hire doctors and nurses (and others) as well as hiring buildings/office space. This money could be invested into practices to hire more staff and extend opening hours. So they get funded to provide a service, and a payment of up to nearly £200 per claimant seen. Given that a lot of assessments could be carried out by practice nurses, under the supervision of a doctor, it could be cost effective. Especially as G.P practices are going to have to extend their hours/days of service to fit in with the ideology of a 24hr N.H.S (not that practices will be 24/7, they will have more walk in centres for the nights).

    Some G.P's don't want to be the ones coming in Saturdays and Sunday's or staying late till 9 or 10pm to do the routine patient appointments as it is. Others have been more pro active about adapting and changing - offering late nights and weekend openings. It may well be the case, just my opinion, that if they are going to have to do things differently, suddenly the funding and payments for taking on extra work could be offset by the hiring of a lot more practice nurses to do the assessments under supervision/final sign off by the doctor.

    A lot of my former colleagues within the practice nursing field have taken on a lot more tasks compared to a few years ago, like in the hospital, tasks once the domain of the doctor. They know that where G.P's have been resisting (with good reason) an increase in service provision, if they have to do it then they would take advantage of extra funding. For what its worth, based on my practice patient list and the % of people in society with a health condition/disability, the potential is around 500 patients who could be eligible for benefits. Reduce that by a guess at how many wouldn't claim down to say 400...and then assume that they wont be assessing everyone every year and reduce that to 200 assessments a year...that could average 4 a week. Not insurmountable for the potential finances. I appreciate that real life doesn't make things that neat, but the practice would be able to schedule assessments to suit ie less when nurses are on annual leave.

    I do understand your argument. For every reason something could work, there's a reason why it wouldn't. In some practices in high deprivation areas, there may be a lot more patients on the list, therefore a lot more potential assessments so not so easy to see how things could work in that situation. But, given how bad things are now, with accuracy of assessments, long waits for home visits, appointments cancelled through lack of staff, recruitment and retention problems, reviews being delayed etc........ the government might figure they can kill two birds with one stone. Get the increased G.P services to cut down A and E admissions, fund extra staff to increase the availability of appointments within prime hours, and enable appointment times for assessments outside of core hours/days with nurses working a shift pattern ie 8-3 or 12-9 without it costing them anything extra.

    BB
    Last edited by brightonbelle; 24-03-17 at 19:12.

  5. #65
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I have seen something recently where they are looking to have one assessment for both PIP and ESA.

    Obviously a stupid idea as the 2 benefits are for different things.

    No doubt just another way to get rid of ESA altogether while also rreducing the numbers who can claim PIP.
    (They have never liked ESA).
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  6. #66
    brightonbelle
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    the only consolation I have, in the reading of the green paper, and the "consultation" aka give us ideas on how to make our dreams reality.... is that they are trying to do so much, so quickly with systems not built to cope with the strain....that I am considering a wager on which is first....it just all melts down before they are made to revise things....or a new government eventually gets in and makes immediate remedial actions.

    BB

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