News | Mallon calls for audio recordings of all PIP assessments to aid accountability

Mallon calls for audio recordings of all PIP assessments to aid accountability

SDLP Deputy Leader and Social Justice Spokesperson Nichola Mallon MLA has written to the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities to formally request that audio recording is made a part of all future PIP assessments. Ms Mallon’s call follows recommendations from Paul Gray’s second review of the PIP assessment process which concludes that public trust in PIP is not being achieved.

She said:

“My office has been inundated with PIP claimants who have experienced unfair, degrading and humiliating treatment during assessments.

“People with profound hearing difficulties, asked to face a wall as assessors call their name, individuals with progressive neurological conditions being assessed by staff with no medical training relating to these complex conditions. These are nightmare stories from vulnerable people in need of support.

“One almost constant complaint in all these cases is the inaccuracy of assessment reports. People contacting me and my party colleagues are adamant that things are appearing in assessment reports which were never said by them or never happened. The frequency with which this issue is being raised is a source of grave concern to us.

“I have written to the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities to request that audio recording now become a formal part of the PIP assessment process. Recording assessments can only serve to increase openness, transparency, accountability and public confidence.

“No one should have anything to fear from impartial, independent recording of these assessments. It affords protection to both the claimant and Capita assessors and ensures that the truth can be established swiftly in any dispute.

“The PIP process is letting too many vulnerable people down. It’s time we acted to fix this broken system.”

Nichola Mallon MLA

Email
nichola.mallon@mla.niassembly.gov.uk
Tel
028 95150100

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