and suffers a depressive reaction. I was preparing a desktop report for Ms X just as a National Audit Office (NAO) Report into the DWPs procedures was announced. It revealed that the DWP were investigating 69 cases of suicide following cessation of Personal Independence Payments (PIPs). The NAO observed that the true extent of suicide in this context is unknown. It is time to put the mental sequelae of DWPs decisions on the agenda.
Extensive documentation on Ms X reveals recurrent depressive disorder, autism and adult ADHD, together with years of contact with secondary care mental health services. Despite this the DWP assessor indicated that she had 0 problems communicating and interacting with others! Reading his letter of justification he relied entirely on his perception of how she presented at interview. He gave a total Summary score of 0 which is simply preposterous, whether or not she had sufficient points to meet the PIPs criteria. I have written to the DWP for a review of the case. I have also suggested that not only should suicides be subjected to an Internal Process Review but all Claimants who are judged to have scored 0. Such a change in PIP score is near miraculous as people are awarded PIPs initially because of enduring functional impairment. But IPR’s are not open to public scrutiny and the NAO pointed out that it is not known whether such reviews have led to any change in practice: There is a need for transparency, I await with interest the DWP’s response to my letter.
Unfortunately the DWP’s assessor has adopted the style of most mental health professionals, reliance primarily on a single source of data (IAPT on self report measures of doubtful relevance ) or the clinicians take on the client’s story with an open ended interview. This results in missed diagnosis, mistreatment and misleading statements about the client’s diagnostic status.
Dr Mike Scott