Most people claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP) will be asked to attend a consultation in one of our consultation centres. Our aim is to make your consultation as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
The PIP consultation will be conducted by one of our Health Professionals, who is trained is disability assessments for PIP, and will be able to assess the impact of your health condition or disability on daily life. You will be treated with dignity and respect throughout the consultation.
Typically consultations last around 60 minutes, although there is no set duration as we recognise that people have different needs. Each person will be treated as an individual.
The Health Professional will have reviewed your ‘How your disability affects you’ form before your consultation, along with any supporting evidence you have provided before your appointment. You can sit together with the Health Professional during the consultation and explain your needs in your own words. You will be encouraged to discuss a range of topics that relate to your daily life and the Health Professional will write a report of your discussion during the consultation, which you are entitled to view or have described to you.
The PIP consultation – unlike those that you may be used to with your GP or consultant for example – is not designed to diagnose or to treat the problems you have with your health. It will instead focus on how your life is affected by the challenges you face. If a physical examination is required, you will be asked for your consent. It will only involve you performing simple movements, relevant to your condition and within your abilities. You will not be asked to do anything that will cause you discomfort.
At the end of your consultation the Health Professional will complete the report and send it to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), who will use it and any other relevant information to make a decision on your PIP claim.
Will a face-to-face consultation always be required if I claim PIP?
Additional evidence for Personal Independence Payment
Where will your Personal Independence Payment consultation take place?
Atos Healthcare, together with our healthcare partner organisations, has a large team of skilled Health Professionals (HP) in place to deliver Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments. All of these HPs are fully qualified in their chosen discipline and all have at least two years post registration experience. In addition to this they also undertake a comprehensive training programme, tailored to suit their professional background and experience, covering all aspects of the face-to-face PIP assessment. This includes comprehensive coverage of the PIP guidance, activities and descriptors provided by The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), as well as topics such as communication skills, both in general terms and for specific situations. Their training includes the causes of impairment, both physical and mental, providing a good grounding in disability analysis. Moreover, they have access to the support of Health Professional Champions with specialist knowledge in specific areas, such as mental function.
The Health Professionals, following their training, are subject to supervised practice, quality assurance and audit prior to DWP approval. In common with all HPs in the UK our staff will continue their learning and professional development over the months and years to come using a programme tailored to their role as disability analysts. Continuous Professional Development modules will be developed and agreed annually with the DWP and based on a robust training needs analysis. This analysis will be informed by feedback from various sources including: the DWP; disability representative groups; and internal audits. A Health Professional’s quality and performance is also closely managed on an individual level, based on such things as positive and negative feedback raised by you, as well as quality audits.
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More information about Health Professional’s training can be found on our website.