We know that people with mental health problems who are going through the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) are often concerned about whether their illness will be properly taken into account.
The WCA is carried out by fully-qualified, experienced health professionals who are trained to assess people with a variety of conditions, including mental health.
As part of ongoing improvements to Work Capability Assessments, we have mental function champions to assist our health care professionals when carrying out an assessment of a person with a mental health condition.
The role of the mental function champions is to spread best practice and provide advice and coaching to health care professionals at any stage in a referral to us from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). They do this in a variety of ways. They can provide specific advice to health care professionals by phone and in person at both the initial scrutiny stage of a referral and in relation to a face-to-face assessment. They provide ad hoc skills transfer depending on the needs in their area. They also see people face-to-face like any other health care professional.
What are their qualifications?
The mental function champions are all qualified clinicians who have at least three years post-registration experience. In addition, they have postgraduate clinical qualifications and/or experience in psychiatric practice as well as an ongoing interest in this area of medicine.
All health care professionals undergo a regular random audit of their work to ensure it meets the required standard.