Campaigners outside Parliament

Parkinson's UK responds to the extension of PIP assessor contracts

Date

Responding to today's announcement that assessment companies for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) have had their contracts extended, Laura Cockram, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Parkinson's UK, says:

"We welcome the government putting the assessment companies on notice to improve, but are disappointed they have extended the contracts, as we know over two-thirds of PIP decisions are incorrect and upheld on appeal. This indicates a broken system, of which the appeals are just 1 part.

"It is a long overdue step in the right direction that assessments will now be recorded. Too often, we hear from people with Parkinson's whose assessment reports do not reflect what was said in their interview. As a result, people are being denied the support they desperately need because of, sometimes basic, errors.

"We also hope that the IT system being brought in-house will lead to greater scrutiny and consistency, but only time will tell.

"By themselves, today's changes are not enough. The government must ensure they scrutinise the quality of assessments and implore Capita and Atos to do more to improve assessors' knowledge of conditions like Parkinson's so people get the right decision first time."

Media enquiries

For more information please contact:

Amy Dodge, Media and PR Manager, Parkinson's UK

About Parkinson's

Every hour, 2 people in the UK are told they have Parkinson's.

It affects 145,000 people in the UK - which is around 1 adult in every 350.

Parkinson's is a degenerative neurological condition, for which there currently is no cure. The main symptoms of the condition are tremor, slowness of movement, and rigidity.

Symptoms vary from person to person, so people with Parkinson's can benefit hugely from local groups which provide support and an opportunity to share experiences with others in a similar situation.

Parkinson's UK is the UK's leading charity supporting those with the condition. Its mission is to find a cure and improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson's through cutting edge research, information, support and campaigning.

For advice, information and support, visit parkinsons.org.uk or call our free, confidential helpline on 0808 800 0303.