Following on from our ‘Unfair WCA’ blog, the upper tribunal have now stated that the evidence of a physiotherapist is of no value where it concerns a claimant with a mental, rather than physical, health condition.
This is great news again for our clients who undergo the stress and anxiety caused by WCA’s (Work Capability Assessments) only to be seen by physiotherapists, chiropodists, and the like who have no specific mental health training. The Judge stated that:
“It is plainly important that questions of mental health should be assessed by a disability analyst with appropriate mental health qualifications if their opinion is to be of any evidential value.”
This is another ruling which should take us a step closer to making the WCA fairer for people with mental health conditions. Yet further to this, the Judge also felt that the tribunals should take their own findings into account and take less regards of the WCA findings, not least because of their length!! The Judge said:
“Even the tribunals should beware of placing too much weight on such reports, based as they are on a very short interview with a claimant and without access to medical record.”
This could, and some may hope it will, pose more difficulties for ATOS. Although there seems little doubt that the DWP will appeal the decision, the Government have already ordered the re-training of all their health professionals. Could this mean the end of the monopoly for ATOS and the start of fair and consistent WCA’s?…We hope so!!!!