Tuesday, 22 January 2013

DWP DLA and ADHD awareness training Freedom of information request results.

Business Management Team

Operational Planning & Delivery Division

Date 14 January 2013

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 3 January 2013.

You asked:

Q1 How long is the training about mental health conditions (in

hours)for DLA Decision Makers?

Q1a How long is the training about mental health conditions (in

hours)for ESA Decision Makers?

Q2 What is the completion rate of this training?

Q3 How and by whom is it delivered?

Q3a Who accredits the training?

Q4 How are the training outcomes for mental health conditions


Q5 What mental health conditions are covered during this training?

Could you also answer these question specifically relating to ADHD

for both DLA and ESA Decision Makers.(please could you provide

separate answers if the training differs according to benefit)

Q6 How long is Decision Makers training about ADHD (in hours)?

Q7 How and by whom is the training on ADHD delivered?

Q7a Who accredits the training?

Q8 How are the training outcomes for ADHD training


In answer to your questions

In respect of decisions concerning medical or disability issues, DWP Decision Makers receive learning in respect of the gathering and using of evidence including evidence provided by medical professionals. The extent of medical knowledge required by a Decision Maker is dependant on the benefit or allowance decisions made.

Q1 How long is the training about mental health conditions (in hours) for DLA Decision Makers?

As the majority of their applicants do not undertake a face-to-face assessment with a medical professional. DLA/AA Decision Makers require a more in-depth awareness of a range of disabilities and conditions They receive approximately 40 hours of training spread over ten half-day learning sessions of which two relate to Mental Health conditions: Session Four - Depression and Anxiety Disorders and Session Five - Schizophrenia, Bipolar Effective Disorder and Personality Disorder.

Q1a How long is the training about mental health conditions (in hours) for ESA Decision Makers?

ESA Decision Makers do not need in-depth medical knowledge as they do not assess health conditions. Their role requires an understanding of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) descriptors that indicate how a customer’s health condition affects their day-to-day functionality. This includes the Mental Health descriptors. This element of their learning was developed by and is delivered with support from Atos Healthcare who carry out the ESA WCAs. They attend a three hour learning event, Introduction to Working with People with a Mental Health Condition.

Q2 what is the completion rate of this training?

All DLA/AA Decision Makers have to complete the learning provided by Atos Healthcare.

Introduction to Working with People with a Mental Health Condition is pre-requisite learning for all staff who help customers, including, but not exclusively for, ESA Decision Makers. It is possible to quantify how many of the total numbers who have undertaken the learning are ESA Decision Makers but we estimate that the cost of complying with this request would exceed the appropriate limit of £600. The appropriate limit has been specified in regulations and for central Government it is set at £600. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 3.5 working days in locating, retrieving and extracting the information. Under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act the Department is not obliged to comply with your request and we will not be processing this part of your request further.

Q3 how and by whom is it delivered?

The sessions for DLA/AA Decision Makers are classroom based and are delivered by Atos Healthcare professionals.

Introduction to Working with People with a Mental Health Condition is also classroom based and delivered by DWP Learning and Development Officers.

Q3a who accredits the training?

There is no formal accreditation for this training.

Q4 how are the training outcomes for mental health conditions evaluated?

Decisions are regularly quality assured by line managers and calibration exercises are held to ensure consistency of Decision Making across DWP. Following their initial period of learning, Decision Makers continuously build their knowledge by accessing comprehensive guidance and reference tools.

Q5 what mental health conditions are covered during this training?

DLA/AA sessions cover depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar effective disorder and personality disorder. Introduction to Working with People with a Mental Health Condition provides a basic introduction to generic mental illness and working with customers with a diagnosis of a mental health condition. Individual conditions are not covered.

Specific questions in respect of ADHD

There is no specific learning in respect of ADHD. However, in addition to the learning already described, the Department’s Health and Wellbeing Directorate, in conjunction with specialist medical experts, have developed guidance reflecting the latest medical understanding of the conditions covered. This guidance covers the common psychiatric disorders, includes guidance on ADHD and is available to both ESA and DLA/AA decision makers.

Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act allows us to direct you to information which is already reasonably accessible to you. Information on ADHD is available on the on the DWP website:


If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team


Freedom of Information Team

Email: freedom-of-information-request@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

Contact DWP: www.dwp.gov.uk/contact-us/


Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing freedom-of-information-request@dwp.gsi.gov.uk or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team, Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.gov.uk

Monday, 21 January 2013


I used to be scared about dying of my Leukaemia.....now i am scared of living and facing a bleak future!

Friday, 18 January 2013

RAF Cranwell Grob prop failure was known fault.

nuWhilst surfing "tinternet" today for reports about the recent forced landing in a field of a Grob training aircraft based at RAF Cranwell, i happened upon a report which described a very similar incident which occured 9 years ago in 2004!


Thank goodness no one was hurt in either incident, and,as a former flight line engineer, thank goodness it did not detatch whilst sat with engine running on the pan awaiting departure.....large chunks of proppelor flying around can wreck a ground crews day if it heads their way also!


Monday, 7 January 2013

Suerez...is that Uruguyan for "miserable tw@"

You would certainly think so judging by this picture taken outside Mansfield Town FC's ground today.
Feel so sorry for the little lad. Not because of Mr Seurez(s!) total ignorance...but because the kid actually looks up with wonder and respect to his heros...shame Seurez doesn't give a toss about his fans in the same way :-/.



Friday, 4 January 2013

Overkill in prosecution to cover Olympic security failings

Bottle thrower 'wanted Bolt loss' http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-20899073

So this bloke gets into the Olympic stadium, sits with VIP,s and chucks a plastic bottle which does no damage, hurts no one and .....well thats it really!.Except of course he lobbed it in the direction of Usain Bolt at the begining of a race.

How much time,effort and most imprtantly CASH,is being wasted to persue a conviction in a crime where no real damage was ACTUALLY done?....Except of course to someones ego!

DNA testing a bottle, CCTV footage....can you imagine that happening if you reported to a local bobby that " some bloke threw a plastic bottle (which almost hit me) whilst i ran down the street!".

Ashley Gill-Webb was a dickhead to do such a dumb thing, but, forgetting all of the " what if's", did he actually do any real harm?
It is reported that he was having some sort of " mental crisis"...yet the prosecution are choosing to circumvent this point of defense by asking how he then " planned" to carry out his "attack"!

Interesting to note that many news reports about the incident choose to omit the fact it was a light plastic bottle....instead they leave the reader to assume it was glass and therefore would constitute a much greater hazard.

Strangely enough,Usain Bolt shrugged off the incident and indeed says he never heard Mr Gill-Webb's "screaming" of abuse ( No racist insults by the way...he's not a premiership footballer!).
So what possible good can come of spending loads of tax payers money persuing the conviction of a bloke who, apparently whilst suffering a mental illness,decided, for whatever reason, to lob a plastic bottle at someone ?

Answer: To save face for a failure in security....."The best form of defence is offence" :-)

To see a pattern emerging all you need do is take note of the police response to the old lady down the roads house being ransacked and burgled ( gets a visit or 2 and a crime number) ,to the level of investigation and resource that gets allocated when Mr and Mrs toffee nose- Smythe get their mega value paintings nicked from their mansion!

Oh yeah....i forgot. It's not the crime that matters, it's how important the " victims" are!.

ADHD and DLA...What a joke

We have been trying to get my 9 year old son diagnosed for the last 4 years. It has been agreed by both an ADHD support specialist and a very experienced social worker that he exhibits all the traits of a child with Autism spectrum issues.

Our original visit to the Gp, followed by another to a Child phychiatric therapist was over 4 years ago and to  the present date we are still awaiting an "official" diagnosis!

Best of all we have just been turned down for DLA ( Disability living Allowance) for the second time in 10 months as we don't have the afore mentioned "official" diagnosis and our son is therefore not on any nescessary meds!....chicken and egg/ catch 22!.

Mid 2012 i had several financial knockbacks. Firstly my wifes salary was halved and then in August,as my eldest child turned 18,we lost £180 per month Tax Credits and £40 per month child benefit.....this resulted in us having to arrange an IVA through our local CAB office and thus our better than average credit score lies in tatters.

In July my gas boiler was comdemned so we no longer have central heating and we have a leaking radiator in the living room...neither of which i can afford to get repaired or replaced!

I have not had a pay increase at work in almost 3 years yet our electric/gas is going up by £120 in 2013. My daily commute to work is now costing me £10 per day and the grocery bill is over £120 per week to feed our family of 5.

We had hoped to be awarded the lower rate of dla ( about £20 per week) to help keep us going...but that hope has now been dashed, although it appears that this descision made in Oct 2012 was not communicated to us until we made an inquiry about its progress on 3rd Jan 2013!.... well, why should they tell us....why would we be at all interested!.

To say i am a lttle p*ssed off would be putting it mildly. I AM REALLY P*SSED OFF!

I served my country for 12 years in the RAF and i have worked in the NHS for 17 years since demob....and i feel like my life is a sham right now because it is dominated by meetings, phone calls, forms and dealing with a VERY DEMANDING son....but the people at the DLA dept think it is just a ruse to make money.

Its not....its a desparate attempt to try and make ends meet, and if i am currently "treading water" and trying to keep my head above it, then the mental health services and the  beaurocrats at the DLA are the ones who are standing on my face trying to drown me!

I have to ask myself...What is the point?