Feedback Request: PIP Medical Assessments – Ahead of meeting tomorrow with the CMO from Capita at the House of Lords | 27 February 2018

February 27, 2018


Dr Charles Shepherd, Hon. Medical Adviser, ME Association.

The Countess of Mar has invited Dr Ian Gargan, Chief Medical Officer at Capita, to meet with Forward ME at the House of Lords tomorrow to again discuss the way in which Capita are assessing people with M.E. in relation to personal independence payment (PIP) applications.

This meeting links in with the meeting of the APPG on Disability that I attended last week (where we discussed PIP and problems facing people who are transferring to PIP from DLA) and a previous meeting that we have had with Dr Ian Gargan.

A welfare rights adviser, who works with the ME Association, and has extensive knowledge of the benefits system, will also be attending this meeting. We are already aware of the various problems facing people with M.E. when it comes to making a successful claim for PIP and do not need any more examples currently.

Feedback request

I would like to hear from anyone who has a recent example of a medical assessor expressing inaccurate or even sceptical/hostile opinions about ME/CFS.

This is because I want to raise the issue of the training that is being given to health professionals who do this work, especially because some of the nurses and occupational therapists who take on the role of disability assessors appear to have very little previous training or contact with ME/CFS patients.

You can leave your comments below this blog, on our Facebook page, or you can send them to head office via email.

Thank you.

Further information and links:

  1. ME Association guide on how to fill in the paperwork for a PIP application
  2. CAPITA complaints procedure
  3. Notes from APPG Disability meeting 21st February 2018
  4. Minutes for previous Forward ME group meeting with Dr Ian Gargan


1 thought on “Feedback Request: PIP Medical Assessments – Ahead of meeting tomorrow with the CMO from Capita at the House of Lords | 27 February 2018”

  1. My daughter’s CBT counsellor, in April last year, who was part of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough specialist service for children and young people. Poppy was already 18, excellent at the sciences and (still) wants to be a doctor if possible, and is quite knowledgeable about the physical condition which has kept her housebound and often bed bound for 3 years now. She asked for CBT to see if it could help with serious sleep problems she was having. The counsellor started by drawing her a circular diagram and explained that her symptoms were all caused by her belief that she was ill, and that the more she believed she was ill the more she would behave as if she were ill, and the more ill she would become. I was in the room and was stunned – I told her (the counsellor) that that theory had been disproved, and she said rather defensively that she could show me lots of academic papers which proved it was true. I left the room rather than explode, as Poppy couldn’t cope either with the conflict or for an extended period of having to sit up. Poppy decided after the first session that it was a waste of her energy. It didn’t help with the sleeping, not surprisingly. I was impressed that it didn’t make her angry, but I think in truth she was just too ill at the time to react.

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