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CF Trust Forces DWP To Stop PIP Lung Test

May 4, 2016

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust has taken on the DWP and won in a fight to stop a risky procedure being carried out during personal independence payment (PIP) assessments. The relatively small organisation’s victory over the DWP should be an inspiration to other condition-specific charities with much greater campaigning resources at their disposal.

Claimants with conditions such as cystic fibrosis are routinely required to undertake a peak flow meter test which measures respiratory function.

Cystic Fibrosis Trust member Carrie Griffen told the Trust:

“During the medical exam I was shocked when I was asked to prove my lung function by way of a peak flow test. I was hesitant as the bag containing the mouth piece was not sealed so I’m not sure it was sterile and no nose peg was provided so didn’t really see that this test was accurate or relevant. At no point did the assessor make me aware that I was not under obligation to do the test. I was worried if I didn’t take the test my PIP decision would be affected so I did it.”

Carrie was further concerned that the assessor used bad language, seemed mostly interested in talking about her dog and ended the assessment by announcing that she was going to pop out for a smoke before her next client.

Benefits and Work members will not be surprised to learn that Carrie ended up with her award being cut by 40%.

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust made a complaint to the DWP who have now confirmed that:

“We appreciate that this is an area of significant concern to the cystic fibrosis community and can confirm that healthcare professionals will not be undertaking any peak flow assessments or other respiratory function tests on claimants who have cystic fibrosis.”

Carrie is now being supported in her appeal against the PIP decision by the Trust’s welfare rights advisor, Sangeeta Enright – a former Benefits and Work staffer whose name will be familiar to many readers.

We wish Carrie and Sangeeta the best of luck with their appeal and applaud the Cystic Fibrosis Trust for being prepared to take on the DWP. There are undoubtedly many other claimants affected by similar issues who deserve the same level of support from the charities that represent them.

You can read the full story on the Cystic Fibrosis Trust website

4 Comments leave one →
  1. mili68 permalink
    May 4, 2016 6:24 am

    Reblogged this on disabledsingleparent.

  2. mili68 permalink
    May 4, 2016 6:24 am

    Tweeted @melissacade68

  3. Elfie permalink
    May 4, 2016 11:08 am

    Does that also mean being a severe brittle asthmatic, I’d also be asked to do this Peak Flow?? I can’t even manage to make it move on a bad day, especially if I have a chest infection!! Can I refuse or will I have to get a consultant letter to cover me?
    I’ll have to make sure I bring my Neb machine with me! 😊
    It scares me to know that these ‘ people ‘ have no idea or formal training on the conditions they are supposed to be assessing. If it was that simple, I wouldn’t be under several different specialists. I’ve just been referred to The Royal Brompton as my chest consultant since 2012, is at a loss as to why my Asthma is so difficult to control and why I constantly get chest infection after chest infection. Oh the joys of spending 5 days being treated like a lab rat!!! I just hope that the doctors are cute and the food is edible. 😁

  4. Florence permalink
    May 4, 2016 1:24 pm

    Also everyone should be aware that the “popping out for a fag” is in fact a ruse so they follow you out of the room and into the street. This is part of the assessment, using covert surveillance. It is probably illegal.

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