A contrasting picture of the operation of the work capability assessment for disabled people has appeared in two new reports. The first, an officially commissioned review, says no fundamental change in the system is needed. The second documents the actual experiences of disabled people going through the test.
The third independent review report, by Professor Malcolm Harrington, concedes that the assessment continues to be portrayed in an extremely negative light, often fuelled by 'adverse media coverage', 'representative groups', and 'political points scoring'. But while there are reports of individual cases of people being poorly treated by the process, the government can be 'reasonably pleased' with what it has achieved. A further period of radical reform to the process is not needed, Harrington believes, although he says some areas for improvement remain.