Next step for new service for benefit assessments announced

A single service to deliver all disability benefits assessments will be trialled before being rolled out nationally, the Government has announced


EPARATE organisations currently run assessments for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and the Work Capability Assessments in Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit, using different IT systems. The new system will deliver all assessments using a single digital

platform, developed and run by the DWP. The new system, which will be launched in a region to be confirmed in due course, will mean that

people in receipt of more than one benefit will not have to provide the same information multiple times. Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson said: “We are committed to providing the best possible

support for people with a disability. That’s why we have listened to feedback from both charities and claimants to bring all assessments under one roof. “It’s important we get this right, which is why we’ll trial the new service on a regional scale before rolling

it out nationally. “These changes show that we are moving in the right direction and the planned Green Paper will go

further as we continue to improve the experience for people with long-term health conditions and disabilities.” The new service will be developed initially from 2021 before a national rollout, to ensure high quality

and consistent support. The announcement provides the next steps on a commitment made in 2019 on exploring ways of

improving support for disabled people, including reducing the need for face to face assessments and eliminating the need to supply the same information more than once; increasing people’s understanding and confidence in the benefits system. Later in the year the Government will launch its national disability strategy to increase inclusivity in all spheres of life for disabled people.

Learning disability service receives grant to transform garden

A £15,000 grant awarded to a learning disability service in Flintshire is set to transform its outdoor space and encourage people to come together and enjoy the great outdoors


wb Cyfle, a day opportunities service in Deeside run by national

learning disability charity Hft, has been awarded the money from Postcode Local Trust, a grant giving charity funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, to develop a garden project that will enhance the lives of the people it supports. The grant will provide people

with learning disabilities with the opportunity to design, create and maintain the unique space. Once built, the garden will become a multipurpose natural area where people supported at the service can enjoy sensory stimulation and get closer to nature. For those with green fingers or culinary aspirations, the scheme will also offer the chance to plant, cultivate, harvest, cook and eat fresh fruit and vegetables. As well as building skills and supporting learning for people with disabilities, the garden will be opened up to members of

the community, local primary schools and volunteer-led gardening group Digging Deeside, who will maintain the area as part of their work with people with mental health conditions. Additional funding for the initiative has been provided by celebrity hairdresser Andrew Collinge and haircare brand TIGI, who have lent their support by taking on a range of fundraising activities. The community project aims to

improve the health and wellbeing of people supported at Hwb Cyfle, a state-of-the-art day opportunities service which opened its doors in 2019. Inspiration for the garden arose following the success of Tri Fford, Hft’s prizewinning gardening group which supplies handcrafted horticultural goods to local people and businesses. Staff plan to use the improved outdoor area to provide opportunities for skill development and enterprise, while also encouraging the community to connect with one another.

For more information about Hft please visit 4 Ability Needs Magazine

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