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ICE: Complaint not upheld

wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
Hi Folks, I had to take a break from posting a while ago as I was going through a very dark time with anxiety and panic attacks. I've just popped back to let you know that a full 2 years after my PIP assessment that went horribly wrong ICE have rejected any wrong doing by IAS then ATOS apart from the length of time it took for investigating my initial complaint. For this they have been asked to apologise to me and pay a consolitary £35. I consider this the final blow, a complete insult after what I went through. Most of ICE's final report just went over everything that happened as if my claim had been handled the way it should have been. By page 23 their reason for rejection was given as only being able to "consider complaints of maladministration (service failure) rather than any disputes about the benefit decision." This rules out completely any complaint about the quality of my report, whether there is information on there that is false even when I had supplied them with documentary proof that lies were written about me. What a waste of time !! I do not have the energy to take this any further especially as my first review is coming up next January which at the moment I can't face. So if anyone could let me know what to expect and how best to ensure the same thing doesn't happen again I'd really appreciate it. 
    I'm also involved with supporting MOH, carer to our adopted son who has a health assessment coming up. If I need help with this I'll start a new discussion. Thanks for reading. 


  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    For those of you that don't know my story, I fought long and hard to get the rubbish written on my report recognized. There were lies about what I'd done during the assessment including a full A4 sheet of exercise results that had ALL been made up, some I didn't even do. These things will not be changed until cameras are put into assessment rooms. Even the departments that are supposed to protect the public, the professional bodies, ICO who regulate the Data Protection Act  and so called Independent Complaints Examiners side with DWP and the corrupt Private companies doing the Health Assessments. I have 3 months to get back to ICE even if it's only to write a letter expressing my disgust at the way my complaint has been dealt with. Have a good day. 
  • axwy62axwy62 Posts: 127Member Pioneering
    I had the same experience. My report was done 'on the papers' so there couldn't be any dispute about what was or was not said at an assessment, and it was a complete fabrication. The nurse could easily have just ticked boxes at random and the things she left out were shocking - no mention of a wheelchair for example, then saying I could walk more than 50 metres when the physio report I sent said I could manage 5 metres at best. Complained to ATOS, took it to the ICE, they took 2 years to tell me I should have appealed and there was nothing they could do about the standard of the report. They totally ignored that DWP told me I couldn't appeal because I had been awarded enhanced for both components anyway.
    The issue is that I'm now being reassessed and they're using that report as part of the evidence even though it's total rubbish. I'm waiting for the next one and if it's just as bad, this time I will appeal.
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    Hi axwy62,  Thanks for your post. I was a regular poster here going back to 2017. My assessment was in Jan. of that year. The main things wrong with the report were the standard of English e.g "When sitting on a hard seat she feels she is more aware of pain in her feet". Should have read, back, hips and thighs. Lots of spelling mistakes. She said she was a Paramedic but had no medical knowledge and with writing like that she could have killed someone. My assessor made something up that has bugged me ever since. I had a bottle of water with me and she wrote on my report that I held it between my knees and peeled of the plastic label. That's the label round the middle. This was to let DWP know I had good manual dexterity. My hubby was with me all the time but they said he wasn't an independent witness. I've been treated like a liar all along while these people get away with it. I got standard in both first time round and after a battle with DWP when I managed to get them to do a 2nd MR Mobility was raised to higher rate. I took my case to HCPC the assessor's governing body who rejected any suggestion she wasn't a qualified Paramedic. I didn't appeal as I decided to accept what was offered in order to concentrate on the complaint. I also submitted a case to ICO The Information Commissioner's Office who regulate the Data Protection Act. They also wouldn't accept any wrong doing by IAS. I was really counting on ICE to see what I could see and everything I complained of was on paper so not who said what in the assessment. I also made a SAR (Subject Access Request) to DWP. That's to apply for all documents about you. Useful to get copies of everything. 
        Now I'm facing a review next year. I'll go mad if they use the last report. I was watching TV about NHS fraud. Oh how I wish they'd investigate assessor's qualifications. Fake exam certificates or other documents can be obtained so easily and I bet a lot of the so called HCP's haven't ever worked in their supposed profession but I've got no where to go now except to keep telling my story.   
  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Posts: 5,856Member Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 8
    Oh @wildlife I'm so sorry :( we know how long you've been pursuing this and how proactive you been and I only wish the outcome had been different for you. Please do take care and look after yourself, and wishing you all the best for your review. You know where we are if we can be of any assistance. 
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    Hello Pippa_Scope, Nice to hear from you, It was a real blow and has renewed all my angry feelings towards this awful system but especially ICE who are supposed to be Independent as the name implies. people need to be aware they only investigate administration failures in the system which rules out anything to do with the benefit decision, But in my mind it's all to do with the latter. A bad report leads to the wrong decision being made and is why so many complaints are made. It smacks of copping out of any responsibility. My adopted son is just about to go through an ESA review and with my review next year I'll be around a while. Can't believe it's just as bad as ever I was hoping things had improved. Thank-you for your kind thoughts..x
  • thespicemanthespiceman Posts: 4,649Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @wildlife   How are you?  Been a while I remember you after adding so many positive comments on anything I have written.

    Sorry to hear all this. Something has to change. My concern is now for the majority of good members like yourself.

    Having myself felt the full abusive and harsh treatment of the whole debacle of assessments.

    All my thoughts are on this forum every day seeing the brutal heart wrenching treatment of our members and community.

    I will always continue to support the community who have experienced the assessments and all that the harm and hurt they cause.

    Please keep in touch and good to hear from you.


  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    @thespiceman ; Hi there. I had to take a break from the forum as I became very bad with anxiety and awful panic attacks. i ended up having one for 7 hrs non stop back in Oct. 2017 when left home alone and ended up getting MOH to take me to A & E at 10 pm. I pleaded for help but there was none apart from an emergency appt with my GP the following morning. I was put on new medication and have fought my way back from a very dark place. Afraid to go out, afraid to stay in, afraid of everything. I am a lot better but still avoid lots of things in case it starts up again. I've just written a reply to ICE telling them what I think of their report. It's all I can do. How do they distinguish between a system failure regarding timescales for investigating complaints and at the same time say incorrect facts about a claimant backed up with reputable evidence isn't a case of maladministration. How often have I been accused of sour grapes over the level of PIP I was offered when it's the way it was handled that I was complaining about. 
             I'm now bracing myself for my son's ESA to be changed or turned down. We adopted him at 18 months old and he was very damaged even at such a young age, physically abused by his Birth Mother and during his teens was targeted by others and the police who wrongly arrested him aged 16 for a burglary he knew nothing about. He was at home at the time but no-one would believe him or me in a statement I gave. He went off the rails after that and, though he's settled down in the last 6 years or so he now hates authority and won't engage with Doctors or anyone he doesn't know. So we lack evidence and a proper diagnosis apart  from LD's. He lives quietly by himself and my wonderful hubby goes over every morning to make sure he's OK and has everything he needs. If the same happens to him as happened to me I hate to think what effect it will have on him. I'm his appointee just for paperwork as I can't cope with more than that. His assessment is in 10 days time. 
        Sorry I'm waffling on but they have no idea what they're doing to people....... 
  • thespicemanthespiceman Posts: 4,649Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @wildlife Please can I add my support for you. I am sorry what has happened I do understand have so many times seen members of our community Be harmed and hurt by this system.

    Always a place here anytime you wish to. 

    You are not waffling you are making common sense.  Since you left I have used my knowledge and expertise gained to become community champion on this forum.

    I have travelled the road of assessments and the constant anxiety of everything around the whole system.

    Had have intervention from a well meaning support worker who realised my situation was ridiculous and not really helping my mental state.

    Why keep on reassessing claimants constantly for a period of every eighteen months.  Every time changes imagine my attitude and disgust. One says these so called assessors add there lies to say am fit. Another eighteen months again say am unfit.

    In between the time spending  with employment services and as the signing on.  Who do not wish to know.

    Had one period had ten signing on officers in spate of six months. Plus various do not want to know training companies.  This my own personal concern and worry for the community.

    Why keep reassessing any one over fifty plus or a certain disabilities and mental health know never going to get better.  Even after the evaluations mystifies me all the time every time I read a story.

    All I can say . Understand your anxiety and distress.

    Anything I can be supportive with please consider me a listening ear a friend.

    I am always here.  

    Please take care.

  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    Thank-you so much for your kind words, you have brought me to tears which happens when anyone shows kindness. Almost like I must be strong, I can't crack under the pressure. I am 68 now and my body is suffering from a life of extreme stress, operations and road accidents. I'm stiffening up with painful joints and muscles. I've just spent a night training myself to sleep on my left side or flat on my back cause my normal position is too painful. My review was set for 3 years. I will have plenty of new evidence for my Mental Health but lack physical evidence because my Doctor is adamant she will not send me for tests for things that nothing can be done about or that aren't life threatening because the stress it would cause out ways any benefit. Last time IAS and DWP ignored reports from my physio because I pay. But no way am I going to end up with a full A4 sheet of made up results from a physical examination like last time. So just hope I have a paper based assessment and trying to think who I can get to do a complete examination of mobility and strength. I have 11 months to prepare but found myself worrying about it last night in bed and gave myself a telling off.
    Well done you for becoming a community champion. I was invited to be one but didn't want to be restricted in what I could say. I have my own guidelines based on excellent moral standards which is why I get so upset about the way people are being treated. Take care and I'll be around for a while......  
  • keirakeira Posts: 129Member Courageous
    Hi @wildlife, also adding my support for you. Have you thought of asking your MP to make a complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman on your behalf? Take care.
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    Hi keira, Thank-you for your support. Yes I've thought about it but ICE have said in their report that if I find a system failure they've overlooked in their investigation I can get back to them. To be honest I haven't read it all yet partly because the first 10 pages are just going over what I wrote on my original PIP claim form and what happened after that. It's only after page 10 that my complaint is mentioned and then only to say how long it took IAS to investigate it. It is worded as if all that happened was done correctly which it was not. I will send them a letter to start with telling them what I think of their investigation. If indeed there was one. I've got 3 months to check it all. I don't know why they don't make it clear to people what they will be looking for. Everywhere you turn ends in a brick wall. We're just not believed and it's so annoying. Anyhow time for bed.......
  • thespicemanthespiceman Posts: 4,649Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 11
    Hello @wildlife   Good morning.  I understand from reading your current situation. It might be a good idea to consult your MP.  

    I say this because I do believe now with the current problems with the whole process of PIP. It is becoming evident to a lot of MP's what is happening to our community.

    I see and read a lot of the politics on the media outlets.  Have and do also read many of the MP's comments and references to the system.

    Add to that many members of our community have got their MP involved some having positive results.

    I know myself having problems all the time with any assessment I do.  I know more now related to the assessment procedure and system. Than I ever did. Been a learning experience and an education being on this forum.

    All of us whoever we are in this community have had bad experiences and emotions, feelings around there assessment. Made to feel insecure, belittled and bullied into sometimes difficult situations.  With any assessor that does the assessment.

    As a member of this community you need the strength and courage to go forward. I hope as a community we can assist and support you.

    Hope you take care.  Great to speak to you.


  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 1,659Member Disability Gamechanger
    We were initially turned down for DLA.
    Last year I decided to apply for DLA for DS for the first time ever. So I got a copy of the application form. One Friday night I sat on my bed filling out the form with a glass of tequila on my bedside table as a source of support. Then I had my son’s amazing social worker check the form carefully before I sent it off with the additional supporting information. I made photocopies of the letters and reports from the doctors and therapists. 
    I made full use of the extra boxes. I even used a guide to help me fill out the paperwork. 
    Only to learn several weeks later they didn’t believe me and rejected the form. I got the assessment report in the mail from them. It was full of inaccurate information. I felt my soul drop into my shoes as I was reading the assessment report. With a red pen I circled each wrong statement. 
    So I appealed the decision immediately. It is definitely demoralising. I typed up a short appeal letter on my computer and sent it off last week. Hopefully we’ll hear something soon. 
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    Hi @thespiceman My son's assessment is next week so am waiting to see what happens after that. Am fully expecting the same sort of report that so many of us end up with then the fight will begin. Maybe he'll get a decent assessor, not sure how many of those there are. April2018mom you are going through what so many of us have had to do. By appeal do you mean a Mandatory Reconsideration letter? If so good luck. You're in the right place for help and support. Stay strong....
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    Hi Folks, Well things are moving on. I've written back to ICE expressing my dissatisfaction with the out come of their investigation, or rather part investigation. It has been passed to customer services who have 20 days to respond. I have suggested that incorrect information which had reliable evidence to prove it is false should also come under maladministration. I have detailed examples of bad English and false statements from my assessment report. So many people who get as far as ICE pin their hopes on an independent view point of their concerns but their report appeared to fully believe and support all that my assessor and IAS had done apart from the timescale of the complaint investigation. In the meantime I have received a letter from an IAS client relations officer with a full apology not only for the time scale but for the whole PIP experience. He said he hoped any future dealings with IAS would not give me cause for concern. The letter ended with the full name and address of the person writing the letter which was written after they had communicated with ICE and reviewed my case. The letter contained also the assurance that my assessor was a qualified Paramedic and her registration number which ICE had told them they had to disclose. So anyone who is refused this information is within their rights to have it. I will keep going as I feel in a much stronger position now not only to have my bad report accepted but also to make sure what happened to me does not happen again.  
  • SudSud Posts: 27Member Connected
    [email protected] I have also put a complaint into Atso got letter from them saying I have to give them 20 days to investigate. Am hoping for a better outcome but after reading your report I don’t think that will happen as everything seems to get swept under the carpet when it comes to these f2f assessments.
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    HI @Sud, We have a long way to go before assessments are done as we would wish but well done for complaining. The more people who do this the better. We can't all be wrong. I am 2 years down the line and still not got them to properly admit the assessor was at fault. They seem to be protected and defended all the way through the process. However there is a glimmer of light at the end of the dark tunnel. I now have the name and address of an ATOS client relations guy who I can write to if things go wrong next time. My first reply that you're waiting for was to close the case and refer me to DWP but has now been accepted as system failure to investigate properly. Keep going don't be fobbed off. Good Luck...
  • SudSud Posts: 27Member Connected
    Thank you @wildlife as I am so close to throwing the towel in as I lost all my pip on the 21st January because of someone wanting a bonus that month.
  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Posts: 5,856Member Disability Gamechanger
    I'm so sorry to hear this @Sud :( I really hope things move forwards for you both soon.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Posts: 4,649Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @wildlife   Thanks for keeping the community informed of your situation.

    Always here anytime to give you support.

    Your friend.

  • SudSud Posts: 27Member Connected
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    Another update: I have received another 2 page of A4 size letter from ICE. I was hoping there would be a glimmer of acceptance of my ongoing compalints but no. The tone of the letter is a complete put down as if I am a nobody just making a nuisance of myself. I will quote from part of it. 
               "I have noted your comments around the standard of English in the HCP's report, specifically that it was not clear and concise and that the information recorded was inaccurate; Whilst the HCP may not have drafted their report as you would have liked them to, that does not mean the report was incorrect or unfit for purpose". They go on to say if they identify recurring service failures on the part of IAS they will provide feedback to DWP.
              Bearing in mind lies even with evidential proof are not part of their investigation they will not be reported to DWP by ICE. 
              The last paragraph states they are closing my case and if I contact them again they will not reply. 
     Permission to scream. This is the final "head banging against a brick wall" apart from the Parliamentary Ombudsman. Anyone got any experience of reporting a complaint to them. 
  • thespicemanthespiceman Posts: 4,649Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 20
    Hello @wildlife ; Thank you for sharing. So what happens now.

    Is it worth contacting you MP?

    I am always here if you need any support..

    Is worth for example contacting.  These disability websites . One called Benefits and works.

    You never know any advice they can help with .Even Disability news.  Could tell them what is happening both websites see what they come up with.

    Only some suggestions. Never give up.

    Your friend.


  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    Thank-you @thespiceman ; I appreciate your support and friendship. I will investigate the websites you mention but there comes a time when you have to admit defeat. I do have a letter to send to the guy at IAS who wrote to me as he seemed a lot more caring of the quality of assessor's work. There's nothing to stop anyone writing letters but the answers may cause yet more stress. When I rejoined you recently I hoped that things had improved but reading recent posts they still look just as bad. 
  • MisscleoMisscleo Posts: 570Member Pioneering
    You seem to know a lot about making complaints.
    I need to make a complaint about rubbish put in a letter sent to my doctor from the QE hospital.
    Someone has taken info about the 2 leaking valves off the computer.
    And the hospital have claimed to have done scans on my spine. Which they never got round to doing. 
    Iv had 2 mri scans on my heart and 1 mri on my liver how do  I make a formal complaint about this hospital. Anyone know ?
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    Hi @Misscleo, I only have experience of benefit compaints but I would start by contacting PALS if I were you. That stands for Patient Advisory and Liaison Service. They deal with any problems patients have with Doctors/hospitals. 
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