LIMA SOFTWEAR - Tick box assessment

The LiMA softwear assessment used by Atos Healthcare is a ‘tick box’ occupational health computer assessment and is designed and used for efficiency, not accuracy. This assessment tool is unacceptable for a comprehensive evaluation of any chronically sick and/or disabled person. The possible answers offered are limited in scope when compared to the possible variances of medical conditions and enormous range of possible physical disabilities. This type of softwear may be a useful tool in an occupational health department, for example, when confirming that staff are fit enough to consider certain work related activities if their fitness is in doubt; not their health. This would usually be carried out in a company, where the staff are considered to be fit enough to be at work, and not in a clinical assessment situation where the actual physical wellbeing of the patient is under consideration.
LiMA softwear manual:

‘Note however, that when you click one of the lists to open it, you may not find all the usual choices available to you. LiMA uses its database of logical rules to restrict the available choices to only those that fit the information you have already provided’ ‘Curtailment of high scoring cases has been developed in conjunction with the Department for Work and Pensions as a way of reducing the time to complete lengthy cases where many activities are affected by multiple disabling conditions. Curtailment is managed automatically by LiMA and reduces the amount of justification required in high-scoring cases. Based on your choice of descriptors, LIMA will only ask you to justify those activities needed to comfortably exceed the benefit threshold, beginning with the activities with the greatest apparent functional loss. (For those parts of the assessment that are curtailed, LiMA will automatically insert an appropriate standard summary phrase into the printed report.)’

and this is a recipe for disaster to the chronically sick and profoundly disabled UK population.

Citizens Advice Scotland: Unfit for Purpose – Report 2010 Statistics from the DWP show that over 1 in 4 WCA assessments are appealed, with 39% of these appeals being won by the claimant. However, evidence from Scottish bureaux suggests that clients’ appeals [for ESA] are being upheld in 70% of tribunals where bureau advisers provide representation. Conclusion: The DWP claim forms make reference to a ‘medical assessment’ and, using the LiMA softwear, this is not an adequate medical assessment but an elementary occupational health assessment. There is a vast difference between the two. Mo Stewart
Disabled veteran (WRAF) Retired Healthcare Professional 1st October 2011

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