Norwich disabled assessment centre 'inaccessible'

  • An assessment centre in Norfolk that decides whether disabled people are fit for work has been criticised for not being accessible to wheelchair users.

    Atos, the company which runs the government assessments, has a second floor office in St Marys House, Duke Street, Norwich.

    North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said it was "fundamental" the service was accessible for all disabled people.

    The government said the possible use of ground floor space was being looked at.

    A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesperson said:

          "DWP is currently investigating options for the ground floor at the Norwich site."

    An Atos spokesperson said home visits could be arranged where necessary.

    Liberal Democrat Mr Lamb said he was amazed a centre that decided whether disabled people were fit enough to work could not see people in wheelchairs.
    He said:

          "It was a constituent who said to me the assessment centre for disabled people was on the second floor of a building in Norwich and it did strike me as extraordinary.

          It seems to me as a priority they should be looking to locate this somewhere that is accessible for all disabled people.

          It does not make sense for a centre for disabled people to be based on a second floor - it leaves one somewhat amazed, but that's what happened.

          We need to try and make sure an alternative is found as soon as possible."

    The building has a lift, but this cannot be used in the case of a fire which means people in wheelchairs are not able to be assessed at the Duke Street premises.

    In a statement, Atos Healthcare said:

          "The government have provided St Mary's House to us to carry out assessments on their behalf.

          We let people know about access prior to their visit and will reschedule an appointment at the nearest ground floor assessment centre or arrange a home visit where necessary."

    The nearest alternative assessment office is in King's Lynn, about 45 miles from Norwich.

    Source: BBC News




Related articles

  • Read More

    Young people with learning disabilities more likely to be abused

    A group of children’s charities have said that young people with disabilities have the “same vulnerabilities” as all young people but face extra “barriers” to getting protection or support,...

  • Read More

    Success for a disability sport programme

    The programme ran for three weeks and included multi-sport camps at Aberdeen Sports Village, reports the Mearns Leader. Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee...

  • Read More

    Hartlepool to open a disability centre

    Work has begun on the Hartlepool Borough Council project which aims to provide the Centre for Independent Living on the site of the current Havelock Centre in Burbank, reports The Hartlepool Mail.It...

  • Read More

    Reform for care of adults with learning disabilities criticised for being slow

    Following the care home abuse scandal at Winterbourne, Sir Stephen Bubb headed a review into care home abuse, which was published in November, reports the BBC.England's chief nursing officer said...

  • Read More

    Campaigners warn that people with disabilities are losing rights due to government cuts

    Charities are concerned that the rights of people with learning disabilities to live independent lives are slipping due to government cuts to benefits and social care, reports the Guardian. A letter...

  • Read More

    Concern over disability benefits following council change

    On the 30th of June a £500m Independent Living Fund will be in the control of local authorities, leaving people fearing how the benefit allowance for disabled adults will be affected, reports the...

  • Read More

    Victims of disability hate crime are being let down

    Police, prosecutors and probations services have failed to bring in need change over the past two years, a report by the Criminal Justice Inspectorate has found, reports the BBC.The CPS, police and...

  • Read More

    New initiative to support young people with disabilities

    Liberty Staffordshire Community Interest Company have been developed to maximise opportunities for young people due to growing concern they could be left isolated following the withdrawal of...

  • Read More

    How technology is helping people with disabilities

    At the exhibit people presented all-terrain wheelchairs, adapted smartphone for people whose fingers can't cope with normal devices, wheelchairs that allow the user to become level with the people...

  • Read More

    Charities call for action on accessible housing

    Leonard Cheshire Disability charity has told The Yorkshire Post that the lack of housing which is accessible for people with disabilities must become and election issue and is calling for the...

Exempt Accommodation, Welfare Reform and Vulnerable Tenants Another excellent session from Support Solutions - excellent value for money and excellent training D.A - St Vincent's Housing Association


Briefing Signup