Council spend £22,720 on 629 medical assessments from company who never meet the patient

Tucked away in the recesses of the Council’s website is a little known document, which to the vast majority of residents never has a bearing on your life. But for some it does. This document, the Council’s Housing Allocation Policy is as we understand unlawful.

At Pages 19/20 which deals with medical assessments, it states on Pg 19:

Assessments of medical priority will be carried out by the Council’s Medical Panel which consists of two senior officers [not medically qualified] and using all information available at the time and using the above guide.
However, it is NOT the Council’s medical Panel who undertake the medical assessment. The Council outsource this to a company called Nowmedical who we have written about on a couple of occasions. A company judges have derided time and again.

Judges have warned councils against relying on the firm’s advice and overturned decisions determined by its assessments, calling them irrational” and “tainted and criticising the firm for not taking the time to meet or speak to those they are assessing. But regardless of what Judges have said our Council continue to use this firm.

In the last five years and three months NowMedical have provided 629 medical reports on individuals who they have never met and the council use these assessments to make decisions.

Folkestone & Hythe District Council have spent more than £22,000 pounds with NowMedical.

Cllrs can be involved in Housing Allocation under certain circumstances. But between 1 Apr 2018 to present not a single Cllr regardless of party has involved themselves with helping any constituent under the Housing Allocation Policy. 

The Allocation of Housing (Procedure) Regulations 1997 (SI 1997/483)   prevent an elected Cllr who represents the individual in the ward the Cllrs have been elected to, from being part of a decision making body at the time an allocation decision is made, when either:

• the accommodation concerned is situated in their division or electoral ward, or
• the person subject to the decision has their sole or main residence there

This can be found in the latest statutory guidance for allocation of accommodation guidance for local authorities.

However, the regulations do not prevent an elected Cllr from another ward representing constituents in front of the decision making body, or from participating in the decision making body’s deliberations prior to its decision. If you have, or if you are making a housing application, and have had, or will need a medical assessment, then we strongly advise you get a Cllr involved to help and assist. But do remember they are not experts in housing law.

The regulations also do not prevent elected Cllrs’ involvement in policy decisions that affect the generality of housing accommodation in their division or electoral ward rather than individual allocations; for example, a decision that certain types of property should be prioritised for older people.

If you have housing issues, there is legal aid available for certain housing issues such as homelessness reviews and housing allocation.

You can contact:

The Shepwayvox Team

Dissent is NOT a Crime


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2 Comments on Council spend £22,720 on 629 medical assessments from company who never meet the patient

  1. Surely this is the same as any telephone consultation with a GP although knowing some certain individuals at FHDC they will be fully remunerated for dealing with this company

  2. Perhaps attention of The Vox can be drawn to an RMCH Survey for WELLBEING.
    At face value, this is a questionnaire appearing to have been distributed for community benefit.
    However, it has disturbed various people, some believing they are compelled to complete the questionnaire, while information security within FHDC is notably weak.
    A naïve piece of unnecessary private information gathering, on similar lines to the article raised.

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