The role of mental function champions in the Personal Independence Payment assessment process
Many people who claim DLA and those who are expected to claim PIP experience both physical and mental challenges. The diversity of mental conditions means that even though our health professionals are trained to assess people with all conditions, including mental health conditions, they may still require support regarding less familiar conditions. All Health Professionals (HP) are fully qualified in their health discipline and all receive training in disability assessment which includes specific training in mental health conditions.
Mental Function Champions (MFCs) are experienced Health Professionals who have direct and relevant work experience of helping patients with mental health problems and who can advise the HP on any aspect of the effects of mental health conditions on someone’s everyday life.
What is the role of a Mental Function Champion (MFC)?
- To offer advice and support for health professionals in dealing with people who have mental, intellectual, cognitive and developmental disabilities.
- To identify and highlight training needs for individual health professionals.
- To keep up to date with best practice and management of mental health conditions. They maintain a portfolio of their readings to demonstrate this.
What are their qualifications?
- A PIP MFC will have at least two years’ postgraduate experience in a clinical role involving the management of patients with mental health problems, learning disability or cognitive impairment. For example: a mental function champion could be a registered mental health nurse or learning disability nurse. Many are highly experienced with 10 years’ experience or more.
- They will have completed intensive Independent Assessment Services training, a separate course covering mental health, the training materials for which are reviewed by the DWP