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					DEPARTMENT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

CLOSURE OF COOKSTOWN MEC



Draft Equality Impact Assessment Consultation
Document




NORTHERN IRELAND ACT 1998
SECTION 75
STATUTORY EQUALITY OBLIGATION
Consultation

The Social Security (SSA) is carrying out an Equality Impact Assessment on
proposed closure of the Cookstown Medical Examination Centres (MEC). A key part
of assessing the impacts of proposed closure of the MEC is the consideration of
evidence and information and the SSA would like to invite interested groups to
provide their views and comments on the draft EQIA.

You are invited to comment on this draft EQIA by: Friday 05 March 2010. The SSA
would particularly welcome comments on any perceived adverse impact that this
policy may have on a particular group. Comments should be made preferably by
using the questionnaire at Annex 1.

Please note that your response may be made publicly available. If you do not wish
to have your response made public, or if you would prefer it to be used
anonymously, please indicate this when responding. See Annex 2, which details the
position in relation to the Freedom of Information Act.

Please send your response to:

Mr Damian Mahon
Project Manager
MSS Project
39 Corporation Street
Belfast
BT1 3DR
Tel: 028 90376367
E-mail: damian.mahon@dsdni.gov.uk

Should you require this document in an alternative format, please contact the above
address.




                                        -i-
CONTENTS
                                                                                                      Page No
1.   INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................ 1
     1.1 Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act (1988) .............................................. 1
     1.2 Purpose of Equality Impact Assessment ...................................................... 2
2.   BACKGROUND .................................................................................................. 3
     2.1 Social Security Agency ................................................................................ 3
     2.2 Modernisation & Reform Agenda ................................................................. 3
3.   THE AIM OF THE POLICY ................................................................................. 4
     3.1 Introduction .................................................................................................. 4
     3.2 The Proposed Changes Explained .............................................................. 4
     3.3 Section 75 .................................................................................................... 6
4.   CONSIDERATION OF AVAILABLE DATA AND RESEARCH – OUR
     CUSTOMERS .................................................................................................... 6
     4.1 Introduction .................................................................................................. 6
     4.2 Consideration of available data .................................................................... 6
5.   ASSESSMENT OF IMPACTS ON CUSTOMERS .............................................. 8
     5.1 Persons of Different Religious Belief/Political Opinion ................................. 8
     5.2 Persons of Different Racial Group ............................................................... 8
     5.3 Persons of Different Marital Status .............................................................. 8
     5.4 Persons of Different Sexual Orientation ....................................................... 8
     5.5 Persons of Different Age .............................................................................. 9
     5.6 Between Men & Women Generally .............................................................. 9
     5.7 Persons With or Without Dependants .......................................................... 9
     5.8 Persons With a Disability and Persons Without ........................................... 9
6.   CONSIDERATION OF MITIGATING MEASURES ............................................. 9
7.   DECISION AND PUBLICATION OF REPORT ................................................. 12
8.   MONITORING .................................................................................................. 12




                                                         - ii -
Annexes


Annex 1: Questions for Consultation

Annex 2: Freedom of Information Act

Annex 3: Medical Examination Centre (MEC) Accommodation

Annex 4: Current Map of MEC Estate

Annex 5: Customer data for Cookstown by „diagnosis type‟.

Annex 6: Data available for Cookstown MEC

Annex 7: Current distances travelled by customers to each MEC (including
         Cookstown MEC)

Annex 8: Impact of Closure of Cookstown MEC on distances travelled by
         Customers of the Cookstown MEC to alternative MECs




                                      - iii -
ABBREVIATIONS

AA - Administrative Assistant

AA – Attendance Allowance

CASC - Centralised Administrative Scheduling Centre

DDA – Disability Discrimination Act

DSD - Department for Social Development

DLA – Disability Living Allowance

DV – Domiciliary Visit

ESA – Employment and Support Allowance

IB – Incapacity Benefit

IIDB – Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

MEC - Medical Examination Centre

MSS - Medical Support Services

NISRA -Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency

SCB - Social Welfare Statistics and Consultancy Branch

SSA - Social Security Agency

SSO - Social Security Office




                                         - iv -
1.      INTRODUCTION

1.1     Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act (1988)

1.1.1   Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act (1998) requires the Department for
        Social Development (DSD) in carrying out its functions relating to Northern
        Ireland, to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity:

           between persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial
            group,

           age, marital status or sexual orientation;

           between men and women generally;

           between persons with a disability and persons without; and

           between persons with dependants and persons without.

        In addition, and without prejudice to the above obligations, the Department
        must also, in carrying out its functions relating to Northern Ireland, have
        regard to the desirability of promoting good relations between persons of
        different religious belief, political opinion or racial group.

1.1.2   In accordance with Schedule 9 of the 1998 Act the Department for Social
        Development (“the Department”) has produced an Equality Scheme which
        explains how it will implement its obligations under Section 75. A copy of the
        Scheme, which was approved by the Equality Commission on 15 March
        2001, is available on the Department‟s website at www.dsdni.gov.uk.
        Copies are also available in printed form and, on request, in alternative
        formats such as Braille, large print, disc, audio cassette and in minority
        languages to meet the needs of those who are not fluent in English from
        Departmental headquarters through a request to -

        The Office of the Permanent Secretary
        4th Floor
        Lighthouse Building
        1 Cromac Place
        Gasworks Business Park
        Ormeau Road
        Belfast BT7 2JB


                                            -1-
          ops@dsdni.gov.uk
          028 90829570

1.1.3     The Social Security Agency (SSA) is an Agency of the DSD and, as such,
          adheres to all relevant statutory requirements of the Department.

1.2       Purpose of Equality Impact Assessment

1.2.1     The primary function of this Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) is to
          determine the extent of the differential impact of the proposed closure of the
          Cookstown Medical Examination Centres1 (MEC) on Section 75 categories,
          and groups within those categories, and to determine whether that impact is
          adverse2, i.e. whether the policy negatively affects people within one or more
          of the equality groups.

1.2.2     In accordance with the Department‟s Equality Scheme the EQIA process will
          comprise seven elements:

          Step 1: Definition of the aims of the policy

          Step 2: Consideration of available data and research

          Step 3: Assessment of impacts

          Step 4: Consideration of measures which might mitigate any adverse impact;
          and alternative policies which might better achieve the promotion of equality
          of opportunity.

          Step 5: Formal consultation

          Step 6: Decision and publication of the results of the EQIA

          Step 7: Monitoring for adverse impact.


1.2.3     Publication of this EQIA represents the start of Step 5, Formal Consultation.
          The feedback gained during the consultation period will help inform Step 6,
          „Decision by the Public Authority and Publication of the results of the EQIA‟.
          Following this monitoring for adverse impact will commence.


1
    The MECs are the central locations which customers attend for medical examinations to facilitate
    the assessment of benefit entitlement.
2
    ECNI Practical Guidance on Equality Impact Assessments.

                                                 -2-
2.      BACKGROUND

2.1     Social Security Agency

2.1.2   The Social Security Agency (SSA) is an executive agency of the Department
        for Social Development (DSD) and is responsible for the delivery of social
        security benefit services in Northern Ireland to some 599,337 customers.
        Against an overarching aim to pay the right money to the right person at the
        right time, its key objectives are:


           to provide a high quality service which meets its clients’ needs;

           to maintain a sound system of internal financial control;

           to deliver strategies to modernise services and to protect public funds;
            and

           to deliver appropriate Human Resource strategies to effectively manage
            its staff.

2.2     Modernisation & Reform Agenda

2.2.1   The Agency is implementing a programme of modernisation and reform to
        improve the effectiveness of internal processes and provide a more
        modernised, accessible and integrated service for customers. As part of this
        agenda, the Agency, in partnership with the Department for Employment and
        Learning, is taking forward the Jobs & Benefits Project which co-locates
        Social Security Offices (SSOs) and Jobcentres providing an integrated work-
        focused service to people of working age.

2.2.2   The phased implementation of the new arrangements across Northern
        Ireland began in 2002 and 25 of the 35 offices have been co-located and
        now deliver the work-focused service.

2.2.3   The Agency is also taking forward the outsourcing of delivery of Medical
        Support Services and as part of this exercise has sought to maintain and
        improve the current network of Medical Examination Centres (MECs). The
        Agency is currently seeking to secure alternative accommodation to replace
        the existing MECs in Ballymena and Londonderry and the proposed

                                              -3-
        replacement locations will be subject to an equality screening to ensure that
        any new MEC satisfies the Department‟s obligations under the Equality
        legislation and specifically Section 75.

3.      THE AIM OF THE POLICY

3.1     Introduction

3.1.1   The Agency is committed to the rollout of the final 10 Jobs & Benefits offices
        including Cookstown, and is working to put in place the necessary
        accommodation from which to deliver the integrated work-focused service.
        Whilst a procurement exercise was taken forward to identify a suitable
        alternative site for the new Cookstown Jobs & Benefits office, a Value for
        Money alternative has not been identified and the Project has been obliged
        to adopt a contingency position of redeveloping the existing Cookstown SSO
        which also includes the Cookstown MEC. The impact of this, however, is
        that the size of the existing site and the listed building status has limited the
        redevelopment opportunities and what additional functions to the Jobs &
        Benefits service can be accommodated in the new office. As a result the
        Cookstown MEC will become unavailable once work commences to
        redevelop the office as the Cookstown Jobs & Benefits office or
        responsibility for delivery of Medical Support Services transfers to the new
        third party partner, whichever is the earlier.

3.2     The Proposed Changes Explained

3.2.1   Under the current proposals to redevelop the Cookstown SSO as the new
        Jobs & Benefits office, the Cookstown MEC will not be available in the long
        term due to space limitations on the site. Planning applications for the new
        Jobs & Benefits office are currently being considered by the Planning
        Service. There are no plans to replace Cookstown MEC as there are a
        cluster of MECs located within this region i.e. Omagh, Dungannon, Armagh
        and Portadown from which to deliver medical examinations (see Annex 3
        and 4).

3.2.2   The closure of the Cookstown MEC will mean that customers will need to
        attend alternative MECs for their examinations.        The closest alternative

                                          -4-
        MECs to Cookstown are Dungannon (11 miles) and Omagh (26 miles). In
        certain circumstances customers who are unable to attend at a MEC for their
        examination can request a Domiciliary Visit. The same service provision will
        be available at these alternative locations and all Disability Discrimination
        Act (DDA) considerations will be available.

        Scheduling of Examinations

3.2.3   There will be no change to the arrangements for the scheduling of
        examinations with no customer required to travel for more than ninety (90)
        minutes by public transport (single journey) for an examination, unless
        previously agreed with the customer. The potential travel distances will vary
        depending on the nature of public transport used and the road network.
        Assuming an average speed of 30 miles per hour a customer could be
        expected to travel 45 miles (single journey) to an MEC for examination. As
        illustrated by Annex 7 the current maximum travel distance for customers to
        any of the eleven MECs located throughout N. Ireland is 36.2 miles.

        Domiciliary Visits

3.2.4   Domiciliary Visits shall continue to be undertaken on the following occasions:

            DLA/AA medical assessments;

            At the Agency‟s request;

            When the customers GP has indicated that the customer is unable to
             travel on health grounds; or

            At the customer‟s request, if supported by a suitable medical condition,
             as determined by the third party provider.

        Treatment of Expenses

3.2.5   All reasonable and actual expenses will continue be paid to customers
        and/or companions who attend an examination and who apply for
        reimbursement.




                                            -5-
3.3     Section 75

3.3.1   The Authority will continue to monitor on an ongoing basis impact on Section
        75 groups.

4.      CONSIDERATION OF AVAILABLE DATA AND RESEARCH – OUR
        CUSTOMERS

4.1     Introduction

4.1.1   The SSA‟s customers include individuals with different needs, some of whom
        may be particularly vulnerable. In light of this, the impact of any changes to
        the current service delivery arrangements need to be assessed to ensure
        that customers do not experience any adverse impact.

4.2     Consideration of available data

4.2.1   In researching this report, the Agency has also researched reports
        completed by other Projects.        Advice has been obtained from the
        Departmental Equality Officer.

4.2.2   Base data for the period May 2005 to August 2008 was provided by the
        Social Welfare Statistics and Consultancy Branch (SCB) for customers
        attending the Cookstown MEC in order to determine the impact of proposed
        changes on the Section 75 groups.

4.2.3   The SCB data includes information about customers in relation to the
        following Section 75 groups:

           gender;

           marital status;

           dependants;

           age; and

           disability.




                                         -6-
4.2.4   At this time the Social Security Agency does not routinely collect information
        on the political opinion, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or racial
        grouping of its customers.

        Gender

4.2.5   The following table sets out the gender breakdown for customers attending
        Cookstown MEC between May 2005 and August 2008

        Table 1: Gender breakdown for customers attending the Cookstown MEC
        MEC                 MALE       %       FEMALE      %        TOTAL

        COOKSTOWN             500     50.8          485   49.2       985



        Marital Status

4.2.6   From the data collected, 930 customers did not declare „marital status‟. The
        remaining 55 are made up of male and female married, widowed and
        divorced customers.

        Dependents

4.2.7   A total of 12 dependents have been recorded. This is not a mandatory field
        and is probably an under representation of the numbers of this group.

        Age

4.2.8   The following table sets out the age breakdown for customers attending
        Cookstown MEC between May 2005 and August 2008

                     Table 2: Age breakdown of customers attending Cookstown MEC

                   Age                       Number            %

                   16-24                       94           9.5

                   25-49                      585           59.4

                   50+                        306           31.1

                   Total                      985




                                        -7-
        Disability

4.2.9   All customers who attended Cookstown MEC have claimed benefit on
        grounds of a disability. Annex 5 lists the „disability type‟ of customers who
        have attended Cookstown MEC. Annex 6 provides the Medical Support
        Services (MSS) records on the number of client appointments: examinations
        attended and failed to attend at Cookstown MEC between 2005 - 2008. The
        figures listed for Cookstown are indicative of the number of customers likely
        to be impacted by the closure of Cookstown MEC.

5.      ASSESSMENT OF IMPACTS ON CUSTOMERS

5.1     Persons of Different Religious Belief/Political Opinion

5.1.1   Customers who previously attended Cookstown MEC will be able to use
        alternative MECs which are Section 75, DDA compliant and the same level
        of service will be provided. The evidence therefore does not suggest that
        the proposals will have an adverse impact on persons with a different
        Religious belief or Political Opinion.

5.2     Persons of Different Racial Group

5.2.1   The Agency does not capture information on the racial composition of its
        customer base. However, there is no evidence to suggest that the proposals
        have the potential to impact adversely on this group.

5.3     Persons of Different Marital Status

5.3.1   The evidence does not suggest that the proposals have the potential to
        impact adversely on this group.

5.4     Persons of Different Sexual Orientation

5.4.1   The evidence does not suggest that the proposals have the potential to
        impact adversely on this group.




                                          -8-
5.5     Persons of Different Age

5.5.1   The age breakdown of customers shows that a high volume of customers
        are aged between 25 – 49 years, reflecting the position that the customers
        who attend the Cookstown MEC are claiming a „working age benefit‟. Whilst
        there is also a significant number of customers in the 50+ age range, the
        majority of these customers are claiming DLA/AA and these examinations
        are completed by way of a Domiciliary Visit. The evidence therefore does
        not suggest that the proposals have the potential to impact adversely on this
        group.

5.6     Between Men & Women Generally

5.6.1   The evidence does not suggest that the proposals have the potential to
        impact adversely on this group.

5.7     Persons With or Without Dependants

5.7.1   There will be no change to the current arrangements for scheduling of
        appointments for examination at the MEC and indeed there will be
        increasing opportunity to attend alternative MECs. The evidence does not
        suggest that the proposals have the potential to impact adversely on this
        group.

5.8     Persons With a Disability and Persons Without

5.8.1   It is recognised that increased travelling may particularly impact on those
        customers with a disability.      The Agency therefore recognises that the
        closure of Cookstown MEC has the potential to adversely impact on
        customers with a disability.

6.      CONSIDERATION OF MITIGATING MEASURES

6.1     A mapping exercise was carried out by SCB to assess the extent of this
        impact and consider mitigating measures.

        Annex 7 ~ provides an analysis of the current distances travelled by
        customers to attend for an examination at each of the eleven MECs located


                                          -9-
      throughout N. Ireland.    This analysis indicates that the average distance
      currently travelled by customers ranges from 3.88 to 14.68 miles, with a
      minimum travel distance of 0.08 miles and a maximum of 36.20 miles.

      Annex 8 ~ provides an analysis of the average distance to alternative
      MECs which customers will need to travel following closure of the
      Cookstown MEC.       The first column lists the closest alternative MECs to
      Cookstown i.e. Ballymena, Dungannon, Omagh and Portadown. Column 2
      provides a breakdown of the distances travelled by customers who have
      attended for an examination at the Cookstown MEC and the distances they
      would have to travel to the alternative MECs listed. It should be noted that
      the mapping exercise confirms (see Annex 8) that when Cookstown MEC
      closes, a small number of customers (4) would have to travel between 25 –
      30 miles to their nearest alternative MEC, which is approximately 60 minutes
      travel based on an average travel speed of 30 miles per hours. As illustrated
      by Annex 7 the current maximum travel distance for customers served by the
      Cookstown MEC is 26.76 miles.

6.2   Following closure of the Cookstown MEC, the SCB data (see Annex 8)
      indicates that:

           72 customers will be required to travel less distance to an alternative
            MEC;
           118 customers will be required to travel the same distance to an
            alternative MEC; and
           1,401 customers will be required to travel an increased distance to an
            alternative MEC.
           Of those 1,401 customers 527 will be expected to travel between 1-5
            miles more, 865 will be expected to travel between 5-10 miles more
            and 9 will be expected to travel between 10-15 miles more.

6.3   While the data indicates that 1,401 customers will have to travel an
      increased distance to attend for examination at an alternative MEC, the
      distance travelled is less than the distance currently travelled by some
      customers travelling to other MECs not impacted by this policy.                 As
      illustrated by Annex 7, some customers travelling to other MECs not

                                       - 10 -
       impacted by this policy are also required to travel between 25 and 30 miles
       to their nearest MEC, with the maximum distance being 36.2 miles. The
       maximum distance a customer impacted by this policy would have to travel
       to a MEC is 30 miles. This analysis illustrates that closure of the Cookstown
       MEC will not disproportionally impact customers currently served by the
       Cookstown MEC.

6.4    However, even though it is not disproportionate, the Agency is keen to
       ensure that the impact of increased travel on customers as a result of the
       closure of Cookstown MEC is mitigated against as much as possible.

6.5    As indicated previously the following measures will be in place which the
       Agency considers will lessen the impact of increased travel on customers:

          Where a customer is unable to attend for an examination at an
           alternative MEC to Cookstown, a Domiciliary Visit will be offered on the
           following occasions:

                   DLA/AA medical assessments;

                   when the customers GP has indicated that the customer is unable
                    to travel on health grounds; or

                   at the customer‟s request, if supported by a suitable medical
                    condition, as determined by the third party provider.

          All reasonable and actual expenses will continue be paid to customers
           and/or companions who attend an examination and who apply for
           reimbursement.

6.6   The following additional measures will also be introduced to mitigate any
      impact:

          There will be greater flexibility around appointment times with the
           introduction of a Centralised Administrative Scheduling Centre (CASC)
           in Belfast to ensure that as many customers as possible are contacted
           by telephone to arrange a mutually convenient examination appointment
           date and time.       As under the current arrangements, the MEC the
           customer will be asked to attend will be determined by their postcode,


                                          - 11 -
          although the CASC will be able to offer appointments at other MECs,
          particularly in circumstances where this is more convenient for the
          customer.

         There will be quicker turnaround times for cases being progressed
          through the process and the introduction of a Customer Helpdesk
          Service to manage all queries from customers in relation to
          appointments that have been booked, including rearrangement of
          appointments, provision of information about the MEC and what to
          expect during an examination and identification of special needs.

         In addition, a dedicated Customer Relations Team will also be put in
          place to manage complaints about service.

7.    DECISION AND PUBLICATION OF REPORT

7.1   The final EQIA document will be prepared following consideration of
      comments received during the consultation process between the MSS
      Project and the Consultees.

7.2   Copies of the final assessment will be sent to all consultees who participated
      in the consultation process. It will also be published on the internet and be
      made available in hard copy and alternative formats on request.

8.    MONITORING

8.1   Monitoring arrangements will be put in place to assess the impact of the
      policy when it is being implemented. This will include the introduction of
      Customer Satisfaction Surveys to ensure that the quality of service delivery
      is maintained and enhanced following the introduction of the new service
      delivery model. The customer satisfaction survey will be used to regularly
      gauge how the service is working and perceived to be working. To ensure
      objectivity, the process will be administered by an independent market
      research company. The Authority will continue to monitor Section 75
      throughout the life of the contract.




                                        - 12 -
8.2   The MSS Project also intend to undertake a Post Project Review and in
      doing so will continue to assess the impact of this policy on the nine equality
      categories.




                                      - 13 -
                                                                        ANNEX 1
Questions for Consultation



1.    Do you consider that any of the proposals impact adversely on any of
      the Section 75 groups?

      Section 75 Groups are:
          persons of different religious belief;

          political opinion;

          racial group;

          age;

          marital status;

          sexual orientation;

          men and women generally;

          persons with a disability and persons without; and

          persons with dependants and persons without.


      YES/NO        (please delete as appropriate)



2.    If the answer to question 1 is “Yes”, please tell us:

          Which groups do you think the policy affects? and

          How do you think these groups would be adversely affected?




                                         - 14 -
3.   What alternative action might mitigate or lessen any adverse
     impact on these groups?




4.   What changes to the policy might better achieve the promotion of
     equality of opportunity and good relations?




                                - 15 -
5.   Do you know of any additional evidence or information that the
     Department should have considered when assessing the equality
     impacts of the proposals? If so, please give details.




6.   Do you agree or disagree with the overall conclusions in the
     Equality Impact Assessment?

     Agree/Disagree (If you disagree, please say why)




                                - 16 -
SIGNED:

ORGANISATION:

DATE:




                - 17 -
                                                                            ANNEX 2

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Confidentiality of Consultations

The Department will publish a summary of responses following completion of the
consultation process. Your response, and all other responses to the consultation,
may be disclosed on request. The Department can only refuse to disclose
information in exceptional circumstances. Before you submit your response, please
read the paragraphs below on the confidentiality of consultations and they will give
you guidance on the legal position about any information given by you in response to
this consultation.

The Freedom of Information Act gives the public a right of access to any information
held by a public authority, namely, the Department in this case. This right of access
to information includes information provided in response to a consultation. The
Department cannot automatically consider as confidential information supplied to it in
response to a consultation. However, it does have the responsibility to decide
whether any information provided by you in response to this consultation, including
information about your identity, should be made public or treated as confidential.

This means that information provided by you in response to the consultation is
unlikely to be treated as confidential, except in very particular circumstances. The
Lord Chancellor‟s Code of Practice on the Freedom of Information Act provides that:

         The Department should only accept information from third parties in
          confidence if it is necessary to obtain that information in connection with
          the exercise of any of the Department‟s functions and it would not
          otherwise be provided.
         The Department should not agree to hold information received from third
          parties „in confidence‟ which is not confidential in nature.
         Acceptance by the Department of confidentiality provisions must be for
          good reasons, capable of being justified to the Information Commissioner.

For further information about confidentiality of responses please contact the
Information Commissioner‟s Office or see website at:
http:// www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.




                                        - 18 -
                                                                      ANNEX 3

Details of Existing Medical Examination Centres


Centre                                  Address

Armagh                                  Armagh Jobs & Benefits Office
                                        Alexander Road
                                        Armagh
                                        BT61 7JL
Ballymena                               Ballymena MEC
                                        George Street
                                        Ballymena
Belfast                                 Royston House
                                        4th Floor, 34 Upper Queen Street,
                                        Belfast
                                        BT1 6FD
Coleraine                               Coleraine Jobs & Benefits Office
                                        Crown Building
                                        Artillery Road
                                        Coleraine
                                        BT52 2AA
Cookstown                               Cookstown SSO
                                        38-40 Fairhill Road
                                        Cookstown
                                        BT80 8AG
Dungannon                               Dungannon Jobs & Benefits Office
                                        Crown Buildings
                                        36 Thomas Street
                                        Dungannon
                                        BT70 1EN
Enniskillen                             Enniskillen MEC
                                        2 Eden Street
                                        Enniskillen
                                        BT74 7EG
Londonderry                             Foyle Jobs & Benefits Office
                                        Asylum Road
                                        Londonderry
                                        BT48 7EA
Newry                                   Newry MEC
                                        Unit 2
                                        Monaghan Street
                                        Newry
                                        BT35 6BB
Omagh                                   Omagh MEC
                                        Kevlin Buildings
                                        Kelvin Avenue
                                        Omagh
                                        BT78 1ER

                                    - 19 -
Centre          Address

Portadown       Portadown Jobs & Benefits Office
                140 Jervis Street
                Portadown
                BT62 1HA




            - 20 -
                                                   ANNEX 4
Location of Medical Examination Centres




                                          - 21 -
                                                                ANNEX 5
Number of customers claiming Incapacity Benefit,
by Diagnosis Group, for Cookstown MEC
                                                       All IB    Men      Women
All Cases                                              985       500      485

Claimants without any diagnosis code on the system -             -        -
Certain infectious and Parasitic Diseases (A00 - B99) 12         11       -
Neoplasms (C00 - D48)                                  8         -        -
Diseases of the Blood and Blood forming organs and certain
diseases
involving the immune mechanism (D50 - D89)             0         0        0
Endocrine, Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases (E00 - 13          6        7
E90)
Mental and Behavioural Disorders (F00 - F99)           454       187      267
Diseases of the Nervous System (G00 - G99)             15        -        13
Diseases of the Eye and Adnexa (H00 -H59)              -         -        0
Diseases of the Ear and Mastoid Process (H60 - H95) 0            0        0
Disease of the Circulatory System (I00 - I99)          42        27       15
Diseases of the Respiratory System (J00 - J99)         11        8        -
Diseases of the Digestive System (K00 - K93)           19        11       8
Diseases of the Skin and Subcutaneous System (L00 - 7            -        -
L99)
Diseases of the Musculoskeletal system and             174       103      71
Connective Tissue (M00 - M99)
Diseases of the Genitourinary System (N00 - N99)       7         -        -
Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Pueperium (O00 - O99) 13           0        13
Certain Conditions Originating in the Perinatal Period -         0        -
(P00 - P96)
Congenital Malformations, Deformations and Chromasomal
Abnormalities
(Q00 - Q99)                                            124       70       54
Symptoms, Signs and Abnormal Clinical and Laboratory
findings, not
elsewhere classified (R00 - R99)                       0         0        0
Injury, Poisoning and certain other consequences of external
causes
(S00 - U22)                                            73        57       16
Factors influencing Health Status and Contact with Health
Services
(Z00 - Z99)                                            7         -        -

*Diagnosis Group is taken from ICD10 published by the World Health
Organisation.
 - Denotes less than 5 observations

Source: ASD scans (IB), May05-Aug08, merged with
MSS


                                       - 23 -
                                       ANNEX 6

Data available for Cookstown MEC




           Appoints 1326
           Exams    979
2005/06
           Lost
                    283
           Appts.
           Non
                    21%
           Attend

           Appoints 1284
           Exams    911
2006/07
           Lost
                    373
           Appts.
           Non
                    29%
           Attend

           Appoints 381

Apr 2007   Exams    283
Aug 2008   Lost
                    98
           Appts.
           Non
                    26%
           Attend




                              - 24 -
                                                                  ANNEX 7


Current distances travelled by customers to each MEC (including
Cookstown MEC)


            Average           Minimum           Maximum
            Distance to       distance to       distance to
Centre      centre (miles)    centre (miles)    centre (miles)
Armagh                   3.88              0.27              13.09
Ballymena                7.83              0.13              33.83
Belfast                  9.32              0.23              33.49
Coleraine                9.91              0.23              30.39
Derry                    6.99              0.08              24.81
Dungannon                7.81              0.15              19.06
Enniskillen             14.68              0.23              36.20
Newry                   12.58              0.16              30.97
Omagh                    9.55              0.11              26.70
Portadown                7.75              0.22              23.96
Cookstown                8.22              0.30              26.76




                                   - 25 -
                                                               ANNEX 8


Impact of Closure of Cookstown MEC on distances travelled by Customers of
the Cookstown MEC to alternative MECs


                                              Distance to Closest Centre
 Closest
  Centre
outside of    Distance to
Cookstown     Cookstown                   10-15        15-20      20-25     25-30
                centre      5-10 miles    miles        miles      miles     miles
                                                  No of Customers
Ballymena    5-10 miles                                      100
             10-15 miles                           78        265         68
             15-20 miles             1             70         19         12
Dungannon    0-5 miles             106            349          7
             5-10 miles             17            101        218          2
             10-15 miles                            3         37        123
             15-20 miles                                                          4
Omagh        10-15 miles                            1          6          3
Portadown    25-30 miles                                       1




                                     - 26 -

				
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