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Coroner at Philippa Day’s inquest finds flawed personal independence payment (PIP) system led to her death.

What: A coroner concludes that flaws in the PIP system were “the predominant factor and the only acute factor” that led to Philippa Day taking her own life. Gordon Clow, assistant coroner for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, highlights 28 separate “problems” with the administration of the PIP system that helped cause her death. It takes more than two hours for the coroner to read out his conclusions and findings, after a nine-day inquest that uncovered multiple failings by both DWP and its private sector contractor Capita in the 11 months that led up to Philippa’s death in October 2019. Clow ends by telling DWP and Capita that he had decided to issue them with prevention of future deaths reports, which will force them to consider how to make changes to the PIP system to prevent further deaths of claimants. He dismisses suggestions made by DWP and Capita during the inquest that only a few individual errors had been made in dealing with Philippa’s claim, and concludes instead that there were significant, systemic flaws.

Why significant: Conclusion of the most in-depth examination yet of DWP failings to take place in an inquest show multiple systemic flaws. The coroner’s actions have allowed an in-depth examination of DWP’s systemic flaws, when other coroners, such as Tom Osborne, have declined to do so.


Philippa Day: Young mother took her own life after being told to attend PIP assessment
Philippa Day: DWP phone agent ignored sobbing claimant who later ‘took her own life’, Pring, 2021
Philippa Day: DWP civil servant denies PIP ‘culture of scepticism’, Pring, 2021
Philippa Day: Capita made changes to PIP assessments after young mum’s death, Pring, 2021
Philippa Day: Flawed PIP system led to young mum’s death, says coroner, Pring, 2021
Prevention of Future Deaths report: Philippa Jane Louise Day